Fading McIlroy: No excuses, but 'I'm very tired'

By Associated PressDecember 10, 2011, 5:57 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy finally ran out of gas.

After McIlroy won in Hong Kong to keep the European money title battle alive with No. 1-ranked Luke Donald, a shaky third-round 71 on Saturday left the 22-year-old Northern Irishman McIlroy six shots off the lead at the Dubai World Championship.

McIlroy needs to win the tournament, and hope Donald finishes outside the top nine. Even McIlroy admitted that was unlikely, considering he is six shots behind leader Alvaro Quiros and Donald has moved into fourth spot.

“I’m tired. I’m very tired,” McIlroy said. “You know, I don’t really want to say that that’s the cause of playing the way I did on the front nine because I came back on 4 under on the back nine. Yeah, as I have been saying all week and last week, I’m not 100 percent but that shouldn’t stop me from going out and playing good golf.”

It sure didn’t last week. After complaining of fatigue during two average rounds at the Hong Kong Open, McIlroy came from behind on Sunday to win the tournament. He clinched it in dramatic fashion when he holed a shot from a greenside bunker.

Still, there is no ignoring that McIlroy has looked run down at times this week.

On Friday he said the fatigue he’d felt for the past several weeks may be the lingering effects of dengue fever. McIlroy said he got blood-test results back Thursday that showed his white blood-cell count remained low and that he may pull out of next week’s Thailand Golf Championship.

The No. 2-ranked McIlroy believes he picked up a “mild case of dengue fever” when he was playing tournaments in South Korea or China at the end of October and early November. Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes, generally in tropical areas, and can cause fever, rash and joint pain.

McIlroy, who lost “maybe three or four kilos” when he was sick, said he would see the doctor later Saturday to determine whether he would play the Thai tournament.

Asked about the role his busy schedule in recent months played in his health woes, McIlroy said it had worn him down but that he had no regrets about playing the World Cup in China with countryman Graeme McDowell.

“It was touch and go whether I was going to play. I wanted to play because it was a big deal for me and G-Mac,” he said. “It was something we were really excited about most of the year.

“As much as maybe I shouldn’t have played, I didn’t want to let him down.”

McIlroy said he just needed plenty of rest to fully recover.

“The last couple of weeks have taken a lot out of me after not giving myself enough time to recover straight after the illness,” he said. “It just sort of hit me in the last sort or 10 days.”

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.