The Open. Wire to Wire Win for the Wizard of Hoylake, Rory.

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Rory McIlroy was the wire to wire wizard of The Open at Hoylake, winning the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

Rory McIlroy - 2014 Open Champion  (Getty Images)

Kissing the Claret Jug, Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy wins his third Major championship, and all before the age of 25, equaling the achievements of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods before him.

Rory carded a final round of -1 under par 71, for his winning total of -17 under par, a two shot victory. The other guys did not make it easy for him, there were some great sores out on the course today;

“It feels incredible, today wasn’t easy. There were a lot of guys making runs at me and I just needed to stay focused, keep in the present and concentrate on what I was doing out there.”

“To be three legs towards the career grand slam at the age of 25 is a pretty good achievement. It’s not going to sink in for a while. I knew I had some holes where I could make birdie and 16 was the real hole for me which I think settled the championship.”

 “Well done for putting up such a fight. Rickie, no doubt with the way your Major record is this year your time will come, and Sergio too, two of the best players in the world.”

“It’s pretty hard to describe right now, to be honest, I feel like I’ve come a long way in the last 18 months. A lot has happened to me on and off the golf course. My determination and hard work has really paid off.”

“This is the first Major my mum has been to that I’ve won, so mum, this one’s for you. I just can’t wait to get back and defend this thing at St Andrews next year.”

Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler tied for second place at -15 under par. Sergio charged at Rory, carding a -6 under par 66, and Rickie, who was playing alongside Rory threw in a final round -5 under par 65.

If Sergio really wants to win a Major, he will have to address the problem of that fragile putting grip.

Jim Furyk had a -7 under par 65 and finished alone in fourth spot at -13 under par for the championship. Tiger Woods ended his tournament returning a final total +6 over par. Defending Champion Phil Mickelson returned a final total of -5 under par.

The Open. Rory Racks Up 3 Rounds in a Row.

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Rory McIlroy racks up three rounds in a row at the top of the leaderboard in The Open.

Twin eagles power Rory to big 54-hole Open lead

A jubilant Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory carded two Eagles in a third round of -4 under par 68, which sent him soaring over the field at -16 under par for The Open championship at Royal Liverpool. It also gives him a six shot lead going into the final round tomorrow, and he spoke about the Grand Slam of Major titles;

“Not a lot of people have achieved the career grand slam and if everything goes the right way tomorrow, to get three-quarters of the way there is some achievement by the age of 25. It would mean a lot of hype going into Augusta next year.”

“I’d be in pretty illustrious company so it would mean an awful lot. I never thought that I’d be able to be in this position. I didn’t think that I’d even have the chance at 25 to go for three legs of the grand slam so I’m going to try to put all of that out of my head”.

“It would be way too much to think about and way too much to ponder. First things first. Just play a good solid round of golf tomorrow and if that means that I’m going to Augusta next year with a bit of hype, then so be it.”

“It was a day of patience for me, I didn’t get off to the best of starts. I knew that there were some good chances coming up. Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9 were playing more difficult than Friday. I knew on the back nine we could make up some ground. This is where the golf course plays into my hands.”

Nearest competitor is Rickie Fowler, a third round effort of -4 under 68 put him alone in second place at -10 under par. Rickie is hoping to be able to put some pressure on Rory;

“He always has that firepower to make things happen, you just never know when it’s coming.”

“Maybe I can put a little pressure on him, unfortunately I did make those rough swings coming in. But I’ve been swinging great. I’m definitely looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and see if I can put the same start on Rory as I did today.”

“It was just a matter of time before the two of us found a way to sneak into a final group together. We both want to beat up on each other as bad as possible.”

Tied in third place are Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson, both at -9 under par for the tournament.

Sergio admits the difficulty of the task ahead of him if he is to catch the leader;

“I was trying to shoot as low as possible, Rory obviously had a great back nine and finished really, really well. We’ll give it a shot. If he plays like he’s been playing, it’s going to be difficult.”

Justin Rose made some headway today, a -3 under par 69 moving him to -5 under par for the competition, but not good enough to challenge for the honors.

The Defending champion Phil Mickelson shot a -1 under par  71 on Saturday and is now -1 under par for the tournament, a long way from the top of the board. Tiger Woods shot another over par round, and is sits at +3 over par for the championship.

The Open. McIlroy Marches On, No Hoylake Horrors.

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Rory McIlroy marches on at The Open, having banished the Friday Failures, there were no Hoylake horrors.

Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory exorcised the Friday fall-out at Royal Liverpool by firing a second successive round of -6 under par 66, at The Open, to post a midway tournament total of -12 under par at Hoylake, and a four shot lead. He is where he wants to be, in control and did not even think about the Friday failures;

“You’re battling yourself, you’re batting your emotions, your mind. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself, you don’t want to look at what anyone else is doing. You want to control what you can control.”

“It was just another solid round of golf, I didn’t have that in my head at all. Going out there, I just wanted to play another solid round of golf, stick to my game plan, stick to doing what I do well, which is take advantage of the par 5s, maybe take advantage of some of the other holes that are downwind. That’s all I was thinking about.”

Dustin Johnson is in second place on his own, he carded the days best round, a -7 under par 65, giving him a -8 under par total.

There are six players tied in third position, all at -6 under par for the tournament, they are; Francesco Molinari, Ryan Moore, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.

Justin Rose had a -2 under par round today, leaving him on that score for the competition, ten shots adrift of the leader Rory, and not much chance of catching him. Phil Mickelson is at level par, while Tiger Woods shot +5 over par 77 to be at +2 for the Championship, both of these players will not be challenging to top of the board, but they did make the cut.

Tiger had been battling a wayward driver;

“I didn’t hit the driver very good today, I was trying to be a bit more aggressive and do that. With the wind the way it was, I could take some of the bunkers out of play and get it down where I could hit sand wedge into the green.”

“I figured today would be a chance to go out there and be aggressive and do that, and just didn’t drive it well.”

Tom Watson also made the cut on the same +2 over par total, and is looking forward to the week-end, the weather is supposed to change dramatically;

“I came over here with a purpose to play my best golf and play on the weekend, let’s see what happens on the weekend. See if the old guy can maybe get it rolling a little bit.”

The Open. Rory on Route 66.

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Rory McIlroy produced another magical Thursday first round, this time a flawless route 66 at The Open, in glorious weather at Royal Liverpool.

Rory McIlroy is looking for the third leg of the career Grand Slam. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

 

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory carded a -6 under par 66 at Hoylake to sit proudly on top of the leaderboard of The Open Championship. He reported that he was more relaxed on a Thursday, we will see tomorrow if he can hold it all together;

“Any time you shoot 66 at The Open Championship, you’re going to be pleased. We had perfect scoring conditions out there this morning. There wasn’t much wind early on and there were plenty of opportunities to make birdies and I was able to take a few of them.”

“It’s another great start and, yeah, looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow. Whenever I go out and play on Thursdays there are not really many expectations. You’re going out there and you’re trying to find a rhythm and you’re just trying to play your way into the round.”

“When you go back out on Friday after a good score you know what you can do, so you’re going out with some expectations compared to Thursday. I think I’ve just got to approach it like that, start off trying to hit solid shots the first few holes and play my way into the round, just like I did today.”

In second place on the leaderboard is Italian Matteo Manassero, who is just one shot behind after his opening round of -5 under par 67. Matteo likes this course, which bodes well for his first Major success;

“I like the course, it’s fair, flat, where you hit your shot it’s going to roll on that line. If I ever win an Open, I don’t think I’ll win it on a golf course that I don’t like. So the fact that I like it, it’s already a good thing.”

“The main preparation for The Open, I’ve done it in Aberdeen and it was just the best preparation I could’ve had. We had strong wind, little wind, calm wind, different directions of wind and the course was firm. It was really linksy. I put myself in a very links frame of mind.”

There is bunch of seven players tied in third spot, including another two Italians, Francesco and Edoardo Molinari. All of this chasing pack are on -3 under par.

Tiger Woods recorded a -3 under par 69 and is tied in tenth position at the end of day one, and said it was a positive start;

“I knew I could do it. That’s why it was so important for me to play at Congressional. At Congressional I made some terrible mistakes mentally. My decisions weren’t very crisp and I wasn’t decisive enough. Today was totally different and consequently I shot a better score.”

“I’m getting stronger, I’m getting faster, I’m getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again and those are all positive things.”

Last weeks winner Justin Rose settled for an opening round of even par, while defending Champion Phil Mickelson returned a first round +2 over par 74.

 

Scottish Open. Rose Romps Home.

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Justin Rose romps home in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, winning the trophy at Royal Aberdeen.

Justin Rose  (Getty Images)

Scottish Open Champion Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin completed the Scottish Open with a final bogey free round -6 under par 65 to lift the trophy with a -16 under par total, a two shot victory. As you can imagine he was absolutely over the moon with his first ever win in Scotland, not to mention three wins in a row;

“This is my first professional win in Scotland so it means a lot. This a great tournament, there’s definitely something special about playing golf up here and the golfing crowd are so knowledgeable and I’ve really got to love this golf course.”

“It was exactly the start I was looking for, and sixteen was the key. I looked at the leaderboard and I was only two ahead and felt I was bound to make bogey there. Getting it up-and-down was the key to the win.” 

“I couldn’t have scripted it better, I’ve never won two in a row and I’ve certainly never won three in a row so I’m in unchartered territory.”  

In second place was Kristoffer Broberg, his last round -5 under par 66 gave him a -14 under par total, he said he was very happy to be in second place;

“I’m just happy to be runner-up to Justin Rose, he played really well this week. I’m just happy.”

Scotsman Marc Warren who started the day on equal terms with Justin could only card a final round of -1 under par and a finishing total of -11 under par, and third place on his own. He reported that  it was his putter that went cold;

“On the front nine today my ball-striking was up there with what it’s been all week. Unfortunately the putter went cold on me and I just wasn’t quite seeing the lines to be honest.”

“Justin was the opposite. He seemed to be putting from outside me most of the time and holing them. Once he was out in front, he was tough to catch.”

Rory McIlroy had a final round -4 under par 67 which left him on -7 under par, the score he had been on Thursday evening . Defending Champion Phil Mickelson was  one shot ahead of Rory at -8 under par for the tournament, with a last round -6 under par 65.

 

Scottish Open. McIlroy Makes a Mess of It.

 

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Rory McIlroy makes a huge mess of it in the second round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, recording +7 over par 78, which takes him all the way back to even par for the competition.

On the other hand Ricardo Gonzalez is still flying high, sharing top spot with Marc Warren and Kristoffer Broberg.

Ricardo Gonzalez  (Getty Images)

Ricardo Gonzalez / Getty Images

In brutal afternoon conditions Ricardo and Kristoffer put together second rounds of even par, to stay at -6 under par for the tournament. Marc recorded a second round -2 under par, a good effort in those conditions, which left him on that -6 under par total for the competition.

Ricardo was not happy with a double bogey on the last hole, but was pleased with his overall performance;

“I was unlucky on 18 because I didn’t have a good lie and tried to reach the green in two, but it was a mistake. I’m happy because I played good 17 holes.”

“I need to sometimes stay patient and play safe. Of course, that didn’t happen on 18. I’m very happy because I hit it good and made a good score.”

Marc, was on course to win his National Open two years ago but unfortunately let slip a three shot lead, with only four to play in 2012 at Castle Stuart, he wants to make amends;

“It’s a massive week and anyone would love to win, but being Scottish it would be that much more special. What happened two years ago was tough to take at the time but it was good experience and hopefully it will stand me in good stead.”

“The course is tough enough anyway, never mind playing the back nine into this wind. After bogeys on the 14th and 15th I said to my caddie let’s try to have a strong finish but to finish three-three-three was beyond my wildest dreams.”

Justin Rose played his way into contention, a second round -3 under par 68 has him sitting in fourth place on his own at -5 under par;

“I came here on Wednesday and felt absolutely horrendous. It was like I had lost my game somewhere over the Atlantic. But the last couple of days I have been finding my feet again and that’s part of the reason for playing this week ahead of Hoylake.”

“It was great to see the course in a completely opposite wind. The par fives are playing very easy on the front nine and there are some tough par fours on the back nine. I did well to hang on to my score on the back nine and made a few good six or seven-footers coming in.”

Rory / Getty

Another Friday failure;

“I’ve struggled to grind. It’s been the case all year. I’ve got off to great starts and fell away but I am still in the tournament and I can go out in the morning and try to get some of those shots back.”

“You are having to talk about it,  so it’s in your mind and I am maybe putting more pressure on myself to shoot a good score. It’s another Friday out of the way, thank God, and I can go on to the weekend. I shot 68 on the Friday at the US Open so hopefully next week will be the same.”

 

Scottish Open. Rory Roars into the Lead

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Rory McIlroy roars into the lead at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen.

Rory McIlroy   (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory recorded a course record at Royal Aberdeen, shooting a first round -7 under par 64, he reported that everything was on from the word go. He even drove the 13th green, while Ian Poulter was still on it;

“Everything was pretty much on. I controlled my ball flight really well which is the key to me playing well in these conditions and on these courses.”

“I’ve been working the last ten days on keeping the ball down, hitting easy shots and taking spin off  it and I went out there today and really trusted what I practiced.”

“I’m driving the ball really well and I feel if I can get driver in my hand and have an advantage on the field I should do it. Going out this morning in these conditions I thought anything in the 60s would be a good score so to shoot something better than that is pleasing.”

“I told Poulter it was a three-wood but it was a driver. He was on the green trying to flex his muscles. I’ve got off to a lot of good starts and tended to fall away. Hopefully that won’t be the case this week.”

“It’s more mental than anything but I am really comfortable with my game at the minute.”

There are two players tied in second place at -6 under par after opening rounds of 65, they are Kristoffer Broberg and Ricardo Gonzalez.

Ricardo is happy with his team Argentina reaching the World Cup finals, and also having his son on his bag;

“I think it’s one of the best rounds of this year and that’s why I’m very happy now. To make 65 on that wonderful course, with my son on the bag, that’s great.”

“I enjoyed the match and maybe this is the key to play well, to relax and enjoy the day. I would like Argentina to win the World Cup and also if I can win here it would be amazing. It’s my dream.”

Defending Champion Phil Mickelson was four shots off the lead after an opening round of -3 under par  68, that featured an Eagle, two birdies and a solitary bogey caused by a three putt on the 18th green.

Irish Open. Ilonen Is Still Leading. Rory Misses Cut.

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Mikko Ilonen is still leading at the Irish Open at Fota Island, while Rory McIlroy misses the cut.

Mikko Ilonen  (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen / Getty Images

Mikko is still the man to catch after he added a -3 under par 68 to his course-record 64 during the second round of the Irish Open. He now has a two shot lead at the top of the leaderboard at -10 under par.

“I got to my goal, I wanted to get to double digits. I got there on 16 but then I lost it on 17, so it was good to birdie the last hole. I wanted to get to at least ten under, and I just did that.” 

“I said yesterday, one shot at a time, one hole at a time. It’s a long week, but two rounds of golf, it’s a long way from here. Got to keep the head down and go one shot at a time.” 

Graeme McDowell, Robert Rock and Romain Wattel are tied in third spot at -8 under par, but G-Mac has never had a top-ten finish in this event, he joked;

There’s always a first time for everything. I’ve been unhappy with my game now for a few months, really getting frustrated with myself in general and trying to be a little too perfect. I tried to loosen myself up a little bit and try to enjoy my golf a little bit. I’m surprised and excited to be in contention.”

“Normally there’s some pressure and expectation in the Irish Open. I think maybe coming off the US Open last week, with as much pressure and frustration and expectation as you feel there, perhaps that’s why I’m dealing with it a little bit better because it nearly feels like the proverbial walk in the park by comparison.”

“This is a fun game to play. We are very lucky to play it for a living but last week bordered on the unenjoyable because the golf course was so frustratingly difficult. I’ve played in front of many big crowds before, but maybe none as passionate here as the Irish crowd. There’s nothing quite like it when a crowd is pulling for you and it’s a fun experience. It’s something I’ve never experienced before, except perhaps at a Ryder Cup.”

Robert lost a play-off to Shane Lowry in 2009 but claimed the first prize of €500,000 as Shane was still an amateur at the time, and finished fifth in 2006 and second to Paul Casey last year. He likes this tournament;

“It’s a tournament I like playing but I think it’s more the time of year. I enjoy the tournaments at the start of the year, but when we travel further afield I don’t play well and it batters your confidence. It takes time to rebuild that and it seems to be this time of year it comes back.”

Rory suffered his first missed cut on the European Tour in 2014;

“It’s very frustrating, to make six birdies and an eagle and shoot just two under means there were a lot of mistakes and wasteful shots. To miss the cut for the second year in a row is not a nice position to be in. I don’t know what else to say, it’s very disappointing.”

“I’m proud of myself how I fought out there and didn’t give up and tried for the last shot, I gave myself a chance to try to make the cut with the big birdie putt on 17, but just wasn’t meant to be.

“I just need to tighten it all up and become a lot more consistent, make the bad shots a little bit better and not be as wasteful around the greens. If I can do that, I know my game is right there. I’ve got a couple weeks off now to work on my game a little bit, play some links golf and get ready for the Scottish Open and the Open.”

Irish Open. Ilonen Leads in Ireland.

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Mikko Ilonen leads in Ireland at the Irish open at the Fota Island Resort.

Mikko Ilonen  (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen / Getty Images

Mikko carded a course record -7 under par 64 at Fota Island Resort to establish a two shot lead after the first round of the Irish Open. He recorded eight birdies and one bogey, and said patience was the key;

“It was a slow start really. The first sort of four or five holes I felt like I can’t get anything going, but I stayed patient and then the birdies kept coming. In the end I managed to hit a couple of good putts which was nice.”

There are three players tied in third position at -5 under par following their opening rounds of 66. Marcel Siem, Robert Karlsson and Magnus A Carlsson sharing.

Robert really enjoyed his day;

It was nice, I’m very, very happy. I worked quite hard when I’ve been at home since the Nordea Masters, so it’s been nice to keep it going. I’ve done a bit of work with my coach and things are coming together quite nicely. The long game was very, very good today.”

Graeme McDowell is back in a tie for 9th place in the log jam at -3 under par, while three-time major winner Padraig Harrington returned a -2 under par score of 69, which was matched by the defending champion Paul Casey.

Rory McIlroy slumped to an opening round of +3 over par 74, and will have to pay really well tomorrow if he is to make the cut;

“I still drove the ball great and got in the positions that you need to, but short-sided myself a couple of times, hit a couple of loose shots with my wedges and could not get a putt to drop.”

“I was pretty sloppy with the scoring clubs so I might head to the range this afternoon to work on those. I need to do better tomorrow to be here for the weekend.”

 

Irish Open. Casey, McIlroy & G-Mac are in the Field.

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Fota Island is a 7,043-yard par 71 in Cork

The venue, Fota Island / Getty Images

Fota Island is a 7,043-yard par 71. It unusually has back-to-back par fives on the front nine at holes 4 and 5 and then two more par fives on the back, at holes 10 and 18. The eighteenth hole is just a 532 yards par five, which sets up the possibility of an Eagle finish to the competition on Sunday.

Defending Champion Paul Casey;

 Paul Casey   (Getty Images)

Paul Casey / Getty Images

“I always defend a title, I won in Korea and I went back to Korea. If I won in Timbuktu, I’d go back to Timbuktu. I never get tired of defending. It’s exciting to me and this is an important championship.  The Irish Open is one of the biggest titles I’ve won. It meant a lot winning it last year. “

“Casey is a Cork name, one of my cousins who lives in the States has done a whole bunch of research on all our ancestors so I will try this week to find out more. It was my great-grandfather who was over here, and I think my grandfather on my dad’s side moved to South Africa. So it’s pretty close, I’ll try and find out more.”  

Paul’s heroics last year at Carton House Golf Club endeared him to many Irish fans. If he triumphed again this week it would reinforce that bond and put Paul well and truly back in the spotlight.
Rory McIlroy, has not played here before, but is looking forward to challenge after the horrors of Pinehurst #2;

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

“I need to play some stellar stuff, I need to win at least one big one or a couple of others by the cut-off. I think it’s plain and simple. And even that doesn’t guarantee anything, but at least that might get me into consideration.”

“I’ve heard great things about the course, so I’m really looking forward to getting down there and seeing it for myself. I vaguely remember watching the Irish Open on TV when it was there in 2002. It’s a parkland golf course, which will be nice after last week at Pinehurst, where I made only nine birdies in four rounds.”

“Absolutely buzzing for The Irish Open at Fota Island Resort this week. Forecast is great so should be a great week.”

Graeme McDowell knows this course well;

Fota Island was my Irish Open debut and it’s got good memories, good thoughts, a great venue. The Irish Open is always special to us as Irish players.”