Former No. 1 Miyazato, 31, to announce retirement

By Randall MellMay 26, 2017, 3:36 pm

Former Rolex world No. 1 Ai Miyazato will announce in a news conference Monday that she will retire at the end of this season, the Kyodo news service reported.

Miyazato, 31, is a nine-time LPGA winner who reigned as world No. 1 for 12 weeks in 2010.

“I’m kind of sad,” said Stacy Lewis, an 11-time LPGA winner. “Ai’s a good friend, but I’m excited for her. I’m sure there are a lot of opportunities at home for her to continue growing the game. I’m excited for her, but also sad that she won’t be out here week to week.”

Miyazato is a superstar in her native Japan. She was so immensely popular as a rising young star, she said she had to wear a disguise in public to avoid being swarmed by fans. She was credited with reviving the Japan LPGA Tour as World Golf Hall of Famer Ayako Okamoto’s career wound to an end.

As a teenager in high school, Miyazato burst into the international spotlight, becoming the first amateur to win a JLPGA event in 30 years. A year later, she won five times as a JLPGA rookie. She joined the American-based LPGA in 2006, with a large Japanese media contingent traveling wherever she played to document her efforts. She claimed her first LPGA title in ’09, winning the Evian Championship. Miyazato won five times the following year, fueling her run to No. 1.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Lewis said of Miyazato’s influence on Japanese women’s golf. “She really opened the door for Japanese players to come over and play well and show them what it would take. Really, when nobody else was doing it, she came over and played and was a great ambassador for our tour.”

Over the last few years, Miyazato has battled injuries and surprising putting woes, as she was once regarded as one of the best putter’s in the women’s game. She ranked first in putting in the LPGA in 2010. She also has acknowledged struggling with motivation as she has dropped to No. 115 in the Rolex world rankings.

Miyazato’s third-place finish at the Kia Classic last year is her only top-10 finish in her last 77 starts.

“It kind of became one thing after another,” Vision 54 coach Lynn Marriott told a week after the Kia finish last year. “And as we’ve seen with so many No. 1s, where they’ve reached that goal, there’s the motivation you need to keep going. She had to re-evaluate. She had to figure that out.”

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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.