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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My "5 to Watch" at the ANA Inspiration

Ah yes, the major season has finally arrived and the ladies are up first. That means that it's time for me to make the first of several futile attempts to pick the likely winners!

This week is the ANA Inspiration, formerly known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which is held in lovely Rancho Mirage CA.

the course at Rancho Mirage

Please understand that I am NOT saying that the players I haven't chosen are incapable of winning this event... but I only have 5 choices. Don't be upset when I leave out some of your favorites.

And believe me, I've left out a LOT of favorites.

To begin with, I've left out defending champion Lexi Thompson, runner-up Michelle Wie, and 3rd place Stacy Lewis from last year. Lexi's game just seems to be a bit flat to me right now, Michelle is recovering from a string of illnesses (strep and sinus infections among them) so I don't think she's quite ready to contend, and Stacy is so determined to get a win that she's getting in her own way.

Likewise, I don't think Lydia Ko will win. Maybe it's just me, but she seems to be tired right now -- mentally tired, that is. She's been showing more irritation with her game than usual and I'm not so sure that this chance to win a major at 17 won't prove to be a distraction to her. She's certainly aware of the expectations. And Azahara Munoz is listed in the field, but I think that her recent hand surgery will be a problem if she does tee it up.

So who are my choices? I'm glad you asked:
  • Cristie Kerr is my favorite to win. She finished T4 last year and is coming off a win at the Kia. But more importantly, Cristie seems to have turned a corner in her game. Last week Judy Rankin noted that her swing changes seem to have finally taken hold (I saw her hit a couple of 300-yard drives last week) and, most imporantly, her putting seems to have come around. I really like her chances.
  • Hyo Joo Kim has played in only one major so far... and she won it, the 2014 Evian. In addition, she won the JTBC Founders Cup just a couple of weeks ago. This girl has a steady game and I have no doubt she can navigate her way around the Dinah Shore Tournament Course without any problems at all.
  • Inbee Park hasn't been putting quite as well as I'm used to seeing, yet she continues to post high finishes week after week. It's not like she's putting badly, however, and I won't be surprised if she gets the flat stick running well again this week.
  • Alison Lee is one of my fliers. Although this is her rookie year, she finally seems to be getting her footing. She finished solo 4th at the Kia, so why not stay on a roll at the major?
  • And my other flier is Se Ri Pak. She's finally healthy again and posted a Top10 at the Kia. Last year she was T4 with Cristie at this major and she's won it a couple of times already, so this is a place she feels comfortable.
And there you have it, my infallible list of favorites for the season's first major. Let's see what the ladies have in store for us!

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Valero Texas Open

Winner: Jimmy Walker

Around the world of golf: Cristie Kerr won the Kia Classic on the LPGA; David Frost won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic on the Champions Tour; Tommy Cocha won the Mazatlan Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Kelly Kraft won the Chitimacha Louisiana Open on the Tour; Richie Ramsay won the Trophee Hassan II on the ET; and Gwladys Nocera won the Lalla Meryem Cup on the LET.

Jimmy Walker puts his boots on

The curse has been broken. A 54-hole leader has finally hung on and finished the job.

Ironically, no one has noticed that this amazing feat was accomplished by the last player to win from a 54-hole lead before the curse began.

Yes, Jimmy Walker had lost with the 54-hole lead at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Patrick Reed took that one) and then bounced back the very next week to win the Sony Open from a 54-hole lead. He ripped off a 63 at Sony just to make the point that he could finish off a tournament when he started in the last pairing.

And if you had any doubts that he could do it again... well, he did it again. Despite Jordan Spieth's best efforts to become the season's first two-time winner, Walker matched him almost shot for shot. He did it by sinking sizable clutch putts down the stretch, sucking all the air from Jordan's balloon and becoming this season's first two-time winner himself.

So now Jimmy Walker heads to Augusta with a full head of steam and more than a few analysts proclaiming him as a possible favorite to get his first major. For now, I'll just proclaim him the actual favorite to get this week's Limerick Summary:
No gimmes for Jimmy, it seemed…
But this 54-hole leader beamed
As he ended the curse.
We expected no worse—
His last win was the last lead redeemed!
The photo came from the tournament upshot page at

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Did You Catch This Putting Tip on NBC Saturday?

During their broadcast of the Valero Texas Open on Saturday, NBC very casually tossed out some putting information that may help many of you who have trouble getting your putts on line.

While showing Zach Johnson having some trouble making putts, the announcers mentioned that Zach was trying out a new putter in which he said he was gaining confidence... but NBC showed him missing crucial putts on three successive holes. And Notah Begay III mentioned that Zach's new putter was an offset putter and that hitting putts to the left was a common problem when switching from a straight putter.

Odyssey Works Versa #1 Putter The first thing you need to understand is the difference between a straight and an offset putter. To the right you'll see a photo of an Odyssey Works Versa #1 Putter, which is an offset putter. See the angle in the hosel, that makes the shaft point at the ground in front of the putter face? That's the offset.

And, obviously, a straight putter has a shaft that goes directly into the putter head without any angles.

Notah was speaking about righthanders, so let me rephrase what he said so it applies to anybody:
  • If you switch from a straight putter to an offset putter, it's not unusual to start pulling your putts.
  • And, by the same logic, if you switch from an offset putter to a straight putter, it's not unusual to start pushing your putts.
Or, as an article on putter fitting at puts it:
The final two factors, loft and offset, are interrelated. The loft being the angle of pitch on the face of the club and offset being the amount the face of the putter is set back from the shaft of the club. The loft and offset affect the roll of the golf ball and, most importantly, how the player aims the face of the putter...
The combination of loft and offset's effect on aim has to do with how an individual's eyes function. The way a person's eyes work together influence how he sees the face of the putter relative to the target line at address. If a person tends to aim left he should have a putter with less loft and or offset. A putter with more loft and offset will help a person whose tendency is to aim too much to the right.
While the offset of a preexisting putter cannot typically be changed, the loft of the putter is normally very easy to change using a loft and lie machine.
That's some important information to know. If you're having trouble getting your putts on line, it may not be your mechanics that are at fault. Rather, the offset (or lack of) on your putter may be affecting the way you aim and you don't even know it!

As the article states, there's not much you can do about offset; it's not usually adjustable. Short of buying a new putter, you might want to try changing your address position a bit. If you have an offset putter and you're pulling your putts, you might try moving the ball back slightly in your stance.

Likewise, if you have a straight putter and you're pushing your putts, you might try moving the ball slightly forward in your stance.

You might also try one of Martin Hall's putter alignment tricks: Put a yardstick down on the ground, pointing it toward the "hole" (which might just be a target if you're practicing indoors). Use the flat end of the yardstick which is farthest from your target as the "ball," and practice addressing it so that the face of the putter is flat against the end of the yardstick. If you're having this problem, you'll find out very quickly.

The important thing to learn here is that putting problems aren't automatically caused by poor putting mechanics. You may simply have a putter that's hard for you to aim... and that's one of the rare times when you can actually buy an improvement in your game.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lucy Li Is Back in the News

And so is Kathleen Scavo, the teenager that Li beat out for a spot at the 2014 US Women's Open. According to Golfweek, the two have teamed up and qualified for the USGA's inaugural US Women’s Amateur Four-Ball next month. How cool is that?

Lucy Li and Kathleen Scavo

The article says the two former competitors medaled at Pasatiempo Golf Club on March 26, making them one of four teams to advance from that site. There will be 64 teams total, to be finalized this coming Monday.

When the article calls this "a delightful boost" to the event, I have to agree. This new USGA tournament has been somewhat under the radar up to this point, but Li should bring a certain amount of recognition to the event after charming the media at last year's Open.

And the teammates' ages -- 12 and 17 -- will also be somewhat newsworthy to media outlets outside of golf, although they aren't the youngest team to qualify so far. That honor belongs to a couple of 13-year-olds. (Read the article if you want the details!)

I just hope the USGA makes sure there's plenty of ice cream at the event. We all know how Lucy likes her ice cream!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Martin Hall's Gravity Drill

If you've read this blog for any length of time or read any of my books, you know I make a big deal out of what I call "the gravity swing." I think it's a vital concept for any golfer who wants to get better because it makes many of the basic swing fundamentals happen almost automatically.

Well, Martin Hall has finally posted a drill video that focuses on using gravity in your swing. It's one of his Night School videos -- which means it wasn't shown on the TV show -- and it specifically focuses on your downswing (my gravity drills usually focus on the entire swing motion). It's very simple... and you've got to love drills that reference both Fred Flintstone and the Karate Kid!

Martin calls this a "gravity drop" and it helps you incorporate the feeling of your arms falling into your downswing move. It's very simple and I recommend you try it.

One thing I'd like to point out: Although Martin makes a big deal out of the lower body shift when you actually incorporate this into your swing -- and I do think Martin (like many instructors) exaggerates that hip slide to the point that it will cause back pain -- pay close attention to how Sara Brown swings using the move. She does NOT make a huge hip slide yet makes a very good swing.

One extra note: Those of you who watch School of Golf will know that Sara has a problem with pull-hooking. Please note that she hits the ball almost straight by using this move, even though it is likely the first time Martin had her try it. (Martin has often said that she is doing things for the first time on the show.) It will help you straighten a slice as well because, by relaxing your arms, you won't stop the natural tendency of your hands to square up the club face as your body rotates. It's worth a little of your practice time!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Ladies Tune Up for Their First Major

Next week, just ahead of the Masters, the ladies will play their first major -- formerly the Kraft-Nabisco Championship, now called the ANA Inspiration. Their tune-up this week is the Kia Classic, which has been pretty competitive since its inception but looks to be even more interesting this time around.

First of all, according to Tony Jesselli's preview of the event, 97 of the Top98 players on the LPGA Priority List will be teeing it up. (The one exception is Azahara Munoz, who's still recovering from hand surgery. In case you didn't hear, the lump turned out to be a harmless -- albeit painful -- cyst.) If getting on form for the Inspiration wasn't enough to get their juices flowing, this event also has a fairly large purse and 500 Race to the CME Globe points up for grabs.

Player hitting out of sand

A number of players who have yet to qualify for the LPGA's first major of the year are also in the field. (Just like the men playing the two Texas events trying to get in the Masters.)

And then we have the ever-present battle between Ko, Park and Lewis. Here are the scenarios for a potential shift in the World #1, as projected at (We have these almost every week now, don't we?)
Ko retains No. 1 if:
  • She finishes in a three-way tie for second or better even if Park wins.
  • Park finishes in a tie for second or worse regardless of what Lydia does
Park can go to No. 1 if:
  • Park wins AND Ko finishes in a four-way tie for second or worse.
  • Ko misses the cut AND Park finishes in solo second or better.
No. 3 Stacy Lewis cannot go to No. 1 regardless of what happens this week but she can move up to No. 2 if she wins and Park finishes in third or worse.
So a number of things are in play this week, all of which promise to make the Kia Classic worth watching. GC will carrying LIVE coverage of every round starting at 6pm ET beginning tonight. Prime time women's golf -- you gotta love it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Vote Now for the Ultimate Golf Excuse

I just discovered this Tuesday over at Golf Digest and it looks like fun so I'm passing it on.

Since we here in the States are in the midst of March Madness, the annual college basketball playoffs, Golf Digest decided to have a playoff for the Ultimate Golf Excuse. The competition is currently in the second round and you can go to this link at their website to place your votes.

Ultimate Golf Excuse bracket

You get to vote for 8 match-ups right now -- 2 each in the Physical, Distraction, Equipment and Golf Course "regions." The ballots are below the full-size version of the bracket you see above.

Have fun!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

More About Matt Every's Head Tilt

I mentioned this in yesterday's Limerick Summary, and then Michael Breed brought it up again on The Golf Fix Monday night. Matt Every's efforts to correct his head tilt at address are more than just one golfer's problem.

Here's the video of Matt and Michael talking early last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Michael played it again last night, and I noticed something that I missed when he first showed it last week -- namely, Michael says he believes the same head tilt problem affects Jordan Spieth. Take another look at this segment from the show:

Why is Michael Breed making such a big deal of this head tilt / eye line alignment?

Think back to your driver's ed classes. Didn't your instructor tell you to keep your eyes on the road and not look off to the side? Did your instructor ever tell you why? I was lucky, I guess, because mine did.

He told me that you tend to drive toward whatever you're looking at!

If you start looking at something off the left side of the road -- say, at a wreck in the other lane -- you'll start to turn the steering wheel in that direction, no matter how hard you try not to. And yes, I've tried it out when I was on a deserted road and didn't have to worry about wrecking. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't keep the car from drifting into the left lane.

You have a natural tendency to drive and throw and even walk in the direction you're looking. And if your address position points your gaze in a direction you don't really want the ball to go, you're still likely to hit the ball in that direction no matter how your body is aimed. It's worth taking some extra time to practice setting up with your eyes parallel to your intended line of flight.

Just look at how much it helped Matt Every this past week.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Winner: Matt Every

Around the wider world of golf: Hyo Joo Kim won the JTBC Founders Cup on the LPGA; Marco Dawson won the Tucson Conquistadores Classic on the Champions Tour; Dawie van der Walt won the Chile Classic on the Tour; Diego Velasquez won the 68 Avianca Colombia Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Akane Iijima won the T-Point Ladies on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has details). The Madeira Islands Open had to be cancelled due to horrible weather, so the ET is working to find a reschedule date.

Matt Every

The 54-hole leader curse is still alive after 9 weeks. It's good to be the chaser on Sunday!

Henrik Stenson looked to be the prohibitive favorite going into the final round, and yet-to-win Morgan Hoffmann appeared poised for his first win after a strong finish Saturday. But it was defending champ Matt Every who found the way to get it done, shooting 66 versus Stenson's 70 and Hoffmann's 71.

In doing so, Every becomes only the third player to win back-to-back APIs, with Tiger and Loren Roberts being the only other two. He's also the first Big Breaker -- male or female, I believe -- to get multiple wins on a big Tour (PGA, ET, or LPGA).

Sean Foley has developed a reputation for being overly technical but his work with Every seems to be anything but. GC noted that Foley had no intentions of changing Every's tendency to get up on his toes when he hits the ball, and then we get this interesting note from Brian Wacker over at about Every's work with Foley:
“It's a weird game,” Every said. “Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards and I feel like that's what I did.”
Last fall, Every was worn out and frustrated by a lack of results with his game -- he had six missed cuts and a WD in his final 13 starts of the year. He was ready to change his body and his game.
Every began working out on the road with trainer Craig Davies when a spot became available and there was another vacancy when Tiger Woods parted ways with coach Sean Foley last August.
Foley could see Every’s talent and sometimes wouldn’t say a word during their range sessions. He also provided clarity -- an understanding of why the ball would do what it did.
In layman’s terms, Every was lining his eyes up to hit a draw but everything else was set up for a fade, which is a shot he likes to play. Foley adjusted his eye line over the ball.
“From a sensory standpoint, he was crossing himself up,” Foley said “I’ve worked with a lot of players who could never make that change because it would look too scary to them.”
Every was open to change, though.
It certainly seems to be working. And Every said Sunday that his putting practice was based around that "tilted head" problem... and that it was a problem he had been working on for some time. All those changes worked well this week. It will be interesting to see how he performs going forward.

Dare I suggest that we have Every indication he'll do well?

In the meantime, Matt picks up an invite to the Masters and yet another Limerick Summary.
We thought it might be Stenson’s day;
Then Hoffmann stepped up, had his say…
But the prize went to Matt
As he won back-to-back,
His game strong in Every way.
The photo came from this page over at

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Butch on Putting Through Your Shadow

Today I have an extremely short video from Butch Harmon on how to putt through your shadow. And no, it's not some super secret technique that has been hidden for decades; it's actually just common sense.

Here's the video:

Simple enough, right? Aim the face of your putter, take your stance, glance once at the hole, and then stroke the putt while looking at the ball (or rather, where the ball was) until you hear the putt drop. I'm sure you've heard that advice before but I bet you didn't think it would help you putt through shadows, did you?

Butch always seems to give simple solutions to problems. That's why we all love him so much.;-)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

An Interesting Take on Yani's Swing

If you haven't peeked at the video section over at, you're missing some unique materials. I found this recently-added video from Golfing World that looks at why Yani has had such a precipitous fall from the top of the world rankings.

I found Simon Holmes's analysis very helpful in a number of ways. First, here's the video:

First, he notes that Yani got much of her length from learning how to hit the ball low in the wind. She delofts the club face by the way she moves, which causes the ball to come out lower. She does that by moving hard to her lead foot during her downswing, and that causes her to lean the shaft forward.

However -- and this is what you can learn from this video -- that move works against her in her wedge game. The same move that gives her a lot of distance makes it very hard to control how far she hits her wedges, especially under pressure, and so she doesn't get the number of birdie chances you might expect from a long hitter.

This also helps explain why she's getting better lately but still seems erratic. On the days she figures out how to hit her wedges close, she goes low. But on the other days, she often struggles to break par.

Note what Holmes says about midway through the video: "Sometimes a strength in one area of your game is a weakness in another." This is something you should remember when you try to improve an area of your game -- changes made to improve one aspect of your game may actually hurt other parts that you already do well. I think is part of the reason the pros sometimes try to make changes and it backfires on them, such as when Luke Donald recently went after better driving and ended up hurting his short game.

Sometimes you can improve a troublesome part of your game with a simple strategy change. Unless you have fundamental problems with your swing, it's usually best to try approaching the problem from a strategic angle before you start tinkering with your mechanics.

Remember: Length isn't everything in golf, so don't expect it to solve all your problems.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Golf Digest Has Put Its New Shoe Guide Online

Golf Digest has its new golf shoe guide up, and it shows 46 different shoes. Click over and take a look, by all means -- there is a wide variety of styles to look at.

You should be forewarned that the shoes are divided up into 3 categories -- performance, casual and classic -- but the links at the top of the guide didn't work when I tried them. However, you can get to the start of each section easily enough, by either changing the slide number in the url or by clicking the photos at the bottom of the slide show:
  • Performance starts on slide 1
  • Casual starts on slide 20
  • Classic starts on slide 39
Clearly there aren't as many classic styles in the guide. However, each shoe has a link to the company website and often you can find a number of other models that are available.

I picked out a couple of the, shall we say, more interesting shoes that caught my attention.

Check this shoe out. It's the Biion (slide #20) and it's made out of plastic and rubber. (I wonder if its mom or dad was a Croc? That's what it reminds me of.) It weighs 15.4 oz and costs between $100 and $110. The company website has a load of models -- the wingtips are wild! -- but this pink flamingo model pictured at Golf Digest is just crazy.


And this is the Puma Monolite El Ray (slide #34). They're only 7.2 oz and $70, but I couldn't find them at the Puma website. There are a couple of other Monolites there, however, and they've got leather uppers and suede lining -- sweet!

Puma Monolite El Ray

There are quite a few normal-looking shoes in the guide as well. But let's face it, it's the unexpected models that tend to get you excited about new shoes... and you'll find plenty of them in the guide.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Tip from This Week's LPGA Pro-Am

The LPGA is playing the JTBC Founders Cup this week, and I found this interesting little tip on the website.

And believe it or not, it came from football players, of all people.

Andre RobertsSeveral football players took part in the Wednesday Pro-Am. One of them was Washington Redskins wide receiver and return specialist Andre Roberts. During a Q&A afterwards that included a couple of other NFL players as well as Juli Inkster and Nicole Castrale, Roberts had this to say:
"Swing easy,” Roberts said when asked of the main thing he learned. “Their swings are so easy and so smooth, and they get all the distance they need and all the accuracy they need. As guys, we always want to swing the club as hard as we can to get it to go far, and you know, watching the guys like Dustin Johnson just blow it past people swinging so hard, looks like it, but he’s probably swinging easy. But that’s one of the biggest things I see. They have got this smooth swing path. They swing easy and get everything they need out of it."
Got that, folks? Roberts is a fast, strong NFL player who weighs around 200 pounds... and he's impressed by how far the ladies hit it.

Please understand that he isn't saying that they make weak swings. Far from it! The ladies just aren't swinging as if they had to hurl a 20-pound ball and chain down the fairway. They simply keep their muscles as relaxed as they can, because relaxed muscles can move more quickly and create more speed. This is a basic tenet of martial arts, and it's one that more golfers need to understand because that's how you get more distance. Note that Roberts realized that even DJ must be doing the same thing; that's an athlete putting two and two together!

You may not be tall and strong. You may not be superfast. But I feel pretty safe saying that you CAN swing smooth and easy.

BTW, GC will broadcast the first round of the Founders Cup tonight at 6pm ET. (More primetime golf!) And as usual, Tony Jesselli has done a preview of the event at his blog.

The photo came from the Andre Roberts profile page at

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sean O'Hair Was Asked About Tiger and...

Geoff Shackelford has an interesting post about some comments that Sean O'Hair made Tuesday about Tiger's game during a media appearance at Bay Hill. He references this article posted at, which goes into more detail about Sean's comments.

The primary quote from the article is:
"Obviously Tiger is going through some issues right now," O'Hair said Tuesday from Bay Hill. "I don't think that it's anything abnormal. When you look at all the greatest players in the game, you know, Jack, Arnold Palmer, all the greats, they've all had their ups and downs and I think the thing that with Tiger is that he's got to figure out what he wants to do and where he wants to be mentally, and I think that once he figures that out, he's going to be able to do whatever he wants to do again.

"I just think that he's lost and the only reason why I say that is because I see it in his eyes and I see it in how he's walking and I see it in how he's playing because that's where I've been. I've been living it."
An interesting comment there, that O'Hair doesn't consider Tiger's current problems to be "...anything abnormal." That certainly goes against the beliefs of most of the talking heads on TV, doesn't it?

Ironically, O'Hair also spoke about the kind of "advice" that he believes is useless to Tiger. Those comments are in this video, included in an update to Shackelford's earlier post. This is the advice O'Hair said he would give to young players considering a swing change:

Getting past the technical confusion -- didn't I say this a few days back? -- is going to take a little time, especially for a player like Tiger who likes to tinker constantly with his swing. But as Shackelford hinted, the fact that O'Hair has found his way back bodes well for Tiger. And I think he will, simply because I don't think Tiger wants to go out at a low point... and we know how determined Tiger can be once he sets his mind on something.

But if Sean is any indication, Tiger probably won't have things sorted out completely in time for the Masters. That doesn't mean he won't make enough progress to want to test things out in competition, but I'm not betting on it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How to Make Jordan's Flop Shot

Golf Digest published a blog post about how Jordan hit that high 30-yard flop shot on the 18th that helped him make the playoff at Valspar. The post includes directions from instructor Kevin Weeks. Here's the video that's embedded in the post:

The important thing to remember, according to the post, is to set up with the butt end of the club pointed at your belly button -- so you use the bounce and the full loft of the club -- and swing to a full finish. The technique is very similar to Jordan's full swing, which make sense when you realize that he made a full swing at the ball. (You can see the club shaft touching his shoulder at the end of the shot.)

I know we keep coming back to this, but most weekend players simply can't hear it enough:
  • A chip uses the front edge of the club, and a pitch uses the bounce of the club.
  • A chip is played with the ball slightly back in your stance, and a pitch is played with the ball slightly forward in your stance.
  • A chip is played with the shaft tilted slightly forward and your hands ahead of the ball, and a pitch is played with the shaft vertical and your hands even with or slightly behind the ball.
  • You need a bit of cushion beneath the ball to play a pitch because the club has to slide under the ball. If the lie is too tight to do that, you have to hit a chip of some sort.
  • The harder you swing at a chip, the longer the ball goes. The harder you swing at a pitch, the higher the ball goes.
Simply put, chips fly low and pitches fly high. Keep that in mind and you'll make the right choice more often.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Valspar Championship

Winner: Jordan Spieth

Around the wider world of golf: George Coetzee won the Tshwane Open on the ET; So Yeon Ryu won the World Ladies Championship on the LET; Peter Malnati won the HSBC Brasil Champions on the Tour; and Ji-Hee Lee won the Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has the details).

Jordan Spieth with trophy

Whew. Can we catch our breath now?

Before the tournament, on Morning Drive and the Pre Game Show, nobody thought we'd see much in the way of low scores at the Copperhead Course. It had just played too hard all week.

But on Sunday the floodgates opened and, as Jordan Spieth noted in interviews after the round, he and 3rd round leader Ryan Moore suddenly saw players going low with only 5 or 6 holes left to go. And among the leaders, only Ryan Moore failed to get under par; his putter chose the wrong moment to go cold. In the end, Spieth's -2, Sean O'Hair's -4, and Patrick Reed's -5 put them in a three-way playoff.

I don't mean to belittle Sean O'Hair's effort -- before he got sidetracked by the pursuit of perfection (like so many promising players), many thought he might be the Next Big Thing in American Golf -- because it was an outstanding performance and the first clear indication we've had in a while that he could become a serious factor in tournaments going forward. And Henrik Stenson once again showed us that his game is getting back in shape, just in time for major season.

But the fact remains that Spieth and Reed were the big draws. After their Ryder Cup performance at Gleneagles and their continued good play since -- let's not forget that they have 3 worldwide wins between them over the last few months -- they have become the poster boys for US golf. And when you add that Patrick got his first win by beating Jordan in a playoff at the 2013 Wells Fargo event... well, seeing the two in another playoff was just what the ratings folks ordered.

And they didn't let us down. During Sunday's round and the 3-hole playoff, Reed and Spieth calmly put on a scrambling show the likes of which will be talked about for weeks. Reed's par save on the first playoff hole from a plugged lie just beneath a greenside bunker's lip really stands out, yet both players played amazing recovery after amazing recovery all day. And then Spieth sealed the deal with a 28-foot putt for birdie.

The word is that Spieth will leap to #6 in the world when this week's rankings come out. It's good to know that Limerick Summaries won't weight him down, as he appears poised to collect quite a number of them going forward:
The Gleneagles duo returned
As opponents. Spieth seemed unconcerned.
“My loss at Quail Hollow
Was quite hard to swallow,”
Said Jordan. ”This time YOU get burned!”
The photo came from the photo page at

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How Patrick Reed's Swing Hushes His Critics

Golf Digest has put up a swing sequence of Patrick Reed, complete with swing analysis by his teacher Kevin Kirk. You'll enjoy it -- it shows the complete swing from face-on, and down-the-line both from behind him and from in front.

Patrick Reed halfway down

I want to call your attention to two things in particular from the sequence.

One, in slide 1 Kirk mentions some one-minute "patterning" exercises that Patrick does indoors in front of a mirror. He specifically does one exercise that checks his setup -- head position and posture. This is something you can do as well, just to get used to the feel of a proper setup.

And the other concerns this photo (slide 6). Please note that, as hard as he swings, Patrick does NOT slide his lead hip dramatically forward during his downswing. In fact, this position is remarkably similar to his setup position in slide 2! Kirk specifically says in the analysis accompanying slide 7 that "If golfers would get into a good setup, turn back and return to that position at impact, they'd almost certainly improve" and (in slide 8's analysis) that they want Patrick's swing to last a long time, without causing injury, so they endeavor to avoid extra angles in his back.

I don't know if these tips will make you one of the Top5 golfers in the world, but I'm sure they won't hurt your chances of getting there.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Second-Guessing Game Resumes

The big news on Friday was that Tiger won't play at Bay Hill.

But it was no surprise that the speculation about Tiger's game ramped up again, almost as much as if there had been an actual Tiger sighting.


Ironically, no one in the media had seen Tiger at all. (Except for maybe Notah Begay. Technically, I'm not sure he should count as a media guy.) All we have are reports that Tiger has been working real hard on the range and on the course, as well as Tiger's statement saying that he's "making strides" in his game but isn't ready for prime time yet.

And we have things like this Golf Digest article making fun of Tiger's statement. I don't really have a problem with that one -- it's clearly intended as a joke. What's sad is that the joke is basically a parody of what the rest of the media is doing with such great seriousness.

Every word that Tiger says (or writes) is put under the microscope, isn't it? Everybody hopes that they will be the ones to divine the undisclosed truth about when -- or if, depending on who you ask -- Tiger will get his game back on track enough to let the rest of us see it.

And we all know the reason for this second-guessing, don't we? It's because everybody (and their brother) thinks they could straighten Tiger out in 15 minutes or so.

The truth is that it's going to take more than 15 minutes. That's because the problem almost certainly does have a mental aspect to it -- not necessarily the yips, but simply confusion. Tiger has traditionally sorted out these sorts of problems pretty quickly. The fact that he hasn't done so yet almost certainly means he isn't sure exactly what the solution is... and once he figures it out, it will take some more time to make sure the proper routine is second nature to him.

That kind of information won't be parsed from any statement we're likely to see from Tiger -- that is, unless the statement says "I'm playing this week."

I think I'll wait for that one.

The photo is from the player page at

Friday, March 13, 2015

Inbee Park Is at It Again

Although it isn't being shown on GC, the LET's World Ladies Championship in China is providing yet another opportunity for Inbee Park to chase down Lydia Ko.

Inbee Park in action

Inbee finished the first round on Wednesday night -- well, it was Wednesday night here in the US -- tied for the lead at -4 with Becky Morgan. Unfortunately, things haven't gone so well for Becky during the second round. At the time I'm writing this, she's +1 for the day and has finished, putting her at -3 overall while Inbee has moved to -8 after finishing her round.

The new challenger is Holly Clyburn, who went -8 for the round and is now only one shot back of Inbee. The weather has apparently been hot and overcast, the course a bit damp after a wet and windy first round.

It's hard to guess what may happen from here on out. Clyburn has proven that the course is getable, and 17 players are currently at -1 or better. I think the two most notable players in that group are Suzann Pettersen -- who finished her second round at -1 for the tournament -- and So Yeon Ryu, who hasn't even teed off yet.

You can keep track of the scores at the LET leaderboard, and there should be a summary of the second round posted at this page by the time you read this.

But I think the biggest news by far is that Lydia Ko isn't playing in China this week but Inbee isn't listed in the field of next week's Founders Cup. Inbee will probably need to win this week just to stay within reach of Lydia.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Another Drill to Help You Stop Slicing

This little video is from last week's School of Golf. Martin Hall has two drills to help you square up the club face using what he calls EDPU -- elbow down, palm up. First, here's the video:

Now what he's doing here may seem pretty obvious, but it's easy to miss it. In all likelihood you're going to focus on forearm rotation to get that palm pointing up when you do these drills, but that's wrong. The key is the elbow down part. Let me explain what's happening by stretching out the swing a bit.

When you make your normal downswing and your hands are around waist high, your lead arm is a little below parallel to the ground and your lead elbow is pointed down toward the ground. That means that the back of your lead hand is facing away from your body -- that is, if someone were standing on the other side of the ball facing you, they would see the back of your lead hand. So far so good.

The problem is that most slicers now pull their lead elbow toward the target. As a result, the lead elbow is chicken-winged away from the body and the back of the lead hand continues to point mostly away from your body. This is the problem, and I'm going to show you why right now.

If you stick your lead arm out so that your hand is in that waist high downswing position and then just swing your hand and arm away from your body as if your lead arm were a door -- keeping your lead arm parallel to the ground -- the back of your lead hand will face the target when your arm points straight out over the ball. Your lead shoulder acts like a hinge, and that's what keeps the lead elbow pointed down.

Then, as your trailing elbow straightens, it's going to force your lead elbow to bend -- your upper arm will stay very close to your side -- and your lead hand will rotate enough to turn the palm up; that will cause the toe of the club to turn toward the target. Remember, your body is turning as all this happens, so the drill Martin showed is an exaggeration of what actually happens. But even with a massive forearm twist you won't get that palm up consistently if you chicken-wing your lead elbow away from your body.

So it will help you do these drills if you keep your lead elbow close to your body while you do them. It's almost as if your upper arm -- from shoulder to elbow -- is rolling against your chest and side as you swing the club past your body. The momentum of the club will pull your lead elbow and arm away from your body during the followthrough when the time is right for it to do so.

Once you get used to that "rolling upper arm" motion, you'll find it very easy to get into that "elbow down palm up" followthrough position that Martin is talking about. That's because you'll be using the big muscles of your upper body to get the rotation and not the smaller (and weaker) muscles in your forearms and wrists.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Some Thoughts on the NEW Ryder Cup Debate

Yes, it's still 18 months away and we're still talking about it..

You probably heard the latest controversy concerning the Ryder Cup -- that is, the fact that the 2015 Fall Series events don't count against the points totals on the Ryder Cup Qualifying List. Since I don't really have a dog in this fight, I thought I'd look at some of the things that haven't been mentioned...

Or at least I haven't heard them.

The Ryder Cup

Tim Finchem is now on record, saying that he "whiffed" by not insisting on the Fall Series contributing points. Phil Mickelson is likewise on record for saying that this was about getting the best team, not stroking the sponsors' egos. (I'm ignoring all the other stuff Phil said, as it was irrelevant to the Ryder Cup issue.)

So who's right?

Ironically, I find myself agreeing with John Feinstein, who told GC that he thought points were a useless complication anyway. Here's my take on the system:

First, I don't think Finchem "whiffed," he's just working on a different timeline than the Task Force did. The system is (for now) set up so that points are awarded by year, not season. In 2015 the points are only awarded at the big events like majors and WGCs, while every event in 2016 gets points. This gives points primarily during an 8-month period, meaning the hottest players will get points.

If you want to get the hottest players, 8 months may still be too long; 6 months would be better, 3 months even more so. However, you'd need a better system than points to separate the best players over such a short span. Feinstein suggested 12 captain's picks, and that would probably be the simplest way to get it done... but nobody's going to go for that. There would be too many accusations of favoritism.

Bear in mind that only 8 players will automatically qualify. Essentially the 8 players who top out on the points list will likely be the players who would have made the team anyway, whether by points or by captain's choice. The remaining 4 choices will literally be the hottest players, who probably wouldn't have enough points even over a 2-year period. That's a full third of the team. I suspect the Captain will look at play during 2015, particularly the Fall Series, to help him determine which of the hot players might be more likely to stay hot because of more consistent play over time. It's just that such early play won't skew the points away from the hottest players at Ryder Cup time.

Of course, the PGA has said that this is just the system that will be used for the 2016 Ryder Cup, and that it will be analyzed after the event to see how effective it was. Then the system will be tweaked if necessary, which sounds like a levelheaded approach to developing a system from scratch.

In other words, this is a non-issue. All it's going to do is provide ammunition for those who say the Task Force was an emotional response to yet another US loss. This could get old real quick...

But don't worry. We'll have a new issue to debate next week. After all, there's still 18 months to fill before there's any real data to analyze... and even if nobody else has anything to say, I'm certain that Phil will give us something new very soon. ;-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

More from Jim McLean About the Slot

Many of you watched The Golf Fix Monday night and heard Michael Breed talking to Jim McLean about "the slot." For those of you who are interested in learning more about it, here's a 15-minute video Jim did a few years back about those 3 ways of "getting in the slot."

I'm not even going to try and summarize this video because there's so much info here and it's likely that only one-third of the info will help any one of you. (After all, if there are 3 ways to hit the slot, you're only going to use one of them.) So I'll let you watch this and sort out the info that will help you on your own.

The one thing I do want to point out is something Jim says in this video about perfection. He says that while the idea of a perfectly slotted swing -- especially the one-plane version -- can be useful when you're teaching the slot, it's actually next to impossible to perform a perfect swing because the downswing never exactly retraces the backswing. What you're looking for is a reasonably consistent swing that you can feel time after time. So keep that in mind if you're interested in exploring this "slot" concept.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship

Winner: Dustin Johnson

Around the wider world of golf: Inbee Park outdueled Lydia Ko and Stacy Lewis at the HSBC Women's Champions on the LPGA/LET; Holly Clyburn won the Bing Lee Fujitsu Women’s NSW Open on the ALPG; Teresa Lu won the Daikin Orchid Ladies on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has the details); Matthew Millar won the Holden NZ PGA Championship on the Australasian Tour; Trevor Fisher won the Africa Open on the ET; Andrew Landry won the Cartagena de Indias at Karibana Championship on the Tour; and Alex Cejka got his first-ever PGA Tour win at the Puerto Rico Open, the Tour's alternate event.

BTW, Lindsey Vonn got another Super-G win for her 65th World Cup victory. I wonder if Tiger was there?

Dustin Johnson sinks another putt

A 5-shot lead just ain't what it used to be. The Battle of the Bombers -- J.B. Holmes, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson -- proved that Sunday at Doral.

Holmes lost his lead to Watson in a little more than an hour, only to have DJ find his putter and create a mad scramble between the three coming down the stretch. In the end they finished (in order) DJ, Holmes, Watson. DJ shot -3 for the final round, Holmes +3, and Watson -1. You can read all the details in these two posts on the Upshot page and the Wrap-Up page.

What stood out to me was how talkative Dustin was after the round. Usually he sounds rather bored in his interviews... but not Sunday. DJ seemed excited and very much in the moment, perhaps because Paulina and their son Tatum were there to greet him on the 18th green. Whatever "the program" was that he worked on during his 6-month sabbatical, it has clearly made a big difference in how he approaches life.

Dustin talked about having a chance to chase greatness, something he rarely spoke about before. Whatever lies ahead for him, he's got a great start with a brand new Limerick Summary to call his own:
With six months of rumors behind him,
Paulina and Tatum now find him
With win number nine.
For Dustin, it’s time
To step up; maybe this will remind him!
The photo came from this page at

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lee Westwood Chipping Crosshanded

I'm including this link to Golf Digest's analysis of Lee Westwood chipping crosshanded because some of you are probably curious about the how and why of it.

Westwood chipping crosshanded

The short article includes the videos Lee tweeted that show him doing it. Basically, Lee says it's a good way to learn a good trailing arm position, while Golf Digest says it's a good way to learn how to keep your lead wrist from breaking down.

Not much else to say, is there? Try it at your own risk.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hank Haney Cleaned Up His Websites

This is just an update to a couple of previous blog posts about Hank Haney's Blueprint websites.

I did two posts, A Misleading TV Ad last August and Hank Haney Tries Again in January. Just to refresh your memory in case you don't want to look them up...

The first one concerned the original Haney Blueprint site which said you could go see a video that would tell you how to improve your game by up to 10 strokes... and it was basically a slide show/sales presentation that I watched for 15 or 20 minutes (and it still wasn't over) that just kept telling me I should buy the system. I said I didn't doubt that Haney would provide good instruction but I felt that the TV commercial was misleading.

The second post concerned Haney's new free video site -- there's also a TV commercial for that one -- where you could see a free 30-minute video. When you got to the site, you had to sign up with your email address to see the video. I didn't really have a problem with that, but the site (and the commercial) seemed unclear on a promise to provide other free videos. Again, I didn't have a problem with Haney's teaching; I had a problem with a less-than-clear website that wasn't completely clear about what is being offered.

Well, James (one of my readers) tried it and left a comment on one of the other posts, so I wanted to make sure everybody was aware of it:
I think you may have quit your search too soon. I registered at either haney blueprint or free haney and have been receiving free instructional video links in my e-mail every day. They are good sound instructions for set-up, swing thoughts, and drills... with nothing real heady or confusing.
I was pretty sure that James had signed up at, which was the signup site for the free video, but I should note that both websites have now been changed considerably since I checked them for my posts. Both of the previous urls now link to the original site,, the slide show/sales pitch is gone, and the site no longer has the confusing parts that made me question exactly what was being offered.

In short, the site has been greatly streamlined. It now simply says that your email address gives you access to the free video and that 10 free golf lessons will be emailed to you.

I don't know if the changes were made because they saw my posts, but I'm glad they made them. The site is now very clear about what you're getting when you sign up and there's no boring slide presentation to sit through.

So, given that James says the emailed lessons are good, I don't see any reason why you should hesitate to check out the site unless you're not a fan of what Hank Haney teaches... but that's why we have so many different instructors.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Brian Manzella on Poulter's Shank

Golf Digest posted a short article about Ian Poulter's shank last week at the Honda that I thought was very informative. It includes some instruction from instructor Brian Manzella (whose tips have graced this blog many times) that may help many of you who struggle with yips from time to time.

Manzella agrees with Poulter that shots like this often happen when a player tries to "take something off" a shot, to hit it a little easier than normal. But for the average player, he says that shanks often result from opening the club face, which changes the way the shot feels. The comment I found most interesting was WHY if feels different.
The most common shank for the average player comes on a shorter shot, or one where the player consciously opens the clubface a bit more in an effort to produce some height. "Take a wedge shot," says Manzella. "If you open the face, it can make it so that it feels like the shaft itself--and the hosel--is the sweet spot. Then you swing down feeling like the point for center contact is at the end of the shaft, when really it's offset from that."
"If you open the face, it can make it so that it feels like the shaft itself--and the hosel--is the sweet spot." He means that when you open the club face, the weight in the club head -- you know, all that extra metal in the bounce area -- shifts closer to the shaft and makes it feel as if the sweet spot has moved closer to the shaft.

Manzella's solution is to "focus on turning your lead arm down, toward the ball." In other words, feel as if you're trying to square the club face. Think about trying to get the back of your lead hand pointed toward the ball during your downswing. Then you'll feel as if the weight in the club head -- and consequently, the sweet spot -- is trying to move back out toward its normal position and you're less likely to shank.

If you're shanking your pitches, it's definitely worth a try.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

More Facebook Problems

Facebook is refusing to take my blog post links again. I'm really getting tired of this!

Yani Continues Her Good Play

Although there's still a lot of golf left in the round as I'm writing this, it's clear that Yani Tseng is carrying those good feelings from last week into this week's HSBC Women's Champions event.

The Serapong Course at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore

The Serapong Course is proving to be more difficult than many of the players expected -- either that or a huge number of them are suddenly struggling with their games. Perhaps the heat is just taking its toll... but the course is beautiful, especially if you're facing cold weather here in the US. Hopefully the LPGA leaderboard will be updated by the time you read this; at the time I'm writing, it's hopelessly behind and the only way to keep up with the score is through the TV broadcast.

At this moment Inbee Park leads at -6 and Angela Stanford is second at -5. And sitting at -4 (T3) after 14 holes is Yani, tied with Mariajo Uribe, Lydia Ko and Hee Young Park, who are at various points in their round. Yani seems relaxed and is playing briskly, the way she did back when she was so dominant.

Best of all, the cameras have caught Yani with a big smile on her face. That doesn't bode well for the rest of the field going forward! ;-)

MORNING UPDATE: Yani finished her first round tied for the lead at -6.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Martin Hall's Anti-Chicken Wing Drill

Martin Hall calls this a backswing drill but it's better termed a followthrough drill. It'll help you get rid of the tendency to "chicken wing" your finish. Best of all, you don't need to use a club!

It's simple enough. By letting your trailing hand stretch out your lead arm, your lead elbow will automatically point toward the ground during impact. Chicken wings happen when your lead elbow points more toward the target.

You can use this drill anywhere since you don't have to use a club. As an added bonus, it'll also teach you to create a wider arc in your swing, which should help you get more distance. Give it a try!

If for some reason you don't see the video embedded above in this post, just use the link to find the original video at

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Honda Classic

Winner: Padraig Harrington

Around the wider world of golf: Lydia Ko won again at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women´s Open on the LET; Amy Yang won the Honda LPGA Thailand on (what else?) the LPGA; Katie Kempter won the Volvik Championship on the Symetra Tour; and Andy Sullivan won the Joberg Open on the ET.

Padraig Harrington with trophy

Okay, first things first...

ATTENTION STEVE WEBSTER! If you don't get to tee it up at the Africa Open this week as planned, by all means find some tournament you can play in! Because this week you are #297 in the world, just as James Hahn was two weeks ago and Paddy was this week, so you are next up to win. If everything plays to form, you will need -6 to make the playoff, which you will then win. BY ALL MEANS, DO NOT MISS THIS GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY!!!

Now where were we? Oh yes, Paddy Harrington's mind-bending come-from-behind win at the Honda... and I DO mean mind-bending. Paddy says his biggest problem over the last few years has been mental, which mind guru Bob Rotella has been helping him learn to manage. Even the announcers seemed to go deeper and deeper into shock with each twist and turn coming down the stretch. So rather than rehash the finale and playoff of the event, let me pass on something many of you may not have seen.

A couple of hours after the playoff, Paddy chatted with ESPN's David Lloyd. (And it really was a chatty interview, very relaxed between the two. A nice change from the typical after-round interview.) Lloyd, as most of the broadcasters have done, made reference to the "short memory" players need to have... only to have Paddy interrupt him and disagree. Here's Paddy's version in my own words, since I didn't expect this so I didn't take "quote notes":
The waterball at 17 during regular play WAS very much on Paddy's mind when they got back to the hole during the playoff. However, Paddy has been following Daniel Berger's career for some time -- Berger made reference in his own after-round presser to meeting Paddy back in 2011 -- and Paddy said he was well aware of how long and straight Berger was, so he didn't want to face him on the 18th again. His best chance to win was at 17, so he "manned up" and hit the shot right at the pin... and, as it turned out, Berger missed the green.
And that's how Padraig Harrington got his second win in three months (he won the Asian Tour's Indonesia Open in December), and his first PGA Tour win in around seven years.

Nobody saw this coming except maybe Paddy, who is an eternal optimist... and rightfully so. Now he's back in the Masters and the proud owner of his first-ever Limerick Summary:
The squibs and the shanks and the waterballs
Perplexed the announcers, whose final calls
Saw Paddy on top
After Berger’s ball dropped
In the drink! It was all a bit off-the-wall.
The photo came from this page at

Monday, March 2, 2015

Is Yani Tseng on Her Way Back?

No, I'm not jumping to conclusions here. I know we need to see more before we can be sure of anything...

Yani Tseng LPGA bio photoBut perhaps Yani Tsengs IS finally getting her groove back. It's not so much the T2 finish this past weekend in Taiwan -- Yani always seems to play well there, and she did miss the cut in Australia just a week ago -- but some of the things she told the folks at Focus Taiwan caught my attention.

She admitted she was "just fricking nervous out there." She also said "I think just at least I back into the circle. Hopefully take into next week." Those responses don't sound like she's as down on herself as she has been recently. I find that encouraging.

According to the article, she's training with David Donatucci, who trains Michelle Wie and Stacy Lewis, and her psychology coach is apparently just trying to get her to get out of her own way. (Perhaps he should also talk to Stacy Lewis? She seems to be having the same problem.)

In fact, I think that's why I'm encouraged. It's beginning to sound as if Yani's problems are just the normal problems that golfers face rather than the darkness she's talked about over the last couple of years. She managed to put four decent rounds together on a course she likes -- granted, we need to see her play well more often before we can say she's back, but everybody has to start somewhere. And she's starting to talk about good things in her game, as opposed to being all doom and gloom.

Being relaxed enough to admit she's nervous sounds like a big step forward to me. Believing that she may finally be "back in the circle" sounds like another big step. She won't be playing in the HSBC Women's Champions this week -- she's not qualified -- but having some time to think about how well she played this week may be more beneficial to her right now.

Perhaps I speak more from hope than anything. But I know women's golf is better when Yani is a factor to be reckoned with. Until she proves me wrong, I'm going to assume last week was a positive sign.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Kobra Snaps Up Number 10

Yes, it's official. Lydia Ko got her 10th professional win at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women´s Open.

Lydia holds up scorecard with course record

It wasn't enough that she shot the lowest round of her career while setting the course record (61) at the Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch during the second round. She also made it back-to-back wins after taking the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open last week.

After that brilliant second round, the Kobra struggled a bit in her final round. She managed to shoot -3 in the first 7 holes, only to double the 8th and bogey the 9th. Then she barely missed a chip-in eagle on 10 (she did get the birdie) and barely missed a 50-footer for birdie on 11.

But the big move came on 12. Charley Hull was doing her best to run Lydia down and was only 2 shots back... until she doubled the hole while Lydia birdied. That 3-shot swing dropped Charley 5 strokes off the pace and she never recovered. Lydia could only post a 71 in the final round -- for a -14 total -- but it was good enough for a 4-stroke win over amateur Hannah Green. Charley shot 75 and finished 7 shots back.

Of course, Lydia is supposed to play this week at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore -- you know, the tournament Paula Creamer won last year with that ridiculously long putt. Of course everybody wonders if Lydia can make it 3 in a row. But there's an even more tantalizing question begging for an answer...

Just how many tournaments can the Kobra win before she turns 18 in late April?