Rory McIlroy said his immediate ambition is to survive the US PGA Championship cut after he shot an opening round of 74 in the final major of this year. McIlroy, one of the pre-event favourites, endured a series of problems on the greens with 35 putts contributing heavily to his four over par total.
Sam Torrance has been named as Europe’s fifth and final vice-captain for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in September. Torrance, who captained the Europeans to victory in 2002, joins Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie and Thomas Bjorn as assistants to Darren Clarke.
Should he successfully defend the US PGA Championship, Jason Day will not so much have raised questions about the concept of ideal preparation as completely trashed it.
If it seems strange to be speaking of a year’s definition by late July, the nuances of golf’s rescheduled calendar because of the Olympic Games makes it a reality.
The confirmation Tiger Woods will not participate in the US PGA Championship represented little more than an exercise in administration with 2016’s final major lending itself to a multitude of more fascinating storylines.
For the first time since his debut at the 1995 Masters, Tiger Woods will miss all four majors in a calendar year after confirming he will not play in this month’s US PGA. His agent later confirmed the former world No1 will not play again this year.
The peak television audience for the final round of the Open Championship suffered a drop of around 75% on last year in the first broadcasting by Sky Sports of the oldest major.
Henrik Stenson’s celebration to mark his Open Championship win may be deemed lavish in certain contexts.
Andrew Johnston made bogey at the Postage Stamp after finding one of the bunkers on the right of the green and made his way to the 9th, low-fiving the crowd on either side of the walkway as he climbed the approach to the tee and keeping his spirits up, but the Englishman knew his moment had slipped away.
Darren Clarke, Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, has shrugged off any notion of US crowds negatively impacting on the performance of Sergio García at Hazeltine in September 2016.
If you pay attention to subliminal messages, things don’t look good for Bubba Watson in a Ryder Cup context.
Rory McIlroy delivered the most powerful Ryder Cup message to the United States yet with a dramatic success at the Tour Championship which also ensured the Northern Irishman claimed the $10m FedEx Cup prize. At the start of Ryder Cup week Europe are the side with momentum. With the purses added together, McIlroy departed Georgia $11.5m richer than when he arrived.
For all that the Ryder Cup involves two sides, it is difficult to deviate from the notion that the narrative of this, the 41st playing of the event, focuses mainly on one.
In what will be portrayed either as a motivational masterstroke or a needless act of compassion, Bubba Watson has been named as a fifth and final vice-captain to the USA Ryder Cup team.
Eighteen months ago in the clubhouse at Bay Hill, venue for the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the adopted winter home of this golfing icon, Rory McIlroy was approached. “Rory; if you need anything this week, you just let me know.”
Albeit the success of 2015 may influence his thinking, Jordan Spieth will place team success over that of an individual variety during the next fortnight. When asked which he would cherish more, a FedEx or Ryder Cup, Spieth’s desire to be part of a winning USA contingent at Hazeltine was abundantly clear for merely the latest time.
The murmurings in relation to Paul Casey’s refusal to make himself eligible for the Ryder Cup could take the form of an epic storyline within days.
Tim Finchem, the outgoing head of the PGA Tour, believes golf’s showing at the Olympics will be sufficient to see the sport retained in the Games for the “long term”.
Tiger Woods kept a low profile in his role as a vice-captain as the USA took a comprehensive win in the Ryder Cup after a hard-fought match and some quite brilliant golf but he will be unable to escape the spotlight when he returns to the course as a player on Thursday.
Even when broken, don’t fix it.
The topic which dominated post-Ryder Cup media duties for the European team had nothing to do with the concession of the trophy for the first time since 2008. Rather, the level of hostility those visitors to Hazeltine encountered from a frenzied home crowd created a narrative which will flow into 2018 and Paris. The reserved French may tone matters down.