ICYMI: Rory sets a date, Harrington gets stuck into Sergio, DJ back soon

The Scoop

NCG's weekly round-up of the stories you may have missed this week is headlined by Rory McIlroy's wedding plans - minus the Green Jacket...

Rory’s getting married… NEXT WEEK!

If you haven’t yet had an invite then you probably won’t now – Rory McIlroy will get married to Erica Stoll on Saturday April 22 at Ashford Castle in Co Mayo, somewhere they have already spent two New Year’s Eve at.

The Belfast Telegraph let the cat out of the bag this week and, had things gone a little differently at Augusta, then Rory would have worn a certain Green Jacket on the big day.

Among the expected guests will be golf’s glitterati and most likely Niall Horan. Actor Pierce Brosnan and Westlife’s Shane Filan (the one who no one really knows) have also tied the knot at the castle while the likes of Brad Pitt, Rod Stewart, Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel have all stayed there.

Fancy a break yourself? Well to book out all 83 rooms it will set you back £54,000 in low season and £79,100 in high season.

Harrington: Sergio was a very sore loser

The story that keeps on giving. You might have thought that we were done with the whole Garcia-Harrington ‘we just don’t get on’ thing but, after the Spanish whizzkid/37-year-old’s victory at the Masters, we’ve all had another big helping of it.

Harrington, who had a little pop while working for Sky Sports on the Sunday, had this to say when talking to ‘Game On’ on RTE 2fm. There’s nothing particularly new but it’s always nice to hear it again.

“His is a very flamboyant game, everything comes easy. There were periods he never practised,” Harrington said. “I worked at it, grinded it out, got the best of it. I’m very strong with the etiquette of the game, so I don’t tolerate people spitting in the hole, throwing their shoes or throwing golf clubs.”

Ooh, always good to rake over old coals.

Of the play-off victory at Carnoustie the three-time major winner was equally as damning.

“I gave him every out I possibly could at the 2007 Open. I was as polite as I could, and as generous as I could be,” Harrington added. “But he was a very sore loser, and he continued to be a very sore loser. So clearly after that, we had a very sticky wicket I’d say. The Ryder Cup obviously improved it to no end. But look, we say hello to each other every day we meet, but it’s with gritted teeth, there’s no doubt about it.”

There was some sort of nod though to what went on in Georgia and a bit of backing down later on in the chat.

“Clearly it hasn’t come easy to him. It really hasn’t. And you could see in that moment in time that, you know, he probably paid his dues.”

Masters TV ratings lowest since 2004

While we were all glued to the Garcia-Rose showdown it appears we were in the minority.

The viewing figures in the States were 11 percent down on last year, 21 percent down on Spieth’s win in 2015 and the worst since 2004 when it was bizarrely won by US heart throb Phil Mickelson.

One expert put the drop in numbers down to good weather around the States while the headline acts, Garcia and Rose, weren’t box office – or American – enough to tip the scales. Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, playing in the group behind, or Rory or Dustin would likely have had a big effect on things.

Meet Bear, the real reason behind Garcia’s win

Everyone likes a good-luck charm and everyone likes dogs. Put these two together (I don’t massively like dogs and would go so far as saying I despise cats) and you have yourself a secret weapon.

Meet ‘Bear’, an odd name itself for a dog, but he’s got quite the record when attending tournaments. The little Pomeranian was in Augusta for his owner’s big breakthrough and his tourney debut came at the Byron Nelson last year, also won by Garcia.

Expect to see little ‘Bear’ in the galleries at Erin Hills.

Dustin Johnson – remember him?

Ten days ago it seemed that nobody else could possibly win the Masters. Then Johnson fell down some stairs and never made it to the first tee.

Dustin JohnsonWell the good news is that he only has a deep bruise on the left side of his lower back and he will be back for three tournaments in a row starting at the Wells Fargo on May 4.

“One thing I never want to have to do again is watch a major from my couch.

“The weirdest part is I never walk around in socks. For some reason if I walk around barefooted, my left foot starts to hurt. That’s why I always have shoes on. But I just got back from the gym and wanted to run down and move the car over. And I slipped.”

Johnson said his back only hurt for two days but at the time it was excruciating.

“I thought I broke my back in half. I really thought my back was broken. The more I thought about it, there was no chance. It just took a while to convince myself.”

Player misses #SB2K17

If you’re not aware of Spring Break 2017 or indeed last year’s then, put simply, Rickie Fowler, Smylie Kaufman, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth go on holiday the week after the Masters, have a few beers, play a bit of golf, take a few pics, do a bit of fishing and eat some food.

Some people love it, some think it’s unprofessional (to go on holiday and have a bit of fun after one of the busiest weeks of the year when you’re in your twenties) and some would like to be part of the action.

Hence Gary Player’s very funny Tweet. Not usually one for being overly funny but this was good…

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