Missing LinksJanuary 2, 2016

Rory McIlroy a ‘cheeky wee boy,’ likely perp ‘if anybody was asking who killed Santa’

Stories of interest you might have missed…

“Young [Rory] McIlroy wasn't just a golf machine, though. St Patrick's Primary School has a photo of him in a First Communion group. While his fellow communicants look suitably solemn, Rory is seen sticking out his tongue,” Jane Hardy of the Irish News writes in this profile of McIlroy. “His teacher Geraldine Teer called him a ‘cheeky wee boy’ and said if anybody was asking who killed Santa, it would be the sports mad McIlroy in P5.”

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Imagine if Rickie Fowler could blend his past two seasons,” Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press writes. In 2014, Fowler finished in the top five in all four majors, but did not win a tournament. In 2015, he won three tournaments, but was “somewhat of a bust” in the majors. “So how do you have a year of big wins and big chances in majors?” Ferguson asked him. “No clue,” Fowler replied. “I've been trying to figure that out. I don't think there's a justifiable answer.”

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Can U.S. Captain Davis Love III redeem himself in the next Ryder Cup? James Corrigan of the Telegraph raises the question in this story. “So who will he be? Old Captain Blunder who unforgivably allowed the Europeans to win the Ryder Cup twice on United States soil? Or The Redemption Man who fought back from being the victim in the Miracle of Medinah and broke the blue-and-gold stranglehold?”

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Whatever success Tiger Woods enjoys in the future will largely depend on his ability to reinvent his golf game, Bob Harig of ESPN writes. “Woods' ability to overpower a golf course as he did early in his career is no longer as pronounced, certainly not now with back issues seemingly limiting his ability to swing with such force…But there has long been conjecture in golf that Woods can dial it back, not seek the distance off the tee that he still possessed in an injury-plagued season. He could better manage his game and maybe, just maybe, lessen the physical toll.”