McIlroy spoils Scott's storybook ending

By Randall MellDecember 1, 2013, 6:22 pm

Rory McIlroy seemed genuinely sympathetic after spoiling Adam Scott’s storybook ending.

He appeared to sincerely regret riding down from Mount Crumpet like the Grinch to steal the Whoville feast.

With his Sunday charge, with his closing birdie, McIlroy put an unceremonious end to Scott’s victory parade Down Under, winning the Australian Open to deny Scott Australian golf’s triple crown. McIlroy denied an entire continent the joy of ending a month-long celebration of Scott’s return home with an exclamation point.

“Pooh-pooh to the Whos!” he was grinchly humming. “They’re finding out now that no victory is coming! I know just what they’ll do! Their mouths will hang open a minute or two! Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry boo-hoo!”

Of course, that isn’t McIlroy’s style. His charm is so palpable he can soothe wounds with it.

“It was hard not to feel some sort of guilt the way I won it,” McIlroy told reporters afterward. “I feel a bit sorry that I was the one that ruined the triple crown for him.”

Scott had a one-shot lead going to the last hole, but he drilled his approach over the green, pitched clumsily and made bogey to lose by a shot.

“I am gutted,” Scott said. “I felt like I have never had a better chance to win the Aussie Open, but it was tight, the whole back nine. Rory played so good.”

McIlroy was respectful of Scott, of the affection Aussies have for him.

“It’s a real credit to him that he came down and played all four weeks,” McIlroy said of Scott’s return to his homeland. “He sort of knew what responsibility he had coming down as Masters champion, the first Australian to win a green jacket, and that’s just the sort of guy he is.

“He’s a true gentleman, and what I said at the prize ceremony, he’s a credit to the game, but he’s also a credit to this country.”


You don’t get this kind of emotion much in December golf, or a duel between two top-ranked players in an event that matters. Scott was trying to win his national open, a storybook ending to a storybook year that began with his Masters’ breakthrough. McIlroy was trying to win for the first time this season, to win back lost confidence and momentum.

The talent these two players possess, coupled with their likeability, made this a special holiday feast for golf fans. It was an unexpected dessert in a satisfying season that still isn’t over, with McIlroy heading this week to Tiger Woods’ elite-field event, the Northwestern Mutual Challenge.

McIlroy is no Grinch, not in demeanor or temperament, but so many of his victories are Grinch-like.

That’s what made the cold-blooded nature of his beating Scott so meaningful. McIlroy's killer instinct was back on display.

This was McIlroy at his best, another victory so at odds with his boyish charm. At his best, McIlroy stomps on hearts, demolishes competition in the most dispiriting ways. He destroyed the field winning the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional by eight shots with a record-breaking 16-under 268 total. He was equally ruthless in the PGA Championship at Kiawah last year, stepping on everyone’s necks in a record-breaking eight-shot rout.

With Woods back in winning form, the game is more interesting if McIlroy can keep his killer instinct intact.

At his best, McIlroy is the greatest challenge to Woods in the game today. When he is in form, McIlroy is fearless with his driver. He’ll hit it almost everywhere, with impunity. Woods won't. That makes McIlroy the most dangerous challenger to Woods in the game today, because it can give McIlroy a physical and psychological advantage over Woods that few players possess.

McIlroy’s confidence with his driver seems to feed down to every part of his game.

This victory at Royal Sydney isn’t the only sign McIlroy’s getting some of his mojo back. He tied for fifth at the DP World Tour Championship in his last start before the Australian Open. He tied for sixth at the WGC-HSBC Championship before that.

“I never lost belief,” McIlroy said after breaking Aussie hearts. “I never lost that aspect of it.”

Whoville can vouch for that.

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What's in the Bag: Tour Championship winner Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 12:48 pm

Tiger Woods won his 80th career title on Sunday at the Tour Championship. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (9.5 degrees)

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M3 (13 degrees), M1 2017 (19 degrees)

Irons: TaylorMade TW Phase 1 prototype (3-PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (56, 60 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

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McCarthy tops Bae in Tour Finals 25

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 11:51 am

The Tour handed out 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season based on how players fared in the Finals series. Here are the final standings after Sunday's Tour Championship.

1. Denny McCarthy: $255,793

2. Sangmoon Bae: $218,156

3. Robert Streb: $187,460

4. Peter Malnati: $157,296

5. Cameron Davis: $126,675

6. Adam Schenk: $125,798

7. Lucas Glover: $125,212

8. Matt Jones: $112,000

9. Hunter Mahan: $107,505

10. Roger Sloan: $84,307

11. Shawn Stefani: $80,579

12. Seth Reeves: $80,360

13. Max Homa: $78,200

14. Roberto Diaz: $70,326

15. Stephan Jaeger: $69,923

16. Curtis Luck: $64,920

17. Nicholas Lindheim: $59,169

18. Dylan Frittelli: $48,600

19. Wes Roach: $48,100

20. Sepp Straka: $47,844

21. Cameron Tringale: $47,760

22. Ben Silverman: $47,700

23. Michael Thompson: $45,466

24. Fabian Gomez: $43,657

25. Jim Knous: $41,931

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DJ moves back to No. 1; Woods to 13th in OWGR

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 11:05 am

Justin Rose did just enough to claim the FedExCup title Sunday at the Tour Championship, but Dustin Johnson's late surge was enough to vault him back into the top spot in the World Ranking.

Johnson shot a final-round 67 to finish in third place, while Rose stumbled with a 3-over 73 for a share of fourth. DJ lipped out a birdie putt on 18 that would have given him a shot at the FedExCup crown, and that allowed Rose to clinch the $10 million prize with a two-putt birdie.

Tiger Woods continued his incredible surge up the World Ranking with his 80th career win at the Tour Championship. Woods moved up from 21st to 13th after a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel. It marked Woods' seventh top-10 finish of the year.

Horschel made the other big move of the week jumping up from 48th to 35th with his second place finish. Outside of a WD in Boston, the 2014 FedExCup champion had another great run in the playoffs finishing T-3 at the Northern Trust, T-3 at the BMW and second at East Lake.

Here's the top 10 after the PGA Tour season finale.

1. Dustin Johnson

2. Justin Rose

3. Brooks Koepka

4. Justin Thomas

5. Francesco Molinari

6. Rory McIlroy

7. Bryson DeChambeau

8. Jon Rahm

9. Rickie Fowler

10. Jordan Spieth

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McCarthy wins Tour Championship by 4

By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2018, 2:14 am

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Denny McCarthy won the season-ending Tour Championship on Sunday to earn fully exempt PGA Tour status and a spot in the Players Championship.

McCarthy closed with a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory over Lucas Glover at Atlantic Beach Country Club. The 25-year-old former Virginia player earned $180,000 to top the 25 PGA Tour card-earners with $255,793 in the four-event Tour Finals.

''It's been quite a journey this year,'' McCarthy said. ''The PGA Tour was tough to start out the year. I stuck through it and got my game. I raised my level and have been playing some really good golf. Just feels incredible to finish off these Finals. So much work behind the scenes that nobody really sees.''

McCarthy finished at 23-under 261.

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, closed with a 69. He made $108,000 to finish seventh with $125,212 in the series for the top 75 players from the regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200.

Jim Knous earned the 25th and final card from the four-event money list with $41,931, edging Justin Lower by $500. Knous made a 5-foot par save on the final hole for a 71 that left him tied for 57th. Lower missed an 8-footer for birdie, settling for a 69 and a tie for 21st.

''It was a brutal day emotionally,'' Knous said. ''I wasn't quite sure how much my performance would affect the overall outcome. It kind of just depended on what everybody else did. That's pretty terrifying. So I really just kind of did my best to stay calm and inside I was really freaking out and just super psyched that at the end of the day finished right there on No. 25.''

The top-25 finishers on the regular-season money list competed against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. Sungjae Im topped the list to earn the No. 1 priority spot of the 50 total cards.