Tag Archives: uspga

Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els and Co wait to hear if long putters will be banned

Scott, Bradley, Els and Co wait to hear if controversial long putters will be banned

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UPDATED:

11:08 GMT, 26 November 2012

Golfers around the world are waiting to hear if long putters are to be banned – or at least the way many currently use them is banned.

But one influential voice is urging professionals not to take radical action even if they do not like having to change.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said: 'Speaking personally on behalf of the Tour, one of our great facets is that we are connected to the game that every amateur can play as well.

Verdict: Long putters could be banned from the game

Verdict: Long putters could be banned from the game

Justin Rose feels the fourth

Justin Rose

Justin Rose's closing 62 for second
place behind Rory McIlroy in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai has
taken him to fourth in the world – his highest placing.

But by finishing only joint 48th in
the 56-strong field, Lee Westwood has dropped to sixth – his lowest
position for over three years.

'We could go separately. I would urge the Tour to follow the rules as laid down by the governing bodies.

'We are a very strong lobbyist, our views being sought all the time. There's been a lot of discussion throughout the year with the USGA (United States Golf Association) and the R&A (Royal and Ancient Club) and the PGA Tour.

'I think the rules-making bodies have to do what they think is right for the game.

'The view of our leading members and our players must be listened to, but I haven't heard one of our members want to break away at the moment. They want to be connected to the game.'

The issue has come to the fore with three of the last five major champions – Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els – among those using long putters.

Nobody had ever won a major with one until Bradley's victory at the USPGA Championship last year.

Peter Dawson, the R&A chief executive, said in July after The Open: 'Anchoring is what we're looking at -method of stroke – and it's all about putting around a fixed pivot point, whether that is in your belly or under your chin or on your chest.

'It has dramatically increased and we're also seeing now people who can putt perfectly well in the conventional way thinking that an anchored stroke gives them an advantage.

'I think that's the fundamental change that we've witnessed in the last couple of years.

'The objections I find from those at elite level are “if people have become failed putters in the conventional way why should they have a crutch to come back and compete against me when I haven't failed in the conventional way” That's the general argument one hears.'

Ryder Cup 2012: USA have edge in financial stakes with earnings dwarfing Euro rivals

USA have edge in financial stakes ahead of Ryder Cup with earnings dwarfing Euro rivals

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UPDATED:

13:52 GMT, 22 September 2012

The United States will try to win back the Ryder Cup with a side that has earned a staggering 235million on the PGA Tour alone.

Tiger Woods, making his seventh appearance, and Phil Mickelson, earning a record ninth cap for the States, not surprisingly lead the way in career earnings with 62million and 41million respectively.

The poor man of the side is last year's USPGA champion Keegan Bradley. He is having to survive on earnings so far of a mere 4.6million.

In the pink: Tiger Woods leads the way in career earnings

In the pink: Tiger Woods leads the way in career earnings

Jose Maria Olazabal, meanwhile, will captain a team that has won just under 130million on the European Tour and, in most cases, further fortunes in the States.

In Europe alone Lee Westwood is their top man in the money stakes on 22million, with cup newcomer Nicolas Colsaerts bringing up the rear on 3.2million.

Sergio Garcia is their leading earner in America with 18.7million, followed by Luke Donald on 17.4million and Justin Rose on 12.4million.

The money men

USA

Tiger Woods 62.1million

Phil Mickelson 41.6m

Jim Furyk 32.2m

Steve Stricker 21.5m

Zach Johnson 16.1m

Matt Kuchar 12.7m

Dustin Johnson 10.3m

Bubba Watson 10.2m

Brandt Snedeker 9m

Jason Dufner 7.5m

Webb Simpson 7.2m

Keegan Bradley 4.6m

Europe

Lee Westwood 22.1m (PGA Tour 8.3m)

Sergio Garcia 13.6m (18.7m)

Ian Poulter 13.2m (7.7m)

Luke Donald 11.6m (17.4m)

Martin Kaymer 11.2m (1.7m)

Graeme McDowell 10.9m (4.4m)

Rory McIlroy 10.5m (8m)

Paul Lawrie 8.9m (823,000)

Peter Hanson 8m (1.1m)

Justin Rose 7.9m (12.4m)

Francesco Molinari 7.5m (627k)

Nicolas Colsaerts 3.2m (304k)

Rory McIlroy wins Deutsche Bank Championship

McIlroy pips Oosthuizen to Deutsche Bank Championship with final round of 67

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UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 3 September 2012

Rory McIlroy put himself in pole position to take a 10 million dollar morale boost into the Ryder Cup with a sensational win in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston on Monday night.

The victory took the world No 1 to the top of the FedEx Cup rankings with just two tournaments to go and the mind boggling first prize within his reach when it is settled at the Tour Championship in Atlanta the weekend before Europe and the US do battle at Kiawah Island.

Champion: McIlroy lifts the trophy after shaking hands with Oosthuizen

Champion: McIlroy lifts the trophy after shaking hands with Oosthuizen

Champion: McIlroy lifts the trophy after shaking hands with Oosthuizen

Not that he needs the money too badly – Monday night’s victory was his second 1m payday in a matter of weeks after winning the USPGA Championship.

But his performance underlined the
sensational form the 23-year-old from Holywood has found in the second
half of his first full season on the US Tour.

Top form: McIlroy shot a 67 in the final round to win by one shot

Top form: McIlroy shot a 67 in the final round to win by one shot

Starting the day three shots behind former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, he launched his charge with three birdies in the first four holes.

And after building a two shot lead by half way he clung on to finish 20 under par for the tournament, a shot ahead of the South African.

And even when he wobbled slightly on the 17th hole, chipping from the rough behind a bunker on one side of the green straight into the long grass on the other, he was let off when Oosthuizen missed a ten foot putt to also bogey the hole.

Edged out: Oosthuizen (below left) had started the day three shots clear

Edged out: Oosthuizen (below left) had started the day three shots clear

Edged out: Oosthuizen (below left) had started the day three shots clear

The South African then put his second shot at the 18th into deep rough, and although he produced a brilliant chip to get out of trouble he just missed the putt which would have taken the match to a play off.

The victory was all the more crucial as a morale boost because it means McIlroy will keep the upper hand of any Ryder Cup duel with Tiger Woods, who gave more evidence of his return to top form with a final day 66 to finish in third place on 18 under.

Morale boost: McIlroy finished two shots clear of Ryder Cup rival Woods

Morale boost: McIlroy finished two shots clear of Ryder Cup rival Woods

USPGA Championship 2012: Rory McIlroy wins

McIlroy romps to victory by eight shots in USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island

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UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 12 August 2012

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has won the USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

The 23-year-old finished like a true champion when he birdied on the 18th hole – despite being seven shots clear of David Lynn as he walked to the final green.

McIlroy managed to take the Championship in style with a score of 13 under par, a whopping eight shots from his closest rival Lynn.

More to follow.

Rory McIlroy was in scintillating form on the final day

Rory McIlroy was in scintillating form on the final day

No pressure: Crowds turned out in full force at Kiawah Island

No pressure: Crowds turned out in full force at Kiawah Island

USPGA Championship 2012: Rory McIlroy ready to turn the screw

Confident McIlroy ready to turn the screw after solid start in the USPGA Championship

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UPDATED:

07:17 GMT, 10 August 2012

Rory McIlroy made golf look ridiculously easy again on Thursday, but he was expecting to have to work a lot harder on his return to Kiawah Island on Friday.

One behind US-based Swede Carl Pettersson after starting the USPGA Championship – golf's final major of the year – with a five-under-par 67, McIlroy was in no mood to make any bold predictions.

'We know that there's going to be a bit of wind coming in and maybe a bit of bad weather,' the 23-year-old Northern Irishman said.

Stay cool: Rory McIlroy is well in the hunt after the first round of the USPGA

Stay cool: Rory McIlroy is well in the hunt after the first round of the USPGA

'It's just something that you're going to have to deal with and I'm just happy that I got off to a great start – I have a great platform to go from.

'Hitting balls on the range there was completely no wind. It was flat calm and I really thought that I had to take advantage of the conditions.

'I'm pretty comfortable on the golf course. I played nine holes on Monday, nine holes on Tuesday and that was it.

Driving on: McIlroy is one off the lead

Driving on: McIlroy is one off the lead

'I didn't feel like I needed to play any more. I've got my lines off the tees and I know what it's like around the greens.

'I think that was any first bogey-free round in a while, and it's always nice to shoot a round with no bogeys.

'I've had my fair share of weeks where I've started well and had a couple of bad rounds. I think that's just golf.

'You get weeks where you're feeling good and you're playing well and you're just able to keep rolling and continue the momentum from one day to the next. Hopefully this is one of these weeks.'

McIlroy worked with putting coach Dave Stockton in Akron last week, but it was more than just technical stuff.

'He sort of said to me, 'Just go out there and have fun and enjoy it and smile'. That's something that I've really tried to do and it's definitely helped.'

Alongside McIlroy are another Swede, Alex Noren, Spanish Ryder Cup hopeful Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and big-hitting American Gary Woodland.

Graeme McDowell was handily placed on four under – part of a group which also included Adam Scott, the Australian who blew the Open last month with four closing bogeys.

Catch him if you can: Carl Pettersson is out in front in Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Catch him if you can: Carl Pettersson is out in front in Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Wales' Irish Open champion Jamie Donaldson shot 69s, while Ian Poulter and 2008 champion Padraig Harrington – both looking to move into a Ryder Cup qualifying place – had 70s.

Two late birdies helped Martin Laird to a one under 71, but Luke Donald was in the water on the 17th as he shot 74 and Lee Westwood also finished poorly and signed for a 75.

Former Open champions Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie both had 73s like Simon Dyson and David Lynn, while Robert Rock took 76 and Paul Casey, with only one cut made since dislocating his shoulder snowboarding last Christmas, struggled again and handed in a 79

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Open Championship 2012: Rory McIlroy hopes to return to No 1

McIlroy confident of return to form after dire Open performance at Royal Lytham

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UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 22 July 2012

Rory McIlroy is refusing to press any panic buttons after the worst Open Championship finish of his young career.

A week that he hoped would bring him his second major title and take him back to world No 1 ended with him down on eight over par and outside the top 50 after a closing 73.

Tough luck: Rory McIlroy had his worst ever Open in his young career

Tough luck: Rory McIlroy had his worst ever Open in his young career

The 23-year-old had been in joint fifth spot when he opened with a 67, but he then had a 41-hole stretch containing only one birdie.

'I think the thing for me is to stay patient,” said the Northern Irishman, whose previous lowest finish in the event was 47th.

'If it doesn't happen over the next couple of weeks no big deal. It's a 20-year career, so I'm not going to get too wound up just over a few weeks.'

McIlroy, who arrived at Lytham on the back of four missed cuts in his previous six starts, is next in action at the Bridgestone World Championship in Akron on Thursday week and then moves on to Kiawah Island in South Carolina for the USPGA Championship.

Rough ride: McIlroy shot a poor eight over par for the tournament

Rough ride: McIlroy shot a poor eight over par for the tournament

Struggle: McIlroy hopes to return to the top of the tour, but must improve his game

Struggle: McIlroy hopes to return to the top of the tour, but must improve his game

'I've got to keep working away, plugging away, working on the right things and eventually it will come around,' he said.

Better days ahead: McIlroy is confident he will return to his dazzling best

Better days ahead: McIlroy is confident he will return to his dazzling best

Asked about the Ryder Cup in September, he added: 'The thing about the Ryder Cup, I'm going to be left out if I'm not playing too good.'

He knows that is not going to happen. He leads the points race with only five weeks to go.

'No, it's fine,' McIlroy said. 'Everyone goes through little struggles.

'What I'm experiencing at the minute is frustrating at times, but it's not anything that I can't deal with.

'I'm obviously very disappointed because I felt like I was coming in here playing pretty well.

'I had a really nice first round, set myself up well for the week and then just started to struggle after that.

'It's hard when you're trying to just get that little bit of momentum. You try to force it and you're maybe trying too hard and things don't go your way. That sort of happened this week.

'I don't know, maybe major championships on the toughest courses expose a few weaknesses that you have there.

'When you see heavy rough on the left and bunkers on the right, you start thinking about that a little bit if you're not 100 per cent confident in what you're doing.'

Looking to move through the field as much as he could, McIlroy instead dropped four shots in the first four holes, but did at least birdie the 13th and 15th coming home.

He holed a bunker shot for the second of those, but followed it with another bogey.

US Masters 2012: Tiger Woods facing fine for tantrum

Tiger throws fine tantrum but USPGA Tour keep details private

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UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 7 April 2012

Petulant: Tiger Woods boots his iron

Petulant: Tiger Woods boots his iron

Tiger Woods is facing a fine for
petulantly throwing down and kicking a golf club after he fluffed a shot
during the second round of the Masters.

But a USPGA Tour official said on
Saturday: 'Whatever we do will be kept private. Anything that is written
about this is pure speculation.'

The tantrum underlined Woods' frustration on a disappointing day for the four-times Masters champion.

After a miss with a four-iron into the 15th on Friday, he hit a poor tee shot with a nine-iron on the par-three 16th.

He let the club fall from his hands, then turned and kicked it 15 yards.

The Tour is so secretive about their
discipline that when John Daly once revealed he had been suspended for
six months, they still would not confirm it.

MASTERS 2012: Sportsmail"s verdict on who who will win in Augusta

So who will be high-fiving on Sunday Sportsmail's view on the players to look out for

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UPDATED:

22:11 GMT, 4 April 2012

Five favourites

Luke Donald: There must have been an audible groan emanating from the Donald household when the rain started pounding down in Augusta on Tuesday night, making a long course even longer. But don’t rule out our favourite middleweight in the land of the heavy hitters.

Top of the pile: World No 1 Luke Donald is one of the favourites

Top of the pile: World No 1 Luke Donald is one of the favourites

Rory McIlroy: With course conditions right up his alley, everything looks in place for another Rory-fest, but the opening round is so important. What he doesn’t want is a great one, so he’s the centre of attention from the start, or an average one, so he’s playing catch-up. Is it possible to order up a 70

Lee Westwood: You can almost guarantee he will play as well as anyone from tee to green. But can he hole enough of those 6ft par-saving putts everyone is left with, or those 15ft birdies he will inevitably have Can his vastly improved chipping game stand the ultimate test Fingers crossed.

Tiger Woods: Finished fourth two years ago with no preparation to speak of and fourth again last year when playing rubbish. No wonder the bookmakers are running scared. Enough doubts exist, however, to think this will be another close run thing rather than another green jacket.

On the prowl: Tiger Woods is returning to form

On the prowl: Tiger Woods is returning to form

Phil Mickelson: Cannot only match Donald in the short game department but hits the ball as far as McIlroy off the tee, and has three green jackets already in his closet. The man to beat, then. Any UK player finishing ahead of the flamboyant leftie can dare to dream.

Five Bubbling Under

Keegan Bradley: The only man in the history of pro golf to win every major he’s ever played in. Following his USPGA Championship win down the road in Atlanta last August, can he possibly make it two out of two All logic says not, but he will win a green jacket one day.

Charl Schwartzel: Like Luke Donald, the South African is just one of those players who does everything right but still never gets the credit. Won the Masters last year with the best Sunday finish in the event’s history, and only a fool would rule out the possibility of a successful defence.

Defending champion: Charl Schwartzel won the Masters in 2011

Defending champion: Charl Schwartzel won the Masters in 2011

Justin Rose: Led the Masters three times after the opening round, once after the second, and now in the mood and at an age to do similar damage at the business end of the tournament. Don’t be surprised to see a rash of headlines of the bloomin’ variety.

Adam Scott: His caddie Steve Williams might be an idiot, but he’s an invaluable one as far as the Aussie is concerned. Can Scott become the first man from Down Under to win and leave the rest of us holding our noses as he does so with that vile broomhandle device he employs on the greens

History man Adam Scott is bidding to become the first Australian to win the Masters

History man Adam Scott is bidding to become the first Australian to win the Masters

Bubba Watson: The most entertaining golfer in America alongside Phil Mickelson, a man whose unconventional methods and blue collar roots have drawn John Daly’s crowd. Like the Wild Thing, you never quite know what to expect but has the length and the touch and he will win majors.

Five who could do with a good Masters

Ian Poulter: Needs to get going because he’s already miles behind in the Ryder Cup qualification standings, and showed signs of doing so when finishing third at Bay Hill in his last event.

Martin Kaymer: Four missed cuts from four appearances tells you everything about how this place has played with the classy German’s head. Time the real Kaymer showed up.

Time to show his form: Martin Kaymer has not played well in 2012

Time to show his form: Martin Kaymer has not played well in 2012

Padraig Harrington: The man who started this golden era of European major winning in 2007 is in danger of being forgotten completely. Hasn’t broken par here for three years.

Paul Casey: His manager Guy Kinnings talks wryly of introducing him to chess and weaning him off snowboarding. Let’s hope his man manoeuvres his way down Augusta’s nasty slopes and curves.

Time to deliver: Paul Casey will need to be at his very best to win in Augusta

Time to deliver: Paul Casey will need to be at his very best to win in Augusta

Rickie Fowler: Hard to describe a man who dresses in all orange as invisible, but where’s he gone these past few months Can we have the Fowler who played at last year’s Open back, please

Justin Rose lies second in WGC-Cadillac Championship

Rose puts McIlroy and Woods in the shade to storm up leaderboard in Florida

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UPDATED:

23:17 GMT, 9 March 2012

Justin Rose led at the halfway stage of the Honda Classic last week, only to get flattened over the weekend by the remorseless brilliance of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

Now the gifted Englishman has another chance to emerge from the shadows after a sublime 64 at Doral on Friday left him right where he needed to be at the halfway stage of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

On another blustery afternoon in Miami, Rose pieced together an eight birdie round that left him in second place on 11 under, trailing his playing partner Bubba Watson by a stroke.

On fire: Justin Rose impressed as he moved to within one shot of the lead

On fire: Justin Rose impressed as he moved to within one shot of the lead

First round leader Adam Scott finished birdie, birdie for a 68 that left him two off the lead with Swede Peter Hanson on nine under and veteran Dane Thomas Bjorn and USPGA Champion Keegan Bradley on eight under.

It is a testament to the strength of the UK game in this golden era that Rose gets frequently overlooked, a harsh fate indeed given he’s become a fixture in the world’s top 25.

He is coached by Sean Foley, who has seen two of his other clients, Hunter Mahan and Woods, finish first and second in America these past two weeks. ‘Your short game is unbelievable right now and it is time you put everything together and shot a low number,’ he said to Rose before the start, words that read like a prophecy after the round.

Only one place separates Rose from Watson in the rankings and there was little to choose between them here as they traded birdies and eagles in an extraordinary exhibition of scoring. Their better ball score, would you believe, was 59.

Main man: Bubba Watson leads by one shot at the halfway stage

Main man: Bubba Watson leads by one shot at the halfway stage

Part of the joy of watching them was the different manner in which they compiled their gains. There was Rose, a golfer’s golfer, with excellent technique and expert course management. And there was the self-taught Watson, who struck the ball as far as he could and then hit it close from wherever he found it.

Some of Watson’s drives with his pink-shafted, pink-headed driver provoked gasps of open-mouthed astonishment from the crowd. At the downwind 418 yard second hole his tee shot finished 20 yards short of the green. At the fourth, Rose nailed a drive into a crosswind 283 yards, only to see Watson’s howitzer finish 38 yards closer to the hole.

For most of the day it was Rose who held the upper hand. Beginning at the tenth, the 31 year old had five birdies in his first eight holes to move from tied fifth overnight to first. Back came Watson with the pair clearly feeding off one another.

Appropriately, Watson won the honours on this day with a marvellous blow, a five iron from 225 yards that finished just 6ft from the hole at the long 8th to set up an eagle three. Another three at the 9th, and he had fashioned a fabulous 62 to set the pace.

Contrasting fortunes: Luke Donald (left) enjoyed a successful second round but Rory McIlroy looked off form

Contrasting fortunes: Luke Donald (left) enjoyed a successful second round but Rory McIlroy looked off form

What would Watson have to say about that What we didn’t expect was to hear him say derogatory things about the course he had just ripped apart, and claim it ‘doesn’t fit my eye.’

He certainly fooled everyone watching. ‘I think if you’re hitting the ball well, it doesn’t matter if you like the course or not, you can score well on it,’ he argued.

Before going out, Rose had talked of his intent to post a low number as it was his wife Kate’s birthday and here he ensured it was a happy one.

‘It was nice to be part of such a hot pairing,’ said Rose. ‘He has shots in his locker I don’t have but I kept my focus and holed some good putts.’

Work to be done: Tiger Woods lies seven shots off the lead at the halfway stage

Work to be done: Tiger Woods lies seven shots off the lead at the halfway stage

Pity the third member of the group, American Mark Wilson, who shot 70 and must have felt like he had been trampled by a steamroller. ‘I said to him, dude, you must be a bit black and blue!’ said Rose, laughing.

What about the UK players at the top of the world rankings, and the two Americans Woods and Phil Mickelson who commanded the biggest galleries On this day, all were upstaged.

World No 1 Rory McIlroy looked in the mood for a low one when he began with a tap-in eagle and followed it with a tap-in birdie. It was more prosaic thereafter, however, and a three-putt bogey at the last meant a 69 that left him a distant ten shots behind Watson. ‘I need to go very low at the weekend if I am to post a high finish,’ said the 22 year old, who has only finished outside the top five once in his last 12 events.

Back on track: Lee Westwood recovered after a disappointing opening round

Back on track: Lee Westwood recovered after a disappointing opening round

Luke Donald needs a minimum top four finish to have a chance of replacing McIlroy at the top on Sunday and kept that target within reach with a 68 for a six under par total that saw him creep into the top ten. After a slow start to the season, Donald is showing signs of getting back to his best.

After his terrible opening 76 it was more like business as usual for Lee Westwood, the third member of this stellar group, as he shot a 67

Mickelson shot 71 to be buried in the pack. As for Tiger Woods, he gave another tidy exhibition of ball striking but didn’t hole many putts in a 67 that was merely a pedestrian score on this day. It left him seven shots behind but by no means out of it as he seeks his first U.S Tour victory since 2009.