Tour notebook: Rory's laser surgery and love is in the air
Laser surgery for Rory
Rory McIlroy has undergone laser eye surgery to correct his vision. The World No 3 first needed glasses at 10 and has worn contact lenses since and now he will go into 2016 without the need for any assistance.
He broke the news on Instagram, as he tends to do, and with a humorous slant.
‘Human version of the dreaded K-9 cone…. Only for sleeping though! Laser eye surgery went well yesterday’.
And, as for the engagement rumours of last week, the couple were at a charity event in Belfat and his supposed fiancÃ©e, Erica Stoll, was sporting a large diamond on her left ring finger.
Jack still has faith
After what was a fairly depressing week on the Tiger grapevine there was cause for optimism from the person whose name he has been linked with for the past decade.
Woods remains stuck on 14 Majors, four short of Jack Nicklaus, but the elder statesman insisted that it would be silly to write off his chances of catching him.
The bookies have him at 12-1 to beat Nicklaus.
Nicklaus told CNN: “To count him out of that would be foolish. He certainly has a very good chance of doing that.”
Woods is now down to 411th in the world but Nicklaus still has faith in him and has helped him along the way.
“I said to Tiger no-one wants to see their records broken, but I would want you to be healthy. I’ve tried to help him with some of the people who helped me in my career.
“I fully expect Tiger to return to come back to play well and be a good competitive force in the game, but it does make me sad to see Tiger or any of our athletes struggle with health.”
Simon gets Dubai surprise
South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon’s caddy and boyfriend had the perfect antidote to a closing double bogey in the Dubai Ladies Masters.
David Buhai, who has caddied for his boss for six of their nine years together, dropped down on one knee and popped the question on the 18th green.
With friends and the Sky Sports cameras in on the proposal around 50 people gathered and, hey presto, she said yes.
Buhai explained: “I always wanted it to be in Dubai, the season finale, and I knew she wouldn’t expect it. I got my sister to make up the ring and it’s been a process trying to hide it ever since getting here.
“So it was in the bag obviously and I was pretty nervous because she kept going into the bag. I was like, this is my bag, what do you need out of it. She was starting to give me a strange few looks.
“But yeah, somehow managed to hide it, and thanks to the Tour, because obviously they have done a lot of work behind the scenes in keeping it hush.”
The bride to be, a two-time winner on the LET, added: “I saw all these people behind the green on 18 and I’m thinking someone behind us must be having a really good round today. Yeah, I really didn’t expect that at all.”
Bam Bam ties the knot
And Brittany Lincicome got married at the weekend to Dewald Gouws, a long drive specialist.
Present at the wedding were several of her LPGA peers including Paula Creamer, Sandra Gal, Anna Nordqvist, bridesmaid Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda.
No 1 and done for Bubba
If you’re not a fan of Bubba Watson, good news. After last week’s victory in the Bahamas the left-hander reiterated that he would retire from the game if he ever won 10 times or reached World No 1.
The 37-year-old said that the Hero World Challenge win, his ninth as a pro, didn’t count as it wasn’t an official PGA Tour win. And the victories had to take place in the States.
He then added: “If I ever become No. 1 in the world, I’m walking away. I’m going to walk away on top. But let’s be honest, nobody here’s voting on that, right? Everybody thinks I’m not going to do that.”
He is now fourth in the world
Watson entered the week fourth in the world on 8.34 points – Jordan Spieth is top on 12.00.
Stenson undergoes surgery
Henrik Stenson was also taking selfies from hospital after undergoing surgery on an ailing meniscus, something that refers to the cartilage of the knee.
It means that he will be out of action for six weeks but should be back for the Desert Swing to continue his good form. The Swede was runner-up at the Nedbank, to follow up on his recent second places at The Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Tour Championship in the States and and third at the BMW Masters in China.
McIlroy the man of November
It might have taken until November but McIlroy was finally named as European Tour Golfer of the Month for November following his win in Dubai.
The victory secured a back-to-back Race to Dubai success and was a unanimous decision. Second place went to Victor Dubuisson for his win in Turkey and third to Kristoffer Broberg, who prevailed in China.
Andy Sullivan, Matt Fitzpatrick and Ben An were also singled out.
Reed’s wonder shot gets it
And Patrick Reed edged out McIlroy, Dubuisson and Francesco Molinari’s hole-in-one for the Shot of the Month.
The American holed a 97-yard bunker shot, spinning it back into the cup at the par-5 15th to tie for the lead in China. He would go on to play off with Broberg but lose at the first extra hole.