Tour notebook: Rory cleans up and a nice surprise for SpiethDecember, 2015
Inkster to repeat Solheim captaincy
More awards for Rory
For the third time in four seasons Rory McIlroy has been named the European Tour’s Golfer of the Year after winning the Race to Dubai.
The recently-engaged World No 3 topped the standings after his win at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, to add to his victories at the Dubai Desert Classic and WGC-Cadillac Match Play. He becomes the first player since Padraig Harrington in 2008 to top the standings in consecutive years.
Members of the golfing media made the decision and the other players who were considered were Anirban Lahiri, Shane Lowry, Branden Grace, Justin Rose, Danny Willett, Matt Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan and the Rookie of the Year Ben An.
Later in the week McIlroy also won the Association of Golf Writers’ trophy, becoming only the third player, after Seve Ballesteros and Lee Westwood, to secure the prestigious award on three occasions.
He edged out Britain and Ireland’s Walker Cup team while third place went to Sullivan.
McIlroy to play Riviera
And Rory will kick off his 2016 with a busier early-season schedule than normal.
Last year he played in five events before the Masters , this year he will play in seven, adding the Northern Trust Open at Riviera while the WGC-Cadillac Match Play switches from May to March.
He will begin the year in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before heading to Hogan’s Alley for the simple reason of not having played the course before.
He will also play the Memorial in June, McIlroy missed it last year after playing the five previous events.
Day’s wife hospitalised by NBA superstar
In one of the stranger injuries of the year Ellie Day, wife of PGA champion Jason Day, was taken to hospital after LeBron James collided with her as Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA.
The 6”8 18-stone superstar was unable to stop and landed on top of Day, who was then stretchered away for treatment with her neck in a brace.
Day, who left hospital the following day, said in a statement: “Wow!! It’s official. More messages from getting plowed over by Lebron than Jason winning a major. HA.
“First of all, I am okay!! I am incredibly sore and exhausted. Being tackled by that large man I would compare to a minor car accident. My head and neck hit pretty hard so it was really scary. My whole body feels like it was hit by a truck.”
Day only gave birth to her new daughter five weeks ago.
"Being tackled by that large man I would compare to a minor car accident" – Ellie Day Captain Inkster back at the helm
Juli Inkster will captain the American Solheim Cup side in 2017 after overseeing the incredible comeback in Germany in September.
“So many people have asked, ‘Would you do it again?'” Inkster said. “I have had a lot of exciting and memorable highlights during my time on tour but leading that team of 12 women was one of the biggest thrills of my entire golf career. So the answer was easy. And I wanted to have this announced as soon as I could because keeping a secret isn’t one of my strengths.”
Spieth returns to Augusta
Jordan Spieth has made his first trip back to Augusta since winning the Masters in April and there was a nice surprise waiting for him.
Augusta National has refurbished its Champions Locker Room and the two-time Major champion discovered that he will be sharing a locker with Arnold Palmer. He also got to play two rounds with his dad.
“I walked up to see who I was with and I share a locker with Arnold Palmer. So it was a very special moment there,” Spieth told Golf Week.
“It was such a special place for my parents to watch what has happened these last couple years, and then to be my favourite place in the world, and to share that with my dad, and him to know that, it’s really cool.”
The hardest holes at the 2015 Majors
1) The 520-yard par-4 18th at Whistling Straits; US PGA; average 4.54
2) The 495-yard par-4 17th at the Old Course; The Open; average 4.53
3) The 519-yard par-4 7th at Chambers Bay; US Open; average 4.42
4) The 509-yard par-4 4th at Chambers Bay; US Open; average 4.38
5) The 505-yard par-4 11th at Augusta; Masters Tournament; average 4.36
6= The 174-yard par-3 11th at the Old Course; The Open; average 3.35
6= The 541-yard par-4 11th at Chambers Bay; US Open; average 4.35
8) The 489-yard par-4 4th at Whistling Straits; US PGA; average 4.32
9) The 240-yard par-3 4th at Augusta; Masters Tournament; average 3.30