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Woods effect has US golfers riding high!

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SOUTHAMPTON: Rory McIlroy says the United States of America can thank the influence of Tiger Woods for the current dominance of American golfers all over the world – which he’ll be trying to disrupt at the US Open.

The four-time major-winner from Northern Ireland looked slightly taken aback on Wednesday when was reminded that Americans have won the last four major championships, and currently hold the trophies from the professional and amateur team competitions the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, Walker Cup and Curtis Cup.

“That’s a lot of pressure,” McIlroy said, drawing a laugh as he addressed the press at Shinnecock Hills on the eve of the 118th United States  Open.

“They’ve had a great run,” he said of the Americans but added: “Look, these things go in cycles. European golf was very healthy a few years ago for a long time. It seemed every major someone from the island of Ireland turned up to we were winning it. It doesn’t seem that long ago.”

With the Ryder Cup looming in September this year at Le Golf National southwest of Paris, European and United States golfers are already sizing each other up.

McIlroy said the current crop of US stars – including world number one Dustin Johnson, second-ranked Justin Thomas, reigning British Open champion Jordan Spieth, defending the United States Open champion Brooks Koepka and recently crowned Masters champ Patrick Reed – have been inspired by 14-time major champion  Tiger Woods. The 42-year-old superstar has now become a mentor to younger players.

Even as he was sidelined by back trouble last year Tiger Woods served as an assistant captain on the United States  Presidents Cup team that demolished the International team in New Jersey.

Now that he’s back on tour, younger players are still benefitting from the guidance of a more mellow Tiger Woods, McIlroy said.

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South Korea’s Ryu wins Meijer Classic by two strokes

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CHICAGO: Former US Women’s Open winner Ryu So-Yeon claimed her first title of 2018 with a closing five-under 67 at the LPGA Tour’s Meijer Classic on Sunday.

The 27-year-old South Korean finished with a 21-under 267 total at Blythefield Country Club to beat runner-up Caroline Masson by two strokes and earn her sixth career win. It is her first title since last year’s NW Arkansas Championship. She also won the US Open in 2011 and followed that with a rookie of the year award in 2012. New Zealand’s Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under. Third round leaders Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Ann Pace finished in a tie for fourth with three others at 17-under 271.

Nordqvist and Pace each shot 73 on Sunday after firing almost identical rounds of 64 in the third round. Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70) also finished a 17 under. US Women’s Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn fired a tournament-record 62. Ariya made eagle on number eight after making birdie on five of her first seven holes. She added three more birdies on the back nine. Ariya, of Thailand, finished just one shot back of sister Moriya who closed with a four-under 68 on Sunday.

Pieces published earlier:

i) Brooks Koepka was practically the last name on anyone’s lips at the 118th US Open on Thursday – but that didn’t matter when he hoisted the trophy for a second straight year today. “I always feel like I’m overlooked. It doesn’t bug me. I just keep doing what I’m doing, keep plugging away,” said Koepka, who despite his defending champion status was flying under the radar at Shinnecock Hills, where Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, world number one Dustin Johnson and multiple major winner Rory McIlroy were generating pre-tournament buzz. Some thought Koepka’s US Open triumph at Erin Hills last year was an anomaly – coming on a non-traditional championship venue where the wide-open fairways were easy pickings for a long-hitter like Koepka. And since his major breakthrough, the 28-year-old had missed almost four months – including the Masters in April – with a partially torn ligament in his left wrist. There’s no doubt now, however, that Koepka is back, and he has proved his major mettle on the toughest test the US Open can offer. After four grinding days at Shinnecock Hills — which first hosted a US Open in the 19th century -, it was Koepka who topped the leaderboard with a one-over par total. Woods and McIlroy were long gone by then – missing the halfway cut. Johnson, masterful in building a four-stroke lead through 36 holes, came back to the field during the brutal third round – when Mickelson underscored his irrelevance with a silly rules infraction.

ii) A gutsy birdie-birdie finish wasn’t enough to put Tiger Woods through to the weekend at the US Open, but the US superstar “absolutely” believes he’ll win another major title. Woods, playing the US Open for the first since he missed the cut in an injury-plagued 2015, was clearly heading for an early exit after a bogey at his 15th hole – the par-four sixth – pushed him to 12-over for the tournament. Woods dug in and rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at the eighth and a 17-footer at nine to complete a two-over par 72 for a 10-over total of 150 – still not enough to make the cut that fell at eight-over par. “I’m not very happy the way I played and the way I putted,” said Woods, who had been eyeing around in the 60s after his opening 78. “I’m 10-over par. So I don’t know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10-over par.” But Woods, who was 14 shots behind leader Dustin Johnson, said that 10 official starts into his latest injury comeback he had no doubt he would add to his total of 14 major championships. “Absolutely,” said Woods. “Have you seen the way I’ve been swinging? Woods, 10 years removed from his most recent major victory at the 2008 US Open, has shown flashes of brilliance in his latest comeback season but has yet to bring together every aspect of his game in one week to achieve a victory. (Published on 16th June 2018) 

 

 

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Golf: 2nd US Open

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SOUTHAMPTON: Brooks Koepka was practically the last name on anyone’s lips at the 118th US Open on Thursday – but that didn’t matter when he hoisted the trophy for a second straight year today.

“I always feel like I’m overlooked. It doesn’t bug me. I just keep doing what I’m doing, keep plugging away,” said Koepka, who despite his defending champion status was flying under the radar at Shinnecock Hills, where Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, world number one Dustin Johnson and multiple major winner Rory McIlroy were generating pre-tournament buzz. Some thought Koepka’s US Open triumph at Erin Hills last year was an anomaly – coming on a non-traditional championship venue where the wide-open fairways were easy pickings for a long-hitter like Koepka.

And since his major breakthrough, the 28-year-old had missed almost four months – including the Masters in April – with a partially torn ligament in his left wrist. There’s no doubt now, however, that Koepka is back, and he has proved his major mettle on the toughest test the US Open can offer. After four grinding days at Shinnecock Hills — which first hosted a US Open in the 19th century -, it was Koepka who topped the leaderboard with a one-over par total. Woods and McIlroy were long gone by then – missing the halfway cut. Johnson, masterful in building a four-stroke lead through 36 holes, came back to the field during the brutal third round – when Mickelson underscored his irrelevance with a silly rules infraction.

A piece published earlier:  A gutsy birdie-birdie finish wasn’t enough to put Tiger Woods through to the weekend at the US Open, but the US superstar “absolutely” believes he’ll win another major title. Woods, playing the US Open for the first since he missed the cut in an injury-plagued 2015, was clearly heading for an early exit after a bogey at his 15th hole – the par-four sixth – pushed him to 12-over for the tournament. Woods dug in and rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at the eighth and a 17-footer at nine to complete a two-over par 72 for a 10-over total of 150 – still not enough to make the cut that fell at eight-over par. “I’m not very happy the way I played and the way I putted,” said Woods, who had been eyeing around in the 60s after his opening 78. “I’m 10-over par. So I don’t know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10-over par.” But Woods, who was 14 shots behind leader Dustin Johnson, said that 10 official starts into his latest injury comeback he had no doubt he would add to his total of 14 major championships. “Absolutely,” said Woods. “Have you seen the way I’ve been swinging? Woods, 10 years removed from his most recent major victory at the 2008 US Open, has shown flashes of brilliance in his latest comeback season but has yet to bring together every aspect of his game in one week to achieve a victory. (Published on 16th June 2018) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Golf: Woods ‘absolutely’ expects to win another major

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SOUTHAMPTON: A gutsy birdie-birdie finish wasn’t enough to put Tiger Woods through to the weekend at the US Open, but the US superstar “absolutely” believes he’ll win another major title.

Woods, playing the US Open for the first since he missed the cut in an injury-plagued 2015, was clearly heading for an early exit after a bogey at his 15th hole – the par-four sixth – pushed him to 12-over for the tournament. Woods dug in and rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at the eighth and a 17-footer at nine to complete a two-over par 72 for a 10-over total of 150 – still not enough to make the cut that fell at eight-over par.

“I’m not very happy the way I played and the way I putted,” said Woods, who had been eyeing around in the 60s after his opening 78. “I’m 10-over par. So I don’t know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10-over par.” But Woods, who was 14 shots behind leader Dustin Johnson, said that 10 official starts into his latest injury comeback he had no doubt he would add to his total of 14 major championships.

“Absolutely,” said Woods. “Have you seen the way I’ve been swinging? Woods, 10 years removed from his most recent major victory at the 2008 US Open, has shown flashes of brilliance in his latest comeback season but has yet to bring together every aspect of his game in one week to achieve a victory.

 

 

 

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