McDowell sympathizes with McIlroy, remains on Olympic fence

By Will GraySeptember 22, 2012, 5:32 pm

If anyone understands the plight of Rory McIlroy regarding an allegiance for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, it's fellow Ulsterman Graeme McDowell.

'I felt kind of bad for Rory,' the 2010 U.S. Open champion said in an interview with the Irish Golf Desk. 'We are in the unfortunate position in Northern Ireland where we have one foot on each team.'

In an interview earlier this month, McIlroy explained that he 'felt more British than Irish' regarding his potential allegiance for 2016. In an open letter posted on Twitter, McIlroy later backed off from that sentiment, stating, 'I have absolutely not made a decision regarding my participation in the next Olympics.'

As natives of Northern Ireland, players like McIlroy and McDowell would be eligible to play for either Ireland or Great Britain in Rio, when golf is re-introduced to the Olympics.

McDowell sympathized with McIlroy, pointing out that the scrutiny regarding his decision may be premature. 'Rory is very much in the spotlight and has been coerced into making some kind of decision,' said McDowell, 'which let's be honest, is four years down the road.'

A runner-up earlier this year at the U.S. Open, McDowell continued to keep his own plans for 2016 a mystery. 'What's my allegiance? I really don't have one,' he explained. 'I sit on the fence because unfortunately that is where I have to sit.'

Although still subject to change, the current Olympic format would limit the number of participants each country could send to Rio - meaning if McIlroy or McDowell play for Great Britain, it may come at the expense of other British golfers like Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose or Ian Poulter.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.

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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.