Missing Links: 'Changing of guard has already occurred with McIlroy…Spieth is just part of second shift'
Stories of interest you might have missed…
"[W]ho do you think has a better chance of winning a major this year: Spieth or Tiger? Who might win more majors over the next five years: Spieth or Tiger?" Hank Gola asks in this column in the New York Daily News. "The changing of the guard has already occurred with Rory McIlroy, who will be gunning to win his third straight major at next year's Masters. Spieth is just part of the second shift, one of several hungry, fearless players even younger than the 25-year-old current World No. 1."
Mike Clayton is a former European Tour player "now one of the game's best and most inventive course designers and a keen observer of all things golf," John Huggan calls him in the Scotsman. Clayton said Rory McIlroy needs a healthy and productive Tiger Woods as a foil. "No-one is going to be in awe of Rory beating the likes of Henrik Stenson or Rickie Fowler or Jordan Spieth," Clayton said. "They would all be nice wins, but we need Tiger if we are to witness truly seminal events over the next few years. Can he can come back and take on the kid? It would be wonderful if he could."
Patrick Reed does not mince words, as he demonstrated again with his assessment of his year in this story by Scott Michaux of the Augusta Chronicle: "Best year I've had in my life so far. We had our first baby girl; had two wins, one of them a World Golf Championship; skyrocketed up the world rankings; played in my first major; made two cuts in four majors; Ryder Cup. So I've done a lot of great things and everything has kind of fallen into place."
Fox, which has a 12-year agreement to televise USGA events, including the U.S. Open, has its first golf telecast Saturday at the Franklin Templeton Shootout hosted by Greg Norman, Fox's designated golf analyst. "The new gig for Norman has necessitated a change in his own golf viewing habits," writes Greg Hardwig in the Naples Daily News. "I used to watch the Masters — that was the only golf I'd watch all year,' Norman said. Now I'll watch almost a tournament a week, if I'm at home. I definitely make an effort.'"
Here's how Ireland's Padraig Harrington intends to build on his first victory in four years: "I was telling somebody the other day, I have 49 days off, seven weeks, and I reckon my goal is to make, let me get this right, 100,000 swings, 2,000 swings a day. I look forward to seeing if I can do it," he said in this story by Cormac Byrne in the Independent.