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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: Do the golf gods owe Hunter Mahan in Canada?

By Alex Myers

The last time Royal Montreal held the RBC Canadian Open it was the Bell Canadian Open. The year was 2001, and Scott Verplank was the winner (Royal Montreal also hosted the 2007 Presidents Cup). In other words, looking back isn't going to help much. Instead, we'll focus more on current form. Oh, and you're welcome for those Rory and Sergio picks for the British Open. We'll try to keep the momentum going with this week's fantasy lineup:

The Grind: Jagermeister in the claret jug and DJ/Paulina on the beach

Starters -- (A-List): Matt Kuchar. We pick him almost every other week (although we're running dangerously close to using up all his starts). Why not here?

(B-List): Jim Furyk. Fresh off a fourth-place finish at the British Open, Furyk missed the cut the last time he teed it up at Royal Montreal. However, that was 17 years ago. We'll weigh his two other wins in this tournament more heavily.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

(B-List): Hunter Mahan. You probably remember Mahan hastily leaving this tournament last year despite holding the 36-hole lead to be with his wife, Kandi, who was having the couple's first child. The golf gods owe him this week, don't they?


(C-List): Graeme McDowell. G-Mac's last three tournaments? T-6 at the Irish Open, a win at the French Open and a T-9 at the British Open. This is another OPEN.

Bench/Backups: Brandt Snedeker, Graham DeLaet, Jerry Kelly, Charl Schwartzel.

Related: 11 sleepers to watch in 2014

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Hunter Mahan. Two words: golf gods.

Previously used: Keegan Bradley (Doral), Tim Clark (Sony), Jason Day (Congressional), Graham DeLaet (Phoenix), Luke Donald (Valspar), Rickie Fowler (Honda Classic), Jim Furyk (Heritage), Sergio Garcia (British Open), Bill Haas (Farmers), Charley Hoffman (Travelers), Billy Horschel (Zurich), Charles Howell III (Humana), Freddie Jacobson (Valero), Dustin Johnson (Northern Trust), Zach Johnson (Colonial), Matt Kuchar (U.S. Open), Martin Laird (Kapalua), Graeme McDowell (Bay Hill), Ryan Palmer (Memphis), Justin Rose (Memorial), Adam Scott (Masters), Jordan Spieth (Houston), Henrik Stenson (Players), Jimmy Walker (Pebble -- winner!), Gary Woodland (Nelson).

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News & Tours

Ankle injury 48 hours before match is a good thing for Stacy Lewis

By Keely Levins

Here’s all you need to know about the kind of year the LPGA Tour is having in 2014. The No. 1 player in the world suffers an ankle injury days before the tour's newest flagship event is set to debut, and it might actually be a good thing.

stacy lewis international crown.jpg

In a Tuesday practice round for the inaugural International Crown, a competition between teams from eight different countries being held at Caves Valley G.C. outside of Baltimore, World No. 1 Stacy Lewis rolled her right angle while stepping on a sprinkler head she said was set pretty deep into the ground.

A few hours after the practice round, Lewis had the ankle taped up, and in her usual resilient manner, assured everyone the injury isn't going to affect a thing. "If anything, it's helping me stay down and not jump in front of the ball, which I've been trying to work on for two weeks,” Lewis said, “so maybe it's a good thing."

Lewis is on the four-person American squad and will be paired with Lexi Thompson in a four-ball match against Chinese Taipei with the International Crown beings Thursday.

(Photo by Getty Images) ... Read
News & Tours

Why the key to Rory McIlroy completing the career Grand Slam might be an amateur golfer

By Alex Myers

Remember when Rory McIlroy played with an amateur marker at the Masters -- and lost? The recent British Open winner certainly remembers, but instead of being embarrassed or bitter, McIlroy seems intent on using the experience to his advantage.


With the claret jug next to him on the podium in his post-tournament press conference, McIlroy, now a winner of three of golf's four major championships, was asked about trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National.

Related: 19 things you should know about Rory McIlroy

"I've always been comfortable from tee to green at Augusta," said McIlroy, who wound up shooting 69 the day after his Saturday pairing with amateur Jeff Knox "And it's taken me a few years to figure out the greens . . . if I can just figure out the greens a little bit more. What really helped me last year was playing with Jeff Knox in the third round. He's my amateur marker and he's the best I've ever seen on Augusta's greens."

Of course, Knox isn't just any amateur. The longtime member of Augusta National has played in two U.S. Amateurs, is a two-time mid-amateur champion in Georgia, and holds the Augusta National course record from the members tees with a 61. He has been a noncompeting marker if there has been an odd number golfers to make the cut in the tournament since 2002 and reportedly upset Sergio Garcia by beating him in the final round in 2006. In this year's third round, Knox shot 70 to McIlroy's 71, but McIlroy reacted much differently.

On Tuesday, the Augusta Chronicle reported McIlroy hopes to learn more from Knox, who said he received a letter from McIlroy asking to play a couple practice rounds with him before the 2015 Masters. The 51-year-old Knox said McIlroy reaching out to him "says a lot about the young man," and that he'd be happy to play with him.

Of course, it also felt good to be singled out by one of golf's great players in the wake of his latest major championship triumph.

Related: Rory and Jager: An unauthorized history

"It was quite an honor for him to say that," Knox said. "I don't know if shocked is the right word, but it was quite an honor. I happened to play good that day; I guess that helped."

With more expert help on the greens to come and potentially decades of future trips to Augusta in April, the odds of McIlroy achieving golf's modern career Grand Slam -- something only five players have accomplished -- are looking pretty good.

(h/t Augusta Chronicle)

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News & Tours

Golf World goes all digital

By Staff

As part of the new strategic vision for Golf Digest and Golf World that began this spring with the introduction of the Golf Digest video channel, the relaunch of and the redesign of Golf Digest magazine, Golf Digest Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde and President Peter Hunsinger announce today a news division that combines the best of both Golf Digest and Golf World to expand our collective digital presence. With the sports news cycle demanding immediate access to quality content, we now will offer more of what our audience wants, when they want it and where they want to get it. To that end, beginning July 28, we’ll be making the following enhancements to both our golf brands.

  • Golf World will now be available exclusively on digital platforms. Instead of 31 times a year delivered in print, a week after tournaments are completed, Golf World will be delivered 50 times a year on Mondays at 7 a.m. EST, accessible on all digital devices.    
  • Readers of Golf World will receive the quality content free of charge, and we will honor the value of their current Golf World print subscription with Golf Digest.
  • Golf World Editor-in-Chief Jaime Diaz will lead the new news-division team that will encompass contributors from both Golf Digest and Video reports will be added to our coverage, including “The Rosaforte Report” in video with chief correspondent and columnist Tim Rosaforte. Golf World content will feature weekly bonus “Long Reads” as well as “10 Things We’re Talking About,” stats packages, and Mike Johnson’s exclusive equipment coverage from the pro tours.        
  • Golf World will be instantly viewable from with daily updates on the latest golf news and tour coverage.
  • Digital designs will be enhanced to provide more ad spreads, and mobile designs will be upgraded to provide improved functionality for fans on the road. We recognize this is a big change from how we have operated and delivered the printed Golf World magazine in the past. But this evolution allows us to increase frequency, improve delivery time, and add video reporting to better meet the expectations of today’s readers. 
  • We are also announcing today the launch of Golf Digest Mexico, a new licensee for a monthly print publication and website, and eventually for multimedia channels, as well as events. Golf Digest’s worldwide network now includes 29 editions in 17 languages and is the No. 1-distributed sports magazine in the world.
We want to acknowledge the many talented people who have brought us to this point. We also want to recognize those who are working on making this conversion as seamless and successful as possible, pushing boundaries to serve your needs.  

For more than 67 years, Golf World has been the standard bearer in golf media, and with these changes, we are confident Golf World and Golf Digest will continue to be the go-to source for passionate golfers and fans around the world. 
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News & Tours

The Grind: McIlroy wins the Open, Westwood sings, DJ's b-day pics, and our career "Grand Slam"

By Alex Myers

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we are pleased that Rory McIlroy used the same target words, "spot" and "process,"  en route to his latest major triumph that we use around here. Confused? Let us explain. First, we "spot" the golf week's most interesting happenings (Yes, this entails more than clicking refresh on Paulina Gretzky's Instagram account). Then, we go through the "process" of putting them all together in a hopefully somewhat entertaining format so you don't have to search for these things yourself and . . . voila! It sounds so simple, right? Well, it's not. Pros like Rory and us just make it look that way. So sit back, relax, and let us do our thing.


Rory McIlroy: With his two-shot win (it felt like more, right?) at the British Open, McIlroy joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to win three majors by age 25. Bet you've heard that one, but you probably didn't hear about the big 500-to-1 bet his dad placed on him when he was 15 . . . oh, you have? Fine. What else is there to say? This guy is insanely good when he's on and he's on pace to be one of the all-time greats. Oh yeah, and he won me the Golf Digest British Open Fantasy Draft, meaning I've now won the "career Grand Slam" in our office pools in less than two full seasons of majors. Try to keep up, Rory!


When Rory wins big, his family wins big. Literally.

Sergio Garcia: At least this close call will be easier to shake off than others since Garcia made a spirited run with a Sunday 66. Plus, he gained a lot of respect for how he graciously handled defeat. "It looks like I'm finally growing up," he said after. It only took 34 years.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Rickie Fowler: We laughed when he said he gears his game up for the majors at the U.S. Open -- this is a guy with just ONE PGA Tour win to his credit -- but apparently, he wasn't kidding. With his T-2 at Hoylake, Fowler became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2005 to finish in the top five in each of the year's first three majors. Incredibly, those are his only top-five finishes in 19 stroke-play events this season. But hey, if you're going to have three great weeks a year, those are the three weeks you want to have them.

Lydia Ko: Rory wasn't the only phenom to win Sunday. Ko, 17, picked up her fourth LPGA title and became the youngest female golfer to bank more than the $1 million in career earnings, breaking Lexi Thompson's record by 17 months. And that doesn't even include the two wins and other high finishes she picked up while she was still an amateur. Is it too late to get a 500-to-1 bet on her winning a major?


Tiger Woods: He really teased us with that opening 69, didn't he? Overall, making the cut at a major in his second start since having back surgery less than four months ago should probably be viewed as a positive step. But finishing T-69 -- Woods' career-worst 72-hole position at a major by far -- doesn't leave us expecting much the rest of the year and even leaves his position on the U.S. Ryder Cup team doubtful. After all, he and captain Tom Watson don't appear to be too chummy these days.

Related: The winners and losers from Hoylake

Dustin Johnson: Rory's closest challenger entering the weekend only managed a T-12. We've been waiting on Johnson to break through at a major for awhile. Now 30, it's really time for DJ to get going.

Bubba Watson: Speaking of long hitters coming up short, Watson, after winning the year's first major has now missed the cut in the last two. More so, he came off as whiny when he complained about "negative comments" in the press after Friday's round. "Bubba Golf" isn't as fun when things aren't going his way, is it?

Jagermeister: In the claret jug? Really, Rory? You're 25 now. But McIlroy can't seem to shake the disgusting dark drink (sorry, bad memories). In fact, he has a long history with it. Don't worry, we broke it all down in our latest piece of hard-hitting journalism. Maybe Rory really meant to say his target words were "shot" and process.



The PGA Tour heads to Canada for the RBC Canadian Open, aka that tournament Hunter Mahan left when he was leading after 36 holes to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Well played, Hunter.

Related: 15 undeniable truths from the British Open

Random tournament fact: This year's event is at Royal Montreal Golf Club, the site of the Americans romp at the 2007 Presidents Cup. Or, if you're Canadian, the site of Mike Weir's singles win over Tiger Woods in 2007.


-- Ben Hogan drank Jagermeister from the claret jug: 1 million-to-1 odds 

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Rory McIlroy will complete the career Grand Slam at some point: 1-to-2 odds

-- Between Rory and Phil, you'll get sick of hearing about career Grand Slams at some point next year: LOCK


"I've really found my passion again for golf. Not that it ever dwindled, but it's what I think about when I get up in the morning, it's what I think about when I go to bed. I just want to be the best golfer I can be." -- Rory McIlroy. That doesn't bode well for other golfers.


"Good luck today baby!! Love you" Paulina posted before Sunday's final round. Unfortunately, her well wishes didn't do DJ much good:


Mmm. Are those giant . . . Oreos? And for some reason, DJ waited until Saturday to post this pic of the couple celebrating his birthday that happened nearly a month ago. We didn't miss it, though. "Spot" and "process"!!!


Related: DJ & Paulina's magical year in pictures


The Chuckster competed in the American Century Championship, the biggest celebrity golf tournament. It did not go well. Here's a look at his scorecard from the three days:


Over the course of 54 holes, the best Barkley could do was five bogeys. Amazing. Oh, and the reason for all the double bogeys is that is the maximum score you can take in the modified Stableford system. Paul Azinger offered Barkley free golf lessons on Twitter and said he'd shave his head if he couldn't fix the former Hank Haney student in 20 minutes. Please take him up on that, Charles. It's a win-win for everyone.


It's one thing to let John Daly hit a golf ball that's teed up on your face. It's another to let some random dude hit one off your crotch. Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars did just that at a charity golf event:

OK, so he later said the guy was a "pro." We hope so. He also yelled that it "tickled." Interesting.

And then there's Lee Westwood's singing, courtesy of Stephanie Wei.

Who says this guy doesn't have a lot of guts?



Mark Rypien won the American Century Championship for the first time since the inaugural event in 1990. That's a long time to wait for another major. This guy is the Ernie Els of celebrity golf! . . . Caroline Wozniacki won her first tournament in nine months on the same day Rory captured the claret jug. What are the odds? . . . Speaking of odds, did I mention that I won our office pool and a small, legal wager on Rory McIlroy (18-to-1!) winning the British Open? Cashing in a bet is always nice, but collecting in pounds makes it feel so much more sophisticated.


Why doesn't Rickie Fowler play better in regular tour events?

How many majors will Rory McIlroy win?

Did Gerry McIlroy bet on that too?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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News & Tours

6 things you need to know about the International Crown

By Ron Sirak

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The inaugural International Crown is this week at Caves Valley Golf Club, a Tom Fazio design playing 6,628 yards and par 71 for this competition. Here are 6 things you need to know to follow the action.

Eight countries divided into two pools, four players per country. Pool A: No. 1 United States, No. 4 Thailand, No. 5 Spain, No. 8 Taiwan. Pool B: No. 2 South Korea, No. 3 Japan, No. 7 Sweden, No. 8 Australia. Seedings based on points of top four players on Rolex Rankings as of March 31.

USA -- Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr; SOUTH KOREA -- Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu, Na Yeon Choi, I.K. Kim; JAPAN -- Mika Miyazato, Ai Miyazato, Mamiko Higa, Sakura Yokomine; THAILAND -- Pornanong Phatlum, Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Onnarin Sattayabanphot; SPAIN -- Azahara Munoz, Beatriz Recari, Carlota Ciganda, Belen Mozo; SWEDEN -- Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Hedwall, Pernilla Lindberg, Mikaela Parmlid; AUSTRALIA -- Karrie Webb, Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Lindsey Wright; TAIWAN -- Yani Tseng, Teresa Lu, Candie Kung, Phoebe Yao


The first three days, each country plays two best-ball matches against every other country in its pool. Points accumulate over the three days: Win = 2; Halve = 1; Loss = 0. The top two countries in each pool advance. If there is a tie within a pool, this tie-breaker will be used:
    • Total points in head-to-head match-ups between the tied teams
    • Total number of matches won in all six four-ball matches
    • Highest-seeded team entering competition
The country with the third most points in each pool will playoff to determine the fifth country to advance to Sunday. In that situation, each country in the playoff chooses two players to represent them. The format for the playoff will be sudden death best ball, and the tie-breaker will be the second ball from each country.

So, for example, suppose Taiwan and Australia both finish third in their pools and go into a playoff. Let's say Taiwan chooses Yani Tseng and Candie Kung, and Australia chooses Karrie Webb and Katherine Kirk. After the first playoff hole the players make the following scores:
Tseng = 4
Kung = 4
Webb = 4
Kirk = 5
In that scenario, Taiwan would win the playoff because Kung made 4 and Kirk made 5
On Sunday, the five countries will be seeded based on their total points from the first three days. If countries are tied, the following tie-breaker will be used:
    • Total points earned in head-to-head match-up (if they were in the same pool)
    • Total number of matches won in all six four-ball matches
    • Highest-seeded team entering competition

Each country will play one singles match against every other country for a total of 10 matches. Points carry over to Sunday. The team with most points over the four days wins.
In the event of a tie, each country in the playoff must choose one player to represent them. The format will be sudden-death singles.

Rolex Rankings No. 2 Lydia Ko (New Zealand), No. 4 Suzann Pettersen (Norway), No. 8 Shanshan Feng (China) and No. 27 Charley Hull (England) are left out because their countries did not qualify. If the U.S. team were based on the current Rolex Rankings, No. 6 Michelle Wie would be in and No. 12 Paula Creamer would be out.


The United States and South Korea are the favorites, but Thailand, with the Jutanugarns sisters and Phatlum, is deep. Australia has Hall of Famer Karrie Webb and amateur teen sensation Minjee Lee, and in Nordqvist and Hedwall, Sweden has Solheim Cup-tested talents. The most Twitter-friendly team is Taiwan (Tseng, Lu, Kung and Yao - total of 14 characters). Least Twitter-friendly is Thailand (Phatlum, Jutanugarn, Jutanugarn and Sattayabanphot - total of 41 characters).


All coverage will be on Golf Channel. July 24-25, 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET; July 26-27, 3-7 p.m.

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News & Tours

Why this has been the least exciting season of major championships since 2000

By Alex Myers

We're not complaining about the winners of golf's first three majors of 2014. Obviously. Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, and Rory McIlroy all had previous major titles under their belts and all have potential to be all-time greats (Watson is the oldest by far at 35).

But would it kill them to make their victories a tad more exciting?

Related: The winners and losers from the British Open

Actually, the blame should probably fall more on their pursuers, but either way, this year's majors have been lacking in drama. None have even featured a back-nine tie -- let alone a lead change -- on Sunday and the last two have been wire-to-wire wins by Kaymer and McIlroy. 

The last year to feature such a stretch in the first three majors was 2000. Much like this year's Masters when Bubba Watson battled Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar on the front nine, Vijay Singh felt heat from David Duval and Ernie Els early  on Sunday in 2000 before pulling away on the back nine for a three-shot win (Watson also won by three this year). Then, Tiger Woods happened.


Woods went wire-to-wire at Pebble Beach to win the U.S. Open by a record 15 shots. He led by eight after 36 holes and by 10 after 54 holes. That makes Kaymer's eight-shot win at Pinehurst look like a thriller by comparison.

Woods' next blowout came at St. Andrews, although he actually (gasp) trailed Ernie Els by a shot after the first round, keeping it from being a wire-to-wire win like McIlroy's triumph at Hoylake. It turned out to be a more dominant victory, though. Like McIlroy, Woods took a six-shot lead into the final round, but unlike Rory, Woods wound up winning by eight. Our thanks to Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler for at least trying to make things interesting on Sunday.

So through three majors, 2000 gets the nod as being less exciting even though we haven't seen a lead change at the end of round at a major this year since Watson grabbed the 36-hole lead at the Masters (Spieth was tied with Watson after 54 holes). Thanks to Woods' dominance, the average margin of victory in those three majors in 2000 was nearly nine shots compared to just over four shots in 2014.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Of course, it could be worse. The quality of champions help off-set the lack of Sunday drama meaning it's safe to say we'll all remember McIlroy's win at Hoylake a lot more vividly than, say, Todd Hamilton's playoff win over Ernie Els at the Open in 2004.

And we still have the PGA Championship -- competition's last shot? -- to look forward to. This year's similarities to 2000 run deeper as this season's final major will also be held at Valhalla, the site of Woods' classic extra-holes battle with Bob May. Let's hope we're in store for something similar next month.

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News & Tours

Want to know why the USGA's Pub Links events met their demise? Sadly look at their final playings

By Ryan Herrington

It's generally poor form to speak badly of the dead, so I'll type gingerly. Lost amid the hoopla of Rory McIlroy's British Open coronation in England, a pair of funerals were taking place in Kansas and Washington.

Last Saturday marked the final playing of the men's and women's Amateur Public Links championships, the USGA having announced their retirement early in 2013. In their place, the governing body will debut men's and women's four-ball championships in May 2015, with qualifying for the new events beginning next month.

The shuttering of the APL/WAPL was an unfortunate but understandable decision, even if the former event was the USGA's fourth oldest championship dating back to 1922. The original intent of the competition when it started in 1922 (the women's version beginning in 1977) was to promote public golf and provide municipal-course golfers the opportunity to play in a national championship that they might not otherwise have been afforded. Yet that mission was no longer being served, the number of true public golfers competing and contending having dwindled in the last two decades.

Sadly, but perhaps fittingly, the final playing of the two events proved prime examples of that fact. At Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, Kan., University of Pacific senior Byron Meth, 21, defeated incoming Texas freshman Doug Ghim, 18, in 37 holes.

loop-byron-meth-apl-518.jpgBy all accounts, the championship showdown was riveting, Meth (above) making 11 birdies on the day and Ghim countering with seven of his own and three eagles. No matter who pulled the match out, however, the same fact would have been true: for 19th straight year a player who was in college, just out of college or just entering college would have won the APL title. You’ll have to go back to 1984 and Bill Malley, a truck driver from Hayward, Calif., to find the last true blue-collar golfer who could claim victory.

Similarly, at The Home Course in outside Tacoma, Wash., 15-year-old Fumie (Alice) Jo (below) made history by becoming the first player from mainland China to win a USGA title when she outlasted 14-year-old Eun Jeong Seong, 3 and 2, in the final.

loop-fumie-alice-jo-wapl-515.jpgJo's win made her the second youngest player to claim the WAPL title, behind only Michelle Wie and her 2003 triumph at age 13. Notwithstanding the significance of Jo’s accomplishment for Chinese golf, it meant that the oldest ever winner of the WAPL was Amy Fruhwirth. She was all of 23 when she was victorious in 1992.

Photos: Meth (AP Images); Jo (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

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News & Tours

Missing Links: Rory McIlroy unlikely to dominate, and Lydia Ko gets an allowance

By John Strege

Stories of interest you might have missed…


“For every Rory there's an Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia and a Tiger and a Phil (Mickelson),” Graeme McDowell said in this story in Sporting Life on why Rory McIlroy is unlikely to become a dominant player. “There's too many good players now…I don't think we're going to see that dominance again for a while unless somebody comes out who has perfected the imperfectable.”

Rory McIlroy’s British Open victory was celebrated in his hometown of Holywood in Northern Ireland. “I remember young Rory walking up to the club with his golf bag which was the same size as him,” Brian McAuley said in this Belfast Telegraph story. “There is a real sense of pride in the town. Just wait and see, his picture will on on buns in the local bakery tomorrow, he is really celebrated here.”

“Where does McIlroy go from here?” Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press asks in this follow-up story to Rory McIlroy’s British Open victory. The headline: "McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever."

Lydia Ko, 17, won the Marathon Classic to become the youngest in LPGA history to reach $1 million in earnings. “I don’t really think about money when I’m out here,” she said. “When they give [me] the check I go, ‘Oh, it’s $210,000.’” “The way Lydia figures, she earned $150,” Dave Hackenberg writes in the Toledo Blade. “The rest goes into an account managed by her mother. Ko gets an allowance.”

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan invited Carol Mann to Baltimore for the International Crown this week. It is a homecoming for Mann, who was taught by Andy Gibson and Bill Strausbaugh at the Country Club of Maryland in Towson. Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun has the story of Mann’s return and the important role she played in the development of the LPGA.

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News & Tours

9 numbers you should know from the final round of the Open

By Mike O'Malley

HOYLAKE, England -- Doing the math on the fourth round at Royal Liverpool:
1: Remaining major victory needed for Rory McIlroy to achieve the career Grand Slam, after eight-shot blowouts in the U.S. Open and PGA and Sunday's two-stroke win in the Open. As if the Masters needs anything extra to get people jacked up. "I really don't have any doubt that he'll win there," said Rickie Fowler, who tied for second at Hoylake. "Definitely fits his game. It's hard to say that there's really any course that doesn't suit him when he's on his game." But, Fowler added, "It would be nice if I can get him first there."
2: Rory McIlroy's trigger words for this week: "process" and "spot." As in, focus on the process, not the result, and pick your spot on the green and roll it over that spot.

9: Number of top-10 finishes in majors for Rory McIlroy in 24 appearances. Masters: T-8 this year at Augusta National. U.S. Open: won in 2011 (Congressional) and T-10 in 2009 (Bethpage). The Open: won in 2014 (Hoylake) and T-3 in 2010 (St. Andrews). PGA: Won in 2012 (Kiawah), T-3 in 2009 (Hazeltine) and 2010 (Whistling Straits) and T-8 in 2013 (Oak Hill).
17: How the major winners who made the cut played the final round:  Jim Furyk, 65; Adam Scott, 66; Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, Angel Cabrera, 67; Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, 68; Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, 69; Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, 71;  Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen, 72; Darren Clarke, 73; Tiger Woods, 75, Martin Kaymer, 79.
24: Additional strokes Tiger Woods took versus his winning total at Hoylake in 2006, when he had rounds of 67-65-71-67 (270). He finished this week at 69-77-73-75 (294). Woods played Hoylake's four par 5s in 14 under par in 2006 but was only six under on the par 5s this week.
45: Years to the day separating man first landing on the moon and McIlroy winning the Open. The day after the landing in 1969, Neil Armstrong made "one small step … one giant leap." Rory? With the Open win, let's just say he's over the moon.
68: Tom Watson's score at age 64. After an opening bogey, Watson made 12 pars and five birdies, including a birdie 4 at the home hole. "You feel lighter," Watson said. "You don't feel like you have a burden that you're taking with you. Keep it running, keep the engine running, if you can. Wake up every morning not in too much pain, and go from there."
79: Martin Kaymer's final round, the worst of the day. A month after beating everyone in the U.S. Open by eight or more, Kaymer finished 70th, ahead of only two players who made the cut.
2015: Next year's Open, at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Can't wait.


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