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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 139
THEthree tournament victors from around the world this past weekend – Jimmy Walker in Texas, Richie Ramsay in Morocco and Cristie Kerr in California – remind regular golf followers that winning can be a habit for those who know how to do it. Walker is a curiously compelling character who’s clearly found his magic elixir when it comes to sealing the deal. The 36-year-old, whose off-course hobby is taking photographs of outer space, has authored some out-of- this-world performances since his PGA Tour breakthrough in October 2013. Formerly a denizen of the secondary circuit then a winless toiler on the main tour, Walker snapped into action 18 months ago and now has five victories to his name. What changed? Was it maturity or a newfound self-belief? Or is it simply a case of a player hitting their stride later in their career, which seems on the surface to be at odds with the current era of twentysomethings scaling golf’s summit? Whatever it is, Walker has found the ability to close out victories when in contention, which is a hard-to-define quality that some players appear to have and others do not. In northern Africa, Ramsay returned to the winner’s circle after a lean spell and if past form is any indication the 2006 US Amateur champion will likely disappear into the ether of tour golf once again only to re-emerge in a couple of years and win again. Kerr, who became the first American winner on the LPGA Tour this season, hadn’t tasted victory in two years yet found her game for one week and charged to the top. Her career has had similar peaks and troughs – when she’s hot, she’s hot and when she’s not, she’s not. Closer to home, witness Aaron Baddeley. Badds’ game seems to disappear completely at times but when he is ‘on’ he invariably gets the job done. He’s not your grind-for-a-top-10-finish player; he either wins or is scarcely heard from. The opening round of last week’s Texas Open offered a perfect illustration of Baddeley’s career when he hit his tee shot on the par-4 17th into an unplayable location, re-teed under penalty and promptly drove his second ball onto the green and into the hole for perhaps the most peculiar birdie in history. If ever the playing of a single hole characterised a career, that was it. In contrast, the prototypical anti-Badds player would be Nick O’Hern, who in his prime seemed to grace the leaderboard on a monotonously regular basis but almost never occupied top spot on the dais. Which method is better? The money lists of the world’s tours and trophy cabinets of the golfers suggest the rocks-or-diamonds players are more successful than the grinders who churn out cheques without the silverware. OTG the VIEW LANDING THE KNOCKOUT BLOW THE ABILITY TO CLOSE WHEN IN CONTENTION IS A MYSTERIOUS, INTANGIBLE QUALITY THAT NOT EVERY PLAYER HAS BUT EVERY PLAYER WANTS. with Steve Keipert Golf Australia deputy editor POWER VAMP Increased stability and support DESIGNED TO BE THE COOLEST SHOE IN GOLF SHAPELOCK WITH OUTLAST® Locks in your foot and keeps it cool. STEALTH CLEAT Low-profile traction control POWER FRAME Ultra-thin TPU provides lightweight strength and support.
OTG Express 138
OTG Express 140 - The Masters