McIlroy (5 three-putts): Some greens 'borderline unfair'

By Will GrayMay 14, 2016, 11:34 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – After closing out a frustrating round, Rory McIlroy joined the chorus of players questioning the course setup and conditions during the third round of The Players Championship.

McIlroy had a relatively solid ball-striking round, finding 16 of 18 greens in regulation. But he struggled mightily on the slick greens of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, taking 37 putts. It led to a 3-over 75 that knocked him from the fringe of contention into a tie for 16th.

“I mean, it’s like a U.S. Open out there. I can’t really describe it any other way,” McIlroy said. “I just found I had a really difficult time adjusting to them. I stood up here yesterday and I said it’s amazing how differently the course plays from morning to afternoon, but I didn’t expect it to be like that out there this afternoon. That was borderline unfair on a few holes.”

McIlroy opened his round with a birdie, but he realized conditions had changed when his 85-foot eagle attempt on No. 2 raced nearly 18 feet past the hole. It led to the first of five three-putts on the day, including three such instances in a four-hole stretch on Nos. 10-13 that dropped him off the first page of the leaderboard.

The Players Championship: Articles, photos and videos

McIlroy especially focused on several of the pin positions which were cut close to slopes despite the green speeds increasing dramatically from Friday’s second round.

“A few pin positions were on crowns, and you dribble a putt by, all of a sudden it’s 6 feet by,” he said. “There was a few pins out there that I felt were just a little too much on the edge.”

McIlroy said that the conditions led him to become tentative with putter in hand, and he found himself becoming defensive even on uphill putts. With course officials set to dig up the greens next week and replace them for 2017, McIlroy knows that steps otherwise taken to preserve the overall health of the greens won’t have to be taken before Sunday’s final round.

“I think they’ve went so far, it’s going to be very hard for them to get it back now,” he said. “I mean, they can water them all they want tonight, but by the time it gets to that first tee time and the sun is beating down on them for four or five hours before the leaders go out, they’ll be the exact same tomorrow afternoon, if not worse.”

McIlroy nearly set a new course record during the second round before settling for a 64, but he didn’t hesitate to put some of the low third-round scores – led by Ken Duke’s 65 – in perspective.

“It was just one of those days. It was tough,” he said. “I mean, you see some of the scores, 65, 67. I mean, that’s way better than any of the 63s that you saw out here the first two days.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

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Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

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Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm