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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Articles tagged: Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy shares Tiger Woods update after practice round

Tiger Woods at a press conference

Rory McIlroy’s latest update on Tiger Woods is only going to further excite golf fans and increase hopes of a Woods return at The Masters.

McIlroy spent time with Woods recently and came away amazed at Woods’ progress as he recovers from a car accident in Feb. 2021. McIlroy confirmed that Woods is at least exploring the possibility of playing at The Masters next week, though added that the legendary golfer is being cautious as he sees what his body can take.

“It’s unbelievable,” McIlroy told Kira Dixon of Golf Channel. “I spent some time with him a few weeks ago at his house, and at that point it didn’t look possible. He’s definitely made a lot of big strides over the last few weeks. I saw him yesterday at Augusta, he looked great … he’s being very conservative, but he’s doing everything he can to see if he can play.

“It’s great to see him up and back and just considering playing next week is a great thing.”

Woods has been quiet about a possible return, but has been practicing and plans to do the same at Augusta. This has been enough to get golf fans excited, and understandably so.

As recently as February, Woods downplayed an imminent return. Based on McIlroy’s comments, however, an appearance at The Masters cannot be completely ruled out.

Photo: Sep 18, 2020; Mamaroneck, New York, USA; Tiger Woods talks to reporters following his second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Winged Foot Golf Club – West. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy, others blast Phil Mickelson over Saudi golf league

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson has been on a mission lately to turn people against the PGA Tour, but the six-time major champion has not had much success. The biggest reason for that is the lack of support Mickelson has received from his fellow golf superstars. Some of them, like Rory McIlroy, have blasted “Lefty.”

In an interview with Golf Digest earlier this month, Mickelson unloaded on the PGA Tour for its “obnoxious” greed with player media rights. More recently, golf writer Alan Shipnuck shared some comments Mickelson made to him about the Tour back in November for Shipnuck’s upcoming book “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar.” Mickelson said he is so disgusted with the PGA Tour that he’s willing to help launch a golf league in a country with a troubling human rights history.

“They’re scary motherf—ers to get involved with,” Mickelson said of Saudi Arabian officials. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates. They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse. As nice a guy as [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] comes across as, unless you have leverage, he won’t do what’s right. And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want [the SGL] to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour.”

It does not sound like the Saudi Golf League is going to succeed. McIlroy and other PGA stars were quick to distance themselves from Mickelson.

“I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down, obviously, but I thought (Mickelson’s remarks) were naïve, selfish, egotistical, ignorant,” McIlroy said after the Genesis Open on Sunday, via Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner. “It was just very surprising and disappointing. Sad. I’m sure he’s sitting at home sort of rethinking his position and where he goes from here.”

While they did not bash Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau issued statements last week distancing themselves from the Saudi golf league after rumors linked them to it. Billy Horschel echoed McIlroy’s criticism while speaking with Golf Channel’s Matt Adams on the “Fairways of Life” podcast.

“They were a little bit idiotic to tell you the truth,” Horschel said of Mickelson’s comments. “I think some of the statements he made are lies, are false, are — I don’t know where he got his information from. It’s unbelievable that he would say certain things because I think he does understand how the PGA Tour works…”

There was a rumor that DeChambeau was offered an absurd amount of money to join the Saudi league, but that turned out to be false. While Mickelson likely is not the only one who wants to see changes on the PGA Tour, he has clearly alienated some of his peers with his approach.

Photo: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Look: Rory McIlroy ripped shirt in anger after bad final round

Rory McIlroy on the golf course

Rory McIlroy entered the final round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Sunday as the 54-hole leader, but he finished five shots back of winner Collin Morikawa following a brutal collapse. It would be an understatement to say the four-time major champion was unhappy with his performance.

McIlroy shot a 2-over 74 on Sunday. His round featured a three-putt bogey on the 16th hole and a 38 on the back nine. The 32-year-old was photographed with a ripped shirt after he finished. He reportedly tore it in anger while walking over to submit his scorecard.

McIlroy has won the DP World Tour Championship twice, and many felt he would cruise to his third victory at the event. He caught a horrible break on the 15th hole when his pitch shot hit the flag stick and rolled into a sand trap.

We’ve seen golfers curse or snap their clubs in frustration on many occasions. Tyrell Hatton did both at The Open Championship over the summer (video here). This is the first time we can recall a pro golfer turning into the Incredible Hulk and tearing his own shirt.

Photo: May 30, 2019; Dublin, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy looks on during the first round of the 2019 Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy makes big change to his golf team

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has made a big change to his golf team.

The 32-year-old golfer is back working with his old swing coach, Michael Bannon. Golfweek reported the news on Wednesday, and McIlroy confirmed to the outlet that he is back with Bannon.

“Yes, Michael and I are back working together,” McIlroy told Golfweek. “I’ve always had a relationship with Pete (Cowen) and I’ll ask for his input if I feel I need it. But now it’s Michael and me.”

McIlroy has been working with Bannon since he was eight years old. But Bannon, who is based in Northern Ireland, was unable to travel during the pandemic, until now. Bannon is now in Florida and helping McIlroy prepare for the World Tour Championship in Dubai.

While Bannon was unable to travel, McIlroy began working with the aforementioned Cowen, an experienced golf coach. The 70-year-old Cowen has coached numerous top players like Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood.

McIlroy’s time with Cowen left the young golfer underperforming and searching for some answers. His poor showing at the Ryder Cup spurred him to resume working with Bannon.

Photo: May 30, 2019; Dublin, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy looks on during the first round of the 2019 Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Rory McIlroy was crying in emotional interview after Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy crying

The European Ryder Cup team was dominated by the United States team from start to finish this week, and no one took the loss harder than Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy didn’t play well on Friday or Saturday at Whistling Straits, but he managed to salvage a point when he won his singles match against Xander Schauffele on Sunday. He was quick to deflect any attention away from the individual accomplishment. McIlroy gave an emotional interview with NBC after his round and fought back tears as he spoke about how much playing in the Ryder Cup means to him.

“The more and more I play in this event, I realize that it’s the best event in golf, bar none. I love being a part of it,” McIlroy said. “I can’t wait to be a part of many more. … It’s an absolute privilege. I’ve gotten to do this six times. They’ve always been my greatest experiences in my career. I’ve never really cried or gotten emotional about what I’ve done as an individual — I couldn’t give a s—.”

Europe had won nine of the previous 12 Ryder Cup events heading into this year. The U.S. bucked the trend with a 19-9 thumping, which was the largest margin of victory since continental Europe was introduced to the Ryder Cup in 1979.

McIlroy is only 32, so he’ll have plenty of opportunities to erase the foul stench from 2021. The next Ryder Cup will also be in Europe, so McIlroy’s team will be the one on the receiving end of awesome supportive chants like this.

Rory McIlroy ‘sad’ to see treatment of Bryson DeChambeau

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has come to the defense of Bryson DeChambeau, somewhat.

McIlroy spoke recently about some of the treatment DeChambeau has received on tour from some of the fans. DeChambeau has had an ongoing feud with Brooks Koepka, which led some people to taunt him by yelling “Brooksie!” at him. DeChambeau even reportedly had a heated exchange with a “Brooksie” heckler over the weekend.

Some of that harsh treatment led the PGA Tour to say Tuesday that DeChambeau could not be taunted with “Brooksie” barbs anymore.

Many think the rule is ridiculous and not only will be difficult to enforce, but may also make the issue worse.

McIlroy spoke about the situation. He believes that DeChambeau has brought some of the attention upon himself. But he also feels badly for his fellow golfer.

“There are certainly things that he has done in the past that have brought some of this stuff on himself. But at the same time I think he has been getting a pretty rough go of it of late and it’s actually pretty sad to see because he, deep down, I think, is a nice person,” McIlroy said.

McIlroy believes some of the stuff he has heard from fans crosses the line. He is hoping that fans will give DeChambeau a chance to improve.

DeChambeau has definitely brought a lot upon himself. It’s one thing to be “different” with your methods as DeChambeau is. But when you have issues with your colleagues and call out your equipment, you’re going to make a lot of people dislike you.

Rory McIlroy admits he was wrong about golf in Olympics

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has done a 180 regarding his stance on the Olympics.

McIlroy did not play at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. He did not seem very enthusiastic about competing at the Summer Games in Tokyo either.

McIlroy said prior to the Olympics that he was not a very patriotic guy but was participating just to represent the sport of golf.

Now, after competing and contending for a medal, McIlroy’s stance has changed, and he feels the beauty of the Olympics.

“I made some comments before that were probably uneducated and impulsive, but coming here experiencing it, seeing, feeling everything that goes on, not just Olympic golf but just the Olympics in general, that sort of Olympic spirit’s definitely bitten me and I’m excited how this week’s turned out and excited for the future,” McIlroy said on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Irish golfer was part of a 7-way tie for third that entered a playoff to determine the bronze medal winner. Though he did not win the bronze, which went to C.T. Pan, McIlroy said he had never competed so hard for third place. He also said he was already excited about competing in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Overall, McIlroy acknowledged that he’s a bit of a skeptic. That led him to be skeptical of the Ryder Cup and the Olympics. But once he participated in both events, he learned how special they were and was proud to be proven wrong.

Rory McIlroy shares reason for competing in Olympics

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy says patriotism is not a driving factor in him competing for Ireland in the Olympics. So what is his reason for competing in Japan?

The 32-year-old says he wants to represent the sport as a whole.

“I’m not a very patriotic guy; I’m doing it because I think it is the right thing to do,” McIlroy said Sunday.

“I missed it last time [in Rio]. And for golf to be an Olympic sport, you need your best players there, and I feel I want to represent the game of golf more than anything else.”

McIlroy was asked what he is looking forward to at the Olympics. The golfer said that given the restrictions due to COVID-19, there isn’t as much to look forward to as there would be in typical Olympics. However, this will give him a chance to work on his game more.

McIlroy has won four majors and achieved a No. 1 world ranking during his career. Adding a gold medal to his list of achievements would be nice for his career resume.

Video: Rory McIlroy has club stolen by fan at Scottish Open

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy struggled through the first two rounds of the Scottish Open this week, but a fan made sure the event will be one the four-time major champion will never forget.

McIlroy was chatting with Jon Rahm on the 10th tee at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick on Friday when a fan casually walked up to him and removed a club from his bag. The spectator first tried to grab McIlroy’s driver, but the head cover came off. He then grabbed an iron from McIlroy’s bag, walked to the opposite side of the tee box and began taking practice swings.

As you can see in the video below, McIlroy and his caddie appeared to be so confused that they froze.

The fan, of course, was ejected from the event. A European Tour spokesperson told ESPN’s Cameron O’Halloran on Friday that “the matter is now in the hands of Police Scotland.”

Fans have seemed particularly brazen at golf events this year. Just last month, someone waltzed onto the course at the US Open and began taking shots. You can see that video here.

Rahm led the tournament as of Friday afternoon after shooting 11-under through two rounds. McIlroy was just 1-under after the second round, which may not be enough to make the cut.

Rory McIlroy shares cool note after winning at Quail Hollow

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy notched his first win on the PGA Tour since 2019 when he held off Abraham Ancer at the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday. You could tell the victory meant a lot to him when he was interviewed after the final round, and McIlroy reiterated that on social media.

McIlroy’s win was the third of his career at Quail Hollow in Charlotte. His first, in 2010, was the first PGA Tour victory of his career. The 32-year-old reflected on that in a tweet after the tournament.

After McIlroy sunk his final putt, he threw his ball into the gallery the same way he did with his previous two victories at Quail Hollow.

Fans were happy to see McIlroy break his 18-month slump. They made that clear with the loud chants they had for Rory on the 18th green (video here). Time will tell if the win can jumpstart his career again.