Tiger owns majors, but Rory owns the media

By Jay CoffinMarch 6, 2013, 7:47 pm

DORAL, Fla. – Tiger Woods has 12 things Rory McIlroy desires. Rory McIlroy has one thing Tiger Woods needs.

The major math is simple: Woods 14, McIlroy two. The difference between the two numbers are the only assets Woods has that McIlroy should covet. Consequently, Woods should desire McIlroy’s ability to be more forthright and forthcoming.

Never was this more obvious than Wednesday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship when McIlroy sat in front of a gaggle of reporters and answered every question with an honest, thoughtful answer. The world No. 1 was getting peppered with questions regarding his ill-timed WD last week at the Honda Classic, yet handled the heat with the greatest of ease.

“I realized pretty quickly it wasn’t the right thing to do,” McIlroy said. “No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there.

“I regret what I did. It’s over now and it won’t happen again.”

Most left the interview giving McIlroy the benefit of the doubt.

Video: McIlroy at Doral, apologizes for Honda WD

Photos: Rory McIlroy through the years

WGC-Cadillac Championship: Articles, videos and photos

It was refreshing to see the 23-year-old do what he’s done so many times over the past couple years. At The Masters 11 months ago, McIlroy faced the media before the tournament and poured out his soul regarding heartbreak he experienced at the 2011 Masters when he dominated the first 63 holes and butchered the final nine.

About an hour after McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open he was sitting in a fairly empty interview room in the media center waiting for reporters to file in when he busted loose by taking photos of himself with his first major trophy. He had put himself under a Twitter ban for the week and it was finally time to let the excitement of the moment take over and start firing away.

That’s McIlroy, honest to a fault. That’s why last Friday’s explanation that a bothersome wisdom tooth was the reason for walking off the course at PGA National didn’t pass the smell test. If he’d have been as honest in his statement as he was to the reporters he spoke with as he exited, there wouldn’t have been as much of a fuss.

McIlroy righted a wrong. He was contrite. The only time we’ve seen Woods be contrite was following his 2009 difficulties, where being remorseful was the only option.

Sure, Woods commands an audience each time he speaks, but McIlroy commands the room when he’s on that podium. McIlroy genuinely cares what other people think and lets people know that he cares what they think. He gets it.

“Look, we, as in me and all you guys, are hopefully going to have a working relationship for the next 20 years, so I don’t want to jeopardize that by being closed,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “I feel like I’ve always been open and honest and given you guys all my thoughts and everything.

“I don’t want it to be that way where there’s friction between me and the press because at the end of the day, you guys are here because you’re reporting what we do on the golf course all over the world.

“It’s not like I want there to be a strained relationship,” McIlroy said, “because it’s going to be a long one. I hope.”

Add that to the top of the list of words Woods would never speak.

Time will tell if it’s possible to be personable and win major championships at a record clip – Jack Nicklaus largely did it, Nick Faldo did not. Perhaps McIlroy won’t achieve Woods’ heights because he’s too nice a dude. Perhaps he doesn’t have the same killer instinct that has resided in Woods the last two decades. We shall see.

Last week at the Honda Classic, Woods was asked if he had any advice for McIlroy and the pressure that goes with being the game’s top-ranked stud.

“You've just got to be more, just got to think about it a little bit more before you say something or do something,” Woods said. “It can get out of hand, especially when you get into social media and start tweeting and all those different things that can go wrong.”

Translation: Rory, don’t go overboard with information.

For years, PGA Tour players have answered questions about Woods ad nauseam and most have expounded on Woods’ importance to the Tour and have thanked him for essentially raising purses, putting more money in their collective pockets. Yet, Woods stood there Wednesday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and wasn’t able to muster a thoughtful answer about McIlroy’s recent difficulties.

“I really haven’t read much,” Woods said. “I’ve seen a couple things on the ticker, but I’ve been watching other sporting events.

“I’m sure that most of you guys have taken it to him pretty good.”

Some did. But McIlroy walked away earning more respect than he had a week ago.

Call it a pretty good day’s work.

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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.