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"You lose a lot more in golf than you win. So when you do win, you have to enjoy it. I'm going to go back home and enjoy it with my friends and enjoy it with my family and, yeah, I love being from Northern Ireland. I tell everyone how great it is. For me, it's the best place on earth. I'm obviously biased, but I love it back there and I love the people."

 

 

HINT: Look at the bottom of the page.

 

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The adidas Group has appointed TaylorMade-adidas Golf CEO Mark King as President of adidas Group North America effective June 1, 2014. In his new role, King will be in charge of all adidas and Reebok operations in the North American market. Together with adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer, King will continue overseeing the TaylorMade-adidas Golf business and will serve on an Advisory Board for the company. Ben Sharpe, currently Executive Vice President of adidas Golf and Ashworth, will become the new CEO of TaylorMade–adidas Golf, reporting into Herbert Hainer.

“Mark King’s appointment underlines our clear commitment to the North American market-place,” said Herbert Hainer, CEO of the adidas Group. "Mark has a proven track record of success and leadership excellence. In turn, TaylorMade-adidas Golf is in best hands with Ben Sharpe who has been part of the successful TaylorMade leadership team since 2006. I am convinced that Ben will lead our golf business into the next era of growth.”

Ben Sharpe (40) currently holds the position of Executive Vice President of adidas Golf and Ashworth. Prior to that role, Sharpe spent six years as TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s Managing Director in Europe. Sharpe is also an acclaimed athlete, having represented Great Britain at the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games as a member of the country’s field hockey team.

“Ben’s business savvy, vision, charisma and competitive drive make him the right man to lead TaylorMade-adidas Golf into the future,” said King. “My role on the board will allow me to stay connected with the golf business while focusing my efforts on ensuring adidas Group reaches its full potential in North America.

 

 

 

Much has been made about how hard golf is. There are those that think the game would be well served if it could find a way to soften it up in order to attract a larger audience. The game certainly doesn’t discriminate from one player to another. Consider last year’s major champions didn’t find the first round at Augusta National very easy. Defending champion Adam Scott posted a score of 3-under par, despite making a double bogey. However, Jason Dufner, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson found Thursday to be quite challenging.

Dufner, the reigning PGA Champion, shot 80 at Augusta National that included making a 9 at the par-5 13th! The Open Champion, Mickelson recorded a triple bogey and a double to finish four over par. The only other time Phil Mickelson had two 7's-or-worse in the same major championship round was round three at the 1997 PGA Championship (T29). In other words, it happens! The US Open Champion, Justin Rose also made a double bogey en route to a four over par score of 76. Between the four major champions of 2013, the cumulative score was 15 over par. Adam Scott’s opening round helped to off set some of the damage inflicted by the others.

Former Masters’ Champ, Zach Johnson posted a score of 78 that left him in 80th place after the first round, while another former champion, Trevor Immelman was one higher at 79. Former world #1, Luke Donald, who has finished T3 in 2005 and T4 in 2011 at The Masters, also carded an opening round of 79, thanks in large part to raking up an 8 on the 9th hole. Former Masters champ and last year’s runner up to Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera opened with a 78 that included a triple bogey on the 11th hole.

It was also a harsh day for the beloved amateurs in the field at Augusta National. The low score was 76 (Fitzpatrick, Goss, Porteous), which put them in good company with Mickelson, Rose and Ian Poulter. However, the six amateurs were a combined +35 on the opening round.

If the game is still hard for the best of the best, professional or amateurs, how can be any other way for the rest of the world?

 

Courtesy of the PGA Tour and Shot Link

 

 

Courtesy of the PGA Tour and Shot Link

 

Courtesy of the PGA Tour and Shot Link

 

Matt Jones became the ninth Shell Houston Open winner from Australia and joins Bruce Devlin (1972), Bruce Crampton (1973, ’75), David Graham (1983), Stuart Appleby (1999, 2006), Robert Allenby (2000) and Adam Scott (2007) with that distinction. He started the day six strokes behind 54-hole leader Matt Kuchar and his come-from-behind win was the best come-from-behind victory since the event moved to the current course. The all-time record is seven by Mike Sullivan in 1989 and Payne Stewart in 1995 at TPC Woodlands. 

His previous best showing this year was a T12 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Was T14 in his most recent outing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His best PGA TOUR career finish prior to his win came a year ago when he was T2 at The Greenbrier Classic. His victory earned him $1,152,000. 

 
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