Tiger owns majors, but Rory owns the media

By Jay CoffinMarch 6, 2013, 7:47 pm

DORAL, Fla. – Tiger Woods has 12 things Rory McIlroy desires. Rory McIlroy has one thing Tiger Woods needs.

The major math is simple: Woods 14, McIlroy two. The difference between the two numbers are the only assets Woods has that McIlroy should covet. Consequently, Woods should desire McIlroy’s ability to be more forthright and forthcoming.

Never was this more obvious than Wednesday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship when McIlroy sat in front of a gaggle of reporters and answered every question with an honest, thoughtful answer. The world No. 1 was getting peppered with questions regarding his ill-timed WD last week at the Honda Classic, yet handled the heat with the greatest of ease.

“I realized pretty quickly it wasn’t the right thing to do,” McIlroy said. “No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there.

“I regret what I did. It’s over now and it won’t happen again.”

Most left the interview giving McIlroy the benefit of the doubt.


Video: McIlroy at Doral, apologizes for Honda WD

Photos: Rory McIlroy through the years

WGC-Cadillac Championship: Articles, videos and photos


It was refreshing to see the 23-year-old do what he’s done so many times over the past couple years. At The Masters 11 months ago, McIlroy faced the media before the tournament and poured out his soul regarding heartbreak he experienced at the 2011 Masters when he dominated the first 63 holes and butchered the final nine.

About an hour after McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open he was sitting in a fairly empty interview room in the media center waiting for reporters to file in when he busted loose by taking photos of himself with his first major trophy. He had put himself under a Twitter ban for the week and it was finally time to let the excitement of the moment take over and start firing away.

That’s McIlroy, honest to a fault. That’s why last Friday’s explanation that a bothersome wisdom tooth was the reason for walking off the course at PGA National didn’t pass the smell test. If he’d have been as honest in his statement as he was to the reporters he spoke with as he exited, there wouldn’t have been as much of a fuss.

McIlroy righted a wrong. He was contrite. The only time we’ve seen Woods be contrite was following his 2009 difficulties, where being remorseful was the only option.

Sure, Woods commands an audience each time he speaks, but McIlroy commands the room when he’s on that podium. McIlroy genuinely cares what other people think and lets people know that he cares what they think. He gets it.

“Look, we, as in me and all you guys, are hopefully going to have a working relationship for the next 20 years, so I don’t want to jeopardize that by being closed,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “I feel like I’ve always been open and honest and given you guys all my thoughts and everything.

“I don’t want it to be that way where there’s friction between me and the press because at the end of the day, you guys are here because you’re reporting what we do on the golf course all over the world.

“It’s not like I want there to be a strained relationship,” McIlroy said, “because it’s going to be a long one. I hope.”

Add that to the top of the list of words Woods would never speak.

Time will tell if it’s possible to be personable and win major championships at a record clip – Jack Nicklaus largely did it, Nick Faldo did not. Perhaps McIlroy won’t achieve Woods’ heights because he’s too nice a dude. Perhaps he doesn’t have the same killer instinct that has resided in Woods the last two decades. We shall see.

Last week at the Honda Classic, Woods was asked if he had any advice for McIlroy and the pressure that goes with being the game’s top-ranked stud.

“You've just got to be more, just got to think about it a little bit more before you say something or do something,” Woods said. “It can get out of hand, especially when you get into social media and start tweeting and all those different things that can go wrong.”

Translation: Rory, don’t go overboard with information.

For years, PGA Tour players have answered questions about Woods ad nauseam and most have expounded on Woods’ importance to the Tour and have thanked him for essentially raising purses, putting more money in their collective pockets. Yet, Woods stood there Wednesday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and wasn’t able to muster a thoughtful answer about McIlroy’s recent difficulties.

“I really haven’t read much,” Woods said. “I’ve seen a couple things on the ticker, but I’ve been watching other sporting events.

“I’m sure that most of you guys have taken it to him pretty good.”

Some did. But McIlroy walked away earning more respect than he had a week ago.

Call it a pretty good day’s work.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.