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Tiger’s Terrain Memorial Tournament

PGA Tour: Tiger Woods

To win The Memorial Tournament.  Count it. Mark it down.  Bet on it. Jack Nicklaus’ annual PGA Tour event tees off Thursday, and we’re taking the world’s top golfer to dominate Muirfield Village and offering up the field against him without a second thought. He’s certainly looking forward to the opportunity to win his sixth Memorial Tournament this week. But Tiger Woods also couldn’t pass up the chance to get a peak at Merion, where he will try to break his five-year major championship drought, when the U.S. Open returns there in two weeks. Merion is located in Ardmore, Pa., which is about 400 miles due east from Dublin, Ohio. So Woods headed over to play a quick 18 there on Tuesday — after all, it’s not like he doesn’t know his way around Muirfield Village and Wednesday’s pro-am offered plenty of time to get reacquainted with Jack Nicklaus’ signature creation. The conditions at Merion were basically miserable, according to Woods. The temperature was in the low 60s and it was windy and raining sideways, at times. Not that the time wasn’t well-spent, though. “We played it as probably long as it will ever be played,” Woods said. “In June, obviously the weather won’t be like that. It will be hotter. The ball will be flying. The clubs will be different, but the lines will be the same. “It was nice to see and get an understanding of what I need to visualize and my prep next week and get ready for that. Have a nice understanding of where my sight lines are going to be and where I need to land the ball.” Woods learned quickly that Merion is the type of course that rewards shotmakers, and the list of U.S. Open champions there — including Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino and David Graham — bears that out. “You have to be able to shape the golf ball, and you have to be so disciplined to play that course,” Woods said. “… You play to certain spots. You play to certain spots on the greens. You leave yourself certain putts and you deal with it and you move on. Sometimes you may have a short iron or wedge into the hole. “Even like the 13th, you are teeing off with a pitching wedge. They have an up tee that they’ve cordoned it off, so you might be hitting a 60-degree or sand wedge into a par 3. If they put the pin right, you are not going to be firing at it. So you have to be disciplined.” First, though, Woods has to put his own steely focus to work at Muirfield Village. He’ll be seeking his fifth win of the season and the 79th of his career — which would bring him within three of the all-time leader, Sam Snead. Not to mention, send Woods off to Merion with extreme confidence. “It’s been a nice two weeks off, and now it’s time to get and play and come to an event that I’ve always loved playing,” Woods said. “I got a chance to come here as an amateur and watch a little bit. To have Jack be a part of this event and what he has done for the game of golf and to come here and support him in this event has been fantastic for me and lot of the players.” By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM DUBLIN, Ohio. Cancun Golf http://teedoff.com.mx/cancun-golf-courses/

Golfing at Night in Riviera Maya

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Akumal Community Spotlight

Akumal Community Spotlight: Gynna Sainz – Lionfish Hunter!

This week, I had the fun task of interviewing the chef and owner of Gynn’AK restaurant: Gynna Sainz, also known as the Lionfish Hunter! This brave Akumal local knows her way around the water better than anyone else, hunting the invasive lionfish species in the reefs just off the coast of the Riviera Maya to use as a main ingredient at her restaurant. Gynna Akumal Lionfish Hunter Many Riviera Maya locals know that although lionfish are beautiful to look at, they’re not native to this part of the world. Lionfish sit at the top of their food chain, so their presence takes a huge toll on the coral reef wildlife while the lionfish quickly grow in number and take over the area. In March, Gynna won first place at the Lionfish Hunt Challenge 2013 in Curacao, a pretty big deal! After the interview, it’s safe to say that the Lionfish Hunter is one of the most fascinating people I’ve come across. Not only is Gynna originally from Akumal, but her grandfather was the founder of Akumal and the Riviera Maya! How did you get into lionfish hunting? One day on my regular morning dive at The Akumal Dive Center, our trusted divemaster Chepo told me that morning that there were lionfish and we had to hunt them because they were not from here. (They’re an invasive species.) So he taught me how to use a Hawaiian sling, and from then on I began to make my own hunting spears and taught my team members how to hunt and make their spears, too. Now we have a whole team (Team Akumal, Lionfish Hunter of Akumal) that hunts together on the weekends, while I hunt throughout the week. I normally scuba dive when hunting, although sometimes I go free diving. But not in Akumal! Here, I’ve pretty much cleaned the lionfish out of the area! Lionfish Hunter Akumal What are some of the dangers of lionfish hunting? The dangers of lionfish hunting are obviously getting stung, but I don’t worry too much about that because it seems like I have developed some sort of tolerance or immunity to the sting. I get stung all the time, and as I like to put it, “No pasa nada!” (Nothing happens!) Another danger is getting decompression from diving because some days there are just so many fish that I just wanna stay there forever hunting!!! And I like to dive deep! A third danger is running out of air because (as I often say) sometimes there are just so many fish that I wanna “just get one more!” It’s very tempting to stick around, but I wear a dive computer and all is good. Safe dive planning is key! About how many lionfish do you catch on a normal day? On a “normal” day out of Akumal I catch 5-10 lionfish. In the beginning I was hunting 20 – 40 lionfish in one dive. Like I mentioned before, I have the Akumal area clean of lionfish (mission accomplished!), but when we go with the whole team on weekends we go further away from Akumal, and we get about 20 in one dive. Sometimes I rent a boat out of some other towns north of Akumal that don’t have hunters (only us) and we hit the mother load! Our record catch is 70 lionfish in one dive by the whole team! Hunting Lionfish Riviera Maya What was the biggest challenge of your recent competition in Curacao? (Congrats, by the way!) My biggest challenge in the Curacao tournament was probably shore diving from a small beach between the cliffs on the north side, where the waves are BIG. (I come from a beach where no waves exist!) Getting into and out of the ocean with the big waves knocking me around just made my heart pound! Waves going over my head knocking me over on the rocky beach and no air in my tank coming in from the shore dive. SCARRRRRYYYY!!! But it was thrilling and I would do it again in a heartbeat! How was hunting in Curacao different from hunting in Akumal? First of all, we were Shore Dive Category, so a LONG swim out to reach the wall drop off was long and tiring. Here in the Riviera Maya we boat dive. The reefs are different here because we are not an island, so Curacao had very nice wall dives, lively with fish! And a lot more lionfish than Akumal. Are there any special precautions to take when preparing/cooking lionfish at your restaurant? The face/head of the lionfish is hard as a helmet and has very rough sharp features, so your fingers can get cut. Also, it’s best (although I don’t worry about it) to detoxify the lionfish before filleting so that you won’t get stung if you poke your fingers on the spikes. I like to either freeze the lionfish and at the end of the week they get filleted, or put them on ice for 45 min before filleting. FYI: Now the biologists are saying that the venom is protein based, so freezing just preserves the venom… but I’ve never run into any problem filleting them after freezing or putting them on ice, and neither have the cleaning/filleting crew. Preparing Lionfish to Eat   Lionfish Sushi Rolls I see you have some pretty cool fusion cuisine at Gynn’AK. What kind of dishes do you make with the lionfish? Which one is the most popular? I can cook lionfish ANY way! Fish is fish! And it’s FRESH! Lionfish ceviche, lionfish tempura sushi rolls, lionfish sashimi, whole lionfish cooked any way you like it, lionfish ‘n chips, beer batter lionfish tacos with a slice of avocado and fresh chopped cilantro on a handmade corn tortilla, Thai Fusion style with a little lemongrass, curry, citrus and coconut milk… and the ALL FAMOUS AND FAVORITE at Gynn’AK: cilantro, lime and tequila flambéed lionfish tacos, served with a slice of avocado, topped with more fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, a side of Thai slaw and our house chipotle tamarind sauce! Eating Lionfish Tequila Lime Cilantro Lionfish Tacos, Flabee!GynnAk Restaurant AkumalAnd lastly… What do you love most about living in Akumal? Akumal is just so beautiful! It’s pretty ecological, or at least it’s rolling in that way… and there are so many nature activities to do. Open water diving, cave diving, cenote/cavern diving and swimming, the jungle, the beaches, snorkeling, good restaurants, nice people, bike riding, jogging, walking, climbing trees, exploring new caves, rescuing animals and SAVING THE REEF! EAT MORE LIONFISH!  In Tee’d Off Tee Times backyard!
Cancun Golf http://teedoff.com.mx/cancun-golf-courses/

Big Break Mexico

PHOTOS: The girls of Big Break Mexico

Meet the ladies of GOLF CHANNEL’s Big Break Mexico golf skills competition series premiering May 13 at 9pm ET and airing Mondays. Season 19 of GOLF CHANNEL’s golf skills competition series Big Break has six men and six women in a mixed team format at Playa Paraiso Golf Club in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The winner receives an exemption to a 2013 PGA or LPGA tournament, plus cash and other prizes. LPGA great Lorena Ochoa makes a guest appearance and takes on Big Break’s signature Glass Break challenge for the first time. The six ladies appearing in Big Break Mexico are quite good at golf and not at all unpleasant to look at. Meet the girls of Big Break Mexico (bios from the NBC Sports Group press release): All photos Credit: Cy Cyr/Golf Channel Lindsey Bergeon (26, Sarasota, Fla.)  Big-Break-Mexico-Lindsey
A professional since graduating from Florida Southern College in 2008, Bergeon has competed full-time on the Symetra Tour, Cactus Tour and CN Canadian Women’s Tour the past four years. She holds numerous high school golf records from Sarasota, including being named Sarasota Herald Tribune Women’s Golfer of the Year three times, a feat no other local female golfer has yet achieved. In 2013, Bergeon will compete on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour and Women’s State Opens throughout the country.  Taylor Collins (23, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)Big-Break-Mexico-TaylorOne of the younger competitors on Big Break Mexico, Collins is currently in her sophomore season on the Symetra Tour, following an up-and-down rookie season that was highlighted by a fourth place finish in her third event. Collins is a long-time student under Hall-of-Fame instructor Bob Toski, who first met Collins when she was in elementary school and gave Collins her first set of lessons.  McKenzie Jackson (24, Scottsdale, Ariz. / Uniontown, Ohio) Big-Break-Mexico-McKenzie Playing in her second full season as a professional, Jackson is competing on the Cactus Tour, CN Canadian Women’s Tour and Women’s State Opens with a fresh outlook on golf after a frustrating 2012 season that included a break from the game at the end of the year. A graduate of Kent State University – her assistant golf coach was Big Break III: Ladies Only competitor Jan Dowling – Jackson received the phone call that she was cast on Big Break Mexico two days after she began refocusing on her game after an extended break. “My dad always tells me, ‘Good things happen to good people,” said Jackson.  Stefanie Kenoyer (24, Lighthouse Point, Fla.) Big-Break-Mexico-Stefanie
The lone contestant on Big Break Mexico to have competed in a major championship – 2009 U.S. Women’s Open – Kenoyer is playing full time on the Symetra Tour with a refreshed sense of confidence and passion following a disappointing 2012. Sara Lynn Sargent – her former college coach and competitor on Big Break VI: Trump National – encouraged Kenoyer to apply for Big Break. Kenoyer will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Sargent, who earned her LPGA Tour card the following season after being on Big Break.  Liebelei Lawrence (29, Nideranven, Luxembourg / Nashville, Tenn.) Big-Break-Mexico-Liebelei
The first female from Luxembourg to compete on the Ladies European Tour (2011 and 2012), Lawrence credits her renewed passion for golf as a result of being cast on Big Break Mexico.She lost her status on the LET after the 2012 season and battled back injuries the entire season, causing her to consider hanging up her professional career. She enters Big Break Mexico finally healthy and with a refreshed outlook on the game.  Emily Talley (22, Boulder, Colo. / Napa, Calif.) Big-Break-Mexico-Emily
The youngest competitor on Big Break Mexico, Talley is one of two contestants on the series to have played in an LPGA Tour event – the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open via a Monday Qualifier. A graduate of the University of Colorado where she was an Honorable Mention All American – the first female golfer from CU to earn All-American status – she turned professional after graduation in 2012. She is competing full time on the Symetra Tour in 2013.

TPC Cancun Review

Your experience is important to us!!!! DSC_0061Cheryl,   Here is my assessment of TPC Cancun   Service was excellent, staff very friendly.   Course condition- greens and tee boxes excellent, fairways were thin but playable Course design- great. We played the white tees and it was still a true test of golf as the wind was blowing hard   Price- We paid $145 and teed off at 1:00pm ok price Club rental- $60 Callaway clubs brand new Pro Shop I paid20130418_113820 $80 for a dozen Pro V 1’s.(that is all they had) I wish I would have brought some golf balls as I lost 8 balls. The jungle is pretty thick.   Overall experience Good. Not as good as the courses I played in Cabo but they were more expensive. We saw some wildlife-White nosed Coati, Iguana and alligators so that was cool.   Hope this helps. If I ever get to Cancun again I will let you know and you can book me.   Thanks   Mike Brown Field Sales Leader Montana and the Dakotas     255 Stubble Lane Belgrade, Mt 59714 406-570-4170 mike.brown@allstate.com Cancun Golf http://teedoff.com.mx/cancun-golf-courses/

Wells Fargo Championship Final Day

Wells Fargo Championship - Round TwoCHARLOTTE, N.C. — Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney wound up tied for the lead Saturday in the Wells Fargo Championship, minus the separation from the rest of the field. Mickelson hit a shot out-of-bounds on the 15th hole and hit another shot that struck a spectator in the head, costing him three shots over the last four holes at Quail Hollow in his round of 1-over 73. Watney hit a semi-shank with a 6-iron on the par-3 17th, took double bogey and had to settle for a 71. Mickelson, though, just poured in a 19-footer at the 14th hole and followed it with a mini-fist pump, to get to 11 under and one shot ahead of Watney. George McNeill, who is playing with Watney, is another stroke behind after making a 5-footer at the same hole. The group at 7 under includes Lee Westwood, who finished fifth at Quail Hollow last year; PGA TOUR rookie Derek Ernst and Duke product Kevin Streelman, who picked up his first win earlier this year. Rory McIlroy, who won the Wells Fargo Championship in 2010 and lost in a playoff last year, has struggled on the greens Saturday. He’s 1 over for the day and  is now five strokes behind Mickelson — the man he beat with a final-round 62 three years ago. Tee’d Off Tee Times is looking for Phil’s to take the win.  Any pesos on the table??? Cancun Golf http://teedoff.com.mx/cancun-golf-courses/