Posts Tagged ‘golf’

Women’s Golf – LPGA Classic

The LPGA Classic in New Jersey is hotting up with the first round now in the books. American Jennifer Johnson stunned the gallery at the Stockton Seaview Golf Club when she matched the course record with a nine-under, 62, to snatch the lead from Japan’s Haru Nomura, 63 and Christina Kim, on 64.

Jennifer JohnsonAustralian golfer Sarah Kemp shot a respectable four-under 67 to sit five shots off the lead. While Lindsay Wright posted a 68 and Karrie Webb (last year’s champion) finished with 69.

Koreans Inbee Park (the current world number one) and Na Yeon Choi sit four shots off the pace on 66.

Johnson credits who great first round to being able to deal with the nerves she felt at the 17th. “… that’s when I was eight-under and I was trying to beat my 63,” she told reporters. “So then, I started getting a little nervous because my goal was to get to 10-under, but I only got to nine. But when you shoot something you’ve never shot before, nerves are going to happen.”

Second placed Nomura was pleased with her performance, “All in all, my putting was on, my shot was really good … everything was perfect today.”

The current leader, Jennifer Johnson finished the day with 10 birdies – five in a row between the 9th and 13th holes, and one bogey.

Melbourne Madness

melbourne-grand-prix

Melbournians could be forgiven for breathing a collective sigh of relief at the end of this week, when the Australian Open – this year characterised by extreme heat in the early rounds, and shock exits of some loftily-seeded players – wraps up and the international tennis stars shuffle off. That sigh seems unlikely to eventuate, though, given the slew of other events sure to keep sports fans entertained.

Melbourne has, in the past, been heralded as the sporting capital of the world. Whether or not this label is deserved, it’s certain that the city is never short on high quality sporting drawcards, with international stars forever jetting in and out. If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that it’s been a busy season for the Melbourne hotel industry – and for good reason.

Cricket

If you’re not a fan of the sport, you could be forgiven for feeling like this year’s summer of cricket has dragged on for far too long. Unfortunately, as a cricket abstainer, you’d also be in the minority there.

Australia and England will face off once again at the MCG on the last day of January. At this point the result seems all but assured. It’s important, though, that the Australian team don’t rest on their laurels, as so many teams in their position would do. Redoubling their efforts and not relying purely on the momentum of this summer will ensure that Clarke and co. maintain the incredible winning streak they’ve been experiencing.

To get a true indication of just how taxing this summer has been for English fans, you could consider checking in to a Melbourne CBD hotel populated by Poms. Their howls of woe and admissions of lethargy are sure to make this match all the more enjoyable for Australian spectators, and victory all the sweeter for our own excellent team.

Formula 1 Grand Prixmelboure-shin

As soon as the words “Grand Prix” are uttered, most of us can almost hear the roaring of engines, and smell the burning of rubber. This year – as always – the event will not only attract adrenaline junkie drivers and their incredible machines, but also a nest of celebrities and a sea of crowds. The Grand Prix is certainly in the top tier of annual sports outings hosted by Melbourne – along with the Open and the Melbourne Cup – and is not to be missed by motoring enthusiasts. The high esteem in which the event is held means that leaving bookings to the last minute can result in a desperate, often disappointing scramble for tickets and accommodation. Rev-heads who have brains to match, then, should be sure to book a room at Hotel Urban Melbourne as far in advance as possible. On your marks, get set…!

Golf

Compared to the adrenaline of the Grand Prix, the 2014 Handa Australian Women’s Open is sure to be a civilised – if at times still cutthroat – event. This year’s tournament will attract many of the world’s top ten female golfers, including defending champion Jiyai Shin. The standard of the game is excellent, so we can only hope that the media gives this tournament the attention it warrants.

The Resurgence of Australian Sport

resurgence-mitchell

Over the last few years, Australian sport has taken a real battering. We pride ourselves on our ability to better much larger, more established nations in a great variety of sports. The swimming pool, the running track, the grainy sand of the beach, and the soft green of the cricket pitch are all established settings to so many Australians. But, after a glorious run following the Sydney Olympics, Australian sporting professionals have experienced diminishing returns for their efforts. A few major events spring to mind: our rugby team’s Bledisloe cup results since 2002; James Magnussen’s disappointment at the London games; the departure of many of Australia’s greatest cricketers.

But, mercifully, things finally seem to be turning around. The media’s fixation on the doping scandals that have plagued various sports on an international level have allowed Australian professionals to refresh, resurge, and refocus away from the spotlight. And now, we’re starting to see the seedlings of positivity emerge once again.

Swimming

Pride comes before a fall. This mantra proved to be all-too-true following the disappointing performance displayed by Australia’s swimming team at London’s 2012 Olympic Games. Some of the old guard have since departed from professional sport in favour of Celebrity Apprentice, with exciting new talent beginning to shine through.

At November’s World Cup in Beijing, the Australian team – comprised, to an impressive extent, of new up-and-comers – put in an impressive performance. Even those who failed to meet their own self-imposed expectations in London have begun to pique curiosity once again, with James Magnussen recently professing that his confidence is starting to rebuild.

Cricket

Over the last decade, Australia’s favourite game has been overshadowed by egos and wags. We haven’t won the Ashes since the 2006-07 series, and in recent months tensions within the team have grabbed headlines. In an open letter to fans of the game, Darren Lehmann – the coach of the Australian cricket team – expressed a desire to return Australia to its golden era of cricketing achievements. Let’s hope he puts this desire into action in time to effect the outcome of the current Ashes series, which began in November.

Tennis

Our tennis achievements have been less dramatically changed than in some other sports. Although our status on the circuit is not as impressive as it was ten years ago, players like Sam Stosur have helped to keep us well-represented. Now, younger players like Bernard Tomic and Casey Dellacqua are beginning to deliver on the promise they have shown, with Tomic recently taking on a new coach in time for our summer tournaments.resurgence-stosur

Tennis Australia has also acknowledged the importance of recognising its highest-achieving players, with the Newcome Medal predicted to be awarded to Stosur for the fourth consecutive year. Just like any workplace rewarding its best and brightest, Tennis Australia clearly recognises the benefits of encouraging and motivating its key players.

It’s time that we regained our reputation as a truly great sporting nation. The thirst for accolades exhibited by our sporting stars reveal the way we, as Australians, thrive off of positive reinforcement. Whether it’s a globally coveted trophy, or an employee recognition plague or trophy, we love being recognised for our efforts. And we certainly love resurgence. Let’s hope the trophies – and the results – keep rolling in over the summer months.