McIlroy stumbles, five back in Dubai

By Associated PressDecember 9, 2011, 3:17 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Rory McIlroy’s bid for the Race to Dubai title was in doubt after he hit into the water on 18 and finished five shots off the lead halfway at the Dubai World Championship on Friday.

No. 2-ranked McIlroy needs to win at Jumeirah Golf Estates and hope No. 1 Luke Donald finishes no better than ninth to claim the European money title. Donald hopes to become the first ever to win the European and PGA Tour cash crowns.

McIlroy admitted the failed last-hole gamble makes it unlikely he can overtake Donald for the European money title, though he insisted he wasn’t conceding it just yet.

“I’ve got a bit of an uphill battle on my hands now to try and win the tournament,” he said. “But it’s still very possible. I’m only five shots back with 36 holes to go which you can make up in nine holes … I’ve got to stay very patient and bide my time.”

Donald helped his cause, finishing with three birdies in a row to post a 4-under 68, tied for 12th.

“It was a struggle today. I’ve been making a few uncharacteristic mistakes, not sure what that is down to, maybe just the situation and what is at stake,” said Donald, who has finished outside the top 10 on the European Tour only three times this year.


Highlights: Four! Quiros takes control in Dubai


“But yeah, to make three birdies in a row will make lunch taste great and hopefully make the next two days a little easier.”

McIlroy, with his second consecutive bogey on 18, carded 71 to finish five shots behind Spanish leader Alvaro Quiros, who eagled the 18th for a 64.

Quiros’ bogey-free low round of the day included six birdies. He’s at 12-under 132 for the tournament, four shots clear of Sweden’s Peter Hanson (72). England’s Robert Rock (69) was a further shot behind at 7 under, tied with McIlroy.

McIlroy started out strong, much as he did on Thursday, with two birdies on the front nine. But on the back nine they were offset by three bogeys. On the 18th, he gambled on his approach shot and ended up in water.

“It obviously wasn’t the way I wanted to finish,” McIlroy said.

“You know, 3 under after 16 holes. If I had picked one up at the last two which I was trying to do and get to 10 under par for the tournament, it would have been a really good day. But unfortunately it wasn’t the case.”

McIlroy said the effects of a lingering illness didn’t have an impact, adding he “didn’t feel too bad.”

He said he came down with a mild case of dengue fever while he was in South Korea and China in October and early November. Blood results came back on Friday that showed his “platelet count was low and my white blood cell count was low as well.”

McIlroy said he will see a doctor again on Saturday before deciding whether to pull out of the Thailand Golf Championship next week.

“To be honest, I’m ready for the season to be done,” said McIlroy, who never considered pulling out of the Dubai finale. “But you know, it’s up to her (the doctor) at the end of the day. If she feels like I can go, then I’ll make the decision whether I can go or not.”

For Donald, it looked like he was headed for another disappointing day.

An errant drive on the first hole led to a bogey, but he bounced back with two birdies in a row. He then managed one birdie to go with a bogey over the next 11 holes as he struggled to keep his drives on the fairway.

But on the final three holes, the Englishman ran off three consecutive birdies. On the 18th, Donald’s drive landed in a pile of wood chips in the rough, but his 200-yard approach shot landed on the green and he sank a 12-footer for birdie.

“Well, it was certainly a lot of pressure out there,” Donald said. “It’s just that I’ve got to handle it. I’m making a little bit too many unforced errors and I need to play the weekend like Luke Donald knows how to play.”

No. 3-ranked Lee Westwood (70) was at 2 under, and No. 4 Martin Kaymer (71) on par for the tournament.

Getty Images

Watch: Koepka highlights from the Travelers

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 3:30 pm

U.S. Open hangover? Not for Brooks Koepka. The two-time national champion has carried over his form and confidence from Shinnecock Hills to TPC River Highlands.

Koepka began his round with a par at the par-4 10th and then reeled off four consecutive birdies, beginning at No. 11.


And here is the capper at the 14th

Koepka turned in 4-under 31. Here's more action from his opening nine holes.


After a par at the first, Koepka added a fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 second.


A bogey at the par-4 fourth dropped him to 4 under, but just one off the lead.

Getty Images

Lyle going through 'scary' period in cancer recovery

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia – Jarrod Lyle's wife says the Australian golfer is struggling through a ''really scary'' period in his third battle with cancer.

Lyle, 36, underwent a bone marrow transplant last December following a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia.

''It's been 190 days since Jarrod's stem-cell transplant and we are going through a really rough patch at the moment,'' Briony Lyle wrote on jarrodlylegolf.com. ''I'm typing this blog on his behalf because he's not able to do it. Jarrod's not able to drive, struggles to prepare any food for himself, can't read stories to the girls and is not able to offer much help at all around the house.

''He is also starting to look like a very frail, sick person.''

Briony Lyle added: ''We are both very aware of the amount of drugs and medication that has gone into Jarrod's body over the years but things are starting to get really scary at the moment. It looks as if this recovery is going to be the longest and hardest one so far.''

Lyle has twice beaten acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.

He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on Tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.

Lyle has since returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.

Getty Images

Vermeer wins PGA Professional; 20 make PGA Championship

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

SEASIDE, Calif. – Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.

The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards.

The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis.

Three strokes ahead entering the day, Vermeer played the front in 4 over with a double bogey on the par-4 second and bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-4 eighth. He rebounded with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 11th and also birdied the par-5 18th.


Full-field scores from the PGA Professional Championship


Vermeer finished at 5-under 283. The former University of Kansas player earned $55,000. He won the 2017 Mizuno Pro/Assistant Championship and finished ninth last year in the PGA Professional to qualify for PGA at Quail Hollow.

McCarty had a 68, and Sowards shot 69. Sowards won the 2004 title.

David Muttitt and Jason Schmuhl tied for fourth at 1 under, and 2012 and 2015 champion Matt Dobyns, Jaysen Hansen, and Johan Kok followed at even par.

Marty Jertson, Brian Smock and Ben Kern were 1 over, and Zach Johnson, Craig Hocknull, Matt Borchert and 2016 winner Rich Berberian Jr. were 2 over. Nine players tied at 3 over, with Shawn Warren, 2017 champion Omar Uresti, 2014 winner Michael Block, Craig Bowden and Danny Balin getting the last five spots at Bellerive in a playoff. Balin got the final spot, beating Brian Norman with a par on the seventh extra hole after Norman lost a ball in a tree.

Getty Images

Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”