McIlroy pushes aside pride, gets help with putting

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 7, 2016, 8:02 pm

CARMEL, Ind. – Rory McIlroy’s putting performance at the PGA Championship was so alarming that a few coaches sent him text messages, offering their services.

After missing the cut, McIlroy discussed all of his options with his team before phoning English coach Phil Kenyon – who has worked with Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose, among others – the next day.

“People that know me know I’m not one to seek out advice,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “I always try to figure it out on my own. I’m sort of stubborn that way. If I can get a feeling and feel like I really own it, instead of seeking out advice … I’m sort of too proud to do that in a way. But it got to the point where that wasn’t really working, so I had to go and do something about it.”

McIlroy said he was still in “regular contact” with Dave Stockton Jr. throughout the year, but they never spent any time on the putting green together.

McIlroy met with Kenyon in his studio in England to crunch the Trackman numbers and understand why his putting stats were so poor. 

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“And then, over the last couple of weeks,” McIlroy said, “I felt like we worked well together and I feel like we gelled pretty well, so it was an easy decision to make after that.” 

It looks like a genius move now, of course: McIlroy snapped a 15-month winless drought on Tour with his victory last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship. It was the first time in his career that he led the field in both driving distance and putting average.

The last time McIlroy won in Boston was 2012. He rolled to another title the following week at the BMW – the last time the event was held at Crooked Stick.

“I’m feeling good about my game, feeling good to come back to a place where I have had good memories and good feelings before,” McIlroy said. “So it would obviously be very nice to emulate what I did in 2012 by doing it again this year.”  

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Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.

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That was his only dropped shot of the day.

The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

“Go in,” he immediately said.

“Please go in,” he added.

Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.

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Watch: Dufner makes six (!) fist pumps after birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 4:53 am

Jason Dufner makes Ben Stein seem like Jonathan Winters. Dufner often looks mighty miserable for someone who plays golf for a living.

But not on Friday at the CJ Cup!

Dufner made a 20-footer for birdie at the 16th hole and “celebrated” with one-two-three-(pause)-four-five-six fist pumps. There could have been more, but the camera cut away.

That was Dufner’s third birdie on the back nine, which offset a triple bogey at the par-3 seventh, en route to an even-par 72. Good times.

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Watch: Paul C-ace-y makes hole-in-one at CJ Cup

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 2:35 am

Par-par-par-par-par-par. It was a boring second round over the first six holes for Paul Casey at the CJ Cup.

And then he aced the par-3 seventh.

Casey's tee shot from 176 tracked straight towards the hole and rolled in near the final revolution. That got him to 2 under par for the tournament. He was five off the lead, held by Chez Reavie, but bogeyed the ninth and 10th holes to give back those two strokes.

Hey, it's a no-cut event and a guaranteed paycheck. Drinks on Casey!