McIlroy three back of Horschel on Day 2 in Texas

By Associated PressApril 6, 2013, 1:10 am

SAN ANTONIO – Rory McIlroy didn't anticipate an encounter with the native plant life when he signed up for the Texas Open.

Despite just such a happening on Friday, the world's No. 2 golfer matched the low round of the day with a 5-under-par 67 and moved within three shots of leader Billy Horschel, continuing his last-minute preparations for next week's Masters.

McIlroy, who decided to play in the tournament late last week, had seven birdies – including his final three holes – and overcame a bogey on No. 9 after driving into the rough and catching his left shin on a nearby cactus.

The misstep dropped McIlroy to 1 under, but he rebounded with key putts on the final three holes for birdies and pulled well within reach of the leaders entering the weekend.

''It was a good way to finish,'' McIlroy said. ''It will definitely make dinner taste a little nicer tonight and give me a couple of more hours in bed tomorrow morning.''


Highlights: McIlroy makes run on Day 2

Valero Texas Open: Articles, videos and photos


The 23-year-old two-time major winner is three shots back of Horschel, who birdied his last two holes to post his second straight 4-under 68.

Three players – Daniel Summerhays, Charley Hoffman and Steven Bowditch – are two shots back at 6 under, while McIlroy is tied with six others at 5 under.

Thursday's co-leaders, Matt Bettencourt and Peter Tomasulo, each shot a 1-over 73 and fell four shots off the lead.

Bettencourt went as low as 8 under in the surprisingly calm Texas weather on Friday morning before falling back after a stretch of three bogeys in four holes once the wind picked up ever so slightly.

Summerhays also reached as low as 7 under before falling back with a bogey on No. 9, but it was Horschel who separated himself with his late flurry.

Horschel jumped from 60th to 24th on the money list after a second-place finish at last week's Houston Open. He closed out Thursday's round with a birdie, and he one-upped that on Friday – closing with a pair of 11-foot birdie putts on No. 17 and 18 to vault into first.

''Today, I knew there was not going to be very much wind, so you had to take advantage of this golf course,'' Horschel said. ''I warmed up really well, probably hit the best I have on the range in a month and a half before a round.''

He needed 28 putts on Friday after taking only 25 a day earlier, but Horschel hit 11 of 14 fairways after hitting only seven a day earlier.

Horschel has made the cut in all nine of the events he's entered this year, extending his Tour-best streak to 21 made cuts in a row, but he has yet to win a PGA Tour event.

Now he faces a leaderboard filled with winning experienced players behind him, including four players – McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen and Lee Janzen – who have combined to win seven majors.

''I couldn't care less if they've won majors or not, honestly,'' Horschel said. ''I know they're good players and what they've done, but I feel I'm a good player in my own right.

''I think you have that mindset. You can't think that these guys have won majors, and then you start worrying about what they're doing and you forget about yourself.''

McIlroy is the most recent major winner of the pursuers, having won the PGA Championship last August. However, he's struggled for much of this year following an equipment change and recently lost his No. 1 ranking to Tiger Woods.

McIlroy has just one top-10 finish this year, and he decided late last week to add the San Antonio stop to his schedule to add competitive rounds prior to next week's opening major of the year.

It's a move that appeared questionable after an up-and-down even-par 72 on Thursday, but not anymore after Friday's scoring binge.

McIlroy still had fits with his driving, hitting only 9 of 14 fairways, but he made lengthy birdie putts on each of his final three holes – including a 26-foot strike on the par-3 16th. He narrowly missed a 24-foot eagle putt in front of a surging gallery on the 18th after reaching the par 5 in two shots.

It was after his run-in with the cactus on No. 9 that McIlroy made his move, shooting a 4-under 32 on the back nine.

On the ninth, he drove into the left trees and scraped his left shin on the prickly pear while searching for his ball. McIlroy rubbed his leg afterward and his approach went to the right of the green on the par 4, leading to his final bogey of the round.

''I shouldn't have been where I was at nine anyway, so I guess it was deserved,'' McIlroy said.

McIlroy's 5 under matched Hoffman and K.J. Choi for the best round of the day, with the Texas weather expected to warm considerably on Saturday and the wind to pick up – making the 7,435-yard layout even more challenging.

''I just like giving myself a chance coming in on Sunday,'' Hoffman said. ''I think I'm a pretty good competitor. If I have a chance with a few holes to play, that's all I can ask for.''

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.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: