Newsmaker of the Year, No. 7: Rory McIlroy

By Nick MentaDecember 11, 2015, 1:00 pm

When he hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy in the dark last year at Valhalla, it seemed unthinkable that Rory McIlroy wouldn’t be on top of the golf world one year later.

If you had told someone – anyone – that McIlroy would win four times in 2015, including a World Golf Championship, and not be No. 1, you might have been dragged away by well-meaning gentlemen in white caddie smocks.

Go back and look at the world rankings on Aug. 10, 2014, the night of McIlroy’s PGA Championship victory. He was two points ahead of No. 2 Adam Scott, five and a half points ahead of No. 10 Jason Day and closer to six points ahead of No. 12 Jordan Spieth. The latter two would have to do something outrageous to pass him. Combined they would have to win something like 12 worldwide events, including three majors, for roughly $30 million.

And yet here we sit, with McIlroy behind Spieth and Day in the Official World Golf Ranking. The golf world suddenly has a new Big 3, and McIlroy, at least mathematically, is squarely third.

The reason? His absence.

McIlroy started the year with wins at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, WGC-Cadillac Match Play and Wells Fargo Championship. But just two weeks before what would have been his Open Championship defense, he suffered a “total rupture” of a ligament in his left ankle during what he called a “soccer kickabout” with friends.

Top 10 Newsmakers of 2015: The full list

In terms of breaking news, there was no sourced report. No carefully crafted statement from a team of handlers. No whispers of any kind. There was just a casual, albeit jarring Instagram post on the morning of July 6:

“Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends on Saturday,” McIlroy wrote next to a picture of himself on crutches, with his foot in a walking boot. “Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started. … Working hard to get back as soon as I can.”

McIlroy didn’t make a start for two months between the U.S. Open and his return at the PGA Championship, where he played for two rounds with Spieth, who would go on to supplant him as world No. 1 at the end of the week.

Although McIlroy would return to No. 1 twice for a week at a time on Aug. 29 and Sept. 12 by virtue of how the ranking is calculated, he had clearly lost his No. 1 status in the hearts and minds of golf fans. Spieth had already won four times in 2015, including the Masters and U.S. Open, and Day was in the middle of a run that saw him win four times in six starts.

Even with three victories already to his name, by the time he reached the Tour Championship, a clearly discouraged McIlroy was ready to write off his year as a whole.

“I think it’s a lost year already, just because I didn’t win a major,” McIlroy said at East Lake. “I judge myself on the biggest tournaments and the biggest tournaments we have are the four majors, and I played OK in them but I didn’t win.”

True, but the Ulsterman himself would sing a different tune not even two months later. After winning his second DP World Championship and successfully defending his Race to Dubai title in November, Rory had suddenly shifted from calling his year “lost” to grading it an “A,” just not an “A+.”

Outside the ropes, there were reports that McIlroy got engaged and he found himself on the receiving end of some criticism when he admitted at the Tour Championship that the FedEx Cup’s $10 million purse doesn’t do much to motivate him, considering how much money he’s already made.

“Luckily, that amount of money doesn't sort of mean much to me anymore," he said at East Lake. "It will go in the bank and if I want to buy something nice, I will. It's nice to think that you could win $10 million this week, but that's not what excites me.

“It excites me to play well and to try and win. And the FedEx Cup is one of the only things that I haven't put on my golf CV, and that would be more exciting to do than walk away with a check.”

Just in his PGA Tour career, McIlroy has won $28 million. That doesn’t include his European Tour earnings, his reported $200 million Nike deal, or any other endorsements.

Oh, and that number also doesn’t include whatever he is now being paid by Electronic Arts. While he was on the shelf in July, EA Sports released its first Rory McIlroy PGA Tour video game, a title previously headlined for 16 editions by McIlroy’s Nike buddy, Tiger Woods. When EA was rebranding the game after a one-year hiatus, it announced McIlroy as the new face of the franchise in March.

At the time, honestly, who else could the company have picked? McIlroy was the undisputed best player in the world.

Now, he and Spieth are ranked exactly equal in McIlroy’s own video game. Call it a sign of the times.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:15 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 8:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.