Ladies European Tour

Team Gustavsson crowned champions in New York

Thompson & Korda set for Saturday head-to-head at Trump Golf Links

Team Gustavsson have swept to an impressive victory in the team competition at the Aramco Team Series – New York on the Ladies European Tour.

Swedish skipper Johanna Gustavsson led a quartet at Trump Golf Links that included Jessica Karlsson, Karolin Lampert and New York college star Jennifer Rosenberg who took advantage of perfect conditions to finish on 23-under-par.

The winners held off late challenges in the $500,000 team event, from a host of international talent, to mark first LET victories for Gustavsson and Karlsson.

“It’s a win and it’s a team win and it’s just great to celebrate with the others and have this kind of experience,” said Gustavsson. “The joy of winning is so much better when you share it as well. It’s just been great and having Jennifer with us, she’s got a bright future, turning pro soon, and I think we’ll see her again”.

It was back-to-back wins for Karolin Lampert who also was part the winning team at last year’s Aramco Team Series – New York at Glen Oaks Golf & Country Club.

Runners up in the team competition was Team Hewson (-21) with Team Maguire (-19) and Team Babnik (-19) in third respectively.

In the second round of the individual competition World Number eight Lexi Thompson made the most decisive move, showing her class on Friday with a round of 65 to finish on eight-under-par – a slim one shot lead heading into the final day tomorrow. Thompson’s round included five birdies and an eagle with the American star’s putter red hot in the New York sunshine.

Thompson said: “It was a great day out there. We couldn’t have asked for better weather compared to yesterday and it was obviously a little softer due to the rain. It’s a tough track and it can get windy – so you just have to take advantage of the easier holes.”

A victory would mark the 27-year American’s first professional win since the ShopRite LPGA Classic in 2019.

“All I can focus on is my game and my emotions, so I’ll just try and take that into tomorrow,” added Thompson. “I’m sure I have to come out and play my A Game. But all I can focus on is my game and my emotions.”

Just one behind is tournament headliner and World Number 4 Nelly Korda who was another to stamp her authority on the Ferry Point Links. A round of 67 included four birdies and an eagle to finish on seven-under-par. Korda is aiming for back-to-back wins on the Aramco Team Series – a format she is becoming increasingly dominant at.

Chasing Thompson and Korda is Madelene Sagstrom (-5) and World Number Six Brooke Henderson (-4.)

“I’m just going to try to stay aggressive and I need to get the putter a little bit hotter, so hopefully that will help me tomorrow,” said Sweden’s Sagstrom. “A win would mean the world to me, and I’m going to go out there and give myself a good chance.”

Saturday’s final day of play will see only the lowest scoring 60 players and ties from the opening two days return to the course to battle it out for a share of another $500,000, this time in individual earnings.

About the Aramco Team Series

The Aramco Team Series is the first team event series of its kind on any professional tour. Part of the Ladies European Tour it takes place across four continents, the tournaments will see the world’s best players team up with amateur golfers to compete for a $1M prize funds.

Using a unique draft system, team captains will pick one pro teammate, before being allocated a third via a random draw. Completing each team will be one amateur golfer. As well as competing for the team trophy, the professionals will also vie for an individual title, offering Rolex Rankings and Solheim Cup ranking points, and will be part of the Race to Costa del Sol Official Rankings.

(Article provided by Aramco Team Series Media)

Apparel Equipment Uncategorized

The outfits of the Champion Golfer of the Year by Original Penguin

Original Penguin by Munsingwear, within the golf division of Perry Ellis International, Inc., congratulates brand ambassador Cameron Smith for winning the 150th Open at the Old Course at St. Andrews, the home of golf, for his first major and third worldwide victory of the year.

Smith cut a stylish figure all week in Original Penguin‘s Golf collection, with the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper likening his striking Bunker Print Golf Polo to a piece of modern art.

Ultimately, it was Smith’s competitive spirit, precise iron play and peerless putting that landed the Australian his maiden major championship.

“We congratulate Cameron for winning the 150th Open in a stirring come-from-behind record setting fashion,” said Oscar Feldenkreis, President and CEO of Perry Ellis International. “A bogey-free 64 final round enabled Cameron to tie for the lowest total score under par in major championship history and showed the world his mental fortitude and gift for performing the best on the sport’s biggest stages. We are proud to have Cameron, with 10 career worldwide victories and a major, as an Original Penguin brand ambassador.”

“This place is so cool, to have the 150th Open here and to come away with the win at St. Andrews is pretty special,” stated Smith. “To look at the names on the trophy and then to add mine is unreal. All of the hard work I have done over the years has started to pay off and this one definitely makes it worth it.”
With the win, Smith jumps up to #2 in the FedExCup standings and Official World Golf Rankings. “I had a lot of support out here and that kept me plugging away. To win an Open championship is a golfer’s highlight and to do it here is another level. The game’s best players have won here so it’s pretty cool to have my name on the Claret Jug.”

Cameron Smiths outfits during the British Open 2022. (Credit: Original Penguin)

For the week, Smith wore Original Penguin’s golf collection polos featuring its new Re-Originals sustainable fabrication. The eco-friendly polos, including the Bunker Print Golf Polo (worn Saturday) and Retro Geo Print Golf Polo (worn Sunday) are crafted with 30% recycled polyester and use a double-knit high-gauge fabrication for superior performance and aesthetics. Complementing the winning look, on and off the course, is the Autumn 2022 Polar Pete Outerwear Collection highlighted by the 70’s Insulated Mixed Media Vest (as seen on Friday) and 1/4 Zip 90’s Color Block Wind Jacket (worn Thursday).
For over 60 years Original Penguin, and its namesake icon Pete, the Penguin, has been adorned and adored by the masters of leisure and sport to define itself as an American classic.

Today, the Penguin icon still stands as a signal for those who know how to be an original and what you wear for the good times.
By Landmark Media

Highlights Tours

Jon Rahm: “The greatest honour you can achieve in golf is becoming The Open Champion in St Andrews”

Jon Rahm excited ahead of The Open Championship 2022

Jon Rahm is a Spanish golfer of the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour. In 2020 and 2021, the global Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador led the world golf rankings for over 30 weeks. His greatest success was winning the US Open in 2021. This year he plays his first Open in St Andrews, at the “Home of Golf”. After a very good result at the last Open in 2021 (T3), he wants to build on his good performance at the big 150th Open in 2022.

The 27-year-old Spaniard not only talks with us about his first Open in St Andrews, he also explains what it would mean to him to be the first Spaniard after Seve Ballesteros (Champion Golfer of the Year 1979, 1984 and 1988) to win the trophy and thus follow in the footsteps of a sports icon. In addition he gives an insight into his preparation and expectations.
Text and video by Mercedes Benz

Highlights Tours

PGA Championship 2022: Tough day for Tiger Woods – withdrawal possible

Tiger Woods experiences a debacle on the third day of the PGA Championship 2022. The 46-year-old was unable to get his game under control. He too often left approaches far too short, and on the front nine alone his ball went bad twice. On top of that, Woods played one too flat from the sand on the nine and hammered it into the edge of the bunker – next drop, in this case penalty-free.

Things didn’t get any better on the back nine. With three bogeys in a row, Woods made his way back towards the clubhouse. There was no sign of the Woods who had fought his way into the cut on Friday with a strong performance. With only 15 degrees, rain and wind, the 15-time major winner was visibly suffering. The cold is a major problem for Woods, who has undergone several operations. His right leg, which was almost completely shattered in his car accident a year ago, was visibly dragging. Time and again he used his driver or irons on the fairway as a walking aid. Already at the US Masters, Woods slumped after two strong first rounds at the weekend in much cooler weather.

At least Woods’ game stabilised on the second half of the back nine and he escaped the ignominy of playing an 80 by one stroke. Nevertheless, the 79 catapulted him to penultimate place. Only Sepp Straka of Austria fared worse. Following the round, Woods said he would now focus on his recovery. “We’ll work on that and then we’ll see.” On the final day of the 2022 PGA Championship, he would have to take to the course in one of the first groups due to his overall score of twelve over par. As he needs a lot of time for preparation and follow-up due to his physical condition, it is open whether he will play the final round.

Highlights Tours

US Masters 2022: “I’m thankful. I really am. I truly am.”

After his final round 78 at the 2022 Masters Tiger Woods wasn’t disappointed. Not at all. After returning to the competitive stage after 14 month of recovery he was happy to be competing again. Even though his goal to play for the title was set too high.

Tiger, now that it’s over, why was it worth it to you?

Tiger Woods: Well, this tournament has meant so much to me and my family, this entire tournament. I was explaining it there to Cara that you go back to the year I was born was the year that the first black man played in the Masters in Lee Elder. He was an honorary starter last year. He was there when I won in ’97. 25 years later here I am playing again.

It’s meant a lot to me, and there’s no other place that — well, there’s no other place, no other major that we play in the same venue. St. Andrews is, obviously, near and dear to my heart because it’s the home of golf, and I’ve been able to win a couple of Opens there, but we rotate.

This is different. This is where all the great champions have ever played. They have walked these grounds. Granted, I don’t think they’ve imaged walking back as far as we have, like on 11. I think when Bobby Jones originally designed it, it was supposed to be like a links golf course inland where you go from green to tee. But the game has changed, it’s gotten bigger, and there’s more walk-backs than ever before.

When you reflect back on all the hard work that you’ve put in to get back to this place, what goes through your mind?

Tiger Woods: I don’t think people really understand. The people who are close to me understand. They’ve seen it. Some of the players who are close to me have seen it and have seen some of the pictures and the things that I have had to endure. They appreciate it probably more than anyone else because they know what it takes to do this out here at this level.

It’s one thing to play with my son at a hit-and-giggle, but it’s another thing to play in a major championship. It’s been a tough road, and one that I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to be able to grind through it. A lot of different things could have happened, but 14 months, I’m able to tee it up and play in the Masters.

I realize there are historic and pretty crazy numbers, but under the circumstances, do you consider this week one of the greatest achievements of your career?

Tiger Woods:

Tiger Woods: For not winning an event, yes. Yes, without a doubt. To go from where I was to get to this point, I’ve had an incredible team that has helped me get to this point and incredible support from — as I alluded to in the press conference on Tuesday, the amount of texts and FaceTimes and calls I got from players that are close to me throughout this entire time has meant a lot.

Then to come here on these grounds and have the patrons — I played in a COVID year, and then I didn’t play last year. ’19 was the last time for me that I experienced having the patrons like this, and it’s exciting. It’s inspiring. It’s fun to hear the roars, to hear the hole-in-ones. I think Steward Cink made one the other day. To hear that roar down there at the bottom on 16, just to hear that excitement of what this tournament brings out.

We have just an amazing day today with now the wind is starting to pick up, it’s starting to swirl a little bit. It’s going to get — I think it’s going to get tight, and it’s going to be fun to watch.

How much pain were you in today?

Tiger Woods: Uh-huh.

Now when you look back on this week in your life, how will you describe it?

Tiger Woods: Thankful, as I alluded to. I keep saying it, but I am. I really am. I truly am. Just to get to this point.

Just to be able to play, and not only just to play, but I put up a good first round. I got myself there. I don’t quite have the endurance that I would like to have had, but as of a few weeks ago, didn’t even know if I was going to play in this event.

To go from that to here, we’re excited about the prospects of the future, about training, about getting into that gym and doing some other stuff to get my leg stronger, which we haven’t been able to do because it needed more time to heal. I think it needs a couple more days to heal after this, but we’ll get back after it, and we’ll get into it.

Highlights Tours

US Masters 2022: Paul Casey withdraws just before tee time

Paul Casey had to withdraw from the tournament shortly before his tee time for the first round of the US Masters 2022 due to an injury. He would have started at 4:53pm alongside Bryson DeChambeau and Players champion Cameron Smith and withdrew just minutes before. This means Casey, who is one of the best players without a win in one of the four major tournaments, will miss out on a chance to win one of the big titles. At already 44 years old, the Englishman is running out of time to hit the big time. On the Wednesday before the Masters, he still took part in the par-3 contest with his family.

Paul Casey already injured before the US Masters 2022?

Already at the end of March at the WGC Dell Match Play, Casey had to concede his first match after two holes due to back problems. He then did not play in any of the other matches. All three matches of the group phase were scored for his opponents. Nevertheless, he received 40,000 euros in prize money as the last player in the group. “The pain I feel is in my lower back, on the left side, it’s like a cramp,” Casey explained at the time. According to the physiotherapist, it is the gluteal muscle.

“The back issues are persistent and thus preventing me from being able to compete. I shall now focus on my treatment and recovery so I can return to competitive form as soon as possible,” Casey explained his withdraw from the US Masters 2022.

Since the US Masters is an invitational tournament, there is no list of players who advance if someone else withdraws, as is the case with normal tour events. So at least Casey cannot be accused of having made his decision earlier.

PGA Tour

Jon Rahm cards 9 on par-4 at Players Championship

On the final round of the Players Championship, Jon Rahm robbed himself of his chance for a good finish early on. On hole 4 (a par-4), the Spanish US Open champion recorded a 9. It is the worst score on a single hole in his professional career. Previously, a 7 was his worst score.

The 27-year-old found the water from a fairway bunker with his second shot. He then missed the next shot from the drop zone as well and had to call for another relief. His third attempt then just reached the green, but it was still more than 20 metres to the hole. After the three-putt and three penalty strokes, Rahm recorded a 9.

Jon Rahm cards 9 on a par-4

PGA Tour

PGA Tour: Cameron Smith wins Player Championship 2022

Cameron Smith wins the Players Championship, the most important tournament on the PGA Tour. The Australian won by one stroke ahead of Anirban Lahiri in second place and Paul Casey in third. For his victory at the TPC Sawgrass, Smith collects 3.6 million dollars, one of the highest prize money ever in golf for a tournament victory. On the final day, the 28-year-old carded a round of 66 on the par-72 course to record an overall score of -13 for the tournament.

After five birdies on the first six holes, it initially looked as if Smith could pull away early. But after three bogeys in a row at the end of the front nine, the Australian came under pressure again. Right at the start of the second nine, he then set off on another series of birdies. Smith only recorded one par until the 14th hole. So he went into the last hole with a seemingly safe three-stroke lead. A missed fairway and a free shot from the pine needles into the water changed the situation dramatically on the last hole.

Lahiri was suddenly back within striking distance and, after Smith’s bogey on the 18th, had a chance to go into the play-off with a birdie. But the Indian left his approach too short and missed the chip-in. For sole second place, he receives prize money of more than two million dollars.

Dustin Johnson ties course record

Dustin Johnson showed the best round of the day, tieing the course record with a 63 (-9). The 37-year-old finished the Players Championship with an eagle hole out on the 18th. “DJ” played the back nine with only 29 strokes.

After several weather disputes, the Players Championship could only be finished on Monday. The first round alone lasted three days due to rain and thunderstorm interruptions. On the last day of the tournament, the professionals not only completed the final round, but also had to play the rest of the third round in the morning. The last time the Players Championship was finished on a Monday was in 2005.


Madeira: Palheiro Golf Club – The funky course

The first time you are amazed is before you have even really arrived at the Palheiro Golf Club. From a height of 500 metres, you look down steep cliffs in front of the clubhouse to Funchal, the capital of the Madeira archipelago. Behind the clubhouse, you are immediately amazed again, because the course goes steep uphill to the first green. There are a few surprises in the course of the round. The 18-hole course cannot be pigeonholed.

There are too many very different holes for that. The fairways are mostly relatively wide, but on some of them the landing zones from the tee are still very small due to the slopes. On others, you can only guess where to hit without knowing the course. Wooden stakes do help with orientation, but if you keep your ball within sight with an iron off the tee, you are certainly not at a disadvantage compared to driving into the unknown. At least not on the first round at Palheiro Golf Club.

Many different challenges

With improved course knowledge, you can approach the par-72 course quite differently. The first time, however, you need to make smart decisions. The length of the course is not a difficulty for any skill level. But those who miss fairways or greens will run into problems. This is not least due to the nature of the terrain. Cliffs, steep slopes and deep valleys are just waiting for a ball to miss the target – even if it is only half a metre.

However, the Cabell B. Robinson design is never unfair. Rather, the challenge is to adapt to the ever-changing challenges. On one of the high plateaus it can be very windy, on the next hole you need a good feeling for the length of your shots for the height difference between tee and green. In some other places, strategically placed trees form the biggest obstacle. Some greens are surrounded by bunkers. You never know exactly what’s coming next. But even on the greens you are not safe. Partially heavily ondulated and difficult to read, the putting surface sells for as much as the rest of the course.

At the moment, one still looks in vain for a driving range at the Palheiro Golf Club. While a short game training facility and practice greens are already in place, the range is still under construction. In general, a lot is happening at the club in the south of Madeira. All greens were renovated during the Corona pandemic. The first roughs have already been changed to a more water-efficient type of grass. More are to follow to make the entire club even more sustainable. However, irrigation is already done exclusively with rainwater.

Palheiro Golf Club (Photo: Azalea Group)

Unconventional and a dream for the eye

Unconventional is probably the simplest description of the Palheiro Golf Club. In positive terms, you could call it varied. Those who don’t enjoy it would probably criticise the lack of a clear line in the layout. However, no one will complain about the wide views over the sea that open up again and again. The fantastic view down to Funchal is also offered in several places on the course. Thanks to the subtropical vegetation, for which Madeira is famous, you get a real holiday feeling. But since everything here has its contrast, you also play your way past the island’s prison in the course of the round.

The topography of the course almost “screams” for a cart, but the terrain can also be mastered with a trolley. Only those who are absolutely physically fit should carry their bag. If you opt for a buggy (45 euros), this will spare your muscles, but you should keep your concentration on the sometimes rutted cart paths.

Palheiro Golf Club (Photo: Azalea Group)

One of the most beautiful spots in Madeira

On the club’s terrace, you can enjoy the excellent cuisine and the view over Funchal and the sea. Mediterranean dishes “with an oriental touch” are served by the neighbouring Hotel Casa Velha do Palheiro, which runs the restaurant. Fish and seafood here are fresh and regional. Around a dozen desserts sweeten the memory, especially the Pastéis de Nata, for which Portugal is world-famous, should not be missed. The club terrace is definitely one of the most beautiful spots in Madeira.

The clubs terrace and its stunning view across Funchal. (Photo: Azalea Group)

Europe Travel

Madeira: The flower island becomes a golf island

Many golfers know that a golfing paradise lies off the west coast of Africa. Too few, however, know that Madeira is one of them. The archipelago, which lies about 500 kilometres north of the Canary Islands, is only just learning to understand itself as a golf destination. Yet the autonomous region of Portugal has no need to hide at all. The climate is pleasant all year round (although it can be hot in summer), the vegetation is impressive and with three golf courses there is enough variety for a golf holiday. Especially as each of the three clubs has its own characteristics. There are also hotels to suit every taste and standard. Tourists of other sports have been here for many years. Bikers, surfers and hikers have long since discovered the main island of Madeira for themselves. On the golf courses, on the other hand, there are still many free tee times. This is probably one of the reasons why you play more relaxed rounds at Palheiro Golf Club, Santo da Serra Golf or Porto Santo Golf on the neighbouring island than further south.

Fulfil all five senses

In terms of landscape and vegetation, a comparison with the Spanish neighbours is also obvious. And here, only the northern half of Gran Canaria comes close. On Madeira, “something” is always in bloom; it’s no coincidence that it’s also called the flower island. The rugged volcanic rocks that stretch like fans from the centre of the island to the coast are also covered with lush green vegetation in many places on the southern slopes. While it often rains in the north, from which the south of the island also benefits in a sustainable way thanks to the irrigation canals, the weather situation on the two golf courses in the west is usually very stable.

Santo de Serra Golf – The sporting flagship

Santo da Serra Golf is located directly above the airport, which bears the name of the island’s most famous son – Christiano Ronaldo. The 27-hole course with over 80 years of tradition is the sporting flagship. Between 1993 and 2008 and later from 2012 to 2015, the Madeira Island Open on the European Tour took place here. It is not only the tour players who enjoy the spectacular panoramas of the green slopes opposite, across deep valleys and the views of the open sea at Santo de Serra Golf. Of course, given the topographical conditions, there are certain differences in altitude to be overcome on the course. At the Palheiro Golf Club, only a few kilometres away, the slopes are much steeper. The holes of the Santo de Serra Golf Club, on the other hand, are relatively level. The large, open clubhouse is a great place to enjoy traditional Portuguese and Madeiran food and drinks after your round.

Palheiro Golf Club – The Unconventional One

The clubhouse terrace of the Palheiro Golf Club is also an absolute must when on holiday in Madeira. It is located around 500 metres above the city of Funchal and offers an unobstructed view of it. On the unconventionally designed par 72 course, you also have a breathtaking view of the capital of the archipelago at some points. On the course, however, it’s better to concentrate on the essentials due to many blind shots and partly rutted cart paths. If you play carefully and precisely on the not too long course, you will have a lot of fun. Sometimes wide, sometimes narrow, challenging greens, large differences in elevation – you are constantly confronted with changing tasks.

Porto Santo Golf Course – “Seves” Legacy

The course on the neighbouring island of Porto Santo, designed by Severiano Ballesteros, is completely different. It is not situated on the slopes of the steep lava cliffs like the other two clubs, but at sea level at the foot of the surrounding mountains. The course stretches almost the entire length of the small island from the dunes in the south to the basalt cliffs in the north. Thus, the course also divides into very different halves. While the northern nine shows off the coastline and sea views, the southern loop of the Porto Santo Golf Club is reminiscent of American parkland golf. There are many water hazards in play here and long hitters usually have a considerable advantage. Porto Santo is wonderfully suited for a day trip. It takes only 20 minutes by plane from Madeira. But it’s also worth taking the ferry at least one way. A maritime dinner on the ship makes a wonderful end to the trip.

Hotels are ready for golfers

With the Madeira Golf Pass you can play three or five rounds on the three courses for a fixed price, which is much cheaper than booking a green fee each. The number of rounds you play on one of the courses is freely selectable. In the course of the expansion of golf tourism on Madeira, some hotels now also have a golf consierge available to assist with booking tee times and organising transfers. These hotels include the Galo Resort (5 stars), a spa and wellness hotel that claims to be climate neutral. The standard rooms are quite small, but the suites are all the larger. The location of the bar and restaurant, which are built directly on the steep cliffs, is outstanding. Here you can enjoy drinks and food with an unobstructed view of the ocean, whether indoors or on one of the terraces. The Galo Resort (Photo: Azalea Group)

Bright and colourful

Also right on the coast is the Melia Madeira Mare Resort (5 stars). Here, too, sea views are standard and the hotel is geared towards golfers. Even if the hotel has perhaps one star too many, you can spend relaxing hours here. In addition to golf, many holidaymakers oganise numerous other sporting activities. Both hotels are only about 15 minutes away from the island’s capital Funchal and thus invite you to make excursions to the coastal city. Besides the colourful flora, the brightly painted doors of many residential houses are a particular tourist magnet. One of the best places to get to know the extent of the island’s diverse vegetation is the Palheiro Garden, which borders directly on the golf course. The oldest trees have been here for almost 200 years. Thanks to the subtropical climate, there are different flowers to admire in every season. Palheiro Gardens (Photo: Azalea Group)