IOA Open champ dansamcam shares insight

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 11, 2014, 10:52 pm

This past month, more than 75,000 virtual golfers participated in the IOA Open at Pebble Beach, the first tournament of the 2014 WGT Virtual Tour season.

Out of that large pool of contenders, no one finished better than dansamcam.

A WGT veteran who has been playing virtual golf for more than four years, dansamcam led the Tour Legend division after the first round and then held on for the victory in Round 2, posting a nine-hole total of 35.1 feet during the second round of the closest-to-the-pin event. His cumulative total of 60.7 left him more than 12 feet ahead of the second-place finisher in his division.

"I made sure I had every variable written down before I played," he said of his preparation for the final round. "Then it became just a matter of controlling my nerves and executing the shot."

While some players may fire up a computer and head immediately to the first tee box, dansamcam prides himself on his thorough preparation and credits his knowledge of the various elements as a key reason for his success. When he's not making a living as a graphic artist, the 50-year-old practices his virtual craft 5 to 6 days per week, usually for 1 to 3 hours per day.

"I take notes on the actual distance to the hole and how different wind angles with different ball spins will affect your approach direction," he explained.

Hours logged on the WGT Virtual Tour aren't dansamcam's only experience with the game of golf - he's currently a 7 handicap who has been playing golf since the age of 12. When it came to clinching victory at Pebble Beach last month, though, he admits that the hardest shot was the last one he faced: an approach over water and sand to the iconic 18th green.

"If you don't land on the right spot or if you have the wrong spin on the ball, you will be 20 to 30 feet away from the pin easily," noted dansamcam, whose shot ended up within five feet of the hole.

Dansamcam will now look to make it two in a row by claiming the title at the Transamerica Classic this month, and admits that he was motivated to grab his share of the 200,000 WGT-credit purse during the first event of the season.

"I like all WGT tournament formats," he added. "But the bigger the prize, the more effort I will put into that tournament."

While novices may find it difficult to compete with his results, dansamcam does offer some tips for those new to the game and looking to improve.

"Take notes on how your clubs and ball combinations will react with different spins into elevations and different wind directions," he explained. "Be sure to optimize your computer regularly, relax and trust your peripheral vision."

Registration is still open for this month's tournament, the Transamerica Classic. Click here to get signed up or for more information on the WGT Virtual Tour.

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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

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

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

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.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

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.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

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.

Full coverage of the 147th Open 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.”