McIlroy talks U.S. Open MC, defends Olympic WD

By Ryan LavnerJune 29, 2016, 12:58 pm

Rory McIlroy says his missed cut at the U.S. Open might have been a blessing in disguise because it gave him an opportunity to pinpoint the issues in his game.

“You need to use the setbacks to learn and grow and move forward,” he told reporters Wednesday at the European Tour’s Open de France. “It’s very disappointing to miss the cut at the U.S. Open and forgo a chance to win another major championship. But at the same time, I had to be aggressive with a few things and it was almost like it needed to happen, just to assess everything and try to make a few changes where I needed to.” 

It was just McIlroy’s third missed cut in a major since 2010. What made this early exit particularly frustrating was that after an opening 77, he had battled back inside the cut line before an inward 40, including a double bogey on his final hole. He blew out of town without speaking to reporters.

“I felt like I’ve always used setbacks well,” he said. “I’ve always learned from my mistakes and I think it’s been one of the great things about my career that any time I’ve had a setback, I’ve usually come back pretty well. There’s no reason why I can’t do that again.”


Tee times: 100th Open de France


This is McIlroy’s first appearance since he announced that he would skip the Rio Games because of concerns over the Zika virus. Since then, world No. 1 Jason Day has also withdrawn from the event, and Jordan Spieth conceded Tuesday that he’s “uncertain” and needs more information.

McIlroy described his conversation with Irish captain Paul McGinley as “one of the toughest phone calls I’ve had to make,” but ultimately he defended his decision to pull out.

“I put so much work into going,” he said. “I found accommodation, sorted out a chef and security down there, got everything planned out, had the injections – and two shoulders for four days – but ultimately I thought if I’m not 100 percent comfortable going down there, I don’t want to take the risk.”

When asked whether the slew of withdrawals was embarrassing for the game, McIlroy said: “Most other athletes dream their whole lives of competing in the Olympics, winning an Olympic gold. And we haven’t. We dream of winning claret jugs and winning green jackets. … With all the negative press the game has received over the past week or so, I don’t think it’ll have any long-lasting effects, but it’s been a bit of a difficult time for golf.” 

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.