Odds to win The Masters

Here are the odds to win the Masters title this year:

Adam Scott 10/1
Rory McIlroy 10/1
Phil Mickelson 12/1
Jason Day 14/1
Matt Kuchar 18/1
Sergio Garcia 20/1
Dustin Johnson 22/1
Bubba Watson 25/1
Henrik Stenson 25/1
Zach Johnson 28/1

I’m surprised Sergio made it that high as he’s always a lock to choke in big tournaments, but he still has talent.

The Masters won’t be the same without Tiger Woods this year, but let’s hope for a great tournament.

Great Ways to Stay Up to Date on Sports in 2014

ESPN-mobile

Because the sports world is constantly changing it can be a challenge to stay current on the newest NFL trade rumors, MLB free agent signings or PGA Tour information. Luckily, the advent of new technology including smartphones and tablets makes access to up to the minute sports news as easy as pushing an app’s desktop icon. Always be within a click of the most recent sports news with the best blogs, websites and applications for 2014.

1. ESPN:

Billed as the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN is your go-to destination for up to the minute sports information. Whether it be through your desktop computer, tablet or smartphone the ESPN website and mobile application can be customized to your favorite sports teams. Get the scores you need while you are on the road or away from the television and never miss a highlight with the app’s state of the art video player.

2. Bleacher Report:

Covering everything from the Olympics to UFC to Golf, Bleacher Report strives to deliver interesting, creative and accurate sports related content to millions of readers. Instead of focusing on news stories that have been rehashed over and over again on other websites, Bleacher Report offers intelligent analysis through previews and predictions of upcoming games while tackling controversial topics and answering your burning sports related questions.

3. MLBTradeRumors:

Despite being a relative newcomer to the sports reporting industry, MLBTradeRumors is quickly becoming a popular destination for athletes, general managers and journalists to visit to receive the latest baseball news. Instead of reporting unsubstantiated baseball related rumors, the website has built a reputation for being one of the most accurate, reliable and trustworthy source of information. In addition to offering rumors relating to every team in baseball, the writers on the website tackle controversial and interesting topics including steroids in baseball, the collective bargaining agreement and much more.

4. YouWin:

Sports news from YouWin keeps you updated with the latest news in every sport to help you make educated sports betting decisions. Specializing in football, rugby, cricket and basketball among many other sports, YouWin makes betting easy by offering the latest news and previews that could impact upcoming games.

5. PGA Tour App:

If golf is your game then do not leave the house without the PGA Tour App downloaded on your phone or tablet. Despite being a free app, it offers excellent video coverage of recent tournaments, player stats, real time scoring information and much more. Best of all, the app offers live video for many of the major PGA Tour tournaments.

6. CBS Sports App:

Not only does this app offer coverage of mainstream sports within the US, but also it offers video highlights and previews of international matches too. Customize the app to deliver the latest news on your favorite teams and program it to receive push button notifications when a major event occurs.

Download these apps and bookmark these websites to be on the fast track for instantaneous sports information no matter where you are. Start the New Year on the right foot with these tools for staying up to date on sports in 2014.

China gears up to compete in golf

ID-100190329 By anekoho - asian woman golfer
Free image courtesy of anekoho/FeeDigitalPhotos.net

We’ve seen what China can do when it sets its sights on competing in an Olympic sport. Well, get ready for Chinese golfers to start have an impact in the decades to come. With the Olympics adding golf the Chinese are fully engaged in developing young talent. Meanwhile the country is hosting high profile tournaments with large cash prizes that are luring golf’s elite. But behind the scenes the Chinese are hard at work.

If it seems strange that China should be the locus for so much high-caliber golf, get used to it. By the year 2020, when golf will make its second modern-era Olympic appearance at the Tokyo games, after Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Chinese players will likely be serious contenders for medals. The world’s pro tours will almost certainly be populated by Chinese stars, and China’s Hainan Island, on the same latitude as Hawaii, could be the world’s busiest golf destination.

The Chinese are serious. “You know how the Chinese love gold medals,” semi-joked Ken Chu, chief executive of the Mission Hills Group, which so far has built 22 golf courses in China, 10 of them on Hainan Island, and hosts more than 500 amateur and junior amateur tournaments a year. Guan and the country’s latest prodigy, Ye Wocheng, who was 12 when he played in a European Tour event in May, train at Mission Hills.

“Golf is a game that the Chinese believe we can excel at, because it’s more an IQ game than a muscular game,” Chu said. “I mean, how often do you get a Yao Ming (the former 7-foot-6 NBA star) becoming a national hero? But golf, no matter what height you are or how much you weigh, is still mostly mental.”

Pro golfers should welcome this challenge, as the amount of money in this sport will skyrocket with the Chinese getting involved. We’ve seen golf become very popular in other Asian countries so we’ll probably see the same here with the Olympic powers behind this push.

Golf styles for colder weather

galvin_green_brett_windstopper_soft_shell_pullover_black_gunmetal

We’re getting to that time of the year that golfers in many parts of the country and around the world start to dread. Golf on a beautiful fall day can be spectacular as the leaves start changing and the crisp fall air gives you an energy boost. But those days aren’t the norm, as in many locations the cold rain starts to show up, along with much colder days when the sun is nowhere to be found. It’s a stark change from those hot summer days when you’re playing in shorts and sweating through your shirt after only a few holes. Also, in many locations winter is around the corner, meaning you have to put those golf clubs away unless you’re planning a golf junket out to a warm golf resort.

With the change in the seasons and the cooler weather, you need different golf gear of course as your shorts and polo shirt just won’t do. Of course it’s also an excuse to check out some of the latest styles and shop golf clothing online at Funciton18 and other golf retailers. The photo above has one of the effective golf windstoppers from Galvin Green you can find at the website. You’ll see they have a ton of colors available as golf clothing is getting more colorful just like other clothing styles. I’m partial to the more classic and understated look of the gray and black item above. It’s a very light, flexible jacket with excellent breathability and windblocking properties so you can also wear that jacket in all sorts of casual settings, not just on the course. This windproof half zip golf jacket is made from lightweight Gore WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell fabric and features a soft collar, elasticated cuffs and a drawstring hem. Browse through the store and you’ll be prepared for these fall days on the links.

Rory Mcllroy needs more focus

What has happened to Rory Mcllroy? That’s one of the biggest questions in pro golf these days, right along with questions about Tiger Woods and his state of mind. These questions highlight the biggest truism in golf – the importance of the mental aspect of the game. Of course the fundamentals like your swing are critical, but nothing messes with a swing more than a mental or emotional distraction. It’s the sort of thing that will drive you crazy if you’re trying to pick tournament winners with online sports betting.

This latest tidbit of news raises new questions about Rory. He’s getting rid of his old management team and forming his own management company, Rory McIlroy Inc., to handle his business interests. This is the second time in two years that Rory is under new management.

Sometimes, small issues can become big issues, and you have to wonder if the business side of golf, along with dealing with all the fame, have taken their toll on Rory. Celebrity status alone can be a major distraction. Being hailed as the heir to Tiger Woods doesn’t help either. But it’s sometimes smaller things behind the scenes, like issues with your managers and handlers, that can also lead to serious distractions.

With Rory it’s all speculation. It’s not like he’s dealing with a major meltdown like Tiger faced with his divorce and the tabloid fallout from his affairs. Tiger has never been the same player. He went from one of the best clutch putters ever in majors to someone who could blow a round with putting mistakes. That’s the result of mental distractions.

The issue with Rory is much harder to pin down, but it seems like he needs a level of stability in his life off the links and he’s not getting that right now.

All of this serves as a lesson for people who love to pick golf winners. When betting on one individual’s performance, the mental side is critical but also very hard to predict.

It also serves as a well-known but critically important lesson for anyone playing golf. You need to learn how to leave your troubles or anxieties off the golf course. Clear your mind, and enjoy the experience. It will help your game immensely.