Jason Day’s first trip to the Masters was very nearly his last trip to the Masters.
Rory McIlroy’s demeanour tells any onlooker he is not consumed by the pressure of trying to complete a clean sweep of major championships at his second attempt. As the 26-year-old himself put it: “Someone told me once that pressure is for tyres.”
Rory McIlroy’s Masters week received the ideal kick-start as the Northern Irishman produced a hole-in-one at Augusta National’s 16th on Monday. Using a seven iron, McIlroy delighted the crowd with a 170-yard ace.
Bubba Watson’s willingness to defy convention was apparent in his youth.
Jim Herman, who last week was ranked 191 in the world, has provided a Masters fairytale by clinching the Shell Houston Open and therefore the final spot in the 90-man field at Augusta National. Herman’s one-stroke triumph triggered tears and no wonder; this was the 38-year-old’s maiden victory on the PGA Tour.
This Masters already serves as Rory McIlroy’s odd one out. For the first time since 2012, the Northern Irishman will arrive at Augusta National without an all-consuming narrative as baggage.
Leicester City, Tottenham and Arsenal's dreams of landing this season's Premier League title have certain similarities of Tom Watson, Stewart Cink and Lee Westwood pursuing the Claret Jug.
Jordan Spieth, in an endorsement of the attitude that has propelled him towards greatness, will not pause to reflect on past glories when he returns to Augusta National next week.
The United States Golf Association’s belated attempt at damage limitation arrived on Monday evening, with those responsible for the chaos which engulfed the second major of the year expressing “regret” over events at Oakmont.
Circumstances had combined to strengthen Lee Westwood’s case for Ryder Cup inclusion even before his form in marquee events which suddenly renders an appearance for the Englishman at Hazeltine in September as a no-brainer.
The good news is that round one of the 116th US Open ended. That was 33 hours after it had begun. In a nod towards the impact of torrential rain 11 entrants had broken par; only eight did that in the entire tournament when it was played here at Oakmont in 2007.
Perhaps the golfing gods will smile upon the honest man.
The marginalia of US Open lore is scrawled thick with surprise first-round leaders who burst from obscurity only to vanish as quickly as they appeared. The roll of names reads like the answer key to a pub quiz – Lee Mackey Jr, Bob Gadja, Mike Nicolette, Olin Browne, Justin Hicks – improbable opening-round leaders all, each of whom plummeted back into relative anonymity.
Advanced apologies for something more akin to a weather bulletin.
Matt Kuchar moved into a tie for the lead after the second round of the Memorial Tournament in Ohio on Friday after posting a second successive round of 66. He stands in first place at 12-under par with his fellow American Brendan Steele, who has only one US tour win in his career - in 2011.
Crisis, what crisis? Rory McIlroy has criticised what he regards as the negative perception of his 2016 to date. McIlroy has not won this year despite a consistent run of six top-10 finishes in nine strokeplay events. At the WGC Match Play Championship he was defeated in the semi-final.
Early Monday morning in Augusta. On Washington Road, which runs out from downtown to the golf club, workmen are already packing away cones and pulling down signs. The police who spent the past week directing traffic are gone, so are the scalpers offering spare tickets and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who have quit their quiet roadside vigil.
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.
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.
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”.