BIRTHDAY WIN FOR STRICKER

Golfer Steve Stricker gave himself perhaps the best gift possible on his 45th birthday – a win against South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club to progress to the second round of the World Golf Championship – Accenture Match Play Championship on the 23rd of February, 2012.

Stricker managed to secure victory with the help of a 20 foot birdie on par 4, thus, securing a one-up victory.

The South African dominated most of the match last Thursday, and the way he missed a 12 feet birdie on the final hole of the match, all but ruined his chances of further progression in the first World Golf Championship of the year. Stricker added after the match that his father always used to say that whoever makes the first putt usually wins and said that he was looking to do the same ahead of the last hole of the match.

Steve Stricker also added that the big swing that won him the match was one of the best swings that he has made in his career and he further went on to say that he will remember this victory for a long time as this was the best birthday gift he had ever received, apart from the first golf club that was given to him by his father when he was a youngster.

Hunter Mahan is slated to be his next opponent in the tournament who progressed to the third round of the tournament after his victory over YE Yang. Speaking of his compatriot Mahan, Steve Stricker said that he is an extremely good player and doesn’t hit a crooked shot all too often. Moreover, he also praised the all round play of Mahan and added that the consistency of his play made him a dangerous proposition in the match.

BACK ON TRACK

After unmemorable performances in Abu Dhabi Lee Westwood, the third ranked golfer and 4th ranked Martin Kaymer are looking forward to get their new season back on track with some solid performances at the Qatar Masters event.

They have taken one of the most intriguing courses on the European Tour’s desert swing to do it. The Doha Golf Club is quite popular for its windy conditions and this season it is going to be the same. According to forecasts, wind may reach up to twenty miles per hour.

Lee struggled at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and ended in a tie for seventeenth. A painful shoulder didn’t help and, unable to master the greens, the English golfer was even par after 2 rounds. He began to play much better, including a 4-under 68 in the 3rd round, but by then any thoughts of a title challenge were gone. He ended 7 shots behind Robert Rock, the eventual winner.

Lee said that he had a few issues to come to terms with. He had been working on his fitness recently and he has not played much coming into Abu Dhabi. He did not hole as many putts or find the greens there, and also found it quite difficult to read he told the Tony Valentine – Ping Golf website.

A disappointed Westwood admitted that his performance was a nice one and he was not feeling good about his game, even though he finished last season strongly. In December, he grabbed the Thailand Golf Championship and few weeks earlier, the Nedbank Challenge.

Westwood had a 3rd round score of 62 at Nedbank and unfolded Thailand with 60 which is the lowest of his golfing career and after that a 64 to defeat Charl Schwartzel by 7 strokes.