Mark's Feed
Apr 5, 2015

A hole-by-hole look at Augusta National

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Once again, the eyes of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on the pristine beauty of Augusta National when it stages the 79th edition of the Masters this week in Augusta, Georgia.

Since the famed Eisenhower Tree was removed from the 17th fairway before last year’s tournament after being severely damaged by an ice storm, no significant changes have been made to the immaculate, par-72 course.

Apr 5, 2015

Ko set for Sorenstam-type career, says swing coach

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – World number one Lydia Ko, a teenage prodigy who has already won six LPGA Tour titles, is on track to have “an Annika Sorenstam-type career”, according to esteemed swing coach David Leadbetter.

Swede Sorenstam, a former world number one, racked up 72 wins on the LPGA Tour, including 10 major titles, during her career.

Apr 4, 2015

Caddie Jackson, an iconic figure at the Masters

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Carl Jackson has a lifetime of memories from Augusta National where he has caddied in every Masters since 1961 bar one, and is one of the remaining few in a dying breed — black caddies who have worked at the iconic venue.

For regular visitors to the Masters, Jackson has become an integral part of the tournament fabric and is best known for his remarkable 39-year partnership with fellow American Ben Crenshaw, a twice former champion at Augusta National.

Apr 4, 2015

Analysis – Bold, if foolhardy, Masters decision by Tiger

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods’ decision to return to competition at next week’s Masters after a two-month break is unquestionably a bold one, but it could very well end up being foolhardy.

The former world number one has been woefully out of form in his only two tournament appearances this year and, though he feels he is now ready to compete again, he will face a daunting test on the fast, sloping greens at Augusta National.

Apr 4, 2015

Bold, if foolhardy, Masters decision by Tiger

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods’ decision to return to competition at next week’s Masters after a two-month break is unquestionably a bold one, but it could very well end up being foolhardy.

The former world number one has been woefully out of form in his only two tournament appearances this year and, though he feels he is now ready to compete again, he will face a daunting test on the fast, sloping greens at Augusta National.

Apr 3, 2015

Inspirational Inkster rolls back the years at Mission Hills

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – Thirty years after winning the opening women’s major of the year for the first time, Juli Inkster surged into contention for the title at the ANA Inspiration on Thursday.

The 54-year-old Hall of Famer, who will captain the United States Solheim Cup team in September, carded a three-under-par 69 in the opening round at Mission Hills Country Club.

Apr 3, 2015

Golf-Pressel leads by one, Ko in contention

RANCHO MIRAGE, California, April 2 (Reuters) – Morgan Pressel reaped the benefits of a recent swing change and flourished in favourable afternoon conditions on Thursday to move one stroke clear in the opening round of the ANA Inspiration, the first women’s major of the season.

Former champion Pressel fired a flawless five-under-par 67, while world number one Lydia Ko stayed in touch after equalling an LPGA Tour record for consecutive rounds under par.

Apr 2, 2015

Ko in early contention at Mission Hills

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – World number one Lydia Ko moved into contention for the ANA Inspiration in record-equalling style on Thursday as South Korea’s Choi Na-yeon seized a share of the early lead in the opening round.

New Zealander Ko, watched by the biggest galleries of the day, battled strong winds on her front nine before grinding out a one-under-par 71 at a sun-baked Mission Hills Country Club to equal an LPGA Tour record for sub-par scores.

Apr 2, 2015

LPGA Commissioner Whan eyes a ‘grander stage’

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – Since taking over as LPGA Commissioner in 2010, Mike Whan has weathered the end of an economic downturn and put the women’s tour on a strong financial footing by adding new sponsors and events.

However, Whan has never been a big fan of the status quo and has set his sights on establishing a “grander stage” for the LPGA Tour by giving it increased television exposure and making it more on a par with the men’s equivalent for prize money.

Apr 2, 2015

Ko ties LPGA record for consecutive sub-scores

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Lydia Ko battled strong winds on her front nine before grinding out a one-under-par 71 in the ANA Inspiration first round on Thursday to equal an LPGA Tour record for sub-par scores.

The world number one took advantage of calmer conditions after the turn with two late birdies, covering her last nine holes in two-under 34 to match Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam’s run of 29 consecutive rounds under par on the circuit.