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  • Rory By The Shore

    13 Aug 2012

    Contributed by Brian Hewitt for GlobalGolfPost

    Rory McIlroy now has commandeered two major championships in the past two years by a combined total of 16 shots.

    Last year it was the U.S. Open at Congressional by eight. Sunday it was the PGA Championship by eight again.

    Remind you of anybody?

    “We all know the talent he has,” said Tiger Woods, who finished a distant T11.

    The previous biggest margin of victory at the season’s final major was seven. By a guy named Nicklaus in 1980.

    “That’s a nice record to have,” said McIlroy who closed with a 6-under 66 at the Ocean Course.

    His final round complemented two earlier 67s and more than offset a Friday 75 when the wind blew dogs off their leashes. McIlroy finished at 13-under 275.

    “It was all good,” added McIlroy, who led by three after 54 holes and set a goal of 12 under before beginning his last round.

    At the 2011 Masters he began Sunday with a four-shot lead and melted down with an 80.

    “I didn’t have a target score in mind at Augusta,” he said late Sunday. “It’s one of the things I should have done.”

    Little-known Englishman David Lynn carded a pair of weekend 68s for solo second at 5 under, one shot better than Justin Rose, Carl Pettersson, Ian Poulter and defending champion Keegan Bradley.

    Meanwhile, eight players are now assured of U.S. Ryder Cup berths next month near Chicago. Woods is one of them. American captain Davis Love III will name the other four in early September. The European side will become finalized later this month.

    Woods owned a share of the lead here after 36 holes, but skied to a front-nine 40 in the third round and never really threatened again. Where once he was “dominant,” now he continues to be merely “dangerous.”

    Speaking of danger, after a relatively calm first round, the full fury of the Ocean Course and the evil genius of its architect, Pete Dye, got unleashed Friday. Winds gusted up to 38 mph, the 36-hole cut ballooned to 6-over par and the second round scoring average for the field soared to 78.1.

    That latter number set an all-time one-day high for this championship and included a whopping 93 from club pro Doug Wade.

    Former PGA champion Padraig Harrington had his own theory on how Kiawah bared its teeth.

    “It’s not that the wind is that strong,” he said. “It’s that this is a really, really difficult golf course. When you have elevated greens ... and you are chipping downwind, it can be awkward. ... Most of my bogeys came on the downwind holes.”

    And to be fair to the overmatched Wade, he wasn’t alone. Former PGA champion Love bogeyed his last five holes Friday to miss the cut by a single shot. So did Japan’s Hiroyuki Fujita.

    Can’t imagine their dinners tasted very good. Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, a winner earlier this year on the Euro Tour, bogeyed his last six holes to miss the weekend by a shot.

    “Nobody is used to winds like this,” said 36-hole co-leader Vijay Singh. Singh led the field in scrambling at the halfway mark, but couldn’t scramble an egg Sunday, posting a final-round 77.

    Pace of play in Friday’s gale slowed to a near standstill, at times upstaged in its turgidity only by the controversially glacial pace of the shuttle buses used to move fans, officials and media on and off this traffic-choked island all week.

    The championship began gaining momentum on the golf course Saturday only to have a vicious afternoon storm attack the area. Play was suspended with the leaders still on the front nine, with McIlroy charging and Woods fading. It didn’t resume until early Sunday morning.

    The only drama in the final round was the early charge mounted by Englishman Ian Poulter, who birdied the first five holes and briefly pulled to within one shot of McIlroy.

    McIlroy responded with birdies on the second, third and seventh and never really looked back. A 10-foot curler on the 12th stretched his lead to six. The rest was a good walk unspoiled.

    “He’s lapped the field twice now,” Harrington said of McIlroy’s two major wins.

    Meanwhile, it didn’t go unnoticed that McIlroy wore a red shirt Sunday. Previously that was a Woods’ tradition and a staked claim.

    McIlroy said he wouldn’t have worn red if he had been playing in the same group as Woods. But, he added without a trace of arrogance, “I might have to do it from now on. No wonder he won so much.”

    “You know,” said Poulter, “when he (McIlroy) plays golf like this, he’s very impressive to watch. Everybody should take note. The guy’s pretty good.”

    To be sure.

    And to be continued.

    Photo: Associated Press

  • WGT Kiawah Championship

    09 Aug 2012

    Play the WGT Kiawah Championship this week during the PGA Championship for your chance to qualify to win an amazing golf trip for two to Kiawah.

    Be sure to post your first round score by Sunday 8/12, and the top 50% of scores will move on to 2 championship rounds the following week, with the top 3-round combined score winning a golf trip for two people to the beautiful Kiawah Island Resort. There's also a $500 Amazon gift card sweepstakes prize for one of the qualifiers, regardless of their final score.

    Play WGT Kiawah Championship

    This free, unlimited stroke play tournament features a mix of old and new hole locations – just added to the course in WGT.

    Don't miss the exciting 2012 PGA Championship this weekend. Check the Golf Channel, TNT and CBS for your local TV listings or visit the official tournament site.

  • Flash and WGT

    08 Aug 2012

    For the past of couple weeks, online games that run in web browsers that use Adobe Flash have been experiencing display issues and crashes. Adobe has confirmed that these Flash issues were introduced in late July and is working hard on fixing the problems. See Adobe confirmed issues.

    This may be impacting your experience playing WGT, but the best solution depends on your web browser, so here’s what WGT recommends…

    Google Chrome – Chrome is the browser that WGT recommends for performance and because it automatically updates plug-ins like Flash, and the issues reported earlier in August appear to be addressed with the latest version:

    Microsoft Internet Explorer – IE appears to have avoided these Flash issues in the latest versions:

    Mozilla Firefox – Flash issues were reported in Firefox but appear to be addressed with the latest versions:

    Apple Safari – Safari appears to have fixed similar Flash issues with their latest:

    If you still have issues with the World Golf Tour game, please email us at members@worldgolftour.com and let us know which versions of the above web browser and Flash you're using so we can help you out.

    **FLASH UPDATE - 8/22**

  • Glory’s Toughest Test - PGA Championship Review

    08 Aug 2012

    by DAVE SHEDLOSKI of GolfDigestCanada

    Kiawah Island

    This week’s PGA Championship at Kiawah’s Ocean Course combines a very demanding layout with several name players out to make a major statement.

    Pete Dye has been visiting the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., every two weeks, on average, he says for the last two years to help prepare it for this week’s PGA Championship.

    “I don’t know if there’s a foot of ground that we haven’t looked at,” the alacritous octogenarian said with a knowing chuckle. “I think it’s as good as we can make it.”

    By “good” Dye means difficult. When he first designed the Ocean Course in preparation for the 1991 Ryder Cup, Dye said he put a great deal of thought into “figuring out ways to challenge the greatest players in the world.”

    He has never stopped trying, and when the 156 players in the 94th PGA converge on the barrier island 15 miles south of Charleston for the first major championship in South Carolina, they’ll discover a layout that will give them as much comfort as sand in their pants. And don’t be surprised if a few of them get exactly that as they tack along the coast on a par-72 course measuring 7,676 yards, the longest in tournament history, and replete with ever-present threats of sand and water. The Ocean Course was ready but rough in 1991. Now it’s refined and maybe not quite as rough as a shot making test—though that’s only if the wind doesn’t blow. If, however, breezes begin to strafe the landscape, there won’t be anything except the good graces of Kerry Haigh, the PGA’s setup man, to save them from dune and gloom.

    “The golf course is unbelievable. I think it’s going to be very difficult, especially if the wind picks up,” said defending champion Keegan Bradley, who joined Francis Ouimet and Ben Curtis as winners in their first major start. “I’m interested to see how the PGA sets up the golf course because they can set it up a million different ways.”

    “It was interesting … it’s two different nine holes. The front nine is a really nice, playable golf course, and then the back nine is not. It’s very severe,” said Adam Scott, who will be looking to bounce back from his disappointing finish in the British Open, where he bogeyed the final four holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and allowed Ernie Els to sneak by him. “There are good scores out there in good weather, but if the wind blows, it’s just going to be very difficult, even if they move tees forward and stuff like that. It’s an extreme penalty for a miss. It’s certainly going to need some ball striking.”

    More to the point, drivers could be more integral to success at Kiawah than in the year’s three previous major championships.

    “I don’t think there’s any question that you’re going to have to drive it great,” Dustin Johnson said. “Length is going to be a huge advantage—if you can keep it in play.”

    “It’s going to be long,” said Tiger Woods, a four-time PGA winner. “It’s going to be close to 7,700 yards, and that’s a big ballpark. It’s going to take a little bit of getting used to. Being seaside, the wind can change. The wind comes out of different directions. There’s so much room out there, but as soon as the wind starts blowing 20,30 miles an hour, there’s not much room.”

    Beating the course is only half the battle. Beating the field is another matter.

    The roster includes the top 108 on the World Ranking. All four reigning major champions will be in attendance, the first time since the Masters. Thirteen past PGA champions and 32 major winners are entered. This means very little nowadays, however, given that the last 16 majors have produced a different winner. Twelve have been first-timers, including the last three in the PGA: Bradley, Martin Kaymerand Y.E. Yang.

    Glory’s Last Shot represents the last chance for Woods and Rory Mcllroy to engage in a head-to-head ‘ major battle this season. A rivalry was anticipated— and given commensurate media hype—after each captured a victory in Florida, Mcllroy at the Honda Classic and Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    What has happened? Woods, 36, had his chances at the U.S. Open and British Open, though he fizzled down the stretch in each. Mcllroy, 23, billed as Tiger’s success or, wasted less time being in consequential, his T-40 at the Masters being his best finish. He missed the cut in his U.S. Open title defense. At the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Woods, who has risen to No. 2 in the world, might have found a solution to his sketchy putting after the second round. “Found some alignment, some posture things and got my feel back,” Woods said after a third-round 68 at Firestone CC. “My blade was releasing properly again, and it felt really comfortable.”

    Mcllroy also looked more comfortable at Firestone, getting in the mix after bogeying three of the first four holes of the tournament. “It’s getting there, it definitely is. I’ve worked hard to get it back,” the Ulsterman said. “Obviously, my expectations every time I tee it up are pretty high and not to live up to my own expectations is not nice, but I feel like I’m definitely moving in the right direction.”

    Of course, they are not alone in seeking to salvage the season and apply salve to some scar tissue.

    Graeme McDowell played in Sunday’s final pairing in the last two majors and came up empty. Jim Furyk had a second U.S. Open title in his hands until a late stumble at Olympic Club, his disappointment every bit as deep as Scott’s. The only difference is the freshness of the wounds.

    Unfortunately for them, Dye’s salty Ocean Course awaits.

    Photo: Golf Digest/Steven Szurlej

     

  • PGA Championship Preview of Kiawah on WGT

    07 Aug 2012

    world golf tour kiawah

    It's PGA Championship week and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is one of the most popular golf courses available on World Golf Tour.

    Let's take a look at the three closing holes that the pros will face this week. Anyone can play any of the holes at Kiawah free online on World Golf Tour. No signup required. Just visit the Kiawah golf course pages, pick your hole and tee off.

    Play Kiawah free on WGT

    world golf tour kiawah hole 16

    Kiawah - Hole 16599 yards

    The last Par 5 at Kiawah, the 16th hole involves a drive over water to the left to an undulating fairway. If the drive is long enough and positioned on a flat lie, players can navigate the dunes to try and reach the green in 2 shots. However, the dunes and deep bunkers can quickly turn a birdie attempt into a bogey or worse.

    Play Hole 16 free on WGT

    world golf tour kiawah hole 17

    Kiawah - Hole 17 - 220 yards

    When the wind is blowing, the 17th hole may be the hardest par 3 in the world. Players must carry their shot entirely over water. Too short and it's wet. Too long and it's a challenging chip from two deep bunkers back toward the green and water. Good luck here!

    Play Hole 17 free on WGT

    world golf tour kiawah hole 18

    Kiawah - Hole 18 - 478 yards

    One of the prettiest closing holes in golf, with the beach dunes and beautiful Kiawah clubhouse. Drive to the right side of the fairway to set up an approach for a birdie in front of the huge grandstands overlooking the ocean.

    Play Hole 18 free on WGT

  • Play WGT Games Faster With New Speed-Up Boosts

    07 Aug 2012

    Now play WGT games 2-4 times faster with new Speed-Up Boosts, available in the Pro Shop.

    These Boosts are great for when you don't have as much time to play, or to help make multi-player games move a little faster. Play more games in less time!

    Note: the Speed-Up Boosts only change how quickly the flight of your ball is displayed in the game – they don't affect your shot, distance or roll in any way.

    Visit Pro Shop

    New Speed-Up Boosts are initially available in a 100-hit option, and come in three different speeds:

    • Standard - 2X faster
    • Plus - 3X faster
    • Ultra - 4X faster

    Try out the new boosts in the WGT Kiawah Championship tournament, going on now. We just added new hole locations on the Kiawah virtual golf course for an added challenge. Remember to post your first round score by Aug 12 for your chance to qualify to win an amazing golf trip for two to Kiawah!

  • WGT Player, Willsstrs, Compares Real-Life Bethpage Black to Virtual

    06 Aug 2012

    One of our own WGT players, Willsstrs, recently played the real-life Bethpage Black golf course and lived to tell about it... Here's what he had to say about his experience and how it compares to the WGT version -- thanks for sharing, Willsstrs!

    the scene at 6:30 am when I'm on the tee...

    the scene at 6:30 am when I'm on the tee...

    WGT doesn't get enough credit for what they do...I just played the Black IRL and man, it was just like WGT! 

    Even down to the details! The mowing of the fairway is the same, with the one side downgrain and the other into the grain! And the green mapping was great too! The bunkers acted the same, the fescue, the rough, the fairway, the greens, and even wind!!!

    here's another cool part: On 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10 , 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 they had pins in similar spots and I used WGT knowledge to make the putts!

    And it certainly helped on tee shots to know exact carry yardages!

    the only difference is I shoot sub 60 pretty easily here but IRL I was thrilled with sub-90! And I have NO IDEA how people can play 7 as a par 4 (its a par 5 for normal play)! the long man in my group was 220 out and it was certainly a 3-shotter for me!

    And this is one of WGT's first courses...each one gets a little better done each time!

    Great job WGT, now we just gotta solve meter issues!

    the scene at 18 

  • Bradley Seizes WGC Opportunity

    06 Aug 2012

    Contributed by GlobalGolfPost

    Keegan Bradley might have been the most stunned person at Firestone Country Club late Sunday afternoon. After making an improbable par at the last hole, he watched Jim Furyk inexplicably miss a tying putt and Bradley was the champion of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

    It was the first victory for the 26-year-old Bradley since last year’s PGA Championship. Bradley heads to Kiawah Island, S.C., this week for the PGA as both defending champion and the winner of the previous week’s event. Bradley now has three PGA Tour victories in his short career.

    “I still can’t believe it,” Bradley said afterward. “It’s biorhythms. I’ve been telling everybody that all week. I’m just so thrilled.”

    Who wasn’t thrilled was Furyk, who was looking for his first victory since the 2010 Tour Championship, which was his third victory of that year and won him the FedEx Cup playoffs. Furyk led Bradley by one coming into the 72nd hole. Both players missed the par-4 18th green from the middle of the fairway, Furyk into the rough behind the right greenside bunker and Bradley with a plugged lie in that same bunker.

    Furyk chunked his third into the rough just short of the green and Bradley blasted out to about 18 feet. Furyk left his fourth shot about five feet short right before Bradley made his par putt. Furyk blew the bogey putt four feet past the hole, giving Bradley the victory.

    “I have no one to blame but myself,” said Furyk. “When things go wrong it’s an empty pit. There’s no way I should have made worse than 5 on the last hole and there’s no way I shouldn’t be in a playoff.”

    Bradley, to his credit, shot a 6-under 64 in the final round to post 72 holes at the par-70 South Course at Firestone at 13-under 267. Furyk, who led from the first round, finished with 69 and 12-under 268.

    Furyk started Sunday’s final round one shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and increased his lead by making three birdies out of the gate, while Oosthuizen birdied the first two holes. While Oosthuizen was stuck in neutral, Bradley made four birdies on his way to a back-nine 31 to get within one shot of Furyk at the final tee.

    Steve Stricker matched Bradley’s 64 in the final round to tie for second with Furyk at 12 under. Oosthuizen closed with 69 to place fourth at 11 under. Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy shared fifth at 8 under. Rose shot 67 on Sunday and McIlroy posted 68.

    Photo: AP

  • Play WGT Kiawah Championship With New Hole Locations

    03 Aug 2012

    Kiawah is the host of the upcoming 2012 PGA Championship, so get ready for the real-life golf tournament by playing in the WGT Kiawah Championship hosted on World Golf Tour.

    Post your first round score by Sunday 8/12 and the top 50% of scores will qualify for 2 championship rounds the following week, with the top 3-round combined score winning an amazing golf trip for two people to Kiawah! There's also a $500 gift card sweepstakes prize for one of the qualifiers regardless of their final score.

    Play Kiawah Championship

    The qualifying round of the WGT tournament features 18 new hole locations on Kiawah, giving you all new approach shots and putts to master.

    There are also extra hole locations on WGT's Bethpage, Oakmont and St Andrews golf courses as well. And when you play strokeplay on these courses, you'll automatically get a mix of the new and old hole locations for a new challenge -- or you can play just the new holes by selecting that option in practice rounds on each course.

    Thanks to top WGT Player YankeeJim who created the images below that show the exact locations of the new Kiawah pins...

    Kiawah Front 9

    Kiawah Back 9

  • Kiawah Pins, Speed-Up Boosts, Slow Meter Balls and more

    01 Aug 2012

    We've added lots of recent improvements to World Golf Tour for players to check out, including new Kiawah pins, a new Putting Course, and CTTH games available in Ready-Go tournaments, as well as new Speed-Up boosts, Slow Meter balls and a new Tour Legend tier for our very top players.

     

    New Hole Locations on Kiawah

    Experience all new pin locations on Kiawah, one of the most popular strokeplay courses on WGT. Try all the new approach shots and putts!

     

    New "Best Of" Putting Challenge

    Take 9 putts on different WGT golf courses in this all new closest-to-the-hole "Best Of" course. Play the new August Putting Sweeps free tournament.

     

    New Closest-to-the-Hole Ready-Go Tournaments

    Play in faster Ready-Go tournaments with the new 9-shot closest-to-the-hole format. Like other Ready-Go's, the top 30 of 50 players win WGT credits. See the new CLOSEST-TO-THE-HOLE tab on the Ready-Go Tournaments page.

     

    New Speed-Up Boosts

    New option to make the ball display faster in the game, enabling you to play more games in less time. Especially helpful in multi-player games. See the new Speed-Up Boosts in the Pro Shop.


    New Slow Meter Balls

    Slow down the WGT Swing Meter on all your shots with the new Callaway Tour i(z) virtual golf balls. They make WGT easier to play for players at all skill levels. These new Callaway balls unlock at Level 1 and Level 34.


    New Fan-Choice Avatars

    As voted for by WGT fans on Facebook, our new "funky" pink male and female avatars are a bold choice as your golfer in the game. See all avatars.


    New Tour Legend Tier

    There's a new tier on WGT beyond Legend. The very best WGT players will start to qualify for the new Tour Legend tier. As that group grows, there will be new tournaments, Ready-Go's, prizes, challenges, and recognition for our most skilled players.

     

    TaylorMade R11S 3 Wood

    For top WGT players, the new R11S 3 Wood is now available at Level 95, providing more forgiveness and distance, and pairs perfectly with the R11S Driver that now unlocks at Level 94.

     

    Practice Putting at Tournament Speed

    Top players will also be interested in the new option to select Tournament green speed in practice rounds, so you can practice putting on fast greens used in WGT tournaments. 

     



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