Newspapers take shots at McIlroy after Masters meltdown

By Associated PressApril 11, 2011, 5:15 pm

LONDON – Some called it a “meltdown,” others labeled it “misery” or a “horror show.” No matter how you describe it, Rory McIlroy’s final round at the Masters turned into agony for the young Northern Irishman from Holywood and for his supporters back in Britain.

The 21-year-old McIlory, who hails from the small town in County Down, fell apart at Augusta National on Sunday just when he seemed poised to win his first major. He shot an 8-over 80 to drop from the top of the leaderboard to 15th – 10 shots behind champion Charl Schwartzel.

“McIlroy slips from master to bogey man on final day,” the Irish Times headlined on its website Monday. In the Irish News, it was “Rory Shattered,” while its fellow Belfast-based newspaper News Letter wrote: “Horror Show.” The Irish Independent headlined “Masters meltdown as Rory fights off tears.”

McIlroy had the lead through the first three rounds, and then teed off Sunday morning with a four-stroke advantage and the chance to become the second youngest winner of the green jacket.

“All he had to do was go out on to the beautifully manicured haven that is Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and to continue doing what he had done for the three previous rounds to claim the U.S. Masters title,” Philip Reid of the Irish Times wrote from Augusta. “Easier said than done, of course.”

McIlroy’s round went from bad – with two bogeys on the front nine – to worse starting on the 10th. He triple-bogeyed that first hole after the turn, followed with a bogey on No. 11 and then double-bogeyed the 12th.

On No. 13, his tee shot went into a creek.

“I realized then that I didn’t have a chance,” McIlroy said Sunday. “Once I hit that tee shot left on 13, I was done.”

Just about everyone watching could see it, too.

“McIlroy looked to be close to fighting back tears as an errant ball took valuable shots as it nestled in a creek,” the Irish Independent wrote Monday.

The headlines in London were equally somber, from “McIlroy Misery” in the Daily Mail to “McIlroy’s Masters dream becomes a horror show” in The Times of London. In the Daily Telegraph, a two-page banner headline read: “McIlroy’s world crumbles after day from hell.”

If McIlroy had won, he would have become the second youngest Masters champion behind Tiger Woods. Instead, his implosion has left him being named alongside players like Jean Van de Velde and Greg Norman, who both fell apart and lost big leads at major tournaments in the 1990s.

“We had hoped to compare the young Northern Irishman to the great Masters champions but instead had to reach for the compendium of great golfing train wrecks,” Matt Dickinson wrote in The Times of London.

Richard Williams of The Guardian also took a harsh look at the freefall.

“McIlroy did not fade out of the contest. He crashed out of it, brakes gone and tires screeching, in a welter of debris,” Williams wrote.

In Ireland, the papers were a bit more lenient.

“Maybe what unfolded on this hallowed turf was all part of some greater plan, but what happened to the 21-year-old Ulsterman was sport at its most cruel,” the Irish Times wrote.

McIlroy’s demise, however, hasn’t dimmed the hopes of the golf faithful in Northern Ireland that the curly haired youngster will be back another day. After all, he has finished tied for third in three of the last six majors.

“This might not have been his time, but there in no doubt that it will come,” Karl MacGinty wrote in the Belfast Telegraph. “Ordinary golfers don’t lead the Masters for three days.”

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


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"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel to U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."

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Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

"I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.


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The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

"I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

"Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.