Tour Notebook: Zach, Rory, Tiger and Rickie gets the beers in
Corny Tweet from our Open champion
When Zach Johnson captured the Open Championship the word that kept cropping up in his rather lengthy winner’s speech was how ‘humbled’ he was. We later heard how his yardage book was full of scripture readings to help his mind in place.
Two weeks on and the Iowan has been using the Claret Jug as a corn holder and, to his credit, he looks to have gone easy on the butter, if at all.
For the record he has had 616 Retweets and 1.3k Favorites, unlikely to be any from the R&A members.
McIlroy to miss Firestone
Rory McIlroy moved one step closer to not defending his PGA Championship title at Whistling Straits in two weeks when he pulled out of this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
The World No 1 suffered a total rupture of his anterior talofibular ligament in his left ankle playing football with friends at the start of July which meant he also missed his Open defence at St Andrews.
The thinking is that he might be out for three months so the likelihood is that Jordan Spieth will overtake him at the top of the rankings before he makes his return.
Chris Kirk, who broke his hand playing with his children before the Open, will also miss Akron. The American won this year at Colonial, his fourth victory on the PGA Tour.
Wie also struggling with her ankle
Michelle Wie’s record in the Women’s British Open is a sorry one having tied for third as an amateur in 2005.
She can now add a withdrawal to her list of forgettable trips across the Atlantic after having to pull out after 13 holes on Friday. The 2014 US Open champion hadn’t practised for two weeks before arriving at Turnberry.
She was 10 over par for the round in tricky conditions when she aggravated a bone spur injury from the US Open in June. Wie then stepped in a hole early on Friday and then slipped on the 13th tee. She completed the hole, with a bogey, and then called it quits.
“It could be a week or two months. As frustrating as it is, it just seems like I can’t force it any more,” Wie said.
GALLERY: Women’s British Open at Turnberry
World rankings boost for Tiger
Tiger Woods has been given the nod for an invite to his own tournament, the Hero World Challenge, in the Bahamas in December and so will guarantee himself some much-needed world ranking points.
Official points are only given to small-field events if all the players in the world’s top 50 – the Hero World Challenge has an 18-player field which is made up of the defending champion, the current year’s Major winners, the top 11 players available from the world rankings and two sponsor exemptions (provided they are in the top 50). Any further additions are made up from the world rankings.
Tiger, a five-time winner but last in 2014, will now get one of the two exemptions.
“For all the things Tiger means to the Tour and what he means to his own foundation, I would think this was an easy request to accommodate,” Steinberg said. “I don’t think there is one player on the entire Tour who would remotely have an issue with it. And I think it would be detrimental to the event to give up world ranking points,” said Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg.
No stone unturned for Ernie
It seems the ideal way to prepare for a round these days is to pay a visit to the local hospital.
Last month Sir Nick Faldo shot a one-under 71 around the Old Course after having a cut on his hand glued on the Friday morning, now Ernie Els’ preparations for the Quicken Loans National involved a trip to check out what he thought was a kidney stone.
It turned out to be back spasms and he then pieced together a seven-under 64, his lowest round on the PGA Tour since 2011.
“Normally the pain shoots into my left side and the pain was kind of on my back and went to the right,” Els said. “I thought maybe it’s a kidney stone. Pretty sure. I guess I’m just a wuss.”
Have a cold one on Rickie
Rickie Fowler’s tee shot in the first round of the Quicken Loans turned out to be his final one.
Coming off a bogey the Players champion then knocked it in at the 200-yard 9th for a four-under 67.
He then sent an ice bucket filled with beers to the media centre with this message – “It’s not a mortgage for a year, but enjoy a cold one on me! Cheers!” (picture from @ToddLewisGC)
To watch Fowler’s ace CLICK HERE
Wonder shot missed from Pressel
Morgan Pressel produced the first albatross of the LPGA Tour season when her 5-wood approach from 197 yards found the bottom of the cup at the 14th at Turnberry.
The 27-year-old was struggling at +4 but then turned her day around, landing her second shot 20 feet short and then watched it roll in.
The only downside was that the TV cameras failed to catch the miracle shot.
She went on to miss the cut by a shot.
Vice-captain McBride could make late Solheim run
Maria McBride (better known by her maiden name Hjorth) had the biggest turnaround at Turnberry.
The Solheim vice-captain was T136th after an opening 79 before, in horrible conditions on Friday posting a 66. After a third-round 69 she was in the top 10, she would eventually share 12th place.
The Swede came to Turnberry having missed four consecutive cuts and then found something on the range with David Leadbetter, a move to do with her right hip, and it worked a treat.
She is now up to 20th on the world rankings qualifying for the Solheim Cup and, with a month remaining, could make a late run at moving from an assistant to player in Germany.
As things stand the eight players who would be guaranteed a spot are Pettersen, Nocera, Hull, Nordqvist, Munoz, Gal, Ciganda and Matthew. There are also four captain’s picks.
Law loses her focus
World No 2 amateur Bronte Law has had a few weeks to remember. First she won the English Women’s Amateur Championship by a whopping 16 shots at Hunstanton.
She was then disqualified at Final Qualifying for the Women’s British Open at Irvine when she pulled out her distance measuring device.
She got it out at the 4th and then quickly realised her mistake and held her hands up.
“I just wasn’t thinking. There are plenty of notices saying that DMDs are not permitted at this tournament but I had one up to my eyes at the 4th this morning before I realised what I was doing. I knew it meant disqualification but it was too late by then.”