McIlroy receives advice from Nicklaus
He had lunch last week with Jack Nicklaus.
“An unbelievable experience,” McIlroy said Tuesday.
McIlroy, a 20-year-old from Northern Ireland who already is No. 9 in the world, met with Nicklaus at The Bear’s Club on the eve of the Honda Classic, a lunch set up through a network of friends.
He wanted to learn as much as he could about winning from Nicklaus, whose 18 professional majors are the benchmark in golf. He got more than he could have imagined.
“It was great to sit down and talk to him and see his approach to winning and what went through his head whenever he was in contention, and what things he might have done differently than other people,” he said. “It was probably the best 90 minutes I’ve spent in a long time.”
McIlroy won the Dubai Desert Classic last year for his only European Tour victory, although he has contended enough times to move into the top 10 in the world and be viewed as one of golf’s rising stars. He has been working with sports psychologist Bob Rotella for help with finishing off tournaments.
It didn’t hurt meeting with Nicklaus.
The one story that stayed with him was Nicklaus’ tale that he didn’t win the best tournament he ever played. That would be the 1977 British Open at Turnberry, the famous “Duel in the Sun” in which Nicklaus and Tom Watson shot identical scores each day until Watson closed with a 65 – one last birdie on the 18th hole – to win by one shot.
“I think one of the biggest things that I took from it was patience, and just to learn to wait and learn to bide your time and know that if you believe in yourself that it will happen,” McIlroy said. “So it’s just a matter of waiting and staying patient.”
He figured Nicklaus was similar to Tiger Woods in terms of winning big in the majors, building a lead and crushing the competition. What he realized was that the Golden Bear often waited for the competition to wilt.
“His mindset to winning was different than I thought it would be,” McIlroy said. “He waited for guys to make mistakes. He had a lot more majors handed to him than he won.”
McIlroy didn’t come to lunch with a list of questions, but said he was nervous.
“I felt very privileged to be able to have lunch with him, and just to pick his brain,” McIlroy said. “He’s won 18 major championships and just to get some of that knowledge and to just learn from it, it was incredible.”
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.