Should Dustin Johnson need advice on how to handle the sudden glare of golf’s spotlight, he could do worse than have a word with Jason Day.
Peter Dawson, the president of the International Golf Federation, has accused his sport’s leading players of “overreaction” regarding the Zika virus threat after Jordan Spieth became the latest to withdraw from the Olympics.
The strange aspect of the Scottish Open always relates to the potential for more than one player to emerge a winner. So it proved again at Castle Stuart on Sunday; Alex Noren took the main prize as there was cause for celebration, too, for Tyrrell Hatton, Nicolas Colsaerts, Matteo Manassero and Richie Ramsay. That quartet claimed the final automatic qualifying berths for this week’s Open Championship.
If the adage about the magnitude of a week in politics has never been more readily applicable, we have cause to reflect upon what 12 months can mean for golf.
When Patrick Reed’s mobile phone burst into life, halfway through the night in an Inverness hotel room, his understandable and immediate emotion was concern.
With three major championships in the bag, a 45th birthday to come next month and a subsequent date at Hazeltine as a Ryder Cup assistant captain, Padraig Harrington would be forgiven a pipe and slippers approach to life.
Graeme McDowell and Castle Stuart have never been a match made in heaven.
Colin Montgomerie, who was part of the successful bid to restore golf to the Olympics, has questioned those opting not to appear at this year’s Games in Rio.
Luke Donald, the former world No1, will contest next week’s Open Championship after Jaco van Zyl withdrew from Royal Troon in order to prepare for the Olympics.
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.
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.
Ian Poulter has been named as one of Europe’s vice-captains for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National after injury ruled the Englishman out of playing in the event this September.
Rory McIlroy’s last shot in an Open Championship was his winning putt at Hoylake in 2014.
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.
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.
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.
An emotional Jason Day reflected on the deep sacrifices made by his mother after claiming his first major title, the US PGA Championship, on Sunday evening in Wisconsin.
Henrik Stenson spoke of the inner belief that he would win the 145th Open Championship, with the Swede dedicating the Claret Jug to a late friend after claiming his first major in stunning fashion.
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.
The identity of the man looking to halt a Dustin Johnson procession to the FedEx Cup and $10m prize is more fascinating than the fact a battle has ensued in the first place. Rory McIlroy’s third round of 66 at the Tour Championship, combined with an unforeseen late stumble by Johnson, has set up a thrilling finale on the outskirts of Atlanta.
No sooner had Davis Love III issued his strongest Ryder Cup war cry yet than Lee Westwood endorsed his status as Europe’s agent provocateur. If the event matches the preamble, there may be a need to stand back from the Hazeltine fireworks.