McIlroy slips into four-way tie for lead at Memorial

By Associated PressJune 3, 2011, 7:30 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – Rory McIlroy hit enough great shots Friday in the Memorial to make six birdies and keep his name atop the leaderboard. He also made enough mistakes to allow for plenty of company.

McIlroy twice had short irons in his hand from the fairway and made bogey, pulled an iron into the water that led to a double bogey and went bunker-to-bunker right of the 18th fairway for yet another bogey.

He wound up with an even-par 72, putting him a four-way tie for the lead among the early starters.

“I felt as if I played good enough to shoot something in the 60s, but I just made too many mistakes out there,” McIlroy said. “But you know, I was happy with how I handled everything because I did make mistakes, but it seemed like every time I made a mistake I came back with a birdie, or came back to just sort of rectify it.

“I feel like I’m playing OK, just need to limit the mistakes going into the weekend.”

The resurgent Rod Pampling of Australia, who lost his card last year and needed a sponsor exemption to get into the Memorial, had a bogey-free 66 to tie for the lead. Pampling is coming off consecutive top 10s in Texas.

Ricky Barnes had a 70, and Jonathan Byrd had a 67 to join the others at 6-under 136.

Chris Riley, who shared the 18-hole lead with McIlroy, was playing in the afternoon along with Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald, playing his first tournament as the No. 1 player in the world - and assured of staying there after this week.

Byrd already has won this year, at the season-opening Tournament of Championship at Kapalua, while Barnes tied for third a year ago at Muirfield Village. The surprise was Pampling, though perhaps not based on recent form.

The Australian, 180th on the money list last year for his worst season ever on the PGA Tour, tied for 10th at Colonial and tied for eighth a week later at the Byron Nelson Championship.

Barnes got off to a rugged start with a pair of bogeys, steadied himself, and finished with a pair of birdies and a good par save from the bunker on the 18th hole. Byrd, like Pampling, also got around without a bogey. His only concern was getting put on the clock late in his round - a bad time would mean a fine for Byrd - although he made par the last three holes.

Byrd has a familiar face working for him this week - his brother. Byrd’s regular caddie is home with his wife with their newborn, so he had his brother work for the weak.

“He knows my game probably better than anyone else,” Byrd said.

Kevin Stadler, a last-minute alternate when Nick Watney withdrew with a stomach illness, had a 68 and was one shot out of the lead, along with Aaron Baddeley, who also had a 68.

The wildest round belonged to Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III. He had six birdies and an eagle, an outstanding effort that might have meant something except for a triple bogey on the 11th, a double bogey on the 17th and four bogeys. It turned out to be a 73.

McIlroy pulled his opening tee shot and made bogey, but the others could have been bogey. He was in the fairway on the third and sixth holes with a sand wedge and 9-iron and both times came up short.

But he also looked like he’ll be a factor on the weekend with consecutive birdies, including a shot that he thought was headed to the back of the 13th green, only for it to settle 6 feet below the hole. Still, the 14th was the most bothersome.

After finding the tiny stream down the left of the fairway, he took his drop and watched anxiously as his third shot drifted right of the green and tumbled down the bank toward more water. Instead, the ball stopped on the red hazard line. McIlroy chipped up to 6 feet, but still walked off with a double bogey when he missed the putt.

“I’m happy enough,” McIlroy said. “I’m thereabouts going into the weekend. There’s still a lot of golf left to play. I know that and everyone else knows that. I just need to limit those mistakes. If I can keep the silly bogeys off the card, I think I’ll be all right.”

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity,, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

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Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.

The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.