PGA Tour

Players Championship: Rory McIlroy sinks five balls in to the water

After stunning 26 birdies in the 2024 Players Championship, Rory McIlroy should have earned a top spot on the leaderboard. The iron and short game of the Northern Irishman was solid and his putting gained him several of these birdies. But it looks like, with all the range work going in to the irons, he kind of forgot about his driver. Over the course of the four round McIlroy sank five golf balls in to the water at TPC Sawgrass, more than any other player.

Rory McIlroy sinks Players win

The first few holes of McIlroy’s Players Championship lookes promising, with the Northern Irishman securing six birdies within eight holes. Than a hooked drive followed on the 18th tee. It was the first time he had to take a penalty shot and drop a golf ball, but it was certainly not the last. He bogeyd 18 and went on noting three more birdies an his Back Nine. Than the 7th tee came and with it, another golf ball was gone into the water. Again it was a poor drive flying short left.

And his misfortune continued. On day two he found the water an the 12th, with – who could have guessed – his driver. The only day without a ball lost to the blue in TPC Sawgrass was round 3, alltough even on this day McIlroy had to lock in a double bogey on 14 after a drive going far right into a waste area.

In the final round McIlroy explored a new water area on hole four. This time it wasn’t the fault of his driver. Instead he sank the ball with a wedge and harsh wind conditions. Later on however he revisited the 18th hole left side penalty area and sank another drive at about the same place he did in round one.

So 26 birdies, 11 bogeys and 3 double bogeys later McIlroy finished with -9 on T17. And the author would venture a relatively safe prediction that he will be spending a few extra hours on the range with the driver over the coming week.

PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy After Players Championship: “I Think I’m Headed in the Right Direction”

Rory McIlroy finishes the Players Championship, the flagship event of the PGA Tour, in 19th place. The Northern Irishman posted a score of 72 (even par) on the final day at the TPC Sawgrass. In the press conference after the final round, he explained why he was not satisfied despite 26 birdies and how the dispute with LIV Golf could continue.

Full Interview with Rory McIlroy after Players Championship

Question: You said at the beginning of the week you were kind of in between swings. I know it’s probably not the week you wanted, but do you feel like you’re closer to whichever one you want?

Rory McIlory: I think overall I probably made a little bit of progress from this time last Sunday at the Arnold Palmer, so, yeah, it’s there. I think, after the first round I sort of my expectations sort of went sky high because I was like, oh, I think I’ve figured it out. Then the last three days were a little bit more of a struggle.

But I think I’m headed in the right direction. I’ve definitely straightened out a few of the iron shots, which was a big key for me coming into this week. I made enough birdies, it’s just a matter of getting rid of the bad stuff.

Question: You’re playing the week before the Masters, but do you think you might visit Augusta in advance, or has that been as good for you as you would have liked?

Rory McIlory: No, I mean, I might go there on the way to San Antonio. Might head up there on the Monday and play and then head to San Antonio. But no trips planned as of yet.

Question: It’s always kind of cool, though, sometimes you go with your dad, I mean just maybe just for the fun of it more than anything?

Rory McIlory: Yeah, I’ve done that a lot and it’s really nice and I can certainly do that after the Masters, but when I do it before, I don’t feel like I get a ton out of it. Like in terms of like preparation for the week and actually getting into the mindset I need to get into. So maybe a quick pit stop on the way to San Antonio to play a practice round and spend some time. But as I said, nothing planned as of yet.

Question: It’s been confirmed that there’s a meeting tomorrow with the player directors and Yasir. Do you welcome that?

Rory McIlory: Absolutely. I think it should have happened months ago, so I am glad that it’s happening. Hopefully that progresses conversations and gets us closer to a solution.

Question: Does Tiger need to be involved in that do you think at this point?

Rory McIlory: I mean, he’s a player director. He’s on the board, so absolutely he needs to be involved.

Question: What you do hope their message is? What do you hope to take away from that meeting?

Rory McIlory: The players or the PIF?

Question: The players.

Rory McIlory: The players? That fundamentally he wants to do the right thing. I think I’ve said this before, I have spent time with Yasir and his — the people that have represented him in LIV I think have done him a disservice, so Norman and those guys.

I see the two entities, and I think there’s a big, I actually think there’s a really big disconnect between PIF and LIV. I think you got PIF over here and LIV are sort of over here doing their own thing. So the closer that we can get to Yasir, PIF and hopefully finalize that investment, I think that will be a really good thing.

Question: What does PIF want do you think that’s different to LIV?

Rory McIlory: Look, they’re a sovereign wealth fund. They want to park money for decades and not worry about it. They want to invest in smart and secure businesses, and the PGA TOUR is definitely one of those, especially if they’re looking to invest in sport in some way.

Question: Back on the golf, 26 birdies is a record around here. I know it’s nice to be leaving with —

Rory McIlory: Woo-hoo. (Laughing).

Question: There’s been a lot of people play here in 50 years.

Rory McIlory: Yeah, no, it feels, I did the same — I did the same thing at the back end of 2020 I remember, the back end of the COVID year I was making a ton of birdies and making a ton of mistakes, as well, and it was just a matter of trying to figure out a way to keep the bogeys off the card and still make the birdies.

So, yeah, look, it’s not all bad. It could be a lot worse, I guess. If these are the worse finishes that I’m going to have 20ths, you know, I feel like that’s my floor and I haven’t quite got to the golf that I’ve wanted to play to get to my ceiling. Hopefully, over the next few weeks I can work at it and get closer to that level of golf.

Question: Is the volatility swing related or is it an approach thing you’ve seen in the last couple weeks?

Rory McIlory: I think it’s swing related. My misses last week were predominantly to the left. So I really tried to eradicate that this week, and for the most part with the irons I did, but started to get a left miss off the tee.

Golf is a very fickle game. It gives you one thing and then takes away something else from you. It’s just, again, like, I feel like I’ve got all the components there, but just trying to put them all together on a given week. That’s the tricky part at the minute.

Question: Is that bigger picture view that you said — or excuse me, when you talked with Yasir, did you sense from him a bigger picture view than what we’re seeing with LIV?

Rory McIlory: Absolutely. I think there’s a way to incorporate — I think, you know, they’re big on team golf and they want to see team golf survive in some way in the calendar. I don’t think it has to necessarily look like LIV. I think in my mind you should leave the individual golf the individual golf and then you play your team golf on the sort of periphery of that.

But, again, it’s going to require patience. People have contracts at LIV up until 2028, 2029. I don’t know if they’re going to see that all the way out, but I definitely see LIV playing in its current form for the next couple years anyway while everything gets figured out. I don’t think this is an overnight solution, but if we can get the investment in, then at least we can start working towards a compromise where we’re not going to make everyone happy, but at least make everyone understand why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Question: What particularly is it about LIV that you see is the disconnect with Yasir?

Rory McIlory: I think their disruptiveness and his — their disruptiveness, and then his, I don’t know what the right word is, I guess his desire to be involved in the world of golf in a productive way.

PGA Tour

PGA Tour: Shocking Lip-out on Last Hole Prevents Play-off at Players Championship

The final of the Players Championship, the flagship event of the PGA Tour, could not have been more dramatic: The world number one plays a magnificent round, with three players chasing him on the final holes to force a play-off. Firstly Brian Harman dropped out of the race, then Xander Schauffele. Finally, Wyndham Clark has the chance to reach the play-off against Scottie Scheffler on 20 under par.

The reigning US Open winner absolutely needs a birdie on the 18th to do so. Clark plays the difficult tee shot courageously and aims straight for the flag as he approaches the green. A good five metres then separate him from the play-off. His putt is good and seems to hold the line until the last second, but it doesn’t want to drop.

Shocking Lip-out at Final Hole of Players Championship

“I’m still a bit beside myself. I’m shocked that putt didn’t go in,” Clark said in frustration after the round. He was so sure that the ball would fall that he had already started to cheer, as you can see on another video. By missing the chance, the American made his compatriot Scheffler the immediate winner of the Players Championship. The incident is likely to gnaw at the 30-year-old for a while yet. Perhaps the 1.8 million dollars in prize money he received for finishing in a tie for second place will help.

PGA Tour

Players Championship 2024: 17 presents the tamest on Saturday

In 2023 the 17 on Players Championship Saturday had been the second.easiest since 1983 with a scoring average of 2.72 and only two balls in the water. The easiest day was the the third round in 1996 with an average score of 2.68.

While the 2024 moving day stats were not as easy as that, it still was the easies day on 17 of the tournament so far with a scoring average of 2.836 and six balls in the water. Among those was one of Wyndham Clark, who was co-leader before making a bogey on 17.

The hole with the iconic island green played 123 yards. There has only been one hole in one this week so far, which came in round 1 from Ryan Fox. The closest shot to the pin on saturday came from Peter Malnati, who placed his ball 1 foot and 6 inches from the hole. A total of 24 birdies were made, 41 pars and only 4 bogeys plus 4 double bogey.

Players Championship 2024: 17 in Numbers

Actual length 123 Yards
Balls in the water 6
Closest to the hole Peter Malnati, 1 Fuß, 6 Zoll
Hole-in-ones 0
Birdies 24
Pars 41
Bogeys 4
Doppel-Bogeys 4
PGA Tour

Players Championship 2024: Wyndham Clark: “The shot and the putt that meant it all.”

Wyndham Clark lost his lead on saturday at the Players Championship. While he was lapped by other players he himself made a deciding bogey on 17, when his first shot landed in the water.

Players Championship: Wyndham Clark on his moving day

Q. Did that feel like a pretty important bogey on 17? You seemed really pumped to make that putt. After a mistake like that, is it a big deal?

WYNDHAM CLARK: Yeah, it’s massive. It’s unfortunate on a hole that’s so iconic and has a bunch of trouble to have kind of your worst swing of the day. But yeah, I followed it with a great swing and a great putt. I’m in the final group tomorrow, which is huge.

I’m hoping that’s a huge point in the tournament and we look back after tomorrow and look at that hole and say, hey, that was maybe the shot and the putt that meant it all.

Q. Does not going to the drop area, is that your thing that you would always do, or is it a circumstances where the pin is?

WYNDHAM CLARK: Fortunately I went first and I had some time to think about it. I asked my caddie John, and he’s like, it’s just too close for us to be able to hit it — the easier shot was just redoing it. We had a good club. Honestly, I made a bad swing and chunked it, and if we went closer, I think it made it a tougher shot.

Q. Did you lose your focus?

WYNDHAM CLARK: No. I mean, I’m not throwing John under the bus by any means, but it was probably a perfect sand wedge. He thought if I nuked it, it could get on top. Kind of, as we were walking to put the ball down, he’s like, Let’s take a little off a full sand wedge. As I was over the ball I kind of got to the top and I was like, take a little off and then I just kind of deceled and chunked it. It wasn’t really a lack of focus or anything. It just was honestly a poor swing.

Q. You shot 70, kind of felt like maybe your bad round, but to still be in the final group —

WYNDHAM CLARK: Yeah, exactly. I think everyone kind of has one round where they have to really grind it out and make those par putts and bogey putts or whatever it is. I felt like that was today. I’m hoping tomorrow I’ll wake up laser locked-in focused and can go have an awesome round and hopefully have a great finish here.

Q. I heard you talking to Todd. Did you feel like you lost focus at any point throughout the round?

WYNDHAM CLARK: No. I mean, gosh, it’s hard in a final group on a Saturday, and especially when everyone else is making a lot of birdies. Sometimes you can press and try to force the issue, and I thought I did an amazing job. If I make the par putt on 8 and make the birdie putt on 9, could have been a totally different round. I could be at 19 or 20, and we’d be having a different conversation.

I felt like I still played good golf. I hit a lot of good shots. Just seemed like a couple missed clubs, a couple missed putts. Other than that, I thought I played fine.

Q. How important was it for you to be in the final group? Does it feel a bit like Wells Fargo all over again?

WYNDHAM CLARK: Yeah, I always think it’s great to be in the final group and kind of know where everyone is at, so depending on what the circumstances are, you can either press it or play really smart coming in.

But yeah, it’s fun playing with Xander. He’s so good, and his caddie, we’re all good friends. It’s going to be fun tomorrow. He has the upper leg right now, and I’m hoping tomorrow I bring it and we can have some fireworks and play some great golf.

Q. What do you think makes him tough as a competitor?

WYNDHAM CLARK: He’s so consistent, and obviously you saw today the guy makes a lot of putts. Hopefully tomorrow he doesn’t make that many putts and I make some putts. I have a lot of respect for Xander’s game. He’s just so steady. He doesn’t really have any flaws.

PGA Tour

Players Championship: Watch Scottie Scheffler Getting A Massage During The Round

Scottie Scheffler was treated by his physio during the second round of the Players Championship. It appears to be a problem with his neck. On the tee of the 14th hole, the world number 1 received a massage while sitting on a folding chair. Scheffler, who should have had the honour of teeing off after his birdie on hole 13, allowed his flight partners Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas to tee off first. The two were already on the fairway before Scheffler hit his tee shot.

Video: Scottie Scheffler receives treatment at Players Championship

Scottie Scheffler receiving treatment on the 14th tee for discomfort in his neck. He remains just one shot back of the lead. — PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 15, 2024

At this point, Scheffler was two shots under par after four holes and just one shot behind the leaders. As a result of his treatment, the flight was informed that they had lost too much time and needed to pick up the pace.

The problems apparently began after his tee shot on hole 12, after which Scheffler enquired with a rules official whether treatment would be possible during the round.

The Scheffler Shuffle is evolving. (He found the fairway.) — PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 15, 2024

Scheffler would be the first player to defend his title at the Players Championship. After a round of 67 on day 1, he is a good step closer to this achievement, if his neck problems don’t affect him now.

Zum Leaderboard der Players Championship

PGA Tour

Video: From near ace to double bogey at the 2024 Players Championship

That’s golf: just millimeters away from one of the greatest moments of your golf career to a costly double bogey in just a few minutes. When Sam Ryder teed off on the famous signature hole, the 17th, in round 1 of the 2024 Players Championship, thousands of fans cheered him on.

Hole 17 – the highlight of the Players Championship 2024

Hole 17 of the TPC Sawgrass – the dreaded island green of the course, which has been the undoing of many a player. While Ryan Fox was able to celebrate an ace on this special hole on Thursday, things turned out differently for Sam Ryder. His ball headed straight for the flag after hitting the green and missed it by a hair’s breadth. The back spin that Ryder had put on the ball then drove the ball off the green, over the narrow edge of the rough and into the water. In the end, Ryder recorded an annoying 5 on the par-3. He found a conciliatory finish with a birdie on the 18th and is tied 37th after round 1.

PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy after controversial drop at Players: “I was adamant”

Rory McIlroy put in a strong performance on the first day of the Players Championship. But the number one topic of conversation was his controversial drop. In the PGA Tour press conference, he spoke about how everyone just wants to do the right thing and which statistic he is particularly happy with. Read the full press conference with Rory McIlroy here.

Rory McIlroys press conference after round one of The Players

Question: Not a total golf question, but I know you’re a big sports fan. Caleb Williams, who’s never seen a golf tournament in his life, became a golf fan through his coach at Southern Cal, so he specifically wanted to follow you and Spieth. You guys are fans of other things; what’s it like to have a guy who’s never played golf before, probably be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and he wanted to follow your group?

Rory McIlroy: Thank you for telling me what sport he played. (Laughter).

Yeah, it’s really cool. I think golf is hopefully becoming more popular and more mainstream and sort of making it out of its little niche area that it has. Yeah, it is, it’s very cool to have people out there following that take an interest in what we’re doing out there, especially other athletes.

One of my favorite things to do is to go and watch other sporting events and sort of talk to other athletes, how they approach their sport and how they try to master their craft. It’s always nice to hear when other athletes take an interest in us, as well.

Question: That scene on the 7th, was that necessary in your eyes, or was it all needless?

Rory McIlroy: I think Jordan was just trying to make sure that I was doing the right thing. I mean, I was pretty sure that my ball had crossed where I was sort of dropping it. It’s so hard, right, because there was no TV evidence. I was adamant. But I think, again, he was just trying to make sure that I was going to do the right thing.

If anything, I was being conservative with it. I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to protect ourselves, protect the field, as well. I wouldn’t say it was needless. I think he was just trying to make sure that what happened was the right thing.

Question: You talked yesterday about being kind of stuck in between two swings. It seemed like for most of the day it was much, much better, obviously with the two exceptions. How much more comfortable was it today, and what did you find?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, I’m not sure how the strokes gained approach stats look like, but it’s probably been one of my best days in a while, which is really nice.

Yeah, the feeling is good with the irons, and the feeling with the driver and the 3-wood is just a little bit different, but as long as I remind myself on the tee box that okay, this is a wood, and I get on the fairway, and this is an iron, and I’ve got two different feels and two different thoughts, then it’s okay.

Yeah, much, much improved on the approach play today, which was nice to see.

Question: (Question about the tee shot on 7).

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, they were just a bit guidey, a bit uncommitted, more so than anything else.

Question: You called Sunday a wake-up call. What did it wake you up to?

Rory McIlroy: Just I needed to clean up the technique a little bit, needed to clean up some things. Honestly, just needed to put the time in. I think when you play — I’ve wanted to play a lot to start this year, and I have, but when you play a lot, you don’t maybe get the time to practice all that much. At the same time, say I had a decent day on Sunday at Bay Hill and shot 70, for sure I would have taken Monday off here. But because of not shooting a decent score, I grinded on the range and figured something out and put the time in, and it’s sort of already reaping benefits, so that’s nice.

Question: I know it’s golf, but is it awkward when you have that sort of conversation on the 7th?

Rory McIlroy: I mean, I guess I started to doubt myself a little bit. I was like, okay, did I actually see what I thought I saw.

But I mean, as long as — I was comfortable, and I was just making sure that Jordan and Viktor were comfortable, too.

Question: Seems a bit tough that they’ve got all these cameras all over the course and they’ve got a blind spot there.

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, it is a bit of a blind spot. I think the best view was from the tee, which was the view that we had.

Question: You saw it bounce?

Rory McIlroy: I did, yeah. It was just a matter of whether it was above the line or below, and I thought I saw it pitch above the line.

Question: (Question about where the ball landed.)

Rory McIlroy: Yeah. I mean, yeah, I think so.

Question: 18 was a similar situation.

Rory McIlroy: 18 was a pretty similar situation. Again, adamant it crossed, it’s just a matter of where it crosses. I think this golf course more than any other, it sort of produces those situations a little bit.

Again, like I feel like I’m one of the most conscientious golfers out here, so if I feel like I’ve done something wrong, it’ll play on my conscience for the rest of the tournament. I’m a big believer in karma, and if you do something wrong, I feel like it’s going to come around and bite you at some point.

I obviously don’t try to do anything wrong out there, and play by the rules and do the right thing. I feel like I obviously did that those two drops.

Question: Two in the water and shoot 65, you couldn’t have asked for much more, I would think?

Rory McIlroy: It would be nice to shoot 62 and not have two in the water, I guess. (Laughter).

Question: The last few years you’ve had a tough start here which got you behind the 8-ball. How nice was it to get off to a hot start and attack a round?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, I think it goes back to I didn’t have many expectations going out there today because I was like, okay, feels good on the range and feels good in practice, but let’s see how it is when you’ve got a card in your hand.

There’s something to be said for that, just sort of lessening the expectations a little bit and going out there and seeing what happens. But yeah, it was obviously a great start.

Question: Is it hard to reset when there’s been a long delay like that and get back into the rhythm?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, a little bit. It was disappointing not to get that up-and-down on 7, but that’s probably why I give it a little mini-fist pump on 9 to feel like I got one of those shots back.

Yeah, you have to reset and you have to try to get back into the zone that you were in for the 15 previous holes.

Question: When you say you were maybe doubting what you saw with your own eyes in terms of determining where you needed to drop, how do you balance that between the input you’re getting from your playing partners versus what you saw with your own eyes?

Rory McIlroy: Yeah, exactly. I was adamant that I saw it bounce above the red line, but then when someone comes in and says, well, someone thought that it didn’t. Then you’re like — it just puts some doubt in your mind. Again, it’s up to you to be comfortable enough with your decision that you did see what you saw, I guess.

Question: Viktor and Jordan didn’t speak to the media, but from your perspective, did you feel like everybody was comfortable after the round with the decisions made on the course on 18 and 7?

Rory McIlroy: I think so, yeah. I’m comfortable. I think that’s the most important thing.
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PGA Tour Uncategorized

Players Championship 2024: Canadian loses his nerve, his wife reacts hilariously

It could have been a round that motivated Canadian Adam Hadwin to do more. After seven holes, he was already three over par in the first round of the Players Championship, but he fought his way back to even par on the 16th. Two holes remained to bring his score into the red. It turned out differently…

Players Championship 2024: First the ball, then the club

First he sank a ball in the water on the 17th, where the first hole-in-one had already been made on Thursday afternoon, and had to accept a double bogey. But that was not enough. On the last hole at the TPC Sawgrass, his drive was already flirting with the water, but just managed to stay dry. His shot into the green then fell victim to the right-left slope of the fairway in front of the green and rolled into the water. Too much for the one-time PGA Tour winner. His club had to take the hit and flew into the lake immediately afterwards. At least he got away with a bogey on the 18th, but that put him back at three over par, as he had been after seven holes.

Hadwin’s wife Jessica, known for her humorous take on her husband’s golfing misdemeanours, could find nothing wrong with the 36-year-old’s breach of etiquette: “I have seen the moment in question. If I’m going simply on the aesthetic of the toss….10/10” shw wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

PGA Tour

Players Championship: Early Hole in One on 17

Ryan Fox makes the first hole-in-one of the 2024 Players Championship on hole 17. The famous island green is actually known for being particularly challenging and only a few holes-in-one have been made here in the history of the Players Championship. The record was set last year with three aces over the course of the tournament week.

And before most players have even completed half of the round, the first hole-in-one of 2024 has already been made. Mild weather conditions with little wind and an easy flag position made Ryan Fox’s task a little easier.

Hole in One at the Players Championship 2024