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Road to the Olympic Games 2024: British Golfers Eye Qualification

The qualification process for the 2024 Olympics is in full swing, and British golfers Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Charley Hull, and Georgia Hall are among the top contenders aiming for a place in Paris.

Men’s Olympics Qualification

Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick are leading the British men’s golf contingent. Fleetwood, currently ranked 9th in the Olympic Golf Rankings (OGR) and 11th in the World Golf Rankings (OWGR), has had a successful few years. He won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2022, played a key role in Team Europe’s Ryder Cup victory in 2023, and recently secured a top-five finish at the 2024 Masters Tournament.

Matt Fitzpatrick, ranked 10th in the OGR and 14th in the OWGR, is also a strong contender. Fitzpatrick, the 2022 U.S. Open champion, has consistently remained within the top 50 golfers worldwide over the past seven years. His notable victories include the 2023 RBC Heritage and the 2022 U.S. Open, showcasing his readiness for Olympic competition.

Women’s Olympic Qualification

On the women’s side, Charley Hull and Georgia Hall are the top British hopefuls. Hull, ranked 7th in both the OGR and OWGR, recently ended a six-year wait for an LPGA Tour title by winning the Volunteers of America Classic in Texas. Her consistent performance, including five top-10 finishes this year, makes her a strong candidate for Olympic success.

Georgia Hall, ranked 23rd in the OGR and 31st in the OWGR, has also shown impressive form. The former Open champion looks forward to competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Hall’s recent appearances include a win at the Aramco Team Series in London.

Olympic Qualification Process

The Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR) determines the qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will take place from August 1 -10 on Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. The top 15 golfers in the OGR automatically qualify, with a maximum of four players per National Olympic Committee (NOC). Beyond the top 15, the highest-ranked players are selected until the 60-player field is filled, ensuring no more than two players per NOC unless they are within the top 15.

The men’s qualification period ends on June 17, 2024, while the women’s ends on June 24, 2024. The final lists will be published shortly after these dates, confirming the golfers who will compete in Paris.

The qualification criterie for the Olympic Golf Tournament. (Photo: IGF)

With their strong performances and current rankings, Fleetwood, Fitzpatrick, Hull, and Hall are well-positioned to represent Great Britain at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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Professionals

Forbes 2024: LIV Deal Boosts Jon Rahm to Second Place

A few days ago, the magazine ‘Forbes’ published its annually updated list of the world’s best-paid athletes. While Portugal’s soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo defends his place in the sun, Jon Rahm makes the biggest leap in the entire ranking, taking second place. The Spaniard has not only pushed Lionel Messi into third place, but is also among the top 3 earners in the sporting world as a golfer for the first time since Tiger Woods in 2013 (1st). The salaries from LIV Golf make it possible.

Forbes List 2024: Rahm, McIlroy & Co. – The five golfers of the ranking

Between May 2023 and May 2024, Forbes examined the total income of the world’s highest-paid athletes, as it does every year. The list of the 50 top earners also includes five golfers, among whom a recent LIV star plays a special role. Jon Rahm was not even among the top 50 in the previous year’s list, but is in second place this year with a total income of 218 million US dollars (201 million euros). The Spaniard owes this primarily to his lucrative LIV deal: According to Forbes, a full 198 million dollars of this comes from his income/contracts on the golf course, while ‘only’ 20 million dollars was earned off the golf course, for example through advertising revenue. This means that only Cristiano Ronaldo earned more in the last twelve months, defending his place from the previous year with a total income of 260 million dollars (240 million euros).

Jon Rahm and the second highest-paid golfer on the list are mainly separated by soccer and basketball stars such as Lionel Messi (3rd), LeBron James (4th), Kylian Mbappé (6th) and Stephen Curry (9th). Finally, Rory McIlroy, who was recently replaced by Xander Schauffele in second place in the world golf rankings after a long time, follows in 19th place. The Northern Irishman has a total income of 80.1 million dollars (73.8 million euros) and is therefore four places ahead of Tiger Woods with a total income of 67.2 million dollars (61.9 million euros). It is particularly striking that the 48-year-old alone earned 55 million dollars outside the golf course, for example through advertising revenue. This puts Woods in sixth place in this category. World number one and reigning Masters champion Scottie Scheffler is in 29th place with 59.2 million dollars (54.6 million euros). The last golfer on the list is Cameron Smith, like Jon Rahm a player on the LIV Tour, with 48 million dollars (44.2 million euros).

The impact of LIV Golf changes the Forbes list

In 2013, Tiger Woods in first place (78.1 million dollars) was the last golfer to occupy one of the top three places on the Forbes list; between 2018 and 2022, only once did a golfer occupy a place among the ten highest-paid athletes in the world (2020: Tiger Woods in eighth place). This changed abruptly with the salaries of LIV Golf. In 2023, the two LIV golfers Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson were ranked sixth and seventh respectively. This year, Jon Rahm provided the biggest jump of the year with a second place finish and the first top three finish by a golfer since 2013. Rahm, who was not on the list last year, caused an uproar in the golf world when he signed with LIV Golf in December last year. While the details of the contract have not been released, it has already been reported to be at least $300 million over several years. We can certainly expect to see more LIV Golfers among the top earners in the sporting world in the future.

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Professionals

Scottie Scheffler’s Court Date Postponed Following Arrest

Scottie Scheffler’s court date, initially set for May 21st, has been postponed to June 3rd, according to his attorney Steve Romines, who informed the Golf Channel. Scheffler, currently the world’s number one golfer and this year’s US Masters champion, was arrested last Friday before the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship on multiple charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer.

Romines stated that Scheffler will plead not guilty to all charges. “I’ve been defending criminal cases for 30 years and have learned to never be surprised,” Romines commented, adding, “whoever reported [the charges] were going to be dismissed was not accurate.”

What Happened During Scottie Scheffler’s Arrest?

According to the police report, the incident occurred when Scottie Scheffler tried to escape a traffic jam that build because of a deadly accident friday morning. Detective Bryan Gillis stopped him and gave instructions that Scheffler refused to follow. Scheffler then accelerated, causing Det. Gillis to fall to the ground. Scheffler described the incident as a “big misunderstanding” and expressed confidence that the situation would be resolved.

In addition to aggravated assault, Scottie Scheffler was also charged with three other misdemeanors: vandalism, reckless driving, and disregarding an officer’s signals. He was booked into the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections and released at 8:40 AM, allowing him to return in time for his second round at Valhalla.

Scottie Scheffler’s Performance at the PGA Championship Despite Arrest

Scottie Scheffler entered the week as a favorite, having won the US Masters and claimed his fourth PGA Tour victory in five starts at the RBC Heritage. Despite the arrest and tumultuous circumstances, Scheffler managed to finish in a tie for eighth place. “On the course I have always been proud of my toughness out there,” Scheffler told CBS. “I try to keep the off course as quiet as possible and this week was obviously not that way, but I’m proud of the way we competed and posted a decent finish running on fumes.”

Despite the ongoing legal issues, Scottie Scheffler plans to participate in the Charles Schwab Challenge of the PGA Tour in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Professionals

Jim Furyk and Mike “Fluff” Cowan part ways after 25 years

For over a quarter of a century, caddie legend Mike “Fluff” Cowan and golf pro Jim Furyk formed an inseparable duo on the course. But now they have parted ways by mutual agreement, as Cowan has found his way back onto the PGA Tour.

Separation from Jim Furyk: Mike “Fluff” Cowan returns to the PGA Tour

Cowan, who already stood on the green alongside Tiger Woods in the late 1990s, is now returning to the big stage of golf. At this week’s CJ Cup Byron Nelson in McKinney, Texas, he is supporting Taiwanese professional C.T. Pan. “It’s hard to say goodbye after 25 years,” Cowan commented to Golfweek. “But sometimes it’s necessary to make the right move, even if it’s difficult.” The decision comes at a time when Jim Furyk has been sidelined by injuries for the last two years. His best result on the Champions Tour this season was a tied 33rd place at the Hoag Classic in March.

“We’re playing for two million dollars. They’re playing for 8, 20, 25 million,” Furyk wrote in a message to Golfweek. “I knew it was a good opportunity for him, and C.T. is playing pretty well. (Fluff) was hesitant. Because he’s a great person at heart. But I pushed and we both knew it was the best thing for him and his family.” Compared to Furyk’s modest earnings of 19,464 US dollars this season, the 32-year-old Pan has already earned 674,187 US dollars. For Furyk’s son Tanner, the split has created a special opportunity to caddie for his father at three or four events this summer.

Cowan can look back on an impressive career in which he has worked for golfers such as Ed Sabo (1976-78), Peter Jacobsen (1978-96) and Tiger Woods (1996-99).

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Professionals

Tommy Fleetwood As Caddy on the Challenge Tour

Tommy Fleetwood, one of the most famous names in professional golf, is returning to his roots on the Challenge Tour this week – not as a player, however, but as a caddy for his stepson Oscar at the UAE Challenge in Abu Dhabi.

Tommy Fleetwood Back on the Challenge Tour

Although it has been over a decade since Fleetwood himself competed in a Challenge Tour event, this tour remains a special place for the current world number 11. In 2011, he secured his first Challenge Tour victory at the Kazakhstan Open and finished the year in first place on the money list, which enabled him to move up to the DP World Tour. The decision to caddy for Oscar shows not only the bond within the Fleetwood family, but also an appreciation for the foundations on which Fleetwood’s own career was built. The family moved to Dubai two years ago and live at Jumeirah Golf Estates, the venue for the DP World Tour, where Oscar is a member and trains as part of the Tommy Fleetwood Academy under the watchful eye of his coach Jackson Bell.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – APRIL 25: Tommy Fleetwood caddying for his stepson Oscar Craig (not pictured) during day one of the UAE Challenge at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on April 25, 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Oscar, just 17 years old, has already won a number of amateur events in the UAE and after his victory at the Ras Al Khaimah Men’s Open has rightly secured a place at this year’s UAE Challenge event at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. As one of 30 invitations awarded by the Emirates Golf Federation, he will have the chance to compete against rising stars from the DP World Tour and put his skills to the test.

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Professionals

Rory McIlroy Considers Return to the PGA Tour Policy Board

It was only last November that Rory McIlroy stepped down from his position on the PGA Tour Policy Board. McIlroy justified his move by saying that he wanted to concentrate more on his golf game. The Northern Irishman is now considering a return to the board. Sources familiar with the situation have told the UK Guardian that the roles for McIlroy as a director on both the PGA Tour Board and PGA Tour Enterprises will be put to a vote on Wednesday after Webb Simpson tendered his resignation with an explicit request for the Northern Irishman to take his place.

Rory McIlroy: “I think I can be helpful”

Webb Simpson is likely to step down before the end of his term of office, which runs until 2025. This raises the possibility of McIlroy returning at a time when the PGA Tour is still battling for supremacy with the LIV Golf League. McIlroy himself has recently commented on the benefits of a united golf world: “The game is much better when we’re all together,” the 34-year-old emphasized. Despite personal and professional commitments, McIlroy continues to show interest in playing an active role in the PGA Tour’s decision-making. “The golf world is facing big challenges and I’m ready to play my part,” McIlroy said in an interview. “It’s important that we come together as a sport and move forward together.”

The Northern Irishman, who is currently competing at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, could support the PGA Tour in negotiations with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). The agreement with the PIF could pave the way for a deal between the traditional tours and the LIV League. “I think I can be helpful,” McIlroy said. “I don’t think there’s been much progress in the last eight months and I was hoping there would be. I think I could be helpful in the process. But only if people want me to be there,” said McIlroy during an interview at the Zurich Classic. “We have to overcome the differences and work together to find a solution,” said McIlroy. “Only through unity can we unlock the full potential of golf and ensure it remains relevant for generations to come.”

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Professionals

 How Much Prize Money Has Rory McIlroy Earned? 

Rory McIlroy is one of the best-known players on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. With several major titles and Ryder Cup appearences, he has earned a fair share of prize money. But exactly how much has the Northern Irishman earned in his career to date?

This is how much Rory McIlroy has earned in prize money in his career

Since becoming a professional player back in September 2007 Rory Since turning professional in September 2007, Rory McIlroy has quickly become one of the top golfers on both the European and American Tours. With good finishes, he started to make the big money in 2009 with his victory at the Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) and his first PGA Tour title in 2010 at the Quail Hollow Championship. He followed his success with four major titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014 and increased his winner’s share to almost ten million in 2012 and 2014. After a few years with “only” smaller earnings, he won his first Tour Championship and the Players Championship in 2019, bringing his prize money for the year to a whopping 20 million, surpassed only by his 22′ prize money, which totals 40 million dollars. With his second FedExCup win and top finishes in all four major championships, McIlroy climbed back to the top of both tours and won the DP World Tour season standings.

Year Total Earnings
2007 $0
2009 $1,212,219
2010 $3,104,280
2011 $2,321,859
2012 $8,047,952
2013 $1,802,443
2014 $8,395,096
2015 $5,113,312
2016 $5,790,585
2017 $2,430,182
2018 $4,450,296
2019 $22,785,286
2020 $5,428,415
2021 $8,475,559
2022 $40,456,566
2023 $5,333,285

Rory McIlroy and the “Players Impact Program”

In addition to his tournament prize money, McIlroy collected a considerable sum from the “Players Impact Programme” introduced in 2021. A third place in 2021 earned him 3.5 million dollars, in 2022 a second place behind Tiger Woods earned him 12 million and in 2023 he received 15 million for his first place in the PGA Tours popularity rankings.

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Professionals

Rickie Fowler: The Fowlers Will Soon Be a Foursome

Rickie Fowler and his wife Allison are awaiting the arrival of their second child, set to join their family this summer. The news was shared by Fowler himself on Instagram.

Rickie Fowler and his wife Allison become parents again

Already parents to their adorable 2-year-old daughter, Maya, born in November 2021, the Fowlers are now preparing to welcome another child into their life. With a due date of August 4th, the excitement is palpable for the couple turned soon-to-be family of four.

In an Instagram post, Fowler shared a glimpse of their family bliss, showcasing Maya with shoes ready for her baby sister, both adorned in matching Masters white caddie jumpsuits alongside proud parents Rickie and Allison.

Maya Fowler: The star of the Masters Par-3-Contest

At last week’s Masters Par 3 Contest, Maya Fowler charmed spectators and players alike with her playful antics on the course. Her delightful presence added an extra layer of joy to an already festive atmosphere, with Fowler ultimately clinching the Par 3 Contest title amidst the heartwarming scenes.

Reflecting on the experience, Fowler expressed the profound significance of having his daughter by his side, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. He spoke of the special bond Maya shares with Jordan Spieth’s son, Sammy, born just days apart.

For Rickie Fowler, fatherhood has brought renewed purpose and inspiration to his game. Breaking a four-year winless streak at last summer’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, he celebrated the victory with Maya by his side, creating indelible memories that transcend the boundaries of sport. As he looks ahead to future triumphs, Fowler does so with the knowledge that his victories are shared with his growing family, now poised to embrace the journey as a foursome.

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Professionals

Rory McIlroy: “My future is on the PGA Tour”

Rory McIlroy has been one of the absolute top stars on the PGA Tour for years. But recent rumors about a possible move to LIV Golf caused a stir in the golf world. According to a report by City AM, the four-time major winner was offered 850 million dollars (800 million euros) to join the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit. In an interview during the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, McIlroy cleared up the speculation and emphasized his clear decision to remain on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy commits to the PGA Tour

“I honestly don’t know how rumors like this get started,” McIlroy told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis. “I’ve never been made an offer from LIV and I’ve never seriously considered moving to LIV. I think I’ve made it clear over the last two years that I don’t see that happening for me. That doesn’t mean I’m judging those who have gone there.” McIlroy has been critical of the league since LIV Golf’s announcement and was surprised by the proposed merger with the PGA Tour last June. But although some of his peers, such as Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, have made the move to LIV Golf, McIlroy remains steadfast in his decision to stay on the PGA Tour.

In a recent appearance on Gary Neville’s The Overlap, McIlroy called Rahm’s decision “a smart move”. But he clearly sees his own future on the PGA Tour: “I’m playing here today and next week I’ll be playing on the PGA Tour and I’ll be playing the PGA Tour for the rest of my career.” McIlroy’s solidification of his decision to stay on the PGA Tour comes at a time when his game and decisions are being closely watched. After McIlroy lost out again at Augusta and is still waiting for his career Grand Slam, the Northern Irishman will be back in action at the RBC Heritage. McIlroy will play the first two rounds with the Swede Ludvig Aberg, who finished a commanding second at the Masters.

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The Masters Tournament 2024: What Are Rory McIlroy’s Winning Odds?

Only one week from now the Masters Tournament will hold a new champion. Well, that is of course if the reigning champion Jon Rahm doesn’t defend his title. As per usual, no major is being played without having various discussions about possible outcomes, title contenders or dark horses. When talking title contenders, none of these discussions can be had without including Rory McIlroy. We’re having a look at what the odds for a McIlroy win look like and why even though ranked second in the Official World Golf Ranking, most may not hold him as one of the favorites to win at Augusta.

Essentially, McIlroy is currently not in bad form and has repeatedly won tournaments such as the Hero Dubai Desert Classic or the Genesis Scottish Open. However, it still seems wrong to include the world number two in the tight circle of favorites on par with players like Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm. The reason for this is obvious: McIlroy has not won a major tournament in the past ten years.

The trophy cabinet desperately awaits another major title

His last victory in a major dates back to 2014 when he won the PGA Championship. It marks his fourth major title after winning the US Open in 2011, the PGA Championship in 2012 and the Open Championship in 2014. Since then, he has been unable to fulfill his dream of a Grand Slam, winning all four major tournaments. Only the Masters Tournament is missing for him to achieve this. However, considering his lack of success at majors in recent years, there are hardly any arguments to suggest why he should fulfill his Grand Slam dream at the upcoming Masters. But let’s stop the pessimism and have a look at the bright side for a moment.

Why there is hope for optimism at the Masters Tournament 2024

With all that being said, it’s not like Rory McIlroy doesn’t perform in his major appearances. In the last five years, the North Irish player placed inside the top 10 at major tournaments twelve times. He just didn’t get lucky enough to win one of them. However his past results at the Masters Tournament were very inconsistent. Last year didn’t go as planned, as he missed the cut, just like in 2021. In between he had a very close shot at the title with his runner-up finish in 2022. In 2020 he finished tied for fifth place.

His current form also suggests that a good finish at the Masters this year isn’t beyond imagination. This year started off great, with a tied runner-up finish at the Dubai Invitational and a victory in the following week. McIlroy also placed inside the top-20 at the Players Championship and secured a third place the Valero Texas Open, looking to build some confidence for the upcoming week.