2011 Majors Aggregate Champion

Charl Schwartzel is the Majors Aggregate Champion of 2011! That means that among the golfers who made the cut in all four major championships Schwartzel used the fewest strokes over the 16 round marathon. In fact I'd love to see more made out of this "event" which entails 288 holes played on 16 days spread over a period of 5 months. What do you think? Read on.

Schwartzel bested Steve Stricker and Sergio Garcia by 10 strokes. This year there were only 11 golfers that made the cut in all four majors - an average number. Charl actually made the cut in all four majors last year too!

Here are the standings:

Charl Schwartzel: 274-280-285-279--1118 Steve Stricker: 283-283-283-279--1128 Sergio Garcia: 288-279-282-279--1128 Rory McIlroy: 284-268-287-291--1130 Y.E. Yang: 284-278-285-292--1132 Ryan Palmer: 282-284-289-280--1135 Phil Mickelson: 287-291-278-280--1136 Gary Woodland: 286-285-289-279--1139 Bill Haas: 290-285-294-279--1143 Bubba Watson: 289-293-289-281--1152 Edoardo Molinari: 283-291-297-292--1163

I was surprised by the finishes put up by Sergio and Ryan Palmer - might be a sign of things to come.

Colin McGillivray tracks the majors aggregate each year on his website www.golf-majors-champion.com and has compiled the annual results going back to 1960.

Here are a few interesting points:
Largest margin of victory - 35 strokes Tiger Woods (2000)
Could this be the greatest year of golf ever? I believe so.
Most wins - Jack Nicklaus (10)
Who is the greatest golfer of all time? Tiger Woods has won this "event" 5 times - good enough for second best, and while he's not done (maybe?) it's a tall order to expect him to do this 5 more times. Not even close folks - Jack rules!

Most golfers to qualify - 2000 18 players
Fewest golfers to qualify (in the modern era) - 1988 4 players
Highest winning total - Gary Player (1963) 1156
Lowest winning total - Tiger Woods (2000) 1095
Longest timespan for qualifying - Jack Nicklaus 29years (1962-1991)
Most times qualified - Jack Nicklaus 21
Highest recorded score while qualifying - 1182 Arnold Palmer (1983) and Tommy Aaron (1970)

Looking through the list of qualifiers it is uncanny how many exceptional golfers appear on a regular basis. Based on this year's Majors a few players are moving up while some notable players are moving down - and just about out.
Up - Schwartzel, Yang, Bubba, Garcia, McIlroy, Woodland, Watney, Stricker, Kuchar, D. Johnson, J. Day, Karlsson and Scott.
Down - Woods, Stenson, Els, Goosen, Villegas, Weir, Casey and Vijay.
Do yourself a favor and take a look at the list of results over the years. It really does speak to the quality of the players that appear on the list time and time again. In my opinion measuring a golfers play in the year's four biggest events is an excellent barometer of who has had an exemplary year. Thoughts?

The Open Championship 2011 Royal St. Georges

My favorite tournament of the year is finally here.  If I had one event I could win it would be the Open Championship - I just love the effects of the weather and the truly brilliant golf courses on the Open rota.  

Last time at St. Georges Ben Curtis was the grateful recipient of Thomas Bjorn's untimely demise in a greenside bunker.  By the way - has anybody seen or heard from Mr. Bjorn since that fateful day?

This year I really like the chances of the young guns and were I a betting man I would have a hard time going against these five:

Rory McIlroy - Golf's new golden boy.  He simply must be on everybody's shortlist of champion golfer candidates.  After the dominant showing at Congressional and last years showing at St. Andrews and this year at Augusta...you get the picture.

Louis Oosthuizen - Not sure why I like him as he hasn't done much in the year since holding the Claret Jug (top 10 at the US Open), but I just feel he'll be inspired to be playing major championship links golf.

Rickie Fowler - a stellar showing at last years Open Championship after a horrible opening round.  He is due for something good to happen...

Dustin Johnson - he's got to show up at some point this year in a major right?  I believe he'll come from out of nowhere to challenge this week.

Charl Schwartzel - okay I know I have two young South Africans on my list, maybe I'm biased, but who can argue with this pick.  A win and a top 10 in majors thus far this year.....I look for the bantamweight to be there come Sunday!

We can only hope for similar weather to last year - firm, fast and a stiff breeze off the Dover coast.  I love it!

Tee Times and Pairings

What fabulous terrain for a golf course! Just watching the Open Championship inspires me to take a golf break and get out and play some links golf. There is no better style of golf to play.  Enjoy!

If you are interested in playing a few of the Open Championship courses check out - Golf Breaks UK

Read more about the Open Championship....

The Best Swings in Golf

In my opinion these are the five best active swings in the game today:

Charl Schwartzel

Rory McIroy

Jason Day

Gary Woodland

Martin Kaymer

Any thoughts? Anyone out there better than these five?

I would have to say that honorable mention goes to Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, and Jhonattan Vegas.

2011 Masters - The Schwartz Be with You

What a fantastic day of golf! The story lines were so numerous it's hard to decide where to start, Rory's collapse, Aussie influx, every continent challenging (just about!), Tiger's charge.....

The Sunday at the 2011 Masters will always go down as one of the most enjoyable days of golf I have ever watched. The tournament committee and Mr. Billy Payne must be commended for the course set up the last two years. They seem to have gone for a slightly more playable and softer course and the results have been tremendous. The eagles and birdies and thus, excitement, are back on the final nine. It could not be more fun to watch.

Here are a few points I found interesting or strange about the final day's play:

  • At one point every continent, other than Antarctica (and not the Arctic which is an ice sheet Mr. Feherty) was represented on the final page of the leaderboard. I could almost picture the anticipation shifting from Europe (Rory), to the US (Tiger), to Asia (KJ), to Australia and finally to Africa with Charl's courageous finish.
  • Rory actually led going into the final nine and ultimately finished 10 shots back. Think about that...His four shot lead had dissipated by the time he had reached the third tee box. Note: If you ever find yourself in an event and you have a lead going into the final round here's a thought - take every golfer withing 8 shots and view the day as a one round shootout. Is it possible for you to play decent and still lose to another golfer by 6, 7 or 8 shots? It certainly is! Get out there and treat the final round as if you need to beat every player in the field. Don't let that 3 or 4 shot lead lull you into a defensive mode of play. In fact Rory would have needed to shoot 69 in order to win - an excellent score for an overnight leader and that's with a four shot head start!
  • Tiger Woods comes across as an arrogant jerk and I am amazed at how vehemently I now root against him. Please don't try to convince me that all golfers curse as much as Tiger with the excuse that he just has the camera on him more often. Please...
  • Best Interview Award goes to Rory who stated that this experience would only serve to toughen him and prepare him better for the future.  Rory you are a class act. He tweeted the pic below with the statement:

Off to Malaysia with Charl. At least one of us has the green jacket.

  • Worst Interview Award goes to...it's obvious isn't it? At least he's consistent with it.
  • Jim Furyk was in 1 greenside bunker all week while Ian Poulter and Jeff Overton were in 13 each!
  • Martin Kaymer, the PGA champion, was watching the closing holes on TV at JFK along with British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. The two were so riveted by their friends amazing late charge that they refused to board a flight taking them to the Malaysian Open where they are playing this week. The authorities eventually delayed the flight by an hour so that they could watch the final few holes and see the victory. Try that next time you're in JFK....

This is what was in the champion's bag:

DRIVER: Nike VR Tour (8.5°) FAIRWAY WOODS: Nike SQ Sumo (13°, 19°) IRONS: Nike VR Pro Blade (3-PW) WEDGES: Nike VR Pro (54°,  60°) PUTTER: Nike Method 004 BALL: Nike ONE Tour D

The 2011 Masters Stat Pack:


Schwartzel 49/72 t18; Day 52/72 t6; Scott 51/72 t11; Woods 53/72 5th; Ogilvy 50/72 t16


Schwartzel 17 t11; Day 23 1st; Scott 17 t11; Woods 19 5th; Ogilvy 20 4th


Schwartzel 1.49 2nd; Day 1.58 t11; Scott 1.54 t3; Woods 1.67 t33; Ogilvy 1.54 t3

In the driving categories of distance and accuracy the only point of note was how few of the contenders rated highly in either distance or accuracy. Day was 17th and Scott 19th in distance and Ogilvy was t7 in accuracy.

It really was good to see a young talent come through and finish an event in the fashion that he did - almost reminds a little of his good friend and roommate Louis Oosthuizen.

An interesting interview with Charl about his eagle on the third hole and his dad's influence on his game. I love his statement at the end about keeping it simple so that it will hold up under pressure. Something we can all do well to keep in mind!