Equipment Fun

Matthew Fitzpatrick: Did Corona crush his clubs?

No, it wasn’t the virus that ripped off the head of one of Fitzpatrick’s clubs, but instead just faulty luggage handling on his Delta Airline flight. However he took to twitter to express his frustration with the airline, but just tagged “Delta” so some of his followers were questioning the culprit of the damage. Jokingly of course..

Eddie Pepperell poked at the fun as well, replying to Fitzpatrick’s tweet with his own frustration of Delta.  

There is no update whether Delta Airlines contacted Fitzpatrick regarding his club damage. It seems that the golfer is one club down and we are hoping it wasn’t his favorite!


FedEx Cup Rankings: Patrick Cantlay ahead, news from this week

With Patrick Cantlay taking the top spot this week, find out how the FedEx Cup rankings look and what else has changed since we last checked in.

Top 5 FedEx Cup Leaderboard

# Name Nationality Points Total Points Gained Events
1 Patrick Cantlay USA 4302 xxx 23
2 Tony Finau USA 3564 xxx 26
3 Bryson DeChambeau USA 3189 xxx 21
4 Jon Rahm ESP 3063 xxx 21
5 Cameron Smith AUS 2821 xxx 23
Patrick Cantlay is currently in the top spot of the most recent FedEx Cup ranking table. The American’s points average is xxx. Patrick Cantlay climbed to rank #1 from 4. ​ In second place is Tony Finau, with a points average of . The American has lost the top spot this week to Patrick Cantlay. The South African jumped in just one week from rank 45 to 27, and now has a points average of xxx.
The top Englishman in the FedEx Cup rankings is currently Lee Westwood, in place 50 and has remained unchanged since last week.
The most impressive shift this week is Erik van Rooyen. has managed to jump 18 places in the ranking list.

Official World Golf Ranking: Jon Rahm number one, more news

The latest from our straight-talking analysis, bringing you all the latest on the official world golf rankings this week.

Top 5 OWGR Leaderboard

# Name Nationality Points Total Points Gained Events
1 Jon Rahm ESP 488.28 289.39 49
2 Dustin Johnson USA 381.8 137.43 43
3 Collin Morikawa USA 438.02 312.25 52
4 Patrick Cantlay USA 315.36 227.09 43
5 Xander Schauffele USA 344.58 212.43 48
Jon Rahm is currently in the top spot of the official world golf ranking this week. The Spaniard’s points average is 9.9649 at the time of publication. Rahm’s rank has not changed since the last count. ​ Behind him on the official world golf ranking is Dustin Johnson, 37 years old, at rank 2. The American has, since last week, not moved in the rankings. Ranked third this week is Collin Morikawa, 37, with a points average of 8.4235. Michael Hirmer has climbed the most places in the official world golf rankings this week. has managed to jump 574 places in the world ranking list, and is now sitting at 771 rank. The German jumped in just one week from rank 1345, and now has a points average of 0.1292. The top Englishman in the official world golf rankings is currently Tyrrell Hatton, in place 16 and is in the same position as last week.
European Tour Top Tours

Omega European Masters: Morrison hits new heights in Crans Montana

Round One Report

James Morrison climbed to the summit of the Omega European Masters leaderboard with an impressive ten under par round of 60, setting both a new course record and his lowest round on the European Tour.

The Englishman took full advantage of the glorious morning conditions at Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre to open up a three shot lead after round one, and admitted he had the second 59 on Tour in his sights, following his countryman Oliver Fisher’s record round at the 2018 Portugal Masters.

The solidarity bogey
All eyes were on the two-time European Tour winner as he got to seven under par through 15 holes on the par 70 Severiano Ballesteros Course. He duly recorded back to back birdies on the seventh and eighth – his 16th and 17th – but left himself too much to do with an eagle chip on the last, and settled for his ninth birdie of the day, alongside an eagle and a solitary bogey.

Fellow Englishman Marcus Armitage and Robin Sciot-Siegrist of France recorded seven under par rounds of 63, with Armitage finding inspiration for his bogey-free effort upon his return to the site of his engagement four years ago. It was also a memorable day for Sciot-Siegrist, who recorded his best round of the season, with a bogey on the first the only blemish on his card.

His countryman Andy Sullivan and Dean Burmester of South Africa are one shot further back on six under par, with Belgian pair Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Detry, Frenchman Julien Guerrier, Renato Paratore and amateur Pietro Bovari of Italy and American Paul Peterson on five under par.

Player Quotes

James Morrison: “We were the first group out at 7.40am and the greens were absolutely perfect this morning, with no wind. You know you’ve got to take advantage, but doing it is another thing. Holed a couple of good putts, chipped in at 11, and it just snowballed from there. Bogied the 18th, my ninth, to be four under par through nine, but it was just a good, solid start. Hit the right shots when I had to and made a few putts.

“It was funny, after I bogied 18 I went to the first – which is probably the hardest hole on the course – and made birdie there, my caddie said “Come on, I think we can shoot 59 here”. I had eight holes to go and you use that as more of a mental push to keep going forward.

“Had a really good look on the last (the chip for eagle) and thought, just try to make this. The minute your focus goes like that, you chip it stiff, make birdie and shoot ten under par. I was trying to hole that shot on the last, but next time maybe.”

Robin Sciot-Siegrist: “I’m feeling good right now. I’ve been working a lot on my game, mostly my putting, and I’ve been putting well the last few weeks. I’ve had a couple of good rounds the last few weeks so that gives me confidence and I’m playing better at the moment.

“It’s a very tricky course, things can go sideways a bit. You just need to get what you can. I had a good stretch on the front nine and on the back nine I just stuck to my strategy. If things go well, you take it. I don’t know if the course fits my game but you really need to be strategic and I like courses like that. You still need to play well. I just like the set up and it’s beautiful out there.”

Marcus Armitage: “I enjoy the feeling of being here again. I’ve only been here once before and that was when I got engaged four years ago. Unfortunately, Lucy isn’t with me, but just great feelings here, and a couple of weeks off (before this week) have paid dividends.

“Sometimes you can look at a score like that (Morrison’s 60) and try to put the foot down. Then if you don’t start off well you can get frustrated with your own game. This is very much a patience golf course, so even if you see someone like James with ten under – which is an amazing score – you’ve just got to be patient, take your time and construct a round.

“I’m patient in a lot of things. Golf is a massive part of my life, I just love golf so much I can get a little bit frustrated with it, but with a few weeks off it’s calmed me down a bit and I can just enjoy it and be patient. Just excited for the next few weeks and the rest of this week.”

Round One Scores


PGA Tour

Jon Rahm: “If the putter gets a little hot, you’re going to put some good low scores..”

Q. Talk about the round of golf; it seemed like the course was very gettable with the soft greens today.

JON RAHM: It was. It’s a lengthy golf course. You’re going to have a lot of long irons into some of the holes. If you can put it in the fairway when it’s as soft as it is, you can be aggressive. Had a great ball-striking day and made a couple of good putts early on and had it going early and continued the mojo throughout the day.

I think not huge numbers of bogeys can happen easily. Rough is thick, long holes, you can make a bad swing and have a tough one for par like, for example, Tony did on 13. It’s not like he really missed a shot, but he had pretty much an impossible up-and-down. If you manage it well and hit it as well as I did today, you can post a low one.

Q. Tell me about how you approach this type of event when you’re playing with Tony who’s ahead of you in the FedExCup standings and Cameron is right behind you but you’re also playing against 67 other guys in the field. Do you look at that this early?

JON RAHM: No. I pretty much know if I win I’ll be going No. 1 to next week, so that’s the goal. I’m not thinking about points or anything. I’m just trying to hit the best shot I can and move on to the next one.

Q. Last week being in contention, coming here, the Monday finish, everything that comes with leading a golf tournament is exhausting. How are you, and how do you keep your energy up but you still have lots of golf to play?

JON RAHM: Luckily I had a month off, so it helps. Those guys that went to the Olympics and played Memphis and played more events than me may be a little bit more tired, but really that shouldn’t be an excuse in my case. Just rest and recovery, knowing what to do properly.

On Tuesday when I came to the course I didn’t do too much. I didn’t even venture out on the golf course because I knew it was a tough walk. I just hit some balls, a little bit of putting and chipping and went home.

On days like that, Monday afternoon, Tuesday, what I really do, and I really, really prioritize, is hydration. When you know you’re going to have weeks like last week, humid this week and humid next week, if you get dehydrated in the middle it’s going to affect you coming the next few weeks. What I’m doing yesterday and today and tomorrow and every single day and this afternoon is going to help me be able to stay in good form, so I think that’s the most important key. Eating enough calories and drinking enough, as well.

Rahm laughs off his finish from last week

Q. You had a disappointing finish last week and yet you come right out here, bang, right up at the top. What does it say about your ability to do that?

JON RAHM: I must say, for all those Ted Lasso fans out there, be a goldfish. (Laughter).

If you haven’t seen the show, you’ve just got to check it out. I feel like almost everybody knows. Have you seen the show?

Q. I have not.

JON RAHM: It’s basically happiest animal in the world is a goldfish. You know why? He’s got a 10-second memory. Played great golf last week, just a couple bad swings down the stretch, and that’s the most important thing to remember.

Q. Who’s the best goldfish out here?

JON RAHM: Oh, without a doubt Dustin Johnson. He has the ability to forget unfortunate moments better than anyone else.

Q. When you look back to your scores from I would say Memorial on, what are you doing in practice? Are you maintaining? What do you do? It’s been a nice run of no real dips.

JON RAHM: Just always trying to get better. That’s all I can say. I think the bigger thing has been the putter. I found a putter that really works for me that I’m comfortable with. I would say ball striking is probably not that different before and after Memorial, but my putting stats are guaranteed to be a lot better, and that’s the key difference. When you’re hitting it as good as I have the last few months, giving myself plenty of opportunities, if the putter gets a little hot, you’re going to put some good low scores.

Q. Have you ever been surprised by a bad round?

JON RAHM: No. I mean, it happens. It is what it is.

Q. It happens, but what surprises you more, a really good one or a really bad one?

JON RAHM: Neither surprises me. You want to play good, but sometimes it doesn’t happen.

Interview Transcript from

European Tour Top Tours

European Tour: Willett amongst Major winners is ready to battle 1500 metres above sea level in the Swiss Alps.

Tournament: Omega European Masters
Race to Dubai: Tournament 30 of 39 events
Venue: Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans Montana, Switzerland

Tournament Preview

Danny Willett is hoping to recreate his special 2015 victory when he tees it up in “one of the best stops on Tour” at the Omega European Masters.

The Englishman secured the third of his seven European Tour victories at the picturesque Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre seven years ago, and his subsequent victories include the 2016 Masters Tournament. After an up and down year, he is hoping that his knowledge of the course that sits 1500 metres above sea level in the Swiss Alps – and where he has recorded two further top five finishes – will pay dividends.

The 33 year old is joined in the field by defending champion Sebastian Soderberg and fellow Major winners Francesco Molinari and Henrik Stenson, who are making welcome returns to the event after eight and nine years respectively.

Soderberg sealed an impressive play-off victory in Crans Montana in 2019 – prevailing over Rory McIlroy, Andres Romero, Lorenzo Gagli and Kalle Samooja in a play-off to claim his first European Tour title – and is aiming to build on his first top 20 finish of the season in last week’s D+D Real Czech Masters.

His fellow Swede and 2016 Open Champion Stenson is also looking to carry over his form from last week, with an impressive putting performance leading to a tied fourth finish and his best result on the European Tour this season. While the man who lifted the Claret Jug two years later is focusing on staying pain free after an injury-plagued season, Molinari hopes that a long-awaited return to the venue where his finished in second place back in 2006 will help to kick start a good run leading into the end of the season.

Player quotes

Danny Willett: “We always say the place makes a week for us, and this is one of the best stops on the European Tour, if not any Tour, up here in Crans. We’ve had some pretty nice results around here. That week (his win in 2015) was very special. My mum and dad were there, the first time they had seen me win for a while. It’s just nice to come back to a place with great memories.

“You’ve got to control distance here. Notoriously small greens, tricky to putt, tricky to chip around. The guys who do well around here control the ball flight well, control the numbers into these small greens at altitude to give themselves birdie putts. It’s a real precise second shot golf course. There are a lot of chances out there so you just need to stay patient.”

Sebastian Soderberg: “It’s wonderful to be back, this course is special. Playing at this altitude with all of the upslopes and downhills, it’s a different experience and it’s definitely nice to be back.
“I finally feel like I’ve finally played some good golf (this season). I don’t think it was great for me to be leading last week in Czech Republic heading into this event. I haven’t played the weekend since May, so I had to deal with a few more emotions than I have in a while. I was a little rusty there I would say, but as much as you can put yourself in that position and gain from the experience the better. I’m definitely happy feeling those things coming into this week.”

Henrik Stenson: “It’s one of the iconic stops on the European Tour, it’s a beautiful week. Once you have made the climb to get up here it’s super easy – you can walk to golf course, restaurant, hotel, it’s got a great atmosphere. It’s bringing back some great memories from the early days on Tour as well.

“Last week in Czech Republic, putting was probably as good as it’s ever been over four days. I kept it super tidy on the greens and that’s where I made up a lot of ground. Kept it tight in terms of bogies as well. Other than a plugged ball on a fairway trap in the third round, I was more or less bogey free for three days. That’s a statement to how well we managed to play around the golf course on short game and putting.”

Francesco Molinari: “It’s very nice to be back here in Crans – it’s been a while. It’s a spectacular place, challenging and nice course, and a fun event to stay in town and walk around. First and foremost I want to be healthy and playing pain free, be more consistent without having to stop every other week. It would be nice to progress through the weeks and have a strong end of the season so next year can be different from this one.

“It’s a ball striking course, quite tight off the tee. If you go off line with the trees it is hard to score well. With the altitude, distance control is quite important. That’s something that I did well in the past and I need to do well again this week.”

Press Release by the European Tour Communications

Ladies Tours LPGA Tour

Deb Vangellow receives 2021 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award in recognition of her dedication to the teaching of golf.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Aug. 24, 2021 – Deb Vangellow, a LPGA Master Professional and Director of Golf Instruction at Riverbend Country Club in Houston, Texas, joins an elite group of her peers as the recipient of the 2021 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award.

The Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, instituted by the LPGA Professionals membership in 1989 to honor the late teaching professional Ellen Griffin, recognizes an individual, male or female, who made a major contribution to the teaching of golf and emulates Griffin’s spirit, love and dedication to students, teachers, teaching skills and the game of golf.

Vangellow honored by LPGA after more than 30 years as teaching professional
“I am so thrilled to be the 2021 LPGA Ellen Griffin Award recipient. I did not know Ellen personally, but have numerous friends who did and shared her inspiring story about the terrific Golf Education Programming she led on ‘The Farm’ in Greensboro, North Carolina,” said Vangellow. “Golf was her subject matter, but she taught people. For Ellen, the frustrations of golf were always overcome by fun. This very thing has been so very instrumental with the wonderful peer group I am so lucky to have who nominated me for this award. These special LPGA Members, many of whom are on this grand list of award recipients, are dear friends I had the fantastic fortune to work with in our LPGA Education Program. I am so grateful for their guidance and support and cherish the 30+ years we had together. Forever friends, for sure! Thank you so much for this award. I will appreciate it forever and will fondly remember Ellen Griffin’s outstanding teaching of golf.”

LPGA Master Professional/PGA Honorary Director Vangellow holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Health/Physical Education/Coaching and Educational Leadership/Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa and Miami (Ohio) University, respectively. A multi-sport athlete who was a scholarship recipient, captain and letter winner in soccer and track & field, Vangellow elected to devote her career path to develop into a top golf educator. Her experiences reflect this endeavor.

Educational professional career of Deb Vangellow in the field of golf
After holding various positions in higher education, Vangellow coached Division I collegiate golf at the University of Northern Iowa and led the American Junior Team that traveled to Europe in 1996 as part of the International Sport for Understanding Program. In 1997, Vangellow was honored as a recipient of the Young Alumni Award at the University of Northern Iowa and was a 3-time LPGA Central Section Teacher of the Year in 2002, 2009, and 2012. She was also named the 2012 LPGA National Teacher of the Year. Vangellow was recently inducted into the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame, the UNI School of HPELS Hall of Excellence, and the Fairport High School Hall of Fame.

In addition to teaching men, women, senior and junior golfers of all skill levels individually and in groups at Riverbend Country Club, Vangellow was the first ever National Vice President for the LPGA Professionals membership and served as the elected National President. She was a longtime lead instructor in the LPGA Global Education Program, the industry leading teacher training program for golf professionals in the U.S. and Korea, and is a U.S. Kids Golf Master Teacher. In 2016, she joined the team at Callaway Golf Company as a Master Staff Professional promoting their Women’s Equipment Line.

“Receiving this award is an unbelievable honor, especially to be among so many past recipients I call friends and mentors,” added Vangellow. “I stand on the shoulders of these folks, without a doubt, and feel fortunate to do what I get to do and for the people I have met along the way. I am so grateful for this recognition. Lastly, many thanks to Rolex and the LPGA.”

Past recipients of the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award include: Peggy Kirk Bell, 1989; Linda Craft, 1990; Shirley Englehorn, 1991; Harvey Penick, 1992; Goldie Bateson, 1993; Carol Clark Johnson, 1994; Joanne Winter, 1995; Ann Casey Johnstone, 1996; Dr. DeDe Owens, 1997; Shirley Spork, 1998; Betty Hicks, 1999; Gary Wiren, 2000; Penny Zavichas, 2001; Annette Thompson, 2002; Dr. Barbara B. Smith, 2003; Marjorie Burns, 2004; Pat Lange, 2005; Donna White, 2006; Betsy Cullen, 2007; Lynn Marriott, 2008; Kay McMahon, 2009; Mary Beth McGirr, 2010; Dr. Debbie Crews, 2011; Dr. Betsy Clark, 2012; Kathy Murphy, 2013; Kerry Graham, 2014; Dana Rader, 2015; Pia Nilsson, 2016; Sandy LaBauve, 2017; Jane Frost, 2018; Nancy Quarcelino, 2019; and Renee Powell, 2020.


Rolex is the official timepiece of the LPGA and sponsors many of the LPGA’s annual awards, including the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, Rolex Player of the Year, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. Rolex honors the LPGA Tour’s Rolex First-Time Winners and is a supporting sponsor of the annual LPGA Professionals National Championship. At tournament sites, Rolex has a presence by providing the official time at selected tournaments and advertises in many event programs. In addition, Rolex is a Global Partner of Solheim Cup and the presenting sponsor of the World Golf Rankings.


The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women, with a goal to change the face of golf by making the sport more accessible and inclusive.

Created in 1950 by 13 Founders, the Association celebrates a diverse and storied history. The LPGA Tour competes across the globe, reaching television audiences in more than 220 countries. The Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s official qualifying tour, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA also holds a joint-venture collaboration with the Ladies European Tour (LET), increasing playing opportunities for female golfers in Europe. Across the three Tours, the LPGA represents players in more than 60 countries.

Additionally, the LPGA Foundation has empowered and supported girls and women since 1991, most notably through LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the only national program of its kind, which annually engages with nearly 100,000 girls. The LPGA Amateur Golf Association and LPGA Women’s Network provide virtual and in-person connections to female golfers around the world, while LPGA Professionals are educators, business leaders and gamechangers dedicated to growing the game of golf for everyone.

Press Release by the LPGA Professionals Communication

Ladies Tours LPGA Tour

LPGA announces Cindy Miller as 2021 Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award Recipient

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Aug. 24, 2021 – The LPGA Professionals announced today Cindy Miller as the recipient of the 2021 Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award, which recognizes a LPGA Professional who gives back to the game in the spirit of Nancy Lopez.

The Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award was created in 2007 and is given to a LPGA Professional who emulates qualities valued by Lopez: leadership, passion, giving, and approachability. Lopez is a 48-time LPGA Tour winner and four-time Rolex Player of the Year. She was inducted into the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame in 1987 and captained the victorious 2005 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.

LPGA Professionals member recognized for giving back in the spirit of Nancy Lopez
“I first met Nancy Lopez while playing collegiate golf. When I watched her play, it was like watching someone float through the course while making almost every putt she looked at. She became one of the friendliest Tour players I have ever met and has been a hero of mine for a very long time,” said Miller. “She has that special charisma that only a few possess. Her leadership, passion, giving and approachability are qualities I have been striving to emulate my whole career. I am thrilled and honored to receive this award.”

Miller is the current Section President for the LPGA Professionals Northeast section, with a two-term history of serving as the Northeast Section Vice President before that. A member of the ‘Legends of the LPGA,’ Miller is a Certified Behavior, Motivation, and Emotional Intelligence Professional who teaches individuals, teams, and corporations to improve performance and profitability. She also runs a LPGA*USGA Girls Golf site and has written for numerous golf publications as a contributing columnist.

She has also been named a Top-50 Teacher by the Women’s Golf Journal and won LPGA National Teacher of the Year (2010), LPGA Northeast Section Teacher of the Year (2001, 2005, and 2010) and LPGA Northeast Player of the Year (2005 and 2007).

Past recipients of the Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award include: Debbie O’Connell (2007), Troy Beck (2008), Patti Benson (2009), Lynn Stellman (2010), Malia Folquet (2011), Suzy Whaley (2012), Marvol Barnard (2013), Angela Aulenti (2014), Teresa Zamboni (2015), Donna White (2016), Sandy LaBauve (2017), Lynn Marriott (2018), Louise Ball (2019) and Dana Rader (2020).


The Nancy Lopez Golf (NLG) line provides unprecedented choice to the woman golfer in the selection of golf equipment and apparel. The four-step NLG Match Play Process also provides selection in club configuration to best fit the game of each woman. Nancy Lopez Golf embodies the spirit and energy of women’s golf and of its namesake, Nancy Lopez, who captured the imagination of people everywhere with her remarkable playing career and the genuine warmth of her charm. For more information about Nancy Lopez Golf, visit


The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women, with a goal to change the face of golf by making the sport more accessible and inclusive.

Created in 1950 by 13 Founders, the Association celebrates a diverse and storied history. The LPGA Tour competes across the globe, reaching television audiences in more than 220 countries. The Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s official qualifying tour, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA also holds a joint-venture collaboration with the Ladies European Tour (LET), increasing playing opportunities for female golfers in Europe. Across the three Tours, the LPGA represents players in more than 60 countries.

Additionally, the LPGA Foundation has empowered and supported girls and women since 1991, most notably through LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the only national program of its kind, which annually engages with nearly 100,000 girls. The LPGA Amateur Golf Association and LPGA Women’s Network provide virtual and in-person connections to female golfers around the world, while LPGA Professionals are educators, business leaders and gamechangers dedicated to growing the game of golf for everyone.

Press Release transcript by the LPGA Professionals Communication

PGA Tour

Rory McIlory: “It’s a cool venue, and I think everyone is excited for it this week”

DOUG MILNE: We’d like to welcome Rory McIlroy, 2012 BMW Championship winner. Thanks for joining us. Coming into the week inside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings, world No. 16, making your 11th start at the BMW Championship. Just some thoughts on Caves Valley. You’ve had a chance to see the course and kind of your take on how the week is setting up so far.

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, first look at Caves today. It’s a big ballpark, can certainly let it rip out here, hit a lot of drivers. I think there’s been a lot of rain in the Baltimore area, so it’s pretty soft, so the ball is not really going anywhere when it hits, which is good. It makes the course play nice and long, which I like.

Yeah, it’s a good track, good test. I have a few friends that are members here, and they’ve told me all about it and rave about the place. I can see what they’re talking about. It’s a cool venue, and I think everyone is excited for it this week.

DOUG MILNE: Just a couple thoughts on how you’re feeling with your game coming into the week. You obviously picked up your 19th win earlier in the season in Charlotte. Just coming into the week, kind of assess the state of your game.

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I think I feel like a lot of guys feel right now, a little jaded, a little tired. End of the season, there’s been a lot of golf. Yeah, so a lot of travel.

So yeah, I’m just sort of getting through it, to be honest. I’m going day by day and just trying to get through it as best I can and try to make it to next week. After that, two weeks off before the Ryder Cup.

Yeah, just taking it day by day. The game feels pretty good, okay. Energy levels are somewhat sort of trying to dig deep at this point, but yeah, try and keep going and try and put in a good finish this week to make sure I’m in Atlanta next week.

Q. I think if you go back to last year, this is the sixth or seventh course on TOUR that you had not seen. What’s that like compared with the stuff you go back to week after week? What’s the difference?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I think there’s pros and cons to each. I think sometimes when you get to a new course you don’t have the memories of hitting it in places that you shouldn’t and maybe having that in your mind somewhat. But then you go to some courses that you like and you play well on and you’ve got great memories, like Quail Hollow for example this year for me, and you can play well on them.

Mcllory believes it’s better to play on unfamiliar courses

I seem to — for the most part seem to do well on golf courses that I haven’t seen before, and especially at a golf course like this. It’s big, it’s right in front of you. There’s tons of definition. There’s not many blind shots.

Yeah, I don’t — I certainly don’t think guys are going to struggle this week because we haven’t seen this golf course.

Q. Tony when he won on Monday seemed like a very popular win. Why?

RORY MCILROY: He’s such a good guy. I’ve known Tony for over 20 years. He comes from a great family. He’s a wonderful person. Obviously he hadn’t won in a while, but he never complained. He just sticks his head down, goes about his business.

It was a really popular win in the locker room. I think Cam Smith is obviously a great guy, as well, and I think that would have been received really well, especially with how close he’s been over the last few weeks, but I think everyone was pulling for Tony, and it was a real popular win.

Q. Just wondering your impressions of Baltimore in general. Not sure if you’ve been able to see much of the town or where you’re staying, but curious what your thoughts are there.

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I saw the airport for about 10 minutes yesterday and then I drove straight here and I’m staying on property, so I don’t — I can’t really give you much of an answer on that one.

I can tell you that Caves Valley is beautiful and where we are this week, but haven’t — I’ve never been to Baltimore before, and I haven’t made it downtown yet this week. Hopefully at some point I will.

Family is important

Q. There’s a young girl in your life about to have a birthday. I was wondering, looking back on the 12 months since Poppy was born, how has life changed?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I mean, it’s changed a lot. I want to spend a lot more time at home. I wanted to get home even in between these two events, so I flew down from New York Monday night so I could get a night in my own bed Monday, spend a few hours with her yesterday, a few hours with her and Erica, and then I flew up here yesterday afternoon. Yeah, any chance I get to get home, especially at this point in the season when we’ve been away so much, I’m going to take it.

Yeah, you have to manage your time a little better and you have to be a little more efficient with what you do. I think obviously it’s a big adjustment for anyone, but it’s been great. It’s the most fulfilling thing I think you’ll ever do in your life, and nothing can replace that feeling.

Q. Can I ask you about one other young lady, your reaction to Leona Maguire getting picked for the Solheim Cup, first Irish girl, as you know, and just the impact for Irish women’s golf in general.

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I saw the news yesterday that Leona is on the Solheim Cup team. I think it’s wonderful. I got to spend a little bit of time with her in Tokyo. I think, as well, like from back home, Leona is — both the girls but especially Leona was sort of earmarked for success for a long time, sort of child prodigy coming up. She sort of went through all the ranks, Curtis Cup and now into the Solheim Cup, and she’s been putting some really good scores together, obviously shooting that great round the last day at the Evian.

So yeah, she’s been playing well. I think her selection is well deserved, and it’s just another stepping-stone in the right direction for her. It’s a great achievement, and yeah, I certainly don’t think this is — I think she’s just getting started.

Q. When it comes to late summer, kind of dog days like you were talking about, what is the most tiring or monotonous part of the week-to-week preparation?

RORY MCILROY: I don’t know. I think just the — I mean, this morning, I was tired. Look, we all had a long week last week, as well, but even just summoning up the effort to get out of bed and go get to your 7:20 pro-am tee time, it look a little more effort today than it usually does.

But yeah, just everything. It’s a lot of golf. It’s hard to feel fresh at this time in the season. It all just sort of catches up with you. I don’t know if I could pinpoint one particular thing. It’s just sort of everything blended together.

Q. Is there one particular thing you’re looking forward to once you do get a break?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I mean, just not traveling for a little bit. I’m going to take a bit of time off after the Ryder Cup, and that’ll be nice.

It’s been a — since we came back after the sort of COVID halt, I guess, when we came back in Colonial last year, I think this is my 33rd event since then. Next week will be 34 and then Ryder Cup 35. So all that in a space of 15 months, it’s a lot of golf. It’s probably too much for me. I’ve played more than I probably should have and feel like it’s just sort of all caught up with me.

Q. You were on the range for like ages yesterday working really hard. Just curious what those practice sessions look like and what you’re working on.

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, so I needed to try to get into a new 3-wood and into a new driver. I threw my 3-wood onto the New Jersey Turnpike off the 9th hole yesterday, or on Monday, and so I was without a 3-wood coming here.

The driver I just felt was spinning a little too much last week, so I just needed to get into something that wasn’t spinning as much, and that was really it. So going through a bunch of different heads and shafts as you saw yesterday, and feel like I landed on a good driver and got a pretty good 3-wood, too.

That was the purpose of yesterday’s range session.

Q. You said the 3-wood went where exactly, on the New Jersey turnpike?

RORY MCILROY: I mightn’t have reached the road but I threw it into the trees off the 9th tee at Liberty National, so if someone wants to go get a 3-wood, there’s one in there somewhere.

Q. Just talking about kind of the energy deficit you feel right now, it occurs to me that you learned at Hazeltine and I guess all the way back at Medinah that playing a Ryder Cup in America takes a ton of energy, and it can be incredibly taxing. Is that of concern to you at all?

RORY MCILROY: No, I think having two weeks off after the TOUR Championship is going to be nice. Like I sort of was planning to go over to Wentworth to play the BMW, but it’s just too much travel, and with what’s coming up with Ryder Cup — yeah, that’s a long week, no matter if you’re in Europe or the States, especially I haven’t missed a session yet. So say I play five sessions again, yeah, it’s a really long week. So the two weeks off after the TOUR Championship are going to be well needed, and I’ll go in there nice and refreshed and ready to give it my all.

Q. You’ve played under five captains now. Do you expect one day you would be a captain? I wanted to ask, of the guys you played under, what qualities from each ones would be something that if you were a captain you would use?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I think captaincy for me is still hopefully 20 years down the line. But yeah, there’s been — I think every captain I’ve played under has brought their different qualities to the team, whether it be individual man management of some players to sort of like a group leadership type of role.

Yeah, everyone has brought sort of some different stuff. I thought Thomas Bj�rn last time was wonderful. I thought he did a really good job. He was a very — he sort of was quite an emotional leader. He played us this video on the Thursday night before the first session on Friday morning and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. So just stuff like that, and sort of — he put a real — he sort of gave everyone meaning of why they were there and the people that came before us.

It was a really — to put it in that perspective I think was really cool, and it just gives you a real sense of you’re part of this Ryder Cup team but you’re part of something that’s obviously a lot bigger than that, so that was really cool. That’s just one thing that sticks out in my recent memory.

Mcllory vs. Rahm

Q. One person who will be alongside you next month and probably for those next 20 years at Ryder Cups is Jon Rahm. I wonder how you would describe the evolution of his game since he came out here, and then we all kind of always describe him just in the default way as fiery, but is there another perspective that a player might have that’s different than that?

RORY MCILROY: No, I think with Jon what you see is what you get. Hell of a player, though. I mean, just doesn’t seem to miss a shot, is super aggressive all the time, no matter what shot or how he’s played beforehand.

Yeah, he’s fiery. Obviously it means a lot to him. He takes it very seriously. He’s a very — like he knows how good he is, and I think when you’re that good and you know you’re that good, you can — he’s got a great mentality for the game. He’s so consistent. Every time he tees it up, he’s up there.

Yeah, he’s a hell of a player. He’s by far the best player in the world right now, and he shows that every week that he plays. It’s up to the rest of us to up our level a little bit to try to play alongside that.

Q. You guys are both trying to play top golf while being a new dad. Is that a conversation you’ve had at all or not?

RORY MCILROY: No, not really. I think everyone has different ways of dealing with it and parenting, and I’m certainly not going to go to anyone else and tell them how to do it because I’m a novice, too.

But yeah, I think it’s an adjustment for all of us, but it certainly hasn’t seemed to hurt his game at all. So yeah, I think he’s doing just fine.

Q. We were just talking to Tony Finau a little while ago, and he admitted that it’s harder than it looks to speak to reporters after a close loss, like the series of close losses that he had, but he felt like it was the right thing to do. Do you likewise feel responsibility to do that even after a tough disappointment?

RORY MCILROY: I wouldn’t necessarily say I feel a responsibility to do it, but I guess it’s just sort of — it’s the accepted way to do things. It’s sort of what — you’re met off the 18th green and a representative from the TOUR or someone else sort of ushers toward a line of reporters. Sometimes I’ll say no because I just don’t want to, but most of the time I’ll say yes because — yeah, it’s just the done thing. It’s the status quo, I guess. That’s the way I would put it.

Q. Is it harder than it looks? Is it harder for you to do that, for people to do it do you think than they let on?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I think if you’ve had a s— day, it’s hard to like go and talk about it, right? If you guys have a bad day and we come to your office and try to talk to you about it, you might want to confide in your family or your friends or you might want to — I think the tough thing is sometimes doing it right there and then. Sort of I think sometimes letting us cool off for 30 minutes or 45 minutes and then try to let us gather our thoughts, I think sometimes that could be a little bit easier.

I don’t think anyone enjoys sort of trying to explain a day where it hasn’t went the right way for them. But I think it’s accepted that when you’re at a certain level it’s just part of the job.

DOUG MILNE: Okay, Rory, we appreciate your time as always. Have a great week.

Interview Transcript by

European Challenge Tour Satellite Tours

The Eurpean Challenge Tour announces two events in Spain this October: The Empordà Challenge and the Challenge Costa Brava

Date: Wednesday August 25, 2021
Empordà Golf to host second Spanish Swing of 2021

Press Release

The European Challenge Tour today announced that two events in Spain – the Empordà Challenge and the Challenge Costa Brava – will take place in consecutive weeks at Empordà Golf, this October.
The Empordà Challenge will be held from October 14-17 while the Challenge Costa Brava will then take place from Tuesday October 19 – Friday October 22. The latter will mark the end of the regular Road to Mallorca season, determining the 45-player field for the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A from November 4-7.

Jamie Hodges, Javier Gervás, and Emilio Cuatrecasas look forward to welcoming these events

Empordà Golf is the former host venue of European Tour and European Tour Qualifying School events, and the two Challenge Tour tournaments will be played on the Links Course, which underwent substantial renovation work during 2020. The back-to-back events replace the Hainan Open and Foshan Open in China which were cancelled earlier this month due to the ongoing effects of the global pandemic.

Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “We are grateful to Empordà Golf and the promoter, JGolf, for their help in bringing these events to fruition.

“It was important for us to provide our members with these replacement tournaments to ensure playing opportunities were maximised at an important time of the season and having enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Javier Gervás and his team, we knew it would be possible to organise a solution with their help.

“Empordà Golf has stood the test of time in terms of hosting professional events and we are all excited to spend two weeks in Spain at such a wonderful venue.”

Javier Gervás, General Manager of JGolf, said: “When the space in the Road to Mallorca Schedule emerged we worked hard to help cover those two crucial weeks in the calendar.

“We knew that Empordà Golf were interested in going a step further in terms of the professional tournaments it has hosted and we therefore proposed hosting the last two Challenge Tour tournaments before the Grand Final.

“They have put in great effort that I am sure will be rewarded. We will now have two decisive tournaments in Spain this season with international coverage that will put Empordà Golf in the spotlight of world golf.”

Emilio Cuatrecasas, President of Empordà Golf Club, said: “The decision to hold the Empordà Challenge confirms the effort being made by all the Costa Brava clubs to improve their facilities and become a world-class sports destination.

“It is also noteworthy that the growing popularity of these international tournaments is driving many young people to practice golf, getting the clubs to feed not only their energy but also an updated vision of this sport that will bring considerable progress in the sporting, social and environmental fields.”

The Empordà Challenge and the Challenge Costa Brava will be the second Spanish Swing on the 2021 Road to Mallorca, following the Challenge de España and the Challenge de Cádiz, which took place at Real Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri, Cadiz, in June.

The Empordà Challenge and the Challenge Costa Brava will be supported by the Challenge Tour, Empordà Golf, Girona Provincial Council through the Costa Brava Tourist Board and Kyocera. The promoter and organiser is JGolf.

Press Release by The European Challenge Tour