Tim Thelen and Lucinda Thelen at the Senior Open of Portugal
Getty Images
Tim Thelen celebrated his Senior Open of Portugal victory on Sunday with his wife Lucinda, who often caddies for him.
PGA Professional Tim Thelen added another victorious chapter to his amazing second career over the weekend when he won the Senior Open of Portugal on the European Senior Tour. The victory was his fourth on the European senior circuit in the last three seasons. 
 
During a long career as a PGA of America member in College Station, Texas, Thelen won the PGA Professional National Championship in both 2000 and 2003, then captured the 2009 PGA Assistant Championship. When he turned 50 in 2011, he decided to expand his horizons and try his hand in Europe.
 
So far, so good. Thelen was the medalist at Q-School, then won three times in 15 starts in 2012 – including two thrillers in a row in which he defeated Bernhard Langer and Ryder Cup captains Ian Woosnam and Mark James – en route to a third-place finish on the money list. 
 
After nine starts this season, he's currently sixth on the money list – three of the players ahead of him are Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Tom Watson.
 
"This week I played as good as I can play," Thelen told EuropeanTour.com on Sunday in Portugal. "I've played good for the last two weeks, but this was even better. I think I hit 16 greens today and that's pretty impressive round here."
 
 
Even more impressive is that Thelen excelled despite some back issues.
 
"I've been struggling with my back all week, but today it was much better," he added. "I almost pulled out after it went into spasm on the second hole [Saturday] but today, thank God, for the first time in nine or 10 days, I didn’t feel a thing."
 
Thelen began his final round Sunday three shots ahead of Greg Turner, Des Smyth and Carl Mason after opening rounds of 68 and 64, but he had to deal with both a late charge from Miguel Angel Martin and a weather delay before sealing his victory.
 
In his last two starts before this victory, Thelen had finished second behind Montgomerie at the Travis Perkins Masters and third behind Monty in the Russian Senior Open. 
 
Why is that significant? Because Thelen and Montgomerie were college teammates at Houston Baptist University. And now here they are, 30 years later, swapping victories again.
 
 
PGA Member Tim Thelen wins for fourth time on European Senior Tour
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy was impressive in making 55 putts in a row, but it's not something that golfers should necessarily try to emulate.

Before his final round at the Tour Championship on Sunday, we saw Rory McIlroy make 55 consecutive putts from the same spot about 10 feet from the cup.

While that was impressive to watch, it's probably not the best idea for average golfers to challenge that mark the next time they practice or get ready for a round.

“My question is, ‘Was it beneficial?’” said Eric Alpenfels, a PGA Professional and Director of Instruction at Pinehurst. “A lot more amateurs would benefit from putting around the green since that’s what more people will face in a round.”

Related: Watch McIlroy sink 55 consecutive putts

By moving around on the green, amateurs get the chance to explore a few different breaks and practice from different distances.

So how long should golfers stay in one spot? That is entirely up to them and how they feel.

"It really depends on the distance," Alpenfels said. "If you make 7 out of 10 from 3 feet, then that's a good spot to move on. But it's not so much about making so many in a row as it is about forcing themselves to make the right read and the right stroke. ... It's definitely not making 55."

This is similar to what PGA Professional Chris Starkjohann recommends in this video. 

There are added benefits from moving around the green. Not only will it help golfers get ready for their round but it also helps them become an overall better putter. 

“A lot of times, amateurs will read the green but they can’t get the right stroke for the breaks that they read,” Alpenfels said.

Golfers should be focused on more than just making sure they can hit from a couple spots on the practice green though. They can also use it as an area for fine-tuning the more technical aspects of putting.

Alpenfels said one of the most common mistakes he has witnessed from amateurs is their incorrect posture.

“Most amateurs don’t put themselves in position to make a stroke without a lot of movement,” he said. “…I’m a big fan of getting your posture correct and letting your natural motion take over.”

To get more help for your putting, watch this video featuring Alpenfels or contact your local PGA Professional. 

 

 

Average golfers can improve on McIlroy's practice approach
September 15, 2014 - 11:04am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Stacy Lewis
Vine
We've all had this type of reaction to the kind of shot Stacy Lewis hit.

Let's preface this blog by reminding everyone of a simple fact: Stacy Lewis is one of the best female golfers on the planet and has been for some time.

That said, Lewis did something over the weekend in the Evian Championship that the rest of us can relate to, unfortunately.

During the third round on Saturday, Lewis was faced with a long-distance shot from a fairway and elected to use a fairway wood. What happened next is, well, ugly (Vine from @NoLayingUp on Twitter):

Raise your hand if you can do that.

Lewis still managed to tie for 16th in the tournament. Oh... and she's also still the No. 1 ranked player in the world.

World No. 1 Lewis and the fairway wood approach shot gone wrong
September 15, 2014 - 10:19am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Davis Love III
PGA of America
The 1993 Ryder Cup marked the first of six appearances -- as a player -- for Davis Love III.

The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles is almost here. The matches tee off from Scotland next Friday.

To help get you ready, we'll be highlighting "flashbacks" in Ryder Cup history.

Today's offering comes from the 1993 Ryder Cup at the Belfry in England, where the U.S. won 15-13.

That was Tom Watson's first year as a U.S. Captain and -- to date -- stands as the last time the U.S. won on foreign soil. It was also the last time the U.S. retained the Ryder Cup (or, won two in succession).

Europe took a one-point advantage into the Sunday's singles matches, but the U.S. won the singles session, 7 1/2-4 1/2.

Sit back, relax and enjoy this day-by-day breakdown:

Ryder Cup Flashback: 1993
September 14, 2014 - 2:17pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Rory McIlroy
All of Rory's 55 consecutive putts were from the same spot 10 feet from the cup.

Well, I've run out of fingers and toes on which to count.

While practicing before the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake, Rory McIlroy made 55 consecutive putts from 10 feet. That's right, 55 in a row. 

That alone is an impressive accomplishment. When you see all 55 made in 44 seconds, it looks even more amazing. 

That video is just further proof of why Rory is the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world right now. 

In case you were wondering, Guinness World Records does not list an entry for most consecutive putts made. Maybe Rory should submit this video. 

Related: Man creates longest "usable" golf club

McIlroy entered the final round tied with Billy Horschel for the lead at 9 under. They were two shots clear of Jim Furyk.  

Want to be able to practice like Rory? We can't guarantee that you'll make 55 putts in a row, but this video should help you out. 

 

How did Rory get to East Lake? Practice
Greg Norman
Greg Norman/Instagram
Greg Norman severely injured his left hand on Saturday in a chainsaw accident.

Never change, Shark. 

One day after severely injuring his left arm in an accident with a chainsaw, Greg Norman showed that he is not letting the incident get him down. 

In an Instagram post on Sunday morning, Norman wrote "Thank u all for your concern & good wishes. All well the morning after the accident. Here I am at the scene of the crime... w/my new fashion statement!"

 

 

On Saturday night, Norman posted a photo to Instagram, showing him lying in a hospital bed with a pink foam cast on his arm. At the time, all we knew was what he said in his caption -- that he had an accident with a chainsaw and nearly cut off his left hand. 

Related: Greg Norman almost cuts off hand in chainsaw accident

The Associated Press released a story on Sunday morning with quotes from Norman, who said he was cutting branches on some trees at his Jupiter Island, Fla., home when the weight of one of the branches caused his left hand to move toward the chainsaw blade. According to the AP, the blade hit Norman just below the wrist, where you'd wear a wristwatch -- and somehow it missed cutting his artery by a fraction of an inch.

"Thank God the blade wasn't running full speed or it would have taken my hand off," Norman was quoted as saying. "I handled everything as calmly as I could. There is no major damage. There is nerve damage, but no muscular damage. They fixed me up and here I am."

Some of the comments left on Norman's original Instagram post and on PGA.com's Facebook page wished Norman well and implored him to hire someone to do his yard work for him. Norman said that wasn't even a consideration for him. 

"When I'm on a ranch, I love to run the bulldozer, the grader, whatever. I like doing stuff. I never ask anybody to do that for me if I can do it myself," he said.

The former world No. 1 hasn't played competitively in two years and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007. 

UPDATE: Bandaged Shark returns to accident scene