Who is more likely to win a major in 2011 Johnson or McIlroy

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 7, 2011, 8:14 am

Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are two of the bright young stars in the game. Who has a better chance of winning a major this season? Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell weigh in with their opinions.


When the history is written for Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy it’s a safe bet that both budding stars will enjoy a six-pack of major keepsakes on the mantel but it will be the lanky American who gets on the Grand Slam board first in 2011.

Half-empty types will point to DJ’s major heartbreaks in 2010 – first at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach where he ballooned to a closing 82 and then at the PGA Championship where he was crossed up by a rules snafu – and dismiss his chances. But it will be those failures that will only serve to season Johnson, as evidenced by his late-season victory at the BMW Championship.

Johnson is also uniquely suited for this season’s major ballparks.

Despite the best efforts of the U.S. Golf Association, the long ball still rules and DJ is a bombing expert. He ranked third on Tour in driving distance in 2010, had the fourth-longest drive (414 yards at Kapalua) and was third in club head speed (121 mph). Handy stuff at an Augusta National (7,445 yards) or Atlanta Athletic Club, site of this year’s PGA Championship and home to a 260-yard par 3.

But most of all, Johnson will win a major in ’11 because he’s learned how to do it, the hard way.


My money’s on Dustin Johnson. I’m all-in on this giant talent.

I love Rory McIlroy’s game, and I believe he will win major championships. Johnson beats him to the first, though, because he’s already navigated so much deeper in major championship fire. He’ll be so much more comfortable in the heat next time he’s there.

Johnson, 26, has major championship scars, the kind I’m betting will help, not hurt him. He has the kind that emboldens a player.

Blowing the final-round lead at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, controversially losing the PGA Championship, Johnson endured a double dose of major championship suffering last year. It didn’t weaken him, because we’ve seen major championship scarring do that. It strengthened him. We saw that just a month after the PGA Championship, when Johnson closed so confidently to win the FedEx Cup’s BMW Championship.

McIlroy, 21, has already logged four top-10s in majors, three times tying for third. That’s impressive, but only once has he felt the furnace blast of major championship pressure with a victory within reach late on a Sunday. He got close at Whistling Straits, but not close enough to scar. Of course, close calls aren’t required before a breakthrough, nor are scars, but they can help.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.