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Saturday, July 2, 2022

McIlroy questions the competitive will of players in LIV golf

BROOKLINE, Mass ( Associated Press) — In February, Rory McIlroy made two strong comments about the future of the Saudi-backed LIV golf series. So far, one has been proven wrong.

“Dead in the water,” McIlroy said, referring to all the top players that they weren’t interested. He had an explanation for that: players like Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau said in statements He paused and “I took him at his word.”

Earlier that week, he referred to the startup league as the “Pre-Champions Tour” because so many players were at the end of their careers. This is largely true – so far. More players can sign up in the coming weeks.

Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Louis Osthuizen can all fit into that Pre-Champions Tour mode. DeChambeau and Patrick Reed? Not so much.

That’s what makes 33-year-old McIlroy mysterious.

“A lot of these people are in their late 40s — in Phil’s case, early 50s,” he said. “They themselves will tell you that their best days are behind them. That’s why I don’t understand for boys who are the same age as me. Because I want to believe that my best days are still ahead of me, and I think theirs are too.

“So that’s where it looks like you’re taking the easy way out.”

not so perfect golf

Jon Rahm knows how hard it is to win a Major, not the US Open at all. It was only reviewing the highlights of his win at Torrey Pines last year. That he realized that great golf and perfect golf are not the same.

It helps to have a prime already, so he said that takes a little pressure off. He feels like he can enjoy the US Open a little more, knowing he doesn’t have to do anything special.

“It’s easy to think you need to play golf right,” Rahm said. “And I remember seeing my highlights of Sunday last year, and I thought I played one of the best tours of my life. And I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe how many fairway bunkers I hit that day, how many greens I missed, and how many leases I missed.’

“This is golf, and it is like that,” he said. “You really don’t have to play right, and I think that’s the best lesson I can take.”

Brooklyn Memories

Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia are the only US Open players to have played in the 1999 Ryder Cup. He is not the only player to return to The Country Club.

Four players who reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 US Amateur also made it to the US Open in Brookline. It starts with winner Matt Fitzpatrick. It also features Masters Champion Scotty Schaeffler, Canada’s Corey Connors and Brandon Matthews.

Schaffler scored a brilliant run. He needed 20 holes to beat Stewart Jolly in the first round, 20 holes to beat Brandon Heggy in the second round, and he beat Mathias Schwab on the 18th hole to reach the quarterfinals. He lost to Brady Watts, 2 and 1.

“I remember being pretty down all my matches and coming back,” Scheffler said. “I was late on all the three I won. I think I made a big putt against maybe Brandon Heggie – maybe Brandon – at 17. I have good memories of this place. ,

qualifying blues

Colin Morikawa is a two-time major champion at age 25, the world number seven who can expect a rebate at the US Open in the coming years.

It wasn’t always that easy.

“Yeah, well, I suck at qualifying. I really do,” Morikawa said on Tuesday.

He said he never made it to the US Juniors and that he can only think of one US Amateur appearance when he was discounted through his amateur rankings. For the US Open? He went through qualifying three times while at Cal and never came particularly close.

“I decided I hate California—no, I’m kidding,” said the California native.

He missed four shots at Lake Merced in San Francisco in 2016 and 2018. In between, the US Open section was in Newport Beach. He missed by seven shots.

“I never played well in those events and decided to move to Ohio a three years ago,” he said. “He made it. The rest is history.”

He made it through Columbus—known as a PGA Tour qualifier because it has the strongest fields and most spots—without a single shot. That was in 2019, and he finished 35th at Pebble Beach in his second tournament as a pro.

Four starts later, he was a PGA Tour winner. A year later, he was a major champion. Yes, the rest is history.

life of a caddy

Rory McIlroy is back to work with his old caddy for the US Open.

Harry Diamond, a longtime friend and Irish amateur player, has been on McIlroy’s bag for the past five years, but was at home last week as his wife gave birth to their second child. McIlroy had a backup plan – former Irish rugby union player Niall O’Connor – when he won the RBC Canadian Open For his first win this year.

“Niall and I are finished at this point,” McIlroy said. “Quite a good record. Was fourth in Dubai and first in Canada. If I ever need someone to jump for Harry, I’ve got a pretty good option out there.”

day status

Of the six news conferences on Tuesday, Scotty Schaeffler was the only player not to be asked about the Saudi-backed LIV golf series.

last word

“If you want to be one of the best players in the world, this is the country you need to play the most of your golf.” — Rory McIlroy.

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More Associated Press Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

World Nation News Desk
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