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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy doesn’t want new caddie to look him in the eye, per video

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Not that now is the best time to be having fun at Rory McIlroy’s expense, but long-serving parodist GolfCentralDaily.com is doing just that…and it’s pretty funny.

McIlroy tied for 22nd at the PGA Championship before revealing the rib injury that has plagued him since the winter is worse than we knew, causing him back spasms and numbness in his arm. He indicated he’s taking an undetermined time off to rest and deal with the issue.

So, while we may not be seeing the Ulsterman for a while, we might as well…laugh, right? “Golf impersonator” (not sure if that’s a full-time career) Steven Connolly sent the site this video of “Rory McIlroy explaining to the press what he is looking for in his next caddie.”

Per the video, the new caddie must:

  • Never call him Rory on course, when he’s on course, his name is Rocky.
  • Never look him in the eye.
  • Laugh at all his jokes on the golf course.

To see Rory’s other “requirements,” check out the video.

Even if the video isn’t your specific cup of tea, you have to respect the quality of the impersonation and the synching with the video. Further, golf needs all the original content and levity it can get. Think of the amount of this sort of stuff in, say, football.

Anyway, get well Rocky, err, Rory, and good luck with that caddie search!

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19th Hole

On the range at PGA National: Gerald is missing, a major winner throws down the WITB gauntlet, Artisan sighting

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And just like Monday, there was plenty of visual interest Tuesday. We got WITB looks at Sergio Garcia, Harold Varner III, and Ian Poulter, in addition to others, as well as a look at a new Toulon offering. Two galleries of general range photos as well, for your viewing pleasure.

Here are a few of the best shots.

We’ll start with Sergio Garcia, who is gaming some absolutely savage stuff since signing with Callaway. Apex MB irons with the Sergio Garcia logo and a chrome finish that’d make an exhaust tip blush.

Garcia is also gaming this Toulon Azalea putter, appropriately.

Also in the Toulon department, Cody Gribble’s Toulon San Diego is, classy. It…stays classy, if you will.

Interestingly, we spotted Gribble with this Nike Engage wedge. And is that an Artisan Golf stamp? Hmm…

A quick scan of Harold Varner III’s bag revealed Gerald, Varner’s iconic puppet-like headcover to be absent. Upon closer inspection, Gerald is embroidered on HV3’s putter cover. Does this mean Gerald the headcover is no more? Say it ain’t so!

The only Ben Hogan staff bag on Tour. And a beauty it is! J.J. Henry with a set o’ Hogan PTx irons.

We spotted Ian Poulter with some Superspeed Golf sticks and a…baseball bat? That can’t be right. What is that thing? At his side in case Ted Bishop comes around?

Poulter, one of the most frequent flatstick flippers, also looks to be a new admirer of the work of Rife Guerin, as he was testing both an Evnroll and Rife Antigua putter. We’ll see what he puts in play.

Oh boy, the putter buffet was fully stocked at PGA National Tuesday. Golden Corral has nothing on these offerings.

A helping of Odyssey…

Bettinardi…

SeeMore…

Toulon…

…makes you want to fill up a plate and come back for seconds.

Check our full spread of photos from Tuesday at PGA National below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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19th Hole

11 insights from Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington’s wide-ranging chat

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Paul Kimmage of the Irish Independent got Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington to sit down for an extensive and wide-ranging interview. That alone is an achievement.

McIlroy and Harrington, the greatest golfers in recent memory from Northern Ireland and Ireland respectively, have never been the best of friends. That isn’t to say they’ve been adversaries, they’ve just never been particularly chummy.

Both men, accomplished and insightful, are great interviews individually. Together, however, the transcript is even better. Harrington, for example, can probe McIlroy in a way a reporter can’t. And McIlroy is compelled to answer the elder statesman when he calls him on the carpet for trying to act like Tiger Woods in press conferences, for example.

Here are a few of the more insightful portions of Kimmage’s Q&A.

Harrington and McIlroy prepare for tournaments in very different ways

PH: And we have a very different way of preparing for tournaments. He likes to play early, I like to play late. I’m not prepared to do his thing, he’s not prepared to do mine…
RM: Yeah, what’s the best way to prepare?
PH: I like a good sleep and to play later.
RM: I’m up at five every morning.
PH: I can think of nothing worse than playing practice rounds when you do.

McIlroy’s tournament week is structured with little socializing outside his inner circle

RM: Yeah, for example, I’ve rented a house this week and I have a chef and everything revolves around that house. I get back (after playing) and there’s six people in the house and that’s my week: I don’t see anyone else; I don’t want to see anyone else.

See above

PK: What about you, Rory? Any player you’re close to?
(Long pause)
PK: I’ll take that as a no.
RM: Not particularly, but I think that’s more to do with the stage I’m at in my life. If Erica wasn’t with me, I’d reach out to some people or play a practice round or whatever. But I wouldn’t be particularly . . .

They keep their trophies in very different places

Where do you keep your Claret Jug?
RM: (Nods to Pádraig) Ssss . . . plural.
PH: Sitting on the breakfast bar in the kitchen at home.
RM: I don’t have it on display. I have a trophy room, but if you were in the house you would never find it.

Three majors would be a failure for Rory, both agree

PH: I’m at a stage where I’ve done what I need to do. You’re at a stage, Rory, where you’re still trying to get more . . . actually, I’m going to say this, and it’s probably not what you want to hear, but four Majors for you is a failure.
RM: I 100 per cent agree.
PH: Three Majors for me was an over-achievement. I love what I’m doing and I’d like to win another one, but I’m well aware that I’m not going to change my legacy at this stage. Whereas you’re still on that path.

McIlroy admits he doesn’t have Harrington’s “mental stamina”

RM: (smiles) Yeah, he’s the ultimate . . . at 46, I’ll probably be at the point where I accept what I have – he does not accept it. There’s always something to work on; there’s always something to get better at. That’s where we differ as well; I don’t know if I have the mental capacity or the mental stamina to get up every morning and do that.
PK: You don’t?
RM: Yeah, to practise like that. The way he goes about it is too mentally draining for me.

Self belief or the lack thereof determines the quality of Rory’s play

PH: There are two things that stand out with Rory; the first thing kills him but it also makes him and that’s his belief: when it’s there it’s phenomenal, and when it’s not there it hurts him. When he has it he sends people running scared, and when he doesn’t have it he fades – you can see that from the sideline.

Harrington thinks McIlroy often comes off as cold in interviews

PH: I don’t think I’ve ever been in your company where I haven’t walked away thinking you’re a nicer guy than I thought beforehand. And yet, media-wise, you can sound quite cold and clinical at times and I think: ‘He’s trying to be Tiger Woods.’ Because you present this . . . wall.

When Rory and Tiger played in November, Tiger insisted Rory bring his dad

RM: On the night before we played (in November) Tiger sent me a text: ‘Why don’t you bring your dad along?’. Dad wasn’t sure. “I’ll leave you two to it,” he said. “I don’t want to get in the way.’ So I sent him a text: ‘No, I don’t think he is going to make it.’ He texted me back: ‘Oh, come on! When he is ever going to get a chance to play with two former number ones?’

McIlroy thinks Spieth is golf’s most underrated player

RM: I had a chat with Brandt Snedeker last night and we both said it: “Jordan Spieth is the most underrated player in the game.” When you look at what he’s done, and what he’s achieved, but all you hear are negatives.

Neither seem to be fans of Brandel Chamblee

PH: They can’t see the X factor. Dustin Johnson hit a drive a few weeks ago (in Hawaii) and one of the main TV commentators said it was the greatest shot ever hit.
PK: Brandel Chamblee.
PH: Talk about hyperbole.
RM: It was nonsense.

All this is but the tip of the iceberg of a frank, insightful, and often funny exchange. Check out the full transcript of the sit down here.

 

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19th Hole

Rick Shiels shoots +41 in 3-round pro-am tourney. GolfWRX members discuss.

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There’s no way to sugarcoat this: Rick Shiels’ golf game did not travel with him to coastal Spain. Sorry, Rick, (who is by all accounts a great guy). The YouTube personality, instructor, and club reviewer extraordinaire teed it up in the three-round Costa Daurada International Pro-Am at Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club in Spain.

Shiels carded rounds of 88, 88, 79 to finish at 41 over par, last in the field of 17 golfers and seven strokes worse than any other pro.

Not surprisingly, GolfWRX members are discussing the popular YouTuber’s performance and asking some tough questions.

Londoner writes

“This is not intended as a bashing thread. We have all had rounds where it felt like our first. But I thought pros had some level of consistency cracked. Ric hit 41 over for 3 rounds in a pro am…
The winner was +2. How does a pro unravel like that?”

Cornwall1888 suggests

“He’s simply not very good, that’s why he makes money from YouTube and sponsors, not playing golf. He’s probably a 2 or 3 handicap who had a terrible week.”

Stumpnav continues the thought that Shiels may simply not be a good tournament player

“I think Rick spends most of his time at the range using his launch monitor and not enough on the course. He knows how to play swing but not how to play golf. Doesn’t diminish his instructional ability or the enjoyment of his channel.”

Hawkeye77 doesn’t think the scores necessarily reflect his abilities as a player

“On vacation with his family, little or no play or practice in winter, not all that surprising. I’ll bet anyone he played with had a great time.”

Plenty, like Merkury10, defended Shiels and offered potential explanations

“All pros can have a stinker like that. We just aren’t watching them on Sunday. They either missed the cut or played the early tee time not televised. I agree with what was said earlier. I suspect he spends the majority of his time in the hitting bay and not out trying to shoot low scores. Rory 5 putted this weekend, and he’s no Rory.”

03trdblack has a theory about where Shiels is deficient

“Serviceable swing but his chipping and putting are pretty bad. He’s a driving range pro that lives on the GCQuad instead of on the practice green.”

There’s much, much more to the discussion and plenty of hot takes on both sides…and plenty of folks who loved or hated the new Driver vs. Driver panelist before he fired three miserable rounds. In other words, you’ll want to check out this thread.

And it’s neither here nor there, but still worth disclosing, Shiels contributed to this site in the past. You can see his archive here.

 

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