European Notebook


Editors Note: Tom Abbott is the host of Golf Central UK. He will be filing a bi-weekly column on with news, opinions and his inside knowledge of the European Tour.
Rose Slightly Wilted but Ready to Bloom Again
It couldnt have happened to a nicer guy, but being nice doesnt really count for much when youre coming down the stretch on the PGA TOUR. Justin Roses pulled driver on the 18th Sunday at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic will no doubt haunt him for a few weeks but I think Justin will come through with a victory very shortly in America. Hes putting together good golf tournaments and if he keeps doing what hes been doing then theres no reason why he wont pick up his first win before the TOUR moves east. Roses coach, Nick Bradley, whos a regular contributor to Golf Central UK told me, Im very happy with the way Justin has been playing, and if you look at the result, third is a pretty good start for 2007.
Fortunes Change for Hanson
In November last year, Swedens Peter Hanson was struggling around the Hombre Golf Clubs Good and Ugly courses in Panama City Beach, Fla., with just a couple of playing partners and the odd scorer to keep him company during the PGA TOURs second stage of qualifying. Hanson had already made it through the first stage in Palm City, Fla., leaving behind a pregnant wife in Sweden. He ended up finishing tied for 45th in the second stage and went back to Europe for another season on the European Tour. The New Year came, daughter Stella was born on January 2nd, and after a couple of weeks at home with the new baby he set out for Abu Dhabi. A fantastic weeks golf saw him record his best finish (T2) since the spring of 2005 and Hanson looks as though hes ready for a good year in Europe. Funny how fortunes change, isn't it?
A New Breed of Stars
Catriona Matthew has given birth to a baby daughter. Katie was born a couple of weeks ago and the World No. 47 is overjoyed at the birth of her new child. Meanwhile, Janice Moodie is back on tour having had her son, Craig, in September. Moodie teamed with Mhairi Mckay to represent Scotland at the Womens World Cup of Golf; the pair finished tied for 4th. Englands Karen Stupples will complete the trio of new babies; shes due April 13th. Stupples has now officially started her break from the game; her last outing was at Dottie Peppers tournament a couple of weeks ago, where she told me shes trying to make it back in time for the Ladies English Open at Chart Hills which begins on July 6th. Stupples main craving, a typical British meal of pie and chips -- the problem is shes living at Lake Nona in Orlando, where pie and chips are hard to come by!
New Man on The Bag
Ian Poulter has a new caddie. Mick Munday will be looping for the English star this season. Munday spent a number of seasons with Laura Davies and is married to LPGA Tour player Johanna Head. With Head out on the womens tour and Munday dividing his time between the PGA and European tours with Poulter, it seems the pair would not be able see too much of each other, but when I bumped into Head at Champions Gate recently, she said it wasnt too bad. Poulter and her schedules are very similar which means theyll have the same weeks off.
Oh, Canada??
Marty in St. Johns, Newfoundland e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago to ask whether Canada has any hope of hosting a European Tour event. The answer I think is no, most certainly not, but what about a Challenge Tour event? Personally, I think this would be a marvelous move for both the Challenge Tour and the Canadian Tour. The current Challenge Tour schedule doesnt really kick into high gear until May and even when it does there are still gaps, so why not co-sanction events with the Canadian Tour. Granted the Canadian Tour itself doesnt play all of its events in Canada; the tour heads to winter sunshine for the early part of its schedule. But by co-sanctioning a few events through the season, the Challenge Tour would give its members more opportunities to play and would also encourage young players from North America to play more on Europes version of the Nationwide Tour. The benefits for Canadian Tour players would be tremendous, giving them the chance at placing high on the Challenge Tour Rankings and the possibility of starts on the European Tour.
Email your thoughts to Tom Abbott