Gulbis Rep Says Image Wont Change
At least thats what Gulbis people are charging when it comes to the part about the re-vamping and de-vamping.
The controversy began late last week when the a Virginia newspaper published a story saying Gulbis had hired a marketing agency and that she was in the process of being rebranded.
Now Gulbis people are saying most of what appeared in the article was inaccurate. Natalies brand has been set all along, a Gulbis spokesman told GOLF CHANNEL. Nothing has changed. That article was a little bizarre.
Her brand is still the all-American girl who is very smart, very driven and very conscious of fitness who just happens to be a very good golfer.
The newspaper piece said, among other things, a decision was made to not have any swimsuit photos in the 2008 Gulbis calendar. It also quoted Circle S marketing president Susan Hogg as saying, With the original stuff, she (Gulbis) was in a beautiful bathing suit, tights and things and that certainly got the attention of a lot of people. But were trying to scoot it more to who she is and where she wants to take (her career and name) ... and being a role model, specifically to young girls and women in general. Thats the brand were trying to portray.
The Gulbis camp acknowledges there are no swimsuit photos in her 2008 calendar but says most of the quotes attributed to Hogg were incorrect.
The USGA banned sales of the Gulbis calendars at this years U.S. Womens Open because they were, reportedly too risqu.
That actually helped the sales of the calendars, said the Gulbis spokesman. But, the spokesman added, in order to get wider distribution to giant outlets, with a wider audience, such as Wal-Mart, Waldenbooks and Amazon, it was decided to not have any bathing suit shots in the 2008 calendar.
For her part, Gulbis has just completed a commercial shoot for a new set of spots for Winn Grips with Butch Harmon and John Daly.
THE GOOSE AND THE DUCK:
The collective eyebrows of the people who were paying close attention were raised last week when Angel Cabrera and Retief Goosen skipped the final event of the PGA TOUR season.
It meant that both players finished their season with 14 events on the U.S. Tour, one short of the total needed to fulfill yearly card requirements.
A quick check with the PGA TOUR, however, revealed that Goosen and Cabrera took advantage of a little-known rule to keep their playing privileges for 2008.
Both played on the International squad in the Presidents Cup in late September. And the PGA TOUR has confirmed that participation in a Presidents Cup or a Ryder Cup counts as an official start. In the cases of Goosen and Cabrera, the Presidents Cup counted as their 15th event.
Gary Planos roots for all golfers equally. But now that the PGA TOUR season is completed, he will not deny being happy that Canadians won two of the last three events.
Planos is the tournament director of the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Kapalua, Hawaii which is also the first event of the 2008 season. Players qualify for the Mercedes-Benz Championship by winning a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event.
When Mike Weir won the Frys Electronics Open last month and Stephen Ames captured the Childrens Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart Sunday it closed out Planos field at 35. Both Weir and Ames are Canadians.
Canadians love to travel on vacation to watch their favorite players. Historically at Kapalua, Weirs galleries have rivaled those of Tiger Woods.
Planos also noted that Ames caddie Sunday was wearing a Kapalua shirt during the final round. It did, Planos said, 'bring good luck.
As to whether Woods and Phil Mickelson, the worlds top two ranked players respectively, will play in his event, Planos said this, We are hoping everyone comes to play in January.
Woods and Mickelson both have missed the last two Mercedes-Benz Championships. Before that, Woods played in eight of the last nine going back to 1997. Mickelson hasnt played the event since 2001.
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.
Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.
Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.
Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:
12/1: Dustin Johnson
16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose
20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm
25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods
30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed
40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton
50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick
60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson
80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele
100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.
Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.
Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.
There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.
There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.
Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.
John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.
Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.
Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.
“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”
Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.
“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”
But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.
“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”
Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.
Hoylake in 2006.
That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.
So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?
“I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”
With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?
“The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”