Missing LinksMarch 28, 2016

Rory McIlroy’s Masters quest tempered by lack of ‘confidence-building victory’

Stories of interest you might have missed…

Rory McIlroy is a green jacket short of a career grand slam, which makes the Masters the most important tournament on his schedule. Yet, “McIlroy will head to Augusta National in a week without the confidence-building victory he sought,” ESPN’s Bob Harig writes in this examination of the state of his game. “And he won’t even visit the storied venue this week, opting to practice at home in Florida and arrive on Sunday night. Unlike other years, he has not visited the Georgia course this spring. Perhaps that somewhat different approach is aimed at not getting too amped too early.”

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Those involved with the WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas, were giddy over how the week played out. “Better than a dream,” Austin Country Club president Greg Meserole said in this column by Kirk Bohls of the Austin Statesman-American. “I think we knocked it out of the park.” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said, “We’d like to stay for a long time. We’ve gotten a great reaction from around the world … so we have to say it’s a home run.”

“A week after sexist and condescending remarks aimed at female tennis players marred the end of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, another sporting event in the Coachella Valley wants to empower women rather than belittle them,” David Zink of the Riverside Press-Enterprise writes in this story on the ANA Inspiring Women in Sports Conference, part of the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration festivities this week. Annika Sorenstam is among those scheduled to participate. “This entire event is a celebration of the biggest names in women’s sports,” said Kevin Hopkins, executive director of the ANA Inspiration.