There was nothing to separate Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson through 71 holes with the former Ryder Cup partners both 15-under par as they stepped on to the 18th green at the Olympic Golf Course on Sunday afternoon.
The popularity of major champions is always easy to determine.
Jimmy Walker’s passion is astrophotography. It is unclear at which point he reckoned that, if taking pictures of the stars, he might as well shoot for them.
The thunderstorms and steady downpour that reduced the finely manicured Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club into marshy wetlands over the weekend finally relented yesterday afternoon, sparing tournament officials the headache of the first Monday finish at a PGA Championship since the season’s final major was last played here in 2005 – and further criticism over how it was handled.
It is just as well Matt Fitzpatrick has retained his sense of humour. Otherwise questions surrounding his participation in the Ryder Cup – which have been going on for just short of 11 months – could have reduced the 21-year-old to a rambling wreck.
Let’s call it the curse of Baltusrol. Or perhaps the Baltusrol blues. The US PGA Championship could be destined for a Monday finish upon its return to the New Jersey venue at which Phil Mickelson triumphed in 2005. Eleven years ago, the Wanamaker Trophy was handed over on Monday because of weather delays.
Golf has Olympic refuseniks, those who are sanguine about the sport’s imminent Games return, and Justin Rose.
There were enough reasons to doubt whether Jason Day could win back-to-back US PGA Championships – namely a pre-tournament rush to hospital with his wife, a mild bout of illness for Day himself, the failure to play a single practice hole at Baltusrol before Wednesday and, in round two, the playing of his first seven holes in two over par. Day was drifting.
A dispirited but candid Rory McIlroy admitted to a “pathetic” putting performance after missing the cut at the US PGA Championship to ensure 2016 will conclude without a major win for the Northern Irishman.
From golf’s turmoil comes opportunity.
Had the United States not been harshly subjected to an earlier, harrowing run which led to public denouncement of captains and the formation of a task force, they might ponder how straightforward this all was. The Ryder Cup that had everything produced a result of wider benefit with Hazeltine the venue for the reinvigoration of the US in context of this event.
Darren Clarke insisted Europe’s Ryder Cup team are not without Sunday hope, despite trailing the USA by three points heading into the singles at Hazeltine.
Darren Clarke has expressed anger after the brother of Danny Willett used an online column to attack American fans in a supposedly light-hearted way that has spectacularly backfired.
Crisis, what crisis? A special Monday afternoon of golf, the kind which sporadically separates Rory McIlroy from others, concluded with him winning the Deutsche Bank Championship on the outskirts of Boston.
The closing in of Dustin Johnson on the summit of golf’s world ranking may be the least of Jason Day’s worries.
Rory McIlroy insisted the European team mood is “buoyant” after an afternoon Ryder Cup recovery took Darren Clarke’s men from a morning deficit of 4-0 to 5-3 by close of play on day one at Hazeltine. McIlroy, who celebrated in emphatic style after converting an eagle putt on the 16th green to seal a third point for Europe, admitted to being inspired in part by a “hostile” home crowd.
If bookmakers are to be believed, the evolution of Europe’s Ryder Cup team will come at an immediate cost. With a month to go until Darren Clarke oversees the defence of the trophy at Hazeltine the USA are heavily odds-on to win.
A round up of the latest sports stories across all the mainstream sports.
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.
No sooner had Hideki Matsuyama made history in Shanghai than scrutiny intensified as to what, in Turkey, the golfing world may encounter next. For Matsuyama, the 24-year-old from Japan, a three-week run has returned $2.7m and will ensure he is ranked sixth in the world.
Tiger Woods, beset by injuries and the decline of his playing career, appears to have at least one person who still believes in him. And that person is Tiger Woods. In an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS on Thursday night, the former world No1 said he is targeting an imminent return to golf as well as more victories in the majors.
Tiger Woods’s career outlook has taken its latest bleak turn with confirmation that he will not, as announced, return to competitive action at this week’s Safeway Open in California. Woods has also pulled out of November’s Turkish Airlines Open, citing the “vulnerable” state of his game.