McGladrey field has mixed reaction to Bishop remarks

By Rex HoggardOctober 24, 2014, 6:58 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Player reaction to PGA of America president Ted Bishop’s insensitive remarks on social media ranged from shock to initial surprise on Friday at the McGladrey Classic.

Early Friday at Sea Island, one player, who requested that he not be identified, said he was “stunned” by Bishop’s comments, which stemmed from Ian Poulter’s criticism of Nick Faldo, the 2008 European Ryder Cup captain, in his recently released autobiography “No Limits.”

“@IanJamesPoulter Faldo’s record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time (Ryder Cup) points. Yours vs. His? Lil Girl,” Bishop tweeted late Thursday afternoon.

Most players at the McGladrey Classic were just learning of Bishop’s remarks and declined to comment. “I’m glad I don’t Twitter,” said Matt Kuchar, a member of this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Davis Love III, the 2008 U.S. captain and a member of the PGA’s 11-man Ryder Cup task force, said he just learned of the comments after his round at Sea Island, where he is serving as this week’s host.

“What’s so great about the Ryder Cup is all the passion. What’s not so great is all the passion,” Love said. “The back and forth since we lost, there have been a lot of things guys have wished they hadn’t have said in the press room, like (Phil) Mickelson.”

Mickelson seemed to air the U.S. team’s dirty laundry on Sunday at last month’s Ryder Cup when he said, “Unfortunately, we have strayed from a winning formula in 2008 for the last three Ryder Cups, and we need to consider maybe getting back to that formula that helped us play our best.”

Love said Bishop’s comments are exactly why 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin advised his players to avoid social media.

“I’m sure he didn’t mean it derogatory to anyone except for Ian,” Love said. “(Bishop has) done a lot for the PGA of America. I can show you an e-mail from our head professional that was one of the nicest e-mails complimenting Ted’s presidency. I’ve seen him do a lot of great things for a lot of people.” 

Many have said that Bishop’s comments are particularly shortsighted considering the PGA’s push in recent years to get more women involved in the game, but Love said he’s seen firsthand Bishop’s efforts to make golf more inclusive.

“He is trying to grow the game. I have sat in board meetings with him trying to get more women involved. He won’t be judged by this,” Love said.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.