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Another Distraction For Rory, Getting Married !!

At the New Year’s Eve fireworks display at Sydney Harbour, Rory McIlroy proposed marriage to his tennis girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki . Could this be another distraction for Rory as he tries to regain his number one in the world ranking ?

Caroline Wozniacki caddied for Rory McIlroy at a par three competition last year. Photo / AP

Caroline and Rory / AP

Rory used the firework display as the backdrop and a precursor for his own big bang announcement of his midnight proposal, employing Twitter to say;

“Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year!! My first victory of 2014 #shesaidyes!!”

Caroline wasted no time to tweet back;

“Happy New Year everyone! Rory and I started 2014 with a bang! … I said YES!!!” 

The two former World Number Ones were at the New Year’s Eve firework display in Sydney as Caroline prepares for the Australian Open starting on January 13.

These two are not the first famous Golf-Tennis double act to get married, with Greg Norman – like Rory a two-time major champion – wedding fellow former world No1 Chris Evert in 2008, although the marriage lasted only 15 months. Not surprising as they could not even decide whose house they would call home, they both wanted to stay in their usual places. You would have thought they would have sorted that out before actually getting hitched.

I wish the couple well and a long and happy marriage, wether they can both regain their number one status in each sport is a really fascinating event, which will keep the newspapers and magazines occupied through 2014.

Australian Open. Scott Succumbs to McIlroy Magic.

2013AustOpen_logo

Adam Scott scrambled in the final round of the Australian Open, at Royal Sydney Golf Club, then at the death succumbed to a last hole birdie from Rory McIlroy, as he bogeyed the hole.

McIlroy triumphs after duel in the sun

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images.

Rory shot a bogey free last round -6 under par 66, for his winning total of -18 under par at the Australian Open, his first victory of the year. The boy is back, with an unlikely one shot win here. Rory started the day four shots adrift, but as Adam continually failed to convert his birdie chances, Rory began to chip away at the lead, including an Eagle at the par five 7th hole.

Rory reported he always thought he had a chance;

 ” I stayed patient, I knew anything could happen.I always believed I could win, he had a couple of chances but was unlucky. The support this week was phenomenal, the atmosphere was fantastic. Since the end of September I’ve just felt in a better place, a better place mentally with some things off the course. Golf’s a long career and I’m 24 years old. I get a little impatient at times and if I actually just took a step back and looked at the bigger picture, it hasn’t been too bad a year. I feel a bit sorry that I was the one that ruined the triple crown for him but I’m very happy.”

Adam has had a great year, which  included victory at the US Masters and back-to-back wins at the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola and the Talisker Masters in November. He needed this tile to win the triple crown, sadly for him it did not happen  Leading by one shot on the final hole, his approach shot went through the green, his chip shot back was not the best and he failed to sink his par putt. Rory then sank his birdie putt, and it was all over;

“I’m gutted. I felt like I never had a better chance to win the Aussie Open but it was tight the whole back nine. Nothing was going my way on the greens today. I could have put this thing away I think early on if the putter was behaving how it should have, like it did the rest of the week but I just misjudged into the last and a player as good as Rory is going to take that opportunity.”

Adam still secured the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit title, his second since turning Professional in 2000.

John Senden was in third place at -11 under par, a long way from the leaders, that is how good Adam and Rory played.

Australian Open. Scott Secures Top Spot in Sydney.

2013AustOpen_logo

Adam Scott secured the top spot in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney Golf Club on Saturday, he is now just 18 holes away from his dream of the triple crown of home wins.

Adam Scott: Australian continued dominant form on home soil

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam shot a -4 under par 68 in the third round of the Australian Open, to open up a four shot lead at the top of leaderboard, at -16 under par for the tournament, going into the final round. He thinks he is OK, but still has one eye on Rory, and the other on his putter;

“It’s an exciting position to be in, obviously a great chance to win my national championship tomorrow. And then also win the three events down here which is an unbelievable spot to be in. If you’d told me a month ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. One round to go but a lot can happen. It’s a phenomenon playing behind me and I’m sure he’s going to throw plenty at me, but as long as the eye stays in with the putter, I think I should hold on.”

Rory McIlroy is the one who is four shots behind, he could only managed a -2 under par third round of 70. leaving him on -12 under par at this event, and a long way to go to catch Adam in the final round. He said he should have been closer, but there are still opportunities;

“I played a good back nine, it could have been a couple better, I felt I left a couple out there. It’s possible on this golf course, where there can be a lot of two-shot swings and someone makes a couple of pars and someone gets off to a fast start and makes a birdie and an eagle and you’re right back in it. There’s plenty of chances out there and it’s just a matter of taking your opportunities when they come.”

There are currently three players tied in third place at -8 under par, Matt Jones, Richard Green and Max McCardle will all have to console themselves to fighting it out for the minor placings.

Australian Open. Scott still Top, Rory roars up behind him.

2013AustOpen_logo

Adam Scott is still top of the leaderboard at the Australian Open, but Rory McIlroy roars up behind him at the Royal Sydney Golf Club.

Scott’s Triple Crown race off to a flyer

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Compared to yesterday’s -10 under par round, Adam scored a modest -2 under par 70 today, but it him kept on top of the leaderboard at the Australian Open with a -12 under par total.

Adam said it had been a tough afternoon;

“It was a tough afternoon, plenty of good stuff in there but made a few mistakes in the tricky conditions.At times, it was extremely difficult and I think I held it together pretty well. It was going to be a day for hanging in. I made lots of birdies but bogeys were easy to come by if you were just slightly off and probably most scorecards would have looked similar this afternoon.”

Rory McIlroy / AP

Rory McIlroy had one of the best rounds of the day, carding a -7 under par 65, which leaves him just two shots behind the leader with his tournament score of -10 under par. He said life is tough when someone is way clear at the top of the leaderboard;

“When you see someone like that at the top of the leaderboard already with a low score, it’s tough not to think about it. It’s tough not to sort of press the issue and try and make birdies to catch up with them right away but golf tournaments are long, they’re four days, 72 holes and there’s a lot of time to chip away at those leads.”

Third place at -9 under par is Richard Green, his second round of -6 under par 66 elevated him up the leaderboard at Royal Sydney.

Richard’s highlight of the day was an Ace at the par three 6th hole;

“That shot on the par 3 sixth today was a flush golf shot. It’s nice to build a bit of confidence from hitting good shots again. I love coming to Royal Sydney. It’s my favourite course up here, I’ve done well here before, it fits my game, how far I hit the golf ball at least. It was a very nice day. I’ve been struggling a little bit of late with my game and changed a few things, changed my clubs, changed my driver; just about everything this week and it’s just started to show some good signs again.I haven’t hit shots like I have the last two days for a long time, probably about three years.”

Australian Open. Great Scott Strikes Again.

2013AustOpen_logo

Adam Scott

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam Scott shot an opening round of -10 under par 62 at the Australian Open, smashing the course record at Royal Sydney Golf Club, and it could so easily have been a 60. Adam hit  it in close to the hole, at the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th for birdies, and then carded a run of eight consecutive pars. The previous record on this course lay-out was 65.  Adam is seeking to complete the full set of the main home tournaments, the PGA Championship, the Talisker Masters and the Australian Open in the same season, only Robert Allenby has done it, that was in 2005.

Adam said he felt comfortable with his swing;

“The swing was where I wanted it so I just went for it. Steve and I have felt there was a low one in there. I remember Greg Norman birdying the first six holes of Royal Troon in 1989 and that’s about as good a start as I can remember. I’ve gone through a roller coaster of emotion out there today, from cruising after six holes to having to work pretty hard for the next six or seven holes just to make some pars. I can’t sit here and complain about anything but a bit like last week in the first round, the swing wanders on a couple of shots and it did it again today. It’s just incredible how in 18 holes you can do 360 degrees of emotion and mood swings and everything. It was a great start and a very nice little course record to have here at Royal Sydney. I couldn’t believe how many people were there this morning early and the crowd swelled really quickly in the first couple of holes. It was fantastic. I wasn’t expecting that this morning at all, maybe tomorrow afternoon but they were just incredible crowds this morning and it’s so nice that I was able to hit a few nice shots for them and get it going. It’s fun to see golf on a bit of a high down here at the moment, really it’s been a lot of fun to play in front of everyone.”

 

Another round like this tomorrow and this tournament will be done and dusted, the rest can fight for second place.

In that second place at the moment is Canadian Ryan Yip, he posted a -7 under par 65, to be three shots off the lead. Ryan is one of the few players at this tournament who are not Aussie.

In third place at -6 under par for the first round is Aussie David McKenzie.

In case you had not noticed Rory McIlroy is in the field, the world number six carding an opening round of -3 under par 69. He has a long way to go to even catch up with Adam.

Australian PGA Championship, Daniel Popovic has 2 point lead for Final Round

Daniel Popovic

Daniel Popovic / pga.au

Young gun Daniel Popovic has a two point lead going into Sunday’s final round of the Australian PGA Championship at the Palmer Coolum Resort golf course. Daniel carded a -3 under par 69,  for tournament total of -13 under par, in calm conditions on Saturday to lead fellow Victorian Anthony Brown by two shots, and is confident he’s got the game to hold off an experienced chasing pack and claim his first Australian PGA Championship.

” I knew that I had it in me and I still know that I have one more good round tomorrow in me. I’ve just got to keep my routine going , what I have been doing has been working this week and tonight is going to be exactly the same and so is tomorrow morning in my warm up. I’ve been in pressure situations before, like say Q-School which is for me almost the most pressure that you have for the year because it determines where and how many tournaments you are going to play. It does surprise me in a way that I did handle it so well today without sort of having my A-game, but I am going to walk away from here thinking this can be done tomorrow and I’m going to give it a fair crack. It’s going to be an incredible ride for the whole family I think, tomorrow for myself, my mum and my dad is going to be huge.”

Daniel said he was excited to playing alongside another Australian legend on Sunday,Peter Senior,after playing with Geoff Ogilvey on moving day.  In the final group will be Anthony Brown who is two shots back at -11 under par and Peter is three shots behind at -10 under par;

“It’s fantastic, I mean Pete Senior is another one with so much experience and watching Geoff the way that he went about things today, I learnt so much again today playing with him. Geoff is such a great guy and I really hope that I get to play with Geoff again but Pete Senior, I have never met him in my life and I am sure that he is about the same sort of bloke as what Geoff is,  I can’t wait.”

Daniel may be excited but Peter Senior has issued a warning to the leader as he chases a fourth  Australian PGA Championship, declaring he’s in better form than when he won last week’s Australian Open.

” Pretty happy with the way things are going, I played a lot better today than I had even last week. I hit a lot better quality shots, driving it really well and I was just hitting it and picking up my tee which is always a great feeling, it sort of sets the holes up a little bit. I hit some better iron shots today that felt better than what I have been doing and made some birdies on some good holes, like 14 and 18 today, those were the real bonus holes. I just haven’t been making birdies on the par-fives, there are 15 par-fives and I think I’m about three under, the longer hitters are sort of knocking them to pieces so the par-fives are really letting me down.”

DP World Tour Championship, Luke Leads.

Luke Donald  (Getty Images)

Luke Donald/ Getty Images

Luke Donald, who won in Japan last Sunday, is once again the man to catch after a sparkling -7 under par first round to the $8,000,000 DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Rory McIlroy, uncatchable at the top of The Race to Dubai, is just one shot behind at -6 under par.

Luke said that he always feels different a week after winning, he felt like he could not miss;

” I felt like I couldn’t miss. I hit some really good irons shots too and it’s fun when it seems that easy, You always feel different the week after winning, you just feel like you have that little extra pep in your step and there’s a bit more confidence flowing through you for sure. Especially winning by five as I did last week gave me a huge boost.”

Luke  moved back up to second in the rankings ahead of Tiger Woods by taking the Dunlop Phoenix title at the weekend and is seeking to match Rory with four wins this year.

Rory said he got off to a slow start but is driving the ball beautifully;

“I got off to a bit of a slow start but felt I was hitting the ball well enough to give myself opportunities for birdies. I just had to stay patient. I got it together on the back nine. It’s a great way to start, obviously, I’m confident heading into tomorrow. I think I drove the ball beautifully with the exception of 18.”

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Marc Warren joined Rory on the -6 under par score, Gonzo said the front and back nines were completely different, I know that feeling;

“The back nine had nothing to do with the front nine, I played very well on front nine, believe it or not. I didn’t hole any putts, but I stayed patient, and all of the putts seemed to drop on the back nine. It was worth the wait, that’s for sure.”

Marc was rushing around looking for his waterproofs, he stepped out of his hotel into pouring rain, 20 millimeters of the stuff had fallen in two hours, but it soon cleared up and the conditions were perfect, Marc enjoyed the fact that there was no wind;

There was no wind to speak of and the greens were pure. I felt as if I hit a lot of good golf, Winning is the most fun you can have at a golf tournament and it’s something I want to do again soon.”

Tied in fourth spot with rounds of 67′s were 2009 winner Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Richie Ramsay, Louis Oosthuizen and Fredrik Andersson Hed.

Returning from eye surgery, Sergio Garcia shot 73, he needed the corrective surgery for an astigmatism following the Ryder Cup, Ian Poulter shared the same score, he must still feel deflated after his peculiar aberration at the Australian Open last week, missing a very short putt.

Footnote:

Astigmatism is a type of refractive error of the eye. Refractive errors cause blurred vision and are the most common reason why a person goes to see an eye professional. Just incase you were wondering what Sergio’s condition was.

Could Miguel still win an Open ? Big John Has To Open His Cheque Book

Miguel Angel Jimenez  (Getty Images)

Miguel Angel Jiménez/ Getty Images

Three time winner of the UBS Hong Kong Open Miguel Angel  Jiménez, could still win a Major, especially The Open, that is according  to Des Smyth. Miguel took away the title of oldest player to win on the European Tour from Des at Fanling, Hong Kong on Sunday. Des himself was neither upset or surprised to watch  the 48 year-old  Miguel beat his record, he believes that the Olive Oil and Rioja wine are keeping Miguel fit and flexible.

Not quite sure where the cigar smoking fits into those categories; Miguel Angel Jimenez Cigar Man Miguel/getty images

Des was full of praise for the Spanish veteran;

” He’s a top quality player, naturally, the clock is ticking but Miguel clearly still can compete, especially on courses that suit him. I think he could even win an Open at this stage. Miguel has that type of game, he’s very controlling and straight-hitting. It’s a great boost to your confidence to know you can still go out there and beat the talented young guns on tour.”

 

Another vet in the news is Big John DalyJohn Daly  John/getty image

Big John was playing in last week’s UBS Hong Kong Open, and was reported for throwing his putter into the trees during the second round, after being annoyed by fans using cellphones and cameras. Clearly upset, John went on to miss the cut after rounds of 72 and 75.  The  European Tour confirmed that it would fine John Daly, 46, an undisclosed amount. The Tournament director Mickael Ericsson gave a statement to reporters, he agreed crowd behavior was a problem, but that is no excuse for bad manners;

“Yes, the circumstances regarding crowd manners and behavior will be considered, but when it all boils down there is still no excuse for throwing his putter.”

Last year at the Australian Open John, a two-time Major Champion, threw his most  infamous meltdown of all time, when he proceeded to hit six balls in the water on one hole, and then stormed off the course. That prompted the then tournament director to remark;

” I would say this is the last time we will see John Daly.”

When questioned later about the incident John simply said he had run out of balls, and could not continue. In 2010, a PGA Tour personnel file revealed that John Daly had been cited 11 times for “conduct unbecoming of a professional” and another 21 times for “failure to give best effort.” Over the years, his fines have totaled more than $100,000, a piffling amount compared to Big  John’s earning potential.

 

 

 

Australian Open, Tom Watson will be there

Eight-time major winner and Champions Tour regular Tom Watson will play in the Australian Open in December 2012.

Tom Watson/Getty Images

 Tom Watson, the  eight-time Major champion will contest the Australian Open this year, along with Adam Scott, defending champ Greg Chalmers and 2006 US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy .

It will be contested at  The Lakes, Golf Australia, and  chief executive Stephen Pitt has vowed to make more announcements ahead of the December 6-9 tournament, Stephan said;

” It’s fantastic to welcome back these four past winners of the Stonehaven Cup to the Emirates Australian Open. Tom is one of the household names in world golf and we can’t wait to have he, Adam, Geoff and defending champion Greg back in action at  The Lakes. It’s the pinnacle week in Australian golf and things are continuing to shape up really well for the Championship.”

Tom,  whose career victories include five British Opens, two US Masters and a US Open, will contest the event for the first time in close to 30 years, having won it back in 1984.

Good to see you Tom, have a great event.

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