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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 149
US OPEN ENTERS THE TECH AGE THE iconic giant leaderboards are gone but in their place is a raft of modern technological advances that will enhance the experience of spectators at Chambers Bay and those following next week’s US Open from around the globe. Among many assets, the USGA has invested significantly in its official US Open mobile application, to be released this Friday, June 12, with support from IBM. Live video, an enhanced leaderboard and mapping features will be seamlessly integrated into the experience, to the benefit of fans who embrace the second screen. People at the course can connect to complimentary Wi-Fi and use the app’s player locator, enabling fans to target the hole and position of their favourite golfer in real time and plan their on-course experience. MORE> ________________________________ on the strength of his second Open Championship victory in 2012. Since then, however, it’s been a gradual descent down the ranking. This season he’s missed six cuts, recorded no top-10 finishes and has a lone top-15 on either side of the Atlantic to boast about. At 45, is one of the modern greats sliding towards oblivion? ________________________________ STRICKER LOOKS AHEAD HE IS still too young to play in it but Steve Stricker is stepping up to host a new Champions Tour event beginning next year in his native Wisconsin. The inaugural American Family Insurance Championship will be held from June 24 to 26, 2016, at University Ridge Golf Course in Stricker’s hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. The new event will run for a minimum of three years and its US$2 million purse places it in the upper echelon of Champions Tour tournaments for total prizemoney. That’s not the primary motivation for ELS LEAVES THE 100 HANDS up: who remembers where they were and what they were doing in the last week of February 1992? Paul Keating was barely in office as our 24th Prime Minister, the ICC World Cup was just starting in Australia and New Zealand, Fred Couples was yet to win that year’s Masters – and it was the last time until now that Ernie Els was not ranked one of the world’s top-100 golfers. The four-time major champion this week dipped out of the top-100 for the first time since early in his breakout 1992 season, in which he ended the year ranked 40th in the world. Els would spend the entire period from his 1994 US Open victory until late 2008 domiciled inside the top- 10, barring a fortnight-long ‘blip’ in early 2000. The South African also spent nine weeks as the No.1 player in the world in two separate stretches in 1997 and 1998. Els didn’t leave the top-50 until late 2011 before climbing from 40th to 15th Stricker, however. Ever since the demise of the long-running Greater Milwaukee Open from the PGA Tour in 2009, the 12-time Tour winner has hoped to see regular events return to the region, while the charity deriving most benefit is the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation and the American Family Children’s Hospital. MORE> ________________________________ FALDO DELAYS OPEN FAREWELL DECISIVENESS was a key Sir Nick Faldo trait during the height of his playing career, yet the 57-year-old three-time Open champion is turning his back on an earlier decision and will compete in The Open twice more after next month’s Open at St Andrews. As a past champion, Faldo remains eligible to complete until he turns 60 and will start at Royal Troon next year and Royal Birkdale in 2017 for personally significant reasons. The 1973 championship at Troon was the first Open he attended as a 16-year-old and Birkdale three years later was his first Open as a competitor. MORE> TRAPS AROUND the SIR NICK: Faldo remains unsure about when he'll walk away from playing his final Open Championship.
OTG Express 148
OTG Express 150 - US Open Preview