124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Did Rory McIlroy’s British Open reveal ‘stress of grinding back to top’?

July 18, 2016

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Rory McIlroy, fourth in the World Ranking, outplayed the top three in the British open, which “proved here at the very least that he is no Ringo in golf’s Fab Four,” Riath Al-Samarrai writes in this story in the Daily Mail.

“But it is equally relevant that McIlroy was 16 strokes off the winner and 13 off the runner up. McIlroy at his best is the player surging over the horizon; at Troon, he was a 27-year-old who gave his own sport a kick in the teeth with his comments about Olympic golf and then broke a three-wood in the third round when his game did not meet expectations.

“For all of his claims that he is very happy with his game, and for all of the encouraging signs, perhaps those snapshots tell a fuller truth about the stress of grinding back to the top.”

Stenson vs. Mickelson=Federer vs. Nadal

“As they stood stage right by the clubhouse, ready to receive their trophies, [Henrik] Stenson and [Phil] Mickelson had the faraway look of two prizefighters who had traded haymakers for 18 rounds…By time this slugfest ended, Mickelson, posting a 17-under-par score that would have been good enough to win all but four Opens, was 11 ahead of his nearest pursuer, JB Holmes,” Telegraph columnist Oliver Brown writes.

“It was an object lesson in the escalating effect the best battles can have. Where Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal drove one another, during the 2008 final at Wimbledon, to heights to which the rest could merely aspire, Stenson and Mickelson created a chasm between themselves and the pack. Waging their own private brawl, the pair of them ended up lapping the field.”

RBC Canadian Open’s one-two punch: Day and D.J.

The RBC Canadian Open, first played in 1904, virtually was a major championship at one point, but long since has languished as something of a second-tier tournament on the PGA Tour. But this year?

“After taking some body blows over the years, the RBC Canadian Open finally can respond with a 1-2 punch this week,” Mike Koreen of the Toronto Sun writes.

“Canada’s lone PGA Tour stop has the Nos. 1 and 2 players in the world coming to Glen Abbey for the first time since 1997 when Tiger Woods and Greg Norman played at Royal Montreal. Defending champion and top-ranked Jason Day and second-seeded Dustin Johnson headline the 156-player field, which will tee it up at the Oakville course for the second year in a row.”