Thursday, May 29, 2008

Big Four to tee up at Loch Lomond

Three out of the world’s top four golfers will tee up in The Barclays Scottish Open, to be staged at Loch Lomond Golf Club from July 10-13, 2008. World Number Two Phil Mickelson, and the third ranked Ernie Els, a double winner of the Championship, both return after finishing second and third behind Frenchman, Grégory Havret, at last year’s Championship and they will be joined by World Number Four, Adam Scott, who last played at Loch Lomond in 2005 when he finished tied 12th behind the winner, South Africa’s Tim Clark. The field also includes 2007 US Open Champion Angel Cabrera, 2007 WGC – Accenture Match Play winner Henrik Stenson, 2005 US Open Champion, Michael Campbell and 1994 and 1999 Masters Tournament Champion, José Maria Olazábal while a strong GB & I contingent is headed by two former winners, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie, as well as Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke who signalled a welcome return to form when he secured an emotional victory at the recent BMW Asian Open in China. Other 2008 European Tour champions to confirm they will play at Loch Lomond include Felipe Aguilar, John Bickerton, Mark Brown, SSP Chowrasia, Richard Finch, Martin Kaymer, Graham McDowell, Hennie Otto and 2004 champion Thomas Levet. Last year Grégory Havret defeated Mickelson in a dramatic sudden-death play-off to become the 20th golfer to claim The Barclays Scottish Open title and then left the large crowd in no doubt about what the victory meant to him. “It feels awesome to have won,” said the Frenchman after collecting the £500,000 first prize. “It’s a dream come true. I have to say that the French Open is obviously very important for me. But, after that, to win in Scotland is just something else.” Twelve months ago, Mickelson dropped a shot at the 72nd hole to fall into a tie with Havret but that has done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for the Championship. He said: “Whilst Barclays and Lyle Anderson are involved in the Scottish Open, I intend to make it part of my annual playing schedule.” Since its inception in 1986 and its move to Loch Lomond in 1996, The Barclays Scottish Open has developed into one of the most popular events on The European Tour. Scott, who closed with a breath-taking eleven under par 61 to win this year’s Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy, spoke for many of his peers when he said: “I am really looking forward to returning to Loch Lomond to participate in The Barclays Scottish Open. It’s a great tournament, set on a fantastic golf course and a week that the players always enjoy.” That view was shared by both Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie who come to Loch Lomond with high hopes of winning the title and consolidating their places in the 2008 European Ryder Cup Team. “Barclays has turned The Scottish Open into a world-class event and it is one event I really look forward to every year,” said Clarke. “As the last event before The Open, the tournament attracts one of the strongest fields on The European Tour calendar and boasts a fantastic atmosphere.” He added: “As a Barclays-backed player, I hope I can perform well and do my sponsors proud on this fantastic course.” This year, Montgomerie will arrive at Loch Lomond with lots of warm memories, having celebrated his second marriage, to fellow-Scot Gaynor Knowles, at the club back in April. “I’m really looking forward to participating in this year’s Barclays Scottish Open, the crowds are fantastic and the golf course is always in great shape,” said the Scot. “Not only does the tournament hold special memories for me having held the trophy high in 1999, but Loch Lomond was the setting for my wedding earlier this year so I’m very much looking forward to returning.” This is the thirteenth year in a row The Barclays Scottish Open has been staged at Loch Lomond, the previous winners being Thomas Björn (1996), Tom Lehman (1997), Lee Westwood (1998), Colin Montgomerie (1999), Ernie Els (2000 and 2003), Retief Goosen (2001), Eduardo Romero (2002), Thomas Levet (2004), Tim Clark (2005), Johan Edfors (2006) and Grégory Havret (2007).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lockett Ready for Take Off

World middleweight title challenger Gary Lockett heads to Atlantic City on Sunday with the aim of pulling off the biggest shock since Lloyd Honeyghan beat Don Curry. Over 20 years ago, also in Atlantic City, Curry was the undisputed and unbeaten welterweight champion and rated as the worlds best pound for pound fighter. Nobody gave Honeyghan a chance of beating Curry but the Ragamuffin Man destroyed him inside seven rounds. Lockett meets WBO/WBC title holder and top ten pound-for-pounder Kelly Pavilk on June 7th at the famous Boardwalk Hall and Like Honeyghan, nobody is giving Lockett a chance but he reckons the world is in for a big surprise. And after a red hot media workout today he promised to return to Wales with the titles." I've watched Honeyghan's stunning win against Curry many times on video and it feels strange that I could be on the verge of doing the same against Pavlik a week on Saturday in the same city," said Lockett." Honeyghan was a massive underdog when he faced Curry but he ended up winning in style,"" I'm under no illusions. The odds are greatly stacked against me but out of that I draw some comfort knowing that I'm going to give this guy the fight of his life,"" Pavlik was in the same position as me when he went in the first time against Jermain Taylor and he proved everybody wrong by stopping Taylor,"" Even Taylor was in the same position went he went in against Bernard Hopkins and he went on to beat him,"" It's not impossible. I'm confident in my ability and know I'm going to be coming home the new world champion,"" Pavlik holds a big punch and everyone knows I can certainly bang so lets see what happens when we start landing."Trainer Enzo Calzaghe, who is embroiled in a war of words with Pavlik's trainer Jack Loew, added: "Gary has been murdering my hands for weeks now when I've been taking him on the pads,"" Make no mistake, when Gary lands it's going to be light's out for Pavlik and goodnight,"" Loew and his team have totally underestimated Gary and what he can do but they will know on the night when it is too late.".

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Skelton after a Haye Payday

Promoter Frank Warren has offered David Haye a whopping £600,000 payday to fight Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Matt Skelton in the Autumn. Haye, the WBO/WBC/WBA Cruiserweight Champion, now intends to campaign in the heavyweight division and is looking at Hasim Rahman as his next opponent. Skelton took WBA World Champion Ruslan Chagaev the distance in January and is ranked above Rahman in the independent rankings. But Warren believes that Haye should first prove himself to be the best in Britain by taking on Skelton, the number one ranked heavyweight in the country, before he looks overseas. He said: "This is a massive payday for Haye and a great opportunity to see if he is the real deal in the heavyweight division that he tells us he is. Skelton is the best in Britain and pushed Chagaev all the way in their world title fight. If Haye is serious about the heavyweight division he should fight Skelton first." Haye has already been knocked out by a 40-year-old in Carl Thompson and Skelton, who hits the big 4-0 shortly, is really up for the job. Skelton said: "I want the fight big time. It's a massive clash between Britain's biggest men. Haye wants to prove himself as a heavyweight so he should face the best and that's me. I know that I've got the power to knock him out."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Enzo Lands Loew Blows

Furious Enzo Calzaghe has launched a stinging attack on Kelly Pavlik's trainer Jack Loew after he bad mouthed his son Joe - and middleweight title contender Gary Lockett. Loew has been quoted in the press as saying: "maybe Enzo can teach Lockett to slap like a girl - just like Joe". Pavlik and Lockett meet at the Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City on June 7 with the American's WBC and WBO middleweight world titles on the line, screened live and exclusive on Setanta Sports. And the fiery Sardinian hit back at Loew by saying: "I had to go on the internet because I'd never even heard of this person Jack Loew. "And all I found was that he paves driveways. Well, once Lockett has dealt with Pavlik and Loew is out of boxing then at least he can go back to paving driveways. "I've got no one to answer to. I've trained four world champions, I've got other champions in my gym. I won trainer of the year in America last year." Then Enzo added: "When Pavlik is world champion for 10 years and has made 21 title defences then I will listen to Loew, but Pavlik hasn't even held his title for a year yet. All I can say is that Joe must slap pretty hard because he's knocked out 32 of his opponents and been an undefeated world champion for more than a decade. Ask Bernard Hopkins, Jeff Lacy and Mikkel Kessler if Joe Calzaghe slaps. "Loew had better hope and pray that Lockett doesn't slap like Joe because if he does it's going to be goodnight for Kelly Pavlik. He'd better make sure that he is double prepared or even triple prepared for Gary Lockett. "My man is in fantastic shape, real 110% stuff. He's looked brilliant in the gym, he was a great amateur who won European competitions when he was a youngster, he's the real deal." Calzaghe also challenged Loew to have a massive wager on Pavlik, who is a big favourite to win the fight. "If he's so confident in his fighter, then why doesn't he put his house on Pavlik winning," said Calzaghe. "Tell him to put his balls where his mouth is. What he'll tell you is 'No way, Jose'." Then Calzaghe turned his attention to Pavlik. "I've got a lot of respect for Pavlik because he's the champion and he beat Jermain Taylor twice," he said. "Anyone who does that has my respect. "But I have not seen anything from Kelly Pavlik whatsoever that worries me. He's a good fighter but he's mechanical, it's the same thing, same thing, same thing all the time. I can't get worried about it. "He's never heard of Gary Lockett, never seen him fight, but Lockett knows all about Kelly Pavlik, and he is in for a surprise on June 7. His team open their mouths and talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?" "I've spent a lot of time in America already this year, but we're not coming to Atlantic City for a holiday. It's business."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Clarke gets accolade in April

Darren Clarke’s 40ft putt on the 72nd hole of the BMW Asian Open, which secured an emotional return to the winners’ enclosure on The European Tour for the Ulsterman following a near five-year absence, has been voted The European Tour Shot of the Month for April. Clarke’s birdie saw him hold off the gallant challenge of the Netherlands’ Robert-Jan Derksen to claim victory by one shot at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club and spark joyous scenes. The putt was made all the more impressive by the fact that Clarke had bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes when, by his own admission, he had allowed his thoughts to wander to the tough times he had endured in the past two years. Of his putt, Clarke said: “I was thinking of getting it to the hole – I wasn’t going to lag it. I putted nicely all week, and wanted to give myself a chance on the last. I gathered myself, and hit a solid putt. It was tracking six feet out, and I guess sometimes it’s just meant to go in. My boys Tyrone and Conor would have enjoyed that putt more than I did.” Clarke’s fellow Irishman Damien McGrane finished runner-up for his final round shot on the ninth hole at Beijing CBD International Golf Club where, in driving rain, he chipped in for birdie en route to his maiden European Tour victory – secured by nine strokes – at the Volvo China Open. In third place was the sublime second shot of France’s Grégory Bourdy at the 11th hole on the final day of the Estoril Open de Portugal, which he eventually won in a sudden-death play-off. Previous monthly award winners were South Africa’s Richard Sterne (January), New Zealand’s Mark Brown (February) and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (March). The European Tour Shot of the Month Award is presented to the Tour Member for the shot judged to be the most outstanding played during each calendar month on The European Tour International Schedule. The winning shots from each month are entered into The European Tour Shot of the Year Award.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bobby Charlton talks up Moscow Final

England and Manchester United football legend Sir Bobby Charlton, a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, talks at length on Laureus TV about the Chelsea v Manchester United, European Champions League Final and his work for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Among Sir Bobby’s comments are: · On Cristiano Ronaldo: “If Ronaldo scores in the Champions League Final and we are able to win, I think he’ll be hailed as one of the best footballers we’ve ever seen He has a vision and a drive. He knows he’s a good player. Maybe he thinks he’s the best player…and maybe he is. It will be interesting to see how Chelsea try to hold him.” · On Sir Alex Ferguson: “He’s just as smart and as sharp as he’s ever been as a football manager. For him it’s always the new challenger. New money coming in – Russian money to Chelsea, Thai money, American money. They’re investing in our game here and it’s changing all the time, but he’s ready for them.” · On Champions League Final: “There will be goals. Each side has a healthy respect for each other and will know that if they make a mistake or have a lapse of concentration that it will disastrous. Both teams will be going for it. It should be sensational.” · On Munich: “There is a bit of emotion for Manchester United actually being in the Champions League final on the 50th anniversary when these players died going into Europe, because it was those players pioneering the actual competition that got things going.”

Friday, May 16, 2008

Langer heads Seniors Line Up in Czech Republic

Ryder Cup winning Captain Bernhard Langer will head the field at the Casa Serena Open when the European Seniors Tour visits the Czech Republic for the first time from September 5-7.
Langer, who led Europe to victory against the United States at Oakland Hills Country Club in 2004, will be part of a first class Seniors line up competing for a €90,000 top prize at the Casa Serena Golf, Prague. The German winner of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National in 1985 and 1993 is playing on the European Seniors Tour after passing his 50th birthday last year. He will be joined in the inaugural tournament by another Ryder Cup winning Captain Sam Torrance, who led Europe to victory in 2002, and Italian Ryder Cup player Costantino Rocca.
Carl Mason, the European Seniors Tour all-time leading career money winner, will also tee up at Casa Serena Golf as he seeks his fourth Order of Merit crown in six seasons. It promises to be a particularly special tournament for Langer as it is being run and managed by Langer Sport Marketing, the company which his brother Erwin is Managing Director of, and which also promotes the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Germany on The European Tour. The Casa Serena Open, played on the course designed by European Golf Design, will have a prize fund of €600,000, one of the largest on the European Seniors Tour. It will also realise the vision of Terry Gou, Chairman of sponsors Foxconn, who asked Casa Serena Golf’s Founder, Maureen Chang, to acquire and renovate the 16th Century Chateau along with an 18 hole golf course as a gift of love for his wife Serena. Sadly Serena died of Cancer in 2005 and never got to see the renovated Chateau or course but the tournament, and the assembled field, should provide a fitting legacy. Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn, said: "This is my first involvement with the European Seniors Tour and I am very pleased to have this opportunity to present the beautiful Casa Serena Golf course with so many great players participating in this prestigious event. “I look forward to welcoming everyone from different parts of the world to the Czech Republic.”
Milan Vesely, President of the Czech Golf Federation, said: “I am truly pleased that the Czech Golf Federation can be part of the historical first European Senior Tour event held on Czech soil.
“It has been 11 years since such an important professional golf event was played in the Czech Republic and, coincidently, it was Bernhard Langer who won that event at Karlstein Golf Club. Nonetheless, I am glad that the European Senior Tour has found its way here and I am sure that it will commence a new era of professional tournaments in the Czech Republic.” Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of European Seniors Tour, said: “Even though the Casa Serena Open takes place in September and there is an awful lot of golf between now and then, we are already anticipating a magnificent tournament, filled with notable players and great champions of the past. “We’d like to thank Terry Gou, Chairman of Foxconn, for creating this tournament and our other Official Sponsor Hewlett Packard, as well as the Czech Golf Federation for their support.Lastly, it’s a pleasure to be working with Langer Sport Marketing in running this event and ensuring that the quality tournament envisaged by Maureen Chang and her husband Jim is enjoyed by the Players, Sponsors and Spectators alike.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Arthur Declared Champion

Alex Arthur has been declared the full WBO World Super-Featherweight champion after Joan Guzman vacated the belt and moved up to the lightweight division.The Scotsman was due to face Guzman on May 3 in Edinburgh, but the fight was delayed when the Dominican Republican pulled out because his management applied too late for a Visa.Arthur, 29, was waiting for the fight to be rescheduled - but had his "interim" world champion status upgraded by the WBO when Guzman decided to campaign at 135 pounds." I'm delighted with the decision by the WBO to give me full world champion status but I felt that I won the title when I beat Koba Gogoladze last July," said Arthur." I'm confident that I would have beaten Guzman had the fight been rescheduled but I believe that I am among the elite super-featherweights and want to prove myself as the best out there,"" But I'm proud to be Edinburgh's first world champion for 30 years, and am looking forward to making the first defence of my title."" My reign now begins!"Promoter Frank Warren added: "Britain has lost a few of its world champions over the last few months but we have got one back with Alex now declared as world champion,"" I believe he will be a long-term world champion. I'm working hard at the moment to deliver a new date and challenger for Alex."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Khan Goades Gomez

Amir Khan has welcomed Michael Gomez's claims that he will flatten him when the pair meet at the N.I.A in Birmingham on June 21. In a recent interview, Gomez said that he would knock-out the 21-year-old British boxing sensation. Gomez also added that he would pressure Khan from the start - and after seeing out the first four rounds, would step on the gas and inflict an early defeat. The former British and WBU super-featherweight champion insisted that he would repeat his massive 2003 upset when he stopped Alex Arthur who at the time was unbeaten and on the brink of a world title fight. But undefeated Khan, who defends his Commonwealth lightweight title for the fourth time, is happy to hear Gomez's comments. "I wondered when Gomez would start opening his mouth, and it hasn't taken long," said Khan. "Actually, I want him to say he is going to knock me out because it only makes me want to smash him up even more so I train harder. "I respect Gomez because of all he's achieved in his career, and he will be a dangerous opponent when I face him because he'll be so fired up. "Of course, I've seen his fight with Alex Arthur in 2003 a dozen times or so but that night was five years and he's five years older and slower now. I've got youth, strength and aggression on my side. Gomez can't keep living off the glory from that fight and relate it to how he is going to beat me. "To be honest, it suits me down to the ground if Gomez does bring the fight to me because then I can pick him off at will. "I'll be too quick and too strong for him - and I'm going to show him that on June 21. I'm going to give him a real beating and don't be surprised if he retires after it. "I know that this fight won't be going the distance, but there's only one man who is going to win by knockout and that's me." Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100 and £150, are available from: See Tickets 0870 060 3794 Khan Boxing 0871 855 1921 The Ticket Factory 0871 945 6000

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rose Backs the European Open in Kent

Winner of the 2007 European Tour Order of Merit Justin Rose of England has confirmed his attendance at this year’s European Open, which will be held at The London Golf Club in Kent for the first time from July 3-6. Rose joins defending champion Colin Montgomerie of Scotland and a galaxy of stars at the £2.4million event, which will be played over the Jack Nicklaus-designed Heritage Course, situated near Brands Hatch. The Englishman will head to Kent seeking to better his highest place finish of 14th in 2004, when the European Open was won by South Africa’s Retief Goosen at The K Club in Co. Kildare, Ireland. Heath Harvey, General Manager of the London Golf Club, said: “It is fantastic news that Justin is playing in the European Open. He is a real crowd-puller and, judging by his recent performances which include winning the 2007 European Tour Order of Merit, he is certainly going to be a leading contender for the title.” The London Golf Club is no stranger to tournament golf, having hosted the Bendinat London Seniors Masters for the past three years. Situated just 25 miles from central London and easily accessible by road and rail, the Club was designed with large-scale events in mind. Natural grandstands surround almost every hole on the 7,250 yards, par 72 Heritage Course, making it ideal for hosting the large number of spectators anticipated for the European Open, now in its 31st year. Golf fans will be able to enjoy the first day’s play free of charge, with the chance to watch one of the subsequent days at a substantially discounted rate. Any spectators wishing to take advantage of this unmissable offer should log on to the official website at to apply for up to two tickets per person. Electronic tickets will then be e mailed to applicants, incorporating details of how to collect discounted tickets for any one of the following three rounds. The free Thursday e-tickets can be exchanged at the course on July 3 for tickets for play on Friday, Saturday or Sunday at a cost of £15 each – a saving of £10 on the daily admission price on the gate. Senior citizens (aged 60 and over) will be entitled to a reduction from £15 to £5. A full price Adult Season Ticket costs £50 if purchased before Sunday June 22, and £60 on the gate during tournament week. A one day ticket is priced at £20 if purchased before Sunday June 22 and £25 on the gate, while for senior citizens the charge for a season ticket is £25 in advance and £35 on the gate. Senior day tickets are £10 in advance, and £15 on the gate. Entry for under 16s is free, providing they are accompanied by an adult. All public parking is also free of charge. Further information on the free ticket offer is available by calling 0800 0232557. Telephone applicants will receive their information by post.

ProQuip help the Europeans Weather the Storm

Ryder Cup Europe has announced that ProQuip will be the Preferred Weatherwear Supplier to the European Team for The Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, in September 2008 and The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, South Wales, in October 2010.ProQuip, one of the world's best known golf weatherwear manufacturers, will design and supply bespoke rain suits featuring fabric technology specially developed for The European Ryder Cup Team. The North Berwick based company, which produced the acclaimed, silk-like rain suits worn by the victorious European Ryder Cup Team at The K Club in Ireland two years ago, will also develop a licensed range of commemorative Ryder Cup branded weatherwear, including men’s and women’s windwear and rain suits. ProQuip’s appointment for the next two Ryder Cups follows the brand’s successful expansion into America and across Continental Europe. Supplying The European Team for three consecutive matches further underlines ProQuip’s status as the most selected weatherwear supplier in Ryder Cup history. Richard Head, ProQuip Managing Director and Chief Designer, said: “The rain suit we are developing for this year’s European Ryder Cup Team is very special and features one of the most exciting fabric innovations this company has ever been involved with. “Top professional golfers are now younger and more athletic and require weatherwear that not only performs to the highest levels, but works with them to enable free and powerful swing actions. This is precisely what the new ProQuip European Ryder Cup Team rain suit has been designed to do.” Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, said: “ProQuip has a long-standing association with both The European Tour and The Ryder Cup, and we are absolutely delighted to announce our close relationship with them will continue until at least 2010.”

Mitchell Set for American Debut

British star Kevin Mitchell will make his US debut on the undercard of Gary Lockett's world middleweight title challenge against Kelly Pavlik on June 7. Mitchell, the British, Commonwealth, WBO and IBF Intercotinental Super-Featherweight Champion, will only be defending his WBO Intercontinental belt at the Boardwalk Hotel in Atlantic City. The show will be screened live and exclusive on Setanta Sports in the UK. It will be Mitchell's third fight in 2008, and his first since ripping the British title away from teak-tough Carl Johanneson. Mitchell eventually won in the ninth round, having brilliantly weathered a firestorm from the Yorkshireman. And it also extended the 23-year-old's unbeaten run to 26 fights, and strengthened his top 10 ranking with both the IBF and WBO. No opponent has been announced yet for Mitchell, but he has promised American fight fans an explosive performance. "I've always wanted to fight in the States, and do so on such a big card is great news," said the youngster. "But this is just the start - I plan to go back and appear in Las Vegas and New York as well. "I get some fan mail from the States, but those who haven't seen me yet won't be disappointed. "I'll knock out whoever they put in front of me and do it in style to show everyone out there us Brits mean business. "2008 is turning out to be a fantastic year for me. I've already headlined a show at the home of British boxing, York Hall, then fought in front of 20,000 people to win the British title at the O2 Arena. "When Frank Warren phoned me to say I'd be boxing in the States as well it was just the icing on the cake" Mitchell, who fights out of Dagenham, Essex, is intent on fighting for a world title before the end of the year, and has his sights firmly set on promotional stablemate and current interim WBO champion at 9'4, Alex Arthur

Monday, May 12, 2008

Simply Red launch BMW PGA Championship

Simply Red will play an exclusive charity fundraising ‘Concert on the Course’ at Wentworth Club on Wednesday 21 May, to launch this year’s BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event of The European Tour. The exclusive ‘Concert-on-the-Course’, first staged in 2006, is an intimate, curtain-raiser to the BMW PGA Championship. The invitation-only event will take place on the 18th fairway of the East Course amongst the idyllic setting of the Wentworth grounds, with the band set to perform some of their vintage hits including Money’s Too Tight To Mention, Stars and Fairground. The concert will be the climax of the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am day, with all proceeds raised through ticket sales being donated to the players’ charity GOLFAID, supporting Sport Relief and local children’s charity, Rainbow Trust. Marking the start of the UK golf season, the BMW PGA Championship has this year attracted some of the leading players in the world. Denmark’s Anders Hansen will be seeking to defend his 2007 title but will face tough competition for the record €4,500,000 prize fund from the likes of Angel Cabrera, Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Justin Rose, Vijay Singh, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood. Former European Tour professional and acting chairman of GOLFAID, Mark Roe commented: “On behalf of all the players, we would like to thank BMW and Simply Red for enabling GOLFAID to raise much needed funds for two very worthy causes. We’re thrilled to be making a difference to both charities and hope this will be the beginning of a long-term relationship between GOLFAID and the BMW PGA Championship.” Peter Walker, General Manager, Sports Marketing BMW (UK) Ltd, said: “The Concert on the Course has been a unique opening feature to the BMW PGA Championship for the past two years. We are delighted that Simply Red will launch what promises to be another exciting week of world class golf.” The Simply Red ‘Concert on the Course’ takes place just two days after the official release of Mick Hucknall’s first solo album, ‘Tribute to Bobby’. Hucknall, one of Britain’s most successful singer-songwriters and novice golfer, announced that, after 25 succesful years, Simply Red will split following a farewell world tour in 2009, making this the last chance to see them perform live in the UK this year.

Brook Set to Rock McIntyre

Welterweight hot-shot Kell Brook aims to bring a second British title to Sheffield following Ryan Rhodes' victory last month. Brook will challenge champion Kevin McIntyre for his crown on Saturday 14th June at London's York Hall - where Rhodes knocked out Gary Woolcombe to reclaim his British Light-Middleweight title. McIntyre, from Paisly in Scotland, was scheduled to defend his title against Brook on the postponed Meadowbank Stadium show in Edinburgh but withdrew citing a 'bad back'. Unbeaten in 16 fights, Brook is raring to go on his big opportunity to be screened live and exclusive on Setanta Sports. "Watching Ryan's victory has really inspired me to beat McIntyre next month and join Ryan as a British champion," Said Brook. "What a coup that would be for our trainer Dave Coldwell and for Sheffield's boxing scene which has taken a knock in recent months." "The overhand right that he knocked out Woolcombe with was sensational and it was one that we worked on constantly in the gym so don't be surprised if McIntyre goes down with the same punch." He added, "This is my first shot at the British title but Ryan has been there twice now and has challenged for the world title so he is giving me great sparring and advice." "I've been patient and waited for my chance at the British title and I'm delighted that the date has been set for June 14," "I was absolutely gutted when McIntyre pulled out because of a 'bad back' but it has given me more incentive to give him a real hiding on the night." "He's had some good wins over Tony Docherty and Kevin Anderson recentley but he's never faced a fighter like me before." Chief support on the card features London star Anthony Small making the first defence of his Southern Area Light-Middleweight title that he won with a brutal display against Takaloo in January. Small faces George Katsimpas from Weston-Super-Mare and a win will push him closer to a rematch with the only man to defeat him - Bradley Pryce. The undercard features Finchley heavyweight Derek Chisora; Cheshunt light-heavyweight Tommy Saunders; Wanstead light-middleweight Grank Skehill; Wembley light-middleweight Eddie Cocoran; Dagenham super-featherweight Vinny Mitchell and Norwich brothers Liam, Michael and Ryan Walsh. Tickets, priced at £40 and £60, are available from the Sports Network Box Office on 01992 550 888.

Srixon Golf Balls aid Seniors

Srixon, one of the world’s fastest growing manufacturers of golf balls and equipment, has been named as the Official Ball Supplier to the European Seniors Tour in 2008. Senior Tour Members will benefit from the use of Srixon’s SoftFeel balls on practice ranges at all events on the 2008 Schedule. Several of the leading Seniors Tour players already use Srixon golf balls, including Carl Mason, the European Seniors Tour all-time leading career money earner and winner of the 2007 Order of Merit. Srixon’s success continued with Irishman Peter Lawrie’s victory in the recent Open de España on the European Tour using the Srixon Z-URS ball, which took the company’s international victories this season to seven. Now the world’s fourth biggest golf company, Srixon had a 30 per cent growth in sales last year. It first became the Official Ball Supplier to the Seniors Tour in the 2000 season and provided range balls until 2006. Leslie Hepsworth, Chief Executive Officer of Srixon Sports Europe, said: “We are delighted to once again become the Official Ball Supplier to the European Seniors Tour. Srixon has major plans to increase its ball business over the next few years and this is a very visible and credible way to enhance the exposure we receive. This, in turn, should lead to an even further increase in the sales of our ZUR range of three-piece golf balls.” Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Seniors Tour, said: “We very much value the support given by Srixon to our Members of the European Seniors Tour. This partnership will provide them with use of a quality playing ball to assist in their day-to-day preparation. “We are delighted to include Srixon in our family of sponsors once again and look forward to working with them throughout the year.”

Poland points towards Golf's World Cup

The Sierra Golf Club, Poland, will have the honour of hosting the 2008 Omega Mission Hills World Cup European Qualifier from September 25 – 28. Two-man teams from around the globe are expected to battle it out for the three qualifying spots available and the chance to take part in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup at Mission Hills, China, from November 27 – 30. The European Tour will have responsibility for overseeing the European qualifying tournament and will work closely with the both staff and members of the Sierra Golf Club to deliver a memorable Polish experience for competing players. Keith Waters, European Tour Director of International Policy, recognises the importance of bringing the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Qualifier to Poland. He said: “In bringing the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Qualifier to Sierra Golf Club in Poland, we are giving players more choice. In the past we have had qualifying events in Asia and Latin America. By adding a third qualifier in Europe, players have greater flexibility to select a World Cup qualifying event that suits their travel schedule. “It is also in keeping with the spirit of the World Cup to bring the qualifying event to an emerging golf market like Poland. This is the first event that The European Tour has staged in Poland, and bringing a truly international event such as the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Qualifier can only serve to further accelerate the growth of this magnificent game.” Tadeusz Siek, owner of Sierra Golf Club, added: “It is a great honour for Sierra Golf Club to be the host venue of the first Omega Mission Hills World Cup European Qualifier and to be able to showcase golf in Poland. Golf is growing rapidly in Poland, and we look forward to hosting the best players from Europe and around the globe as they attempt to qualify for a world class event such as the Omega Mission Hills World Cup.” The Sierra Golf Club was designed by Scottish-born architect Cameron Sinclair, and is a spectacular layout that makes the most of the natural landscape. The club boasts state of the art technology with GPS technology available to players, as well as golf simulators that allow players to hone their skills. The luxury 1000 square foot clubhouse will provide a memorable experience for players and spectators alike. The format for the first and third rounds of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup European Qualifier will be fourball (betterball), with foursomes (alternate shot) to be used in the second and final rounds. The Official World Golf Rankings will determine the first 18 nations to qualify for the Omega Mission Hills World Cup itself, and the European Qualifier will join the Asian and South American Qualifiers to determine the balance of the field. The leading three teams from each Qualifier will earn a place in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. The Omega Mission Hills World Cup was first played in 1953 as the Canada Cup. The event is set to continue through 2018, and most probably beyond, at Mission Hills following the signing of an agreement in 2007 which brought the prestige watch manufacturer Omega together with the Club which introduced the game of golf to China by first hosting the World Cup in 1995. John Jay Hopkins, the noted Canadian industrialist, brought to reality a dream that golf could promote goodwill between nations with the inaugural World Cup played in Montreal in 1953 then called the Canada Cup and re-titled The World Cup in 1967. The International Federation of PGA Tours will, as custodians, oversee the 54th edition of the event as it unfolds in the same year as the staging in Beijing of the Olympic Games at which Omega has a unique role as Official Timekeeper.

Hansen and Rose resume Rivalry

Anders Hansen and Justin Rose, the two main protagonists in last year’s memorable BMW PGA Championship, will resume their rivalry over the West Course at Wentworth Club, Surrey, England, in the 2008 edition of The European Tour’s flagship event, which carries a record prize fund of €4.5 million (approx £3.6 million). Hansen and Rose will face strong opposition for the €750,000 (approx £600,000) first prize on the famous West Course with reigning US Open Champion Angel Cabrera in the field alongside multiple Major Championship winners Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, José Maria Olazábal and Vijay Singh. Hansen defeated Rose in a play-off last year to secure his second BMW PGA Championship title – coaxing home a 25 foot birdie putt on the first sudden-death play-off hole after the pair had tied on eight under par 280 after 72 holes. He became the eighth multiple winner of the BMW PGA Championship. Nick Faldo, Europe’s 2008 Ryder Cup Captain, has a record four victories; Peter Alliss, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie have each won three; and Seve Ballesteros, Tony Jacklin and Ian Woosnam are two-time winners. “I think winning it twice is a fair achievement to start with!” smiled the Dane, who won his first BMW PGA Championship in 2002. “But you look at the names I am alongside and get a sense of the importance of the BMW PGA Championship. To win it for a third time would be very special.” Rose, who finished Number One in The 2007 European Tour Order of Merit race, said: “Coming so close to winning the BMW PGA Championship last year has only strengthened my desire to go one better this time around. The BMW PGA Championship means a lot to me, so to win a tournament that I really do love and a tournament that I've come to watch many times as a kid has always been a dream of mine.” Cabrera will be looking to repeat his BMW PGA Championship success of three years ago while Els - US Open Champion in 1994 and 1997, Open Champion in 2002 and winner seven times on the West Course in the World Match Play Championship - is seeking his first BMW PGA Championship success having finished runner-up in 1994, 1997 and 1998. Singh, winner of two US PGA Championship titles, in 1998 and 2004, and the Masters Tournament in 2000, finished joint third behind Hansen and Rose last year and he, too, will be looking for his first victory in the BMW PGA Championship. Likewise, Goosen, the US Open Champion in 2001 and 2004, is chasing his first success in what will be his 15th successive appearance in the BMW PGA Championship event after an unbroken run stretching back to 1993. All four days will be broadcast live on BBC Television.Tickets are now on sale with special prices available in advance via or by calling +44 (0) 800 023 2557. For details of hospitality packages available call +44 (0)1344 840 483 or email

Friday, May 09, 2008

Golf Pros Get an Oscar

Oscar Jacobson, the Swedish menswear clothing manufacturer, has once again been named as the Official Clothing Supplier of Men’s Formal Wear to The European Tour. The company, based in Borås near Gothenburg, has established itself as one of Europe’s leading sportswear brands and concentrates on the highest quality products both in high street and golf course outlets. It has extended its agreement to supply Men’s Formal Wear to The European Tour up to the inaugural Dubai World Championship in November 2009, the climax to the new US$10 million Race to Dubai, a season-long competition replacing the European Tour Order of Merit. For more than 100 years Oscar Jacobson has been synonymous with high quality clothing and style and has outlets throughout Europe and parts of Asia. Peter Bannington, Sales and Marketing Manager for Oscar Jacobson UK Ltd, said: “These are very exciting times for our company. Re-launching our street wear brand during a mini-recession is confirmation of the belief we have in our products. “When the market is tough people want quality, value for money and an association with a strong brand which will continue to develop and improve their products and service. It is the hope of Oscar Jacobson to work more closely with The European Tour beyond the new agreement and provide The European Tour’s Staff with men’s formal clothing for official functions.” Scott Kelly, European Tour Group Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted to invite Oscar Jacobson once again to be The European Tour’s Official Supplier of Men’s Formal Wear. We have built a very good relationship with the company over the years and have really enjoyed the comfort and styling of their clothing."

Challenge Tour Heads to China

The European Challenge Tour will follow in the footsteps of The European Tour when it makes an historic first visit to China for the inaugural Qingdao Golf Open from September 11-14, 2008.
Players will compete for a prize fund of US$500,000 and a first prize of US$80,000 when they tee up at the 7,153 yard par 72 Qingdao Huashan Golf & Resort. The tournament will be part of an important year for sport in China, which hosts The Olympic Games this summer as well as five events on The 2008 European Tour Schedule: the HSBC Champions, the UBS Hong Kong Open, the Volvo China Open, the BMW Asian Open and the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. The Qingdao Golf Open has received strong support from the China Golf Association, which hopes the inaugural Challenge Tour event can help to further develop golf in China by providing its young players with the opportunity to improve their skills against many of Europe’s most promising golfers. Zhang Xiaoning, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of the China Golf Association, said: “The Qingdao Golf Open will be held in China for the first time thanks to the joint effort of the China Golf Association and the European Challenge Tour. “On behalf of the China Golf Association, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the players and wish them all the best in the tournament. The Olympic Games will be held in China this year, and that will be a good opportunity for the sporting world to get to know China. We also hope that all of the golfers can play an important role in promoting the game in China.” Robin Ho, Group Executive Director of Qingdao Huashan Golf & Resort, said: “Qingdao Huashan Golf & Resort is proud and excited to host the first Challenge Tour event in China. This inaugural event will be a unique experience for both the Chinese and foreign players visiting our country for the first time.” Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour, said: “We are delighted to be visiting China for the first time and it promises to be an excellent tournament. Our thanks must go to the China Golf Association and Qingdao Huashan Golf & Resort for all their hard work in making the Qingdao Golf Open happen. “The Challenge Tour has played a key role in developing young golfing nations throughout Europe, as well as Central and South America and Africa, and we are delighted to now be doing the same in China. It will be great experience for some of China’s leading young players to play against many of The European Tour’s future stars.” The Qingdao Huashan Golf & Resort is situated in the city of Qingdao, South East of the Shandong Province on the Yellow Sea, which will host the Olympic Regatta next August.

Skelton vs Sam Put on Hold

Matt Skelton's European heavyweight title challenge against Sinan Samil Sam has been postponed because of an injury to the Turk.The fight was due to take place in Istanbul on May 30.However, it will now be arranged at a later date when Sam has fully recovered.Skelton was looking to get back to winning ways after losing a WBA world title fight against Ruslan Chagaev on points earlier this year." I am disappointed that the fight has been postponed after putting in lots of hard work in the gym, but I am looking forward to the re-arranged date and proving to everyone that I can beat Sam and go on to a second shot at the world title," said Skelton.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Williams Out as Rybacki fights Froch

Hennessy Sports in association with today announced a change of opponent for Carl Froch for May 10th at the Trent FM Arena Nottingham, live on ITV1. Carl’s opponent Rubin Williams was unable to leave the US in time to challenge Carl in the scheduled 12 round International Super Middleweight contest at the Trent FM Arena this coming Saturday due to personal problems. Hennessy Sports can confirm that Unbeaten Polish fighter Albert Rybacki (15 wins, 8 KO) has agreed to fight Froch on Saturday night. Rybacki who was already preparing for a fight jumped at the opportunity and will be flying into the UK later today. Rybacki has already signed contracts. Carl Froch said: “It’s always difficult to fight an unbeaten fighter as he doesn’t know how to lose and obviously he will put everything on line as he could gatecrash the world title but I am in prime condition and looking forward to fighting on Saturday night.” Hennessy Sports was yesterday informed that John Fewkes will be unable to fight John Murray for the English Lightweight Title due to suffering from gastroenteritis. They are in negotiations with new opponents and further information will be released shortly.

Chelsea Football Club Statement

Chelsea Football Club would like to officially distance ourselves from comments in the media this morning regarding the reasons behind any criticism Avram Grant may or may not have received since he became our manager in September.

Chelsea FC is totally committed to fighting all forms of discrimination and prejudice and will act in the strongest possible way, given the evidence, against anyone who uses anti-semitism or any other form of discrimination in any shape or form.

Our manager has conducted himself with great dignity and respect in his role as Chelsea manager. Last week he made a moving speech at Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day. In it he promoted the power of sport in bringing all people together regardless of race and religion and its ability to break down barriers. That is a sentiment Chelsea agrees with entirely.

Cabrera and Romero to take part at Wentworth

US Open Champion Angel Cabrera, and fellow Argentine Andres Romero, will bring their formidable talents to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, Surrey, England, from May 22-25, 2008. Cabrera became the first Argentine winner of the US Open when he lifted the trophy at Oakmont Country Club last year after holding off the challenges of World Number One Tiger Woods and the 2003 US Open champion Jim Furyk, ahead of fourth placed Niclas Fasth of Sweden. The 38 year old will be looking to repeat his BMW PGA Championship success of three years ago when he shot a final round 67 to beat Ireland’s Paul McGinley for a two shot victory, with Australia’s Nick O’Hern third and England’s David Howell, the 2006 BMW PGA Champion, fourth. He has an impressive record at The European Tour’s flagship event, having finished runner up in 2001 and again 2004 before his momentous breakthrough over the famous West Course in 2005. The big hitting South American’s challenge just fell short last year when he had to settle for joint fifth last year behind eventual winner Denmark’s Anders Hansen, who beat England’s Justin Rose in a sudden-death play-off. Cabrera will be joined at Wentworth Club by fellow countryman and rising star Romero who will be hoping to build on his impressive joint eighth place finish at this year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National. The 26 year old, one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Argentina in recent years, finished just seven shots behind South African Trevor Immelman’s winning total of eight under par on his debut at August National. Romero, who graduated from the European Challenge Tour in 2005, took the world by storm when he finished third behind Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia of Spain in last year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie. The following week he captured his maiden European Tour title at The Deutsche Bank Players’ Championship of Europe before emulating that feat with his first success on the US PGA Tour earlier this year. He finished joint 12th last year at last year’s BMW PGA Championship following a superb final round 68. Romero captured his first title on the US PGA Tour when he won the 2008 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, with a one-stroke victory over Australia's Peter Lonard at the TPC Louisiana. The 2008 BMW PGA Championship will boast one of the strongest fields on The European Tour International Schedule, with many of the world’s best players in action. All four days will be broadcast live on BBC Television. Tickets are now on sale for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club from May 22-25, 2008 with special prices available in advance via or by calling +44 (0) 800 023 2557. Adult Season Tickets, which guarantee entry to Wentworth Club for the full week of the BMW PGA Championship, are currently priced at £50, a £10 saving on the 2007 prices and the cost on the gate. Concession Season Tickets can be purchased for £20, a saving of 20% on the gate prices. An Adult Weekend pass for Saturday May 24 and Sunday May 25 costs £40, while Any One Day passes can be bought now for £25, a saving of £5, with significant savings also on offer for Senior Citizen, Disabled and Unaccompanied Junior Tickets. For details of hospitality packages available call +44 (0)1344 840 483 or email

Madird Masters Boosts Spanish Golf

The European Tour will make a fifth visit to Spain in 2008 when the Madrid Masters takes place at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid in the nation’s capital from October 9 -12. The tournament, which will carry a minimum prize fund of €1 million, is supported by Turismo de Madrid (Comunidad de Madrid) and Caja Madrid and promoted by GFC Golf and Business, the company of European Tour professional Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño. Club de Campo Villa de Madrid is one of the most established courses in Continental Europe and has been a popular venue on The European Tour International Schedule since former European Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance won the Open de España there in 1982. Since then it has hosted the Open de España on five further occasions, the Open de Madrid on six occasions, one of them the BBVA Masters de Madrid in 2000 when reigning Open Champion Padraig Harrington triumphed. The Irishman certainly has a fondness for the golf course, which was founded in 1901, for he also captured the Open de España at the Madrid venue in 1996. Keith Waters, Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are very much looking forward to the staging of the Madrid Masters at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. “The magnificent city of Madrid is always a popular destination for our players and we thank the Comunidad de Madrid for their continued support of The European Tour which has enabled us to return to the Spanish capital in October. “We must also thank GFC Golf and Business for their commitment to the event, at the same time acknowledging that three time European Tour champion Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño is as talented outside the ropes as he is on the golf course.” Carlo Cutropía, General Director of GFC Golf & Business, said: “For many years, the feedback from The European Tour cites Madrid as one of the favourite cities of the majority of the players, and I am convinced a visit to the Spanish capital should be an annual date on the International Schedule.
“Turismo de Madrid, in the guise of its CEO Ángela Alarcó, and such an important and Madrilenian savings bank as Caja Madrid, will be working hand in hand and have shown great confidence in our company to promote the event in such a fantastic city. Rest assured we will make a very special tournament for the players.” Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, President of GFC Golf & Business, said: “As Madrilenian, I feel very proud to have contributed in putting together a great event for Madrid. “I know my fellow players love coming to enjoy the city, and even more to play at a great venue like Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, which has hosted many international competitions of the highest level. I hope everybody will write down the date in their diaries and I am confident the best players will come to compete.” The other Spanish tournaments currently on The 2008 European Tour International Schedule are; the MAPFRE Open de Andalucia by Valle Romano at Aloha Golf Club in March won by Thomas Levet; last week’s Open de España at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, won by Peter Lawrie; the Comunitat Valenciana Masters Castellón Costa Azahar at Club de Campo del Mediterráneo in Castellón in October; and the Volvo Masters at Club de Golf Valderrama in November.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Europeans to play Sergio Garcia's home course

Sergio Garcia’s home course of Club de Campo del Mediterráneo on Spain’s east coast will host The European Tour for the first time when the Comunitat Valenciana Masters Castellón Costa Azahar unfolds from October 23-26. The Comunitat Valenciana Masters Castellón Costa Azahar will be promoted by MatchGolf and replaces the Mallorca Classic on The 2008 European Tour International Schedule. This new tournament will be the third of four European Tour events to be held in Spain during the 2008 season. Set in the hills overlooking Castellón, the Club de Campo del Mediterráneo course weaves its way through olive and carob trees. Designed by Ramón Espinosa, the course opened in 1978. Sergio García is the club’s touring professional while his father, Víctor, who plays on the European Seniors Tour, is the club’s head professional. José María Olazábal holds the course record with an eleven under par 61, from December 2005. The European Tour has visited the Valencia region of Spain on eleven previous occasions (fourteen including the Senior Tour events), most recently for the 2001 Open de España, won by Swede Robert Karlsson, and the 2003 Seve Trophy when Great Britain and Ireland triumphed over Continental Europe. Both events were played at El Saler. Club de Campo del Mediterráneo has hosted the OKI Open de España Senior on the European Seniors Tour for the last three years. American Bob Boyd won the inaugural event in 2005, Ryder Cup player Gordon J Brand of England triumphed in 2006 while last year another Englishman, Carl Mason, captured the title, breaking his own record of prize money won during a season in the process. It was one of five titles Mason won during the season on his way to winning the John Jacobs Trophy as the leading money winner for the third time. Carlos Fabra, President of Club de Campo de Mediterráneo expressed his satisfaction: “To host a European Tour event is the best reward we could have received. Since the foundation of our club, we have believed in high quality golf and we are very proud to have opened our doors to organise top events at junior level, National level, ladies, Challenge tour, Senior Tour and international amateur events. The circle will close when we host in October the best professionals in the world, lead by our beloved Sergio García, whom we have had the honour to see him born and grow as a person and as a great sportsman”. Javier Gervás, General Manager of MatchGolf said: “We need to thank the Government of Valencia and Castellón for believing in golf as a sport to join the Formula 1, Motor racing and the Volvo Ocean Race in their economic and tourism strategy to promote the region. We also need to remark and thank the enthusiasm and effort that both Sergio and his father Víctor have put in the past few months in preparing the course and on the event in general. The Club, the sponsors, the Tour and ourselves have teamed up once again and we are confident that we will present a very competitive end of season tournament but also very family orientated for the players”. Keith Waters, Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We congratulate Javier Gervás and MatchGolf, the Members and Officials of Club de Campo del Mediterráneo and the region of Valencia for bringing this tournament to fruition. To be able to do so highlights a tremendous level of support from tournament sponsors and partners and we are sure that everyone involved in the event will enjoy the stunning golf course and facilities at the Club de Campo del Mediterráneo, which was a hugely popular venue on the European Seniors Tour for three seasons and will continue to be on The European Tour.”

Froch fights Williams as Inkin Steps Down

WBC super-middleweight mandatory challenger Carl Froch will box Rubin Williams in an international 12 round contest as the co-feature on a Hennessy Sports in association with show at the Trent FM Arena Nottingham on Saturday, 10th May live on ITV1 and on a delayed ShoBox special in the US. Froch will have his first fight since being made the official WBC mandatory challenger on the same show as WBC light-welterweight champion Junior Witter's (Bradford, England) third world title defence against his mandatory challenger Timothy Bradley (Palm Springs, USA). As Froch waits for his right to fight for the world title, the Forest season ticket holder is thrilled that his football team has repeated his success and moved up a level by winning automatic promotion to the Coco-Cola Championship. Froch said: "I'm on the brink of realising my dreams and I hope Forest are too. We missed out last season in the playoffs but I am over the moon that Forest have secured automatic promotion and I have secured my WBC mandatory status.” "It's been frustrating watching us in this division, we deserve to be higher. I try and get to Forest as much as I can but when I'm training for fights down in London I can't really go.” Williams,32 (Michigan, United States) is looking to end the unbeaten record of Froch (Nottingham, England) and replaces Denis Inkin (Russia) who pulled out of a scheduled WBC final eliminator against Froch for a second time a week ago.Promoter Mick Hennessy sees Williams as a tough assignment for Carl. He said: “Williams has stepped up to the plate so fair play to him. Others like Alejandro Berrio didn’t after his team verbally agreeing to fight Carl 10 days ago.” “After Denis Inkin pulled out twice, and then Team Berrio changing their minds, Carl is obviously the one everyone wants to avoid now in the super-middleweight division. But Carl will fight for the prestigious WBC title in the fight after this one, so he can’t afford any mishaps.” The Cobra’ gave a stinging response to Inkin and Berrio failing to step up to the plate.He said: "Williams is a tall, rangy box puncher so he will be a good test for me, he has been very active this year and has already fought against two world class fighters that’s why he is ready to fight me right now. Williams deserves a lot of credit he’ obviously prepared to fight anyone, he has a true fighters heart, unfortunately I can’t say the same for Inkin or Berrio. I’ve heard all of Inkin’s excuses, viruses, bad back, etc; I don’t buy it for a second. After doing this a second time to me the man’s got no honour he is a coward, he does not deserve to share a ring with me.” "I am disappointed with Team Inkin for allowing this to happen. I could compile a list of things that have gone wrong with me in the lead up to both of these fights, from viruses to injuries to everyday niggles, but as fighters we would never fight if we took Team Inkin’s attitude.”"Berrio was just as bad by mucking us about, one minute saying he was in and the next saying he was out." “It doesn’t matter who is in the corner though, I will still win in style and show everyone why Joe Calzaghe is avoiding me.”

Witter to restore Yorkshire Pride

Junior Witter is out to restore some pride into Yorkshire boxing when he defends his WBC light-welterweight title against American Timothy Bradley at the Trent FM Arena Nottingham on Saturday, 10th May live on ITV1 and a delayed ShoBox special in the US. Witter (Bradford, England) makes the third defence of his prestigious world title on a Hennessy Sports in association with show. After seeing his fellow Yorkshire man Clinton Woods lose his IBF light-heavyweight title on points to Antonio Tarver in April. ‘The Hitter’ is promising to produce his best and denies Bradley’s claim he has taken him lightly. He said: "This is a chance for me to pick up Yorkshire boxing after Clinton’s loss. It was disappointing because I really wanted him to win, but Clinton was well beat. "The big lights seemed to get to him but I bet if the fight was in Sheffield Clinton could have beat Tarver. "It’s up to me now to make sure I keep my world title because there are not that many world champions left in Britain now. "

European Tour Event Moves to Moscow

The European Tour will return to Russia this summer for the US$2,000,000 Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship 2008, to be played over Le Méridien Moscow Country Club from July 24-27. Inteco, one of Russia’s most powerful real estate developers, were an Official Partner to the 2007 Russian Open and have increased their commitment to the tournament by assuming Title Sponsorship of the event won by Sweden’s Per-Ulrik Johansson last year. The European Tour has been playing golf in Russia since the Challenge Tour’s first visit there in 1996. The tournament has grown over the past 12 years, becoming a dual ranking event from 2003-2005 before being instated as a fully sanctioned European Tour event in 2006. E. N. Baturina, President of Inteco, said: “Taking into consideration the successful experience of our participation as an Official Partner to the 2007 Russian Open Golf Championship, we are proud to become the Title Sponsor of Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship 2008, the biggest professional golf event in Eastern Europe. “We are sure that Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship 2008 will be one of the most important international sporting events in Russia and will provide an excellent foundation for a long term partnership with golf and The European Tour.” Keith Waters, Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are delighted to confirm the Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship 2008 on this year’s International Schedule and extremely pleased to be returning to Le Méridien Moscow Country Club. “With a new title sponsor in Inteco, we hope that this unique tournament can grow in stature and continue to feature prominently on The European Tour for many years to come.”

Friday, May 02, 2008

Immelman is No April Fool

Trevor Immelman has been named The European Tour Golfer of the Month for April following his outstanding first Major Championship success in the Masters Tournament. Immelman became the first South African to claim the Green Jacket since his mentor, Gary Player, 30 years earlier. The 28 year old, whose eight under par total gave him a three stroke winning margin over World Number One Tiger Woods, became the first wire-to-wire winner at Augusta National since Seve Ballesteros in 1980. The victory lifted him to the top of The European Tour Order of Merit and means he now keeps illustrious company alongside Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Bobby Locke and Player as South African Major Champions. Immelman won the April Award ahead of several contenders, led by Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, who claimed his first European Tour title in five years with a dramatic victory in the BMW Asian Open. Clarke’s victory at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club, his 11th on The European Tour, was an emotional one for The Ryder Cup player who was competing in his 11th European Tour event in 2008 and his 375th in all. Other contenders in an exciting month were Ireland’s Damien McGrane, winner of the Volvo China Open; France’s Grégory Bourdy, who claimed a wire-to-wire victory in the Estoril Open de Portugal; Australian Adam Scott, winner of the EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Texas; Chile’s Felipe Aguilar, who won the 82nd Abierto de Chile Visa in his home country; Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, who tied for fifth in the Masters Tournament and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez, Swede Robert Karlsson and Argentine Andres Romero, who all finished tied eighth at the Masters Tournament. Other monthly winners in 2008 have been Germany’s Martin Kaymer (January), Mark Brown of New Zealand (February) and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (March). At the end of the year, all monthly winners will be amongst the players considered by the panel for The European Tour Golfer of the Year award.

Old Timers help Grassroots of the Game

Leading European Seniors Tour players have again pledged to take time out of their hectic schedules to help the Golf Foundation promote the sport to youngsters. For many years The European Tour has been a strong supporter of the Golf Foundation, a charity committed to the sporting and social development of young people through golf. With shared beliefs in the importance of looking to the future for the good of the game as a whole, The European Tour will assist the Foundation’s development team in setting up player clinics at six European Seniors Tour events across the 2008 Schedule. At each event, players will be on hand to show groups of local youngsters the basics of the swing and impress them with their shot making abilities. The majority of youngsters involved will be connected to Golf Foundation initiatives, which are aimed to establish links between schools and golf clubs and promote the structured learning programme – the Junior Golf Passport. The programme of clinics will be held at the following tournaments: the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open from June 13-15; the Irish Seniors Open from June 20-22; The De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship from August 21-24; the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters from August 29-31; the Weston Homes PGA International Seniors from September 12-14; and the Scottish Seniors Open from September 26-28. Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Seniors Tour, said: “We are absolutely delighted to lend the European Seniors Tour’s support to the development of the game of golf, and to witness the experience of the past masters being handed over to a new generation of young players.” Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “It must be inspirational for a youngster to gain advice from a top European Seniors Tour professional, and then watch how he can shape and control a golf ball. The boys and girls involved will then be able to show their friends at their schools and clubs what they have learned. “The Golf Foundation’s presence at the events will mean we can help promote the positive benefits of the sport to the many families present. We are very grateful to The European Tour for this opportunity, which is a strong show of support for our aims and objectives in junior grass roots golf development.” This promotional work by the Golf Foundation is part of its support of the national golf partnerships of England, Scotland and Wales, with the aim of increasing participation by offering greater access to golf for youngsters.
The European Tour offered similar support in 2007. Then, in clinics at six events across Britain, the likes of Ryder Cup player Gordon J Brand of England, and Seniors Tour champions Jerry Bruner of America, Delroy Cambridge of Jamaica, Bob Cameron of England, and Horacio Carbonetti of Argentina, were among the household names helping the youngsters.

Bradley has a Pop at Witter

Timothy Bradley has warned WBC light-welterweight champion Junior Witter he will be punished if he takes him lightly in their world title showdown at the Trent FM Arena Nottingham on Saturday, 10th May. Bradley (Palm Springs, USA) brings with him an undefeated record for his first world title fight and first fight outside of America. Witter (Bradford, England) is by far the more experienced of the two and will be making the third defence of his world title on the Hennessy Sports in association with show which will be shown live on television by ITV1 in the UK and on a delayed basis in America on a ShoBox special. But Bradley believes his quick fists will make sure he brings the titles back across the Atlantic. He said: "I am sure he is going to come prepared but I have been reading that his team is taking me lightly, they are calling it a tune up fight but it is going to be the hardest fight of his career. "I respect Witter, he’s a world champion but when it comes time to get in the ring, there is no respect.There is no room for respect in the ring. This is a fight I have been waiting on my whole life, I have always wanted the WBC title. "I have been watching Junior Witter since the beginning of my career and I can tell you that if he takes me lightly I will come home with that belt. "If he doesn’t take me lightly it will be a good fight. He has a lot of hand speed, he has really good foot work. I will be the fastest opponent he has ever faced. I have a lot of hand speed and footwork. "It won’t be about style because he doesn’t really have one. Witter doesn’t have a style. I watched him fight Zab Judah and others and he doesn’t come with a game plan. "Early in his career he was more of a boxer mover, he is now more of a boxer puncher, more of a counter puncher, he’s a hell of a counter puncher. "I have a good game plan, I know what to expect, I know his antics, and that he switches from right to left. He tries to play mind games with his opponent. I know if you rush in at him what he will do, I know what he is going to do when he gets in a certain angle." Bradley’s manager Gary Shaw said: "Tell Junior Witter to dig a foxhole and get ready for 'Desert Storm!' -- Timothy 'Desert Storm' Bradley. Timothy has waited his whole life for this opportunity and I know he's going to make the most of it. General Bradley is locked and loaded and ready to battle the top dog in the 140-pound division."