Pushing the Boundaries

By Randall MellApril 10, 2011, 4:10 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rory McIlroy kept pushing, pushing, pushing.

With the sun setting over the third round of the Masters, McIlroy pushed Tiger Woods right off the leaderboard.

That’s how it felt Saturday at Augusta National.

Woods was playing in the pairing directly in front of McIlroy, the ideal place for Woods to apply pressure to the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland, the perfect place to literally show the young Ulsterman how you take control of a major on the weekend.

But the day would end feeling like this Masters is McIlroy’s to lose. And it would end feeling like Woods has already lost it.

Through the second nine, Woods might not have been able to see what is coming, but he heard it.

In fact, standing over his approach shot into the 18th green, Woods had to step off his ball when McIlroy conjured a roar at the 17th green, rolling in a 40-foot putt for birdie. Woods answered by blowing his approach over the green. His closing bogey knocked his name off the leaderboard.

With a solid 2-under-par 70 on a difficult setup, McIlroy took control of the 75th Masters Tournament in a bid to win his first major championship.

At 12-under 204, McIlroy has built a four-shot lead on 2009 Masters champ Angel Cabrera and three others.

McIlroy is right where he wants to be, in the final pairing in the final round of the Masters, a position from which 19 of the last 20 winners of this event have come.

Woods? After a 74, the worst Saturday score among the final five pairings, Tiger begins Sunday seven shots back.

If McIlroy can finish this off, it will feel like more than a victory for the Irishman. It will feel like a shift in the game’s power base. It will feel like a young, new movement is officially taking over.

Martin Kaymer was 25 when he won the PGA Championship last August. Louis Oosthuizen was 27 when he won the British Open last July. That’s three consecutive titles for the twentysomethings, if McIlroy closes this out.

McIlroy, however, knows there’s hard work to be done.

“It feels good,” he said of the four-shot lead. “I’m not getting ahead of myself. I know how leads can dwindle away very quickly. I have to go out there tomorrow, not take anything for granted and go out and play as hard as I’ve played the last three days.”

McIlroy embodies the fearless nature of this new breed.

It isn’t just his bold game. It’s his bold attitude. While his statements about Woods, about how today’s players don’t fear the former No. 1, get overplayed, McIlroy’s attitude sets him apart as the next generation’s leading man.

McIlroy talked Saturday about how Woods “grabbed all our imaginations” winning the 1997 Masters by 12 shots. He honored Woods’ breakthrough as a “huge moment for golf” and credited Woods with “doing more for the game than I ever could or will.” At the same time, you sense McIlroy isn’t afraid of Woods or his aura or anyone else’s.

“I really don’t care about anyone else in this tournament other than myself,” McIlroy said when asked about Woods’ inability to make a move on him. “To think about other players would be very naïve and very silly.”

Unless Cabrera, who’s dangerous near any lead, turns this championship his way, a breakthrough seems certain Sunday. Cabrera’s the only major championship winner among the top eight on the leaderboard, among anyone within six shots of the lead.

But McIlroy has lots of company trying to break through.

Fellow Aussies Jason Day and Adam Scott will be looking to push each other in a bid to win Australia its first Masters from their spots, four and five back, respectively.

How grand would that be Down Under?

“Indescribable,” Scott said.

South Korea’s K.J. Choi is trying to win his first major from four back.

“I’m happy where I am,” Choi said. “I’m in good position. You never know what can happen on the final day.”

Charl Schwartzel, Luke Donald, Bo Van Pelt – they’re all looking for their first majors.

Woods is looking for a first, also. He’s looking for his first come-from-behind victory in a major championship.

“Pleased with the way I played, I just made nothing,” said Woods, who missed a 2-foot putt for par at the 11th, three-putted the 15th and missed a 5-foot putt for par at the final hole.

And all the while, Woods heard McIlroy making putts, heard him making a move that may bring an entire new generation of champions to the game’s forefront.

Follow Randall Mell on Twitter @RandallMell

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.