McIlroy barely makes SHO cut, adds Texas Open

By Jason SobelMarch 29, 2013, 10:27 pm

HUMBLE, Texas – When last we checked in on the text message chronicles of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, the older swoosh brother was one up on his lil’ buddy in the banter ballgame. That’s one as in the world ranking status he swiped from him just a few days ago and one as in the number of fingers he suggested Rory remove from a certain body part in order to help him climb back into the winner’s circle this week.

Following opening rounds of 73-70 at the Shell Houston Open, McIlroy may want to use that finger to dial his friend’s number and ask for a little advice.

No, not advice on reclaiming that No. 1 ranking. Or hitting those new Nike sticks farther and straighter and closer to the hole. Or even playing high-pressure golf under the watchful eyes of the world.

McIlroy has either figured all of that out already or will sometime in the near future. What he needs advice on is his compression – and it has nothing to do with his swing.

Shell Houston Open: Articles, videos and photos

As much as Woods has mastered the art of the game, he’s equally adept when it comes to summarizing his feelings in the most concise manner possible. Just take a look at Rory’s comments following a second round during which he flirted with the cut line and it’s easy to see how Tiger would have translated these thoughts.

Rory: “It was OK. It was definitely more consistent today than yesterday. Wasn't many birdies, but I gave myself quite a few chances. All in all, it was OK. It could have been a couple better, but, you know, it was an improvement on yesterday.”

Tiger translation: “It’s a process.”

Rory: “It was a little better. I think there was a lot more consistency in it, wasn't as many loose shots in there and hitting more greens, giving myself plenty of chances for birdies. I actually putted pretty well. A few that didn't drop for me. All in all, it was an improvement on yesterday, which is the main thing.”

Tiger translation: “I’m close.”

Rory: “No one likes missing cuts and especially it's my last one before the Masters. Nice to have another couple of rounds, do some work on the range this afternoon and hopefully improve on the course that I've already done.”

Tiger translation: “It is what it is.”

Except when it isn’t.

While McIlroy maintained minutes after his Friday round that this would be his last event prior to the year’s first major championship, he threw an 11th-hour curveball late in the afternoon, committing to next week’s Valero Texas Open.

It will mark his first time competing in the event, but directly addresses criticism he’s received for playing such a sporadic schedule so far this season. Assuming he completes two more rounds here in Houston, that still means just 12½ competitive rounds through the first three months of the year.

They’ve hardly all been beauties, either. In his previous four starts, McIlroy missed the cut in Abu Dhabi, lost in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and withdrew halfway through the Honda Classic second round before finally posting a T-8 at Doral two weeks ago.

Committing to next week’s field in San Antonio serves as an admission that his game isn’t where it needs to be heading into Augusta National, which shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise based on those results. While his short game looked Masters-ready during much of Friday’s round, McIlroy was forced to shout, “Fore right!” more times than he’d like to remember.

“He was just a bit rusty off the tee,” his longtime instructor Michael Bannon explained. “He’s just not releasing the club.”

While Bannon didn’t appear too concerned with his pupil’s play, the decision to squeeze in another tournament tells us there is discomfort somewhere in Camp McIlroy.

Tiger translation: “I need more reps.”

Even when Woods wasn’t winning seemingly every other tournament start, his insistence that he didn’t need more time between the ropes was rarely countered by a decision to add appearances to his schedule.

While Rory could take some advice from Tiger right now, idle promises to play more golf wouldn’t be on that list. He obviously feels right now like he needs more reps in order to fine-tune his game before Augusta. Now he’ll get them next week.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.