Stories of interest you might have missed…
Is a Rory McIlroy-Rickie Fowler rivalry in the offing? "American Rickie Fowler looked forward to playing alongside Rory McIlroy in the first two rounds of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship here this week and confidently predicted: We're going to have some fun and plenty of heated battles in the years to come,'" Derek Lawrenson writes in the Daily Mail.
McIlroy, Fowler tending bar in Abu Dhabi (Getty Images)
A new year begins Thursday for McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which means a new year of goals. "As he does every year, McIlroy passed the time away during his first flight of the campaign from Dublin to the Middle East by writing down his goals on the back of a boarding pass," Lawrenson writes. "There are seven written down and obviously I am not going to reveal them publicly,' he said. But I will keep the boarding pass in my wallet and then take it out at the end of the season and see whether I've achieved them all."
McIlroy also has committed to play in the Dubai Desert Classic, despite his looming court case involving his former management company. "[T]he fact that he's willing and feels perfectly able to play in a tournament which concludes on Sunday, February 1, less than 48 hours before McIlroy's case against his former management company goes to trial in Dublin's Commercial Court, offers fascinating insight into the strength of his psyche," Karl MacGinty of the Belfast Telegraph writes. McIlroy has said it won't be a distraction.
"The advice has been passed along for decades on the PGA Tour, and Matt Kuchar believes it has merit…Call it the 80-20 equation," Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press writes. "I remember coming out and guys telling me you're going to make 80 percent of your money in 20 percent of your starts,' Kuchar said. The idea was basically you're going to get hot a couple of times, and that's what you wait for. And it makes sense. You're going to get hot and then peter off a little bit.'"