Notes McIlroy finishes tied for third again at PGA

By Associated PressAugust 16, 2010, 5:41 am

2010 PGA ChampionshipSHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Rory McIlroy never made a move in the final round of the PGA Championship. It almost paid off for him anyway.

McIlroy shot an even-par 72 as others around him faltered, and the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland finished tied for third at the PGA Championship for the second straight year at 10-under 278.

But this tournament was different. McIlroy wasn’t that close to the leaders at St. Andrews in this Year’s British Open or at Hazeltine in last year’s PGA. Here, he was within striking distance until the end.

“It’s the first time I have been in contention in the last round of a major and going out in the second-to-last group,” he said. “I was feeling it on the first tee and it was a new experience for me.”

McIlroy finished five strokes behind winner Y.E. Yang and three strokes behind Tiger Woods last year at Hazeltine. He finished third at last month’s British Open, eight strokes behind surprise winner Louis Oosthuizen.

On Sunday, McIlroy had a raucous crowd behind him, getting louder cheers than the leaders when he finished his round.

He moved to 11 under after a birdie on the 14th, but gave the stroke back the next hole and finished with three straight pars.

“I felt good over the putt on 15. I read it straight and just went more left to right than I thought,” he said. “The 5-iron on 16 I hit was a good shot, but the wind just didn’t touch it and the 5-iron on 17 as well, a couple of yards left and it is by the hole.”

McIlroy was pleased his birdies at Nos. 10 and 14 kept him close, but he said he’ll have a tough time forgetting his missed opportunity at 15.

In the majors this year, he missed the cut twice, before finishing tied for third at St. Andrews.

“St. Andrews was nice,” he said. “Top five here was not what I wanted, but I will take the positives out of this and there were a lot of positives. I will move on, have a week off and go into the playoffs in good spirits and hopefully give that a good run.”

And the budding star remains even hungrier for a breakthrough.

“I feel I am ready to win one,” he said.


 

RULES OF PLAY: Dustin Johnson’s two-stroke penalty assessed after completing his round for grounding his club in a bunker on the 18th hole came under the first rule of the PGA’s supplementary rules of play handed out to all golfers.

It states:

“1. Bunkers: All areas of the course that were designed and built as sand bunkers will be played as bunkers (hazards), whether or not they have been raked. This will mean that many bunkers positioned outside of the ropes, as well as some areas of bunkers inside the ropes, close to the rope line, will likely include numerous footprints, heel prints and tire tracks during the play of the Championship. Such irregularities of surface are part of the game and no free relief will be available from these conditions.”


 

ELKINGTON’S EFFORT: Steve Elkington, who won the 1995 PGA Championship at Riviera in a playoff, came close to setting the record for longest stretch between majors.

The 47-year-old Elkington, who played with Tiger Woods on Saturday, was the one who contended on Sunday instead of the world’s No. 1 golfer. Not a bad performance for a guy who started this season without any status on the PGA Tour.

Elkington got within a shot of the lead with a birdie on the 16th to move to 11 under after missing a 15-foot eagle that rimmed the cup.

On 17, he went over the green into a bunker and made bogey, then had a long birdie putt on 18 that he left about 8 feet short. He missed again, finishing at 9-under 279 and in a tie for fifth.

While Elkington, a 10-time winner on tour, didn’t have status this season, he’ll certainly have it next year. His $270,833.33 pay check on top of the $667,660.47 he earned this year puts him easily in the Top 125 on the money list to secure his tour card.


 

TOP CLUB PRO: Rob Labritz was the only club pro among the 20 invited to the PGA Championship to make the cut even though he finished tied for last among those who reached the weekend at 7-over 295.

“The week was great,” he said. “Didn’t strike the ball as well as I had hoped, but it was great.”

Labritz missed the cut in his previous two PGA Championship appearances in 2002 and 2003. He said he’s working toward winning the National Club Pro.

“That’s been the next sort of goal,” he said. “I played for a living at one time, and I want to get back to playing. My expectations are higher.”

The 39-year-old Labritz, the director of golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., said he played full-time on the Canadian Tour. He was runner up at the 2005 Canadian PGA Tour Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship.


 

POULTER PULLS OUT: Ian Poulter of England withdrew from the final round of the PGA Championship because of a chest infection.

Poulter was at 5-over 221 after three rounds and said Saturday night on Twitter that he might not be able to play. Poulter was No. 3 in the European points standings for the Ryder Cup, with the top five qualifying, and was supposed to play with Jeff Overton, also virtually assured a spot in the Ryder Cup. Overton played alone, and finished his round in 2 hours, 9 minutes, to break the unofficial PGA Championship record for quickest round.

Phil Blackmar played his final round of the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick in 2:10.


 

DIVOTS: Phil Mickelson finished 6-under 282 after a 67 on Sunday. It was the same score he recorded at the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. … Winner Martin Kaymer is the second German to win a major championship after Bernhard Langer. … An Australian online sports book refunded all bets on Johnson after the two-stroke penalty that cost him a spot in a playoff. … Thirty-eight players finished above par for the tournament, two more than 2004.

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.


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Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.



“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”