Rory Regrets Folly about Wisdom Teeth.

Rory McIlroy regrets walking off the course at the Honda Classic, and lying to all and sundry about the reason for his sudden withdrawal, initially saying his game was in a dark place. Then his management company came up with the novel idea that Rory had sudden toothache, it just had to be his wisdom tooth, such irony.

Rory McIlroy grabs his nose. I thought it was your tooth! (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

The Worlds Number One ranked golfer, Rory McIlroy had to eat humble pie, with no sign of teething problems, when he fronted up to the media to announce the truth behind his Honda Classic withdrawal.

” I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t the right thing to do,’ no matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there. I should have tried to shoot the best score possible even though it probably wasn’t going to be good enough to make the cut. At that point in time, I was just all over the place, I saw red, it was a mistake and everyone makes mistakes and I’m learning from them. Some people have the pleasure of making mistakes in private, most of my mistakes are in the public eye. I actually think in the long run, Friday will be a blessing in disguise, it was like it just sort of released a valve and all that sort of pressure that I’ve been putting on myself just went away. And I was like, just go out and have fun. It’s not life or death out there. It’s only a game. I had sort of forgotten that this year. I’ve learned from it and as I said, it won’t happen again.”

A contrite Rory spoke for 25 minutes,  with two of his agents from Horizon Sports, Colin Morrissey and Sean O’Flaherty in close attendance, along with Nike representatives and his coach Michael Bannon. Rory said he will have to learn to tough it out;

“I learned that when the tough gets going, I’ve got to stick in there a bit more and I’ve got to grind it out. There’s no excuse for quitting and it doesn’t set a good example for the kids watching me, trying to emulate what I do. It wasn’t good for a whole lot of reasons, for the tournaments, the people coming out watching me. I feel like I let a lot of people down and I am very sorry. Me and all you guys are hopefully going to have a working relationship for the next 20 years, so I don’t want to jeopardize that by being closed. I feel like I’ve always been open and honest and given you guys all my thoughts. I don’t want there to be friction, it’s not like I want it to be a strained relationship because it’s going to be a long one, I hope.”

Ernie Els,  a four-time Major winner, who is also playing in this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral’s Blue Monster said he regretted not stopping Rory from walking off.

It was obviously a heat of the moment thing, he is who he is. You’ve got to respect what the individual at that moment is like, and he wanted to get off. And we obviously heard that he had his wisdom tooth was bothering him, and if that was the reason, that was that. I would have been out of my depth at that stage to say something to him if something was bothering him. So I didn’t, but I thought I should have.”

Ernie and Mark Wilson were the three-some on the ill-fated round, Ernie went on to say when he was young he had done some silly things, and his experience in the game could have helped out Rory;

“That’s why I thought I needed to say something. Listen, I was also 23; I’m 43 now. I look back, I did a lot of silly things and what he’s done is nothing compared to what I did; speak to my parents. But when it comes to being where he’s at, you’ve got to maybe think a little bit more than two minutes. In a couple of years’ time, he won’t even think about this or talk about this. If he wins this week, it will be the last thing we talk about, it will be history and that’s what it should be. It’s something that’s happened and we should move on from that. He’s a great kid, he’s a great player and if he admits he’s made a mistake, then that’s that and let’s move on.”




The Honda Classic. Michael Thompson Comes Up Trumps.

A bear of a win

Michael Thompson / Franklin / Getty Images

Michael Thompson came up trumps in The Honda Classic at PGA National Champion Course, Palm Beach Florida. Young gun Michael cruised to a two shot win over the more experienced Geoff Ogilvy, with a last round of -1 under par and a tournament total of -9 under par. The win gets Michael into his first World Golf Championship next week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral, and qualifies for two more WGCs this year at the Bridgestone Invitational and at the HSBC Champions. He is also now  in the PGA Championship, gets to start next year in Hawaii and earned a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR.

Michael said in interview that the whole week had been magical, something he had been dreaming about for a long time;

“This week was magical, just had a groove and kept feeling it. This is everything, this is a childhood dream come true. I’ve dreamed of playing out here since I was 7 years old and to win, it’s just unbelievable. I just can’t put it into words, the whole day was awesome.”

He particularly enjoyed walking up the eighteenth fairway after his second shot on the par five landed in the greenside bunker, giving him the opportunity of an up and down birdie, and he did just that;

“That for me kind of sealed the deal, it allowed me to walk up the fairway and enjoy the experience, see the crowd and just finish strong.”

Geoff Ogilvy will also be at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral, thanks to putting together four good rounds of golf, for his total of  -7 under par.

Geoff admitted that he had already given himself next week off;

“I kind of penciled in a week off, so it’s nice, and it gets me back in the mix for the Masters.”

Geoff was also full of admiration for Michael, and the way he played this golf course;

You don’t have to do much wrong to be making a bogey out there, so it’s pretty impressive, it’s a great effort really. As you see by the rest of the scores, it’s a very hard golf course and it seems to get progressively harder in some ways. There’s a disaster waiting everywhere. There’s a lot of golf courses on tour that it might be easy to close out a golf tournament, or easier, but this is not one of them.”

Luke Guthrie, Michael’s sparring partner at the top of the leaderboard for most of this event fell back during the last round, carding a miserable +3 over par 73, and a tournament total of -5 under par, but it still left him alone in third place.


Justin Rose Wins Cadillac Championship @ Doral

Rose-wins.jpgCannon/Getty Images

Everything has come up roses for Rosy as Justin wins the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral. He won by one shot from Bubba Watson, who had an erratic round of 2 over par 74, compared to Justin’s -2 under par 70. In his post round interview Justin was pretty pleased with his early season win;

“It really is a great day. It’s been a great week. It’s been a great two weeks to be honest with you. I’ve been very focused on just sort of seeing this whole Florida Swing as like a body of work and not really trying to put too much focus on any individual tournament. And I kind of knew I was playing well and if I just kept out of my own way for the most part and kept thinking well and doing the right things, I had a feeling something good might happen in these four weeks and I’m kind of including the next two weeks, as well. For this little beauty to show up on my mantle piece so early in the season, definitely a fantastic feeling, and you know, it sets up a very exciting year.”

Bubba Watson said he had given it his best shot, he and his caddy had just misread the last putt on the 18th green, the break being more than they had anticipated;

“Today I felt really good waking up. I felt no meshes. I was ready to go. Pulled my first tee shot, still made birdie, almost made eagle and then pulled the next shot off the tee and sliced the next one. The ball position was a little off: I was a little too close to it, too far from it. Takes a few holes to figure it out and then I had some chances on the back nine. I really fought hard and had some chances on the back nine and just didn’t make some putts. But then on 18, I had 191 out of the rough, no grass behind the ball so I could make solid contact with it and hit a pure 4 iron, a low bullet 4 iron and just misread the putt. We just didn’t give enough. We thought it was not going to break as much and it broke about three inches too much.”g

Rory McIlroy finished in third spot, after a good round of – 5 under for a last round total of 67, two shots off the lead. He recalled how tough 18 was today;

“Yeah, you know, 18 today was playing brutal, probably the toughest it’s played all week. I hit a really good second shot through the trees. It just jumped on me a little bit and ran through the back of the green and drew a pretty bad lie there. Especially with water on the other side of the pin, I didn’t want to be too ambitious.”

Luke Donald finished at -12 for the tournament, another trademark top ten finish for the consistent ex world #1.

Tiger Woods had to withdraw from the tournament after hitting his tee shot on the 12th tee, he said;

“I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse. After hitting my tee shot at 12,              I decided it was necessary to withdraw. In the past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time, I decided to do what I thought was necessary.”

Apparently this is the same Achilles tendon Tiger injured about a year ago at the Masters. That injury forced Woods to miss three months of golf, including two majors. Tiger changed his shoes at the turn, but his limp became more obvious concluding with his withdrawal at 12.

Bubba Watson still Leading @ Doral, after three rounds


Bubba Watson had a third day of solid play at TPC Blue Monster and will take a three-shot edge into Sunday’s final round, joining him on the tee for the final paring will be Keegan Bradley. Bubba had a -5 67 for -17 under par total, and Keegan shot a -6 66 for his total of -14. Also on -14 after a third round of 69 is Justin Rose. Rosy three putted the last green to miss the opportunity of playing a fourth straight day with Bubba.

Best round of the day was from Rory McIlroy firing in a -7 for 65, but at -9 under par for the tournament he would be seemingly out of contention tomorrow. Joining him at -9 is Tiger Woods and Luke Donald, who are also playing for the minor placings, unless of course they can all produce a round of 62, even in that unlikely event I expect the leaders to improve on their overnight scores.

Even further adrift are Lee Westwood, who had a better round today, -4 for a total of -5, and Phil Mickelson who had another miserable day managing -1 and a tournament total of -2.

WGC. Doral, Bubba Watson leads after two rounds.


Bubba Watson leads the WGC Cadillac Championship after the second round by one shot from Justin Rose. Bubba had a wonderful round of -10 under par 62, to lead the tournament @ -12. Justin had an impressive -8 for his second round leaving him just one shot adrift of the lead @ -11 for the tournament.

Rory McIlroy recovered a little bit to finish @ -1 under par for the Championship with a round of -3 69. Luke Donald maintained his presence shooting a -4 round to keep him in touch with the leaders, he is now has a total of -6. Lee Westwood had a good round of -5, but that still leaves him with a total of -1 for the tournament, and eleven shots off the pace.

Tiger Woods also had a -5 round and the same score for his total for the two rounds, while Phil Mickelson had a -1 round and the same -1 for the Championship. With no cut in this competition I guess anyone could still win, maybe Tiger can finish with two rounds of 62.

WGC Doral, Windy Blue Monster Devours the worlds best Golfers

Windy conditions at the WGC Doral made it tough going for some of the worlds best golfers. World #1 Rory McIlroy could only manage a +1 round of 73, while # 3 Lee Westwood struggled for a +4 over par 76. Tiger woods and Phil Mickelson completed their first rounds at even par 72 and Englands flamboyant Ian Poulter could only muster a +4 76. Luke Donald finished a -2 and Justin Rose went one better at -3, while at the top of the leaderboard are Australia’s Adam Scott and Jason Dufner coming in at -6 under par for their rounds. Scotts performance adding fuel to the ‘ban the long putter” because one of the complaints against the long putter are that it steadies the golfer in windy conditions.

Adam Scott, Of Australia, LinesThe Associated Press

Rory McIlroy was disappointed with his day, lamenting how tricky it was on the course;

“It was a bit of a struggle. It was a pretty tricky day but obviously there was good scores out there. I just didn’t really get anything going. You know, I was trying to sort of play my way back into the round. I thought if I could shoot under par on the back nine, which was the front nine, post something around 70, 69, it would have been a good score. But made a couple bogeys early on on that nine and couldn’t really get it back.”

Adam Scott was happy with his days effort;

“Yeah, obviously very satisfied with the round today, and in these blustery conditions. I took advantage of my good play the first 11 or 12 holes and then managed to kind of get it up-and-down here or there coming in. So very pleased to put myself in the tournament so far. It’s a good way to start”

You notice that not one reporter asked Adam about the advantages of his long putter.

Paul Casey makes his return to Golf @ Doral


Paul Casey greets spectators on the 2nd green during the final of the HSBC Champions. Casey finished T-4. Associated Press

Paul Casey  has missed five tournaments this year after dislocating his shoulder while snowboarding, a strange and obviously dangerous holiday pastime. A doctor he saw in the aftermath of his injury said that surgery was a definite possibility, and he would be out four to six months That statement was a frightening moment for Paul, he said;

“That was a little bit worrying,”

He was convinced that surgery was not needed, and sought a second professional opinion. It was the first time he had dislocated the shoulder, the labrum was in good shape and there was every reason to believe he could return to 100 percent health.

At this time Paul figures he’s at about 90 percent for the Cadillac Championship at Doral, which has a 74-man field with no cut.

“It’s feeling strong, all that work I’ve been putting into the shoulder, now I have to do a lot of work on the golf game.” he said.

Of the accident Paul recounted he heard a sound coming from his shoulder when he fell, felt pain and within minutes could not move his arm. When he eventually got down the mountain and had an X-ray, he was told it was dislocated. Then, the shoulder was put back in the socket and the pain went away. He felt OK then;

“I thought it was great, I thought maybe I can be ready for Abu Dhabi or Qatar or something like that. I had absolutely no clue how long a dislocation takes to repair. Finding out that I didn’t need surgery was a relief because the surgery basically would have wiped out the whole season. I think I’ll throw in some events as the golf game gets stronger and as the year goes on,”

Paul tee’s off at 11am, with Alexander Noren and Greg Chalmers, good luck Paul on your comeback trail.