Even at 21 McIlroy among the favorites at PGA

By Associated PressAugust 11, 2010, 8:06 pm

2010 PGA ChampionshipSHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Like a lot of 20-somethings, Rory McIlroy is in a hurry to get ahead in the world.

Patience, however, is going to get him where he wants to go.

There’s no question the Northern Irishman has the skills to win this week’s PGA Championship. He won at Quail Hollow earlier this year, and tied for third at last month’s British Open after matching the major championship record with a 63 in the first round. But he followed that 63 with an 80 on Friday, a round he admits he let “get away from me a little bit,” and he looked more like a sulky teenager that day as he scuffed his feet and rolled his eyes at his bad shots.

“Patience is the key this week,” the 21-year-old McIlroy said Wednesday. “Sometimes it is hard for me to accept that you’re not going to have to have a good day all the time. That’s something that I’m still learning how to do, trying to accept the days that don’t go as well as others do. But that all just comes through experience, and I feel as if I’m getting better at it.”

Big things have been expected from McIlroy since he turned pro in 2007. He earned his European card without going to Q-school, and broke into the top 10 in the world before his 21st birthday. He claimed his first PGA Tour win in May, bringing Quail Hollow to its knees with a 62 on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy, 21, is looking to claim his first major championship at Whistling Straits.


He has three top 10s in eight starts at the major championships, including a tie for third last year at Hazeltine.

“I feel as if I’m hitting it well,” said McIlroy, who tied for ninth last weekend at Firestone. “If I can keep that up for the next few days, hopefully I’ll have a good chance.”

Helping his chances are the struggles of some of the players ahead of him in the world rankings.

The turmoil in Tiger Woods’ personal life continues to take its toll on the golf course, and he arrived at the PGA after his worst tournament ever. Phil Mickelson has faltered in his opportunities to claim the No. 1 ranking over the last two months. Lee Westwood, No. 3 in the world, is out with a calf injury.

“There’s going to be a lot of guys here thinking that it’s the right time for them to break through, and I’m definitely one of those guys,” McIlroy said. “You can never write the likes of Tiger and Phil off. But guys have a lot better chance coming into this event with those two guys not playing great and Lee obviously not playing.”

McIlroy has yet to be in contention at a major Sunday afternoon, but he’s not overly concerned about that. First-time major winners are trendy these days, with five of the last six going to newcomers.

Besides, he had to hold off Mickelson and Angel Cabrera for his victory at Quail Hollow.

“If I can do that on a golf course like Quail Hollow, then there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to do it here,” he said. “I know it’s a little bit different, it is a major championship. But the idea is the same: Trying to get the ball in the hole.”

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.