After Further Review: More tweaking for Match Play?

By Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell, Will GrayMarch 28, 2016, 12:30 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On what went right for the new-look WGC-Dell Match Play ...

New format, new venue, new sponsor and an exceedingly familiar champion all added up to a surprisingly fresh start for the remade WGC-Match Play.

After spending the last two years in limbo after Accenture stepped down as title sponsor after the 2014 event and a brief cameo at Harding Park last year, the new-look tournament enjoyed a solid make-over with its move to Austin Country Club and the addition of Dell as the new title sponsor.

That Jason Day won the Match Play for the second time and ascended to world No. 1 with the victory only completed an already impressive week. Rex Hoggard

On what possible format tweaks could be made to make it even better ...

I get it. The PGA Tour needed to tweak the format of the WGC-Dell Match Play. But there has to be a better option than this.

The novelty of the pool-play option has worn off in only two short years. Instead, all we’re left with is a muddled series of scenarios and projections – and that’s just when trying to figure out which early-round matches are actually important.

The Tour wants its stars to stick around as long as possible, which the previous one-and-done format did not provide. But the current setup, where head-to-head results in group play are meaningless and four-way playoffs are within the realm of reason, well it just doesn’t work. And that doesn’t even account for the nonsensical decision to make playoff participants wait to play one hole, sometimes up to two hours, just so their playoff starts after the last group-play match has begun.

This year the ping-pong balls bounced in the direction of several intriguing matchups during the group stage, head-to-head duels that the prior setup likely would not have afforded. But when the conclusion of pool play brings more head-scratching than drama, it’s time for a reboot.

There are scenarios out there that will inject more meaning into each match while still offering some protection to the field’s top seeds. Hopefully some of the smart folks in Ponte Vedra Beach can put one of them into place before next year’s event rolls around. Will Gray

On a deserving champion taking back the world No. 1 ranking ...

Now that’s how you seize the No. 1 ranking.

Jason Day moves back atop the Official World Golf Ranking in style. While he didn’t need to win the WGC-Dell Match Play Sunday to get back to No. 1, Day did so with an impressive finish, beating Rory McIlroy in an exciting semifinal match and routing Louis Oosthuizen in the final.

Late last summer, we watched McIlroy take the No. 1 ranking from Jordan Spieth on a week that McIlroy wasn’t even playing. The very next week, Spieth moved back to No. 1 after missing the cut. It’s the way the complicated rankings formula can work sometimes, making you wonder how much fuss we really ought to make over the transfer of the top ranking.

Day made Sunday’s passing of the torch more meaningful. He made it feel like we ought to make a fuss over who’s No. 1 in the game . . . at least for the moment.Randall Mell

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McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”

McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.

“I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.

Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.

“I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.

“So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”

McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.

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Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:54 pm

Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.

His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.

Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.

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Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

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Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

We compiled some of their missives below:

Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.