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Missing Links: Tiger Woods' 'lamentable record on his stage,' and the instructor behind McIlroy's success

By John Strege

Stories of interest you might have missed…

“[Tiger] Woods has never looked like a player deeply immersed in the competition’s significance, and it is an attitude borne out by his lamentable record on this stage,” writes Oliver Brown in the Telegraph, making the case that the U.S. Ryder Cup team might be better without Woods, even were he healthy.

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We don’t hear much about Michael Bannon, who has worked quietly in the background since Rory McIlroy took up golf. Bannon is McIlroy’s instructor. “Amid all the hurtling changes in his life Bannon remains the hardiest perennial, arguably the man he needs most of all,” this story on Bannon in the Belfast Telegraph says.

“In a sport dominated by middle-aged American men, she is foreign, 19 years old, and she’s a gal,’ said John Forbes, the manager of the Bluegrass Miniature Golf Course.” She is Olivia Prokopova of the Czech Republic, who won the triple crown of miniature golf last year. Sarah Lyall profiles Prokopova for the New York Times.

It is known affectionately as Ponky, “a mishandled gem of revered golf course architect Donald Ross,” Dave Eisenstadter writes in the Boston Globe in this story on the restoration of Ponkapoag Golf Course in Canton, Mass.

The demise of San Luis Rey Downs Country Club in North San Diego County is a sad one, probably for CBS’ Gary McCord, too. McCord “once wrote a TV pilot based on his experience at The Downs,” writes Tod Leonard in the U-T San Diego, and holds the course record of 64, which he shot a few times, once while playing barefoot.

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