McIlroy wins Bridgestone, returns to world No. 1

By Ryan LavnerAugust 3, 2014, 11:02 pm

Rory McIlroy won his second consecutive start and returned to world No. 1 Sunday with a two-shot victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Here’s the skinny on the final round at Firestone Country Club:

The leaderboard: Rory McIlroy (-15); Sergio Garcia (-13); Marc Leishman (-12); Keegan Bradley, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Reed and Justin Rose at -9

What it means: After a trying 2013 season, McIlroy is back atop the world rankings after his third victory in his last seven starts. This was McIlroy’s eighth career PGA Tour title, and the 25-year-old matched Dustin Johnson for the most wins by a player age 30 or younger. The news wasn’t quite as cheery for Garcia, who had a chance to move to No. 2 in the world with a victory. Instead, he dropped to 0-for-5 (over the past decade) when holding at least a two-shot lead after 54 holes, and 3-for-12 overall.

Round of the day: After a wire-to-wire victory at the Open Championship, McIlroy had to work a little harder for his second win in a row. Trailing Garcia by three shots, McIlroy ripped off four birdies in his first five holes to take a one-shot lead. McIlroy and Garcia were all square at the turn, but McIlroy’s birdie on 11 gave him a one-shot lead that he wouldn’t relinquish. Garcia’s bogey on 15 gave McIlroy a two-shot cushion, and the Spaniard missed an 8-foot birdie on 17 that would have added a bit more drama to the proceedings. McIlroy shot 66.

Best of the rest: With a season-best, 8-under 62, Phil Mickelson vaulted 29 spots on the leaderboard, gave himself some much-needed momentum heading into next week’s PGA Championship and likely made U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson’s decision a bit easier. Though Lefty is still without a top 10 on Tour this season (finished T-15 here), his 10-birdie finale might be just the spark he needs to end this disappointing season on a high note. 

Biggest disappointment: After hitting a few bizarre shots on the front nine, Tiger Woods withdrew on the ninth hole Sunday because of lower-back spasms, a shocking development in just his third start since March 31 back surgery. His early exit prompts even more questions about both his immediate future (PGA, FedEx Cup playoffs, Ryder Cup) and his long-term prospects, if his injury proves serious. He needed to win next week’s PGA just to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs, so it appears highly likely that Woods’ season is over. Honorable mention goes to Adam Scott, whose reign at No. 1 ended when he made three bogeys in his last five holes to shoot 71 and finish T-8.

Shot of the day: On a tough driving hole that two years ago produced a shocking finish, McIlroy instead smashed a 328-yard blast down the right side on 18 to leave himself only a sand wedge into the green. He two-putted from 40 feet to win. 

Quote of the day: “What I’m really proud of this week is just following up the Open with a performance like this. I said straight after that I didn’t want any letdown; I just wanted to keep going and keep performing until the end of the season. To perform like this, I’m pretty satisfied.” – McIlroy

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

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

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


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

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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