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Phil McGleno Bashes Woods

Phil McGleno aka Phillip McClelland O’Grady aka Mac O’Grady bashed Tiger Woods stating that on a scale of ten. He went on to say that for Mr. Woods to challenge Mr. Nicklaus’s record in the majors is cheating. Like being on steroids. The steroids aren’t in the players, they’re in the equipment. Ridiculous say I.

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Oh my, Phil McGleno aka Phillip McClelland O’Grady aka Mac O’Grady is making news headlines for the first time in a while.  "When Nicklaus and Palmer played, when (Ben) Hogan played and Sam Snead played, on a scale of zero to 10, they were a nine-plus," he said. "Tiger Woods is not even a one-plus."

"The reason why (Woods) can hit it on the green is because he has square grooves," he said.

"He doesn’t have that, he’s dead. He cannot do it — it’s impossible. For him to go after Nicklaus’ records is cheating. This is like steroids."

Single word response; WOW!  How do you like that for brash off the wall nonsense? Mr. McGleno/O’Grady/ O’Grady has obviously has one too many name changes leading him to believe anyone would take him seriously.  To call Tiger Woods a complete hack exemplifies chutzpah enough to make my grandmother respond "Oy vey".  What is this guy thinking?  Oh right, he’s not.  My bad.  These three quotes are without doubt the most ridiculous things a non politician has said since my Uncle Norton volunteered to go first in a game of Russian Roulette played with a single shot weapon.

I should just leave this end here but for the sake of argument and a little filler let’s examine these statements a bit closer.  To say that Mr. Woods is not even a one plus on a scale of ten without todays equipment is equivalent to saying no golfer can compare to Tom Morris, Old and Young, because that was real golf.  The equiment allowed Nicklaus, Palmer, Player and the rest to play as well as they did; why they even used machines instead of sheep to mow the grass. That’s not golf as it was meant to be played.  Mr. McGleno/O’Grady/O’Grady is apparently of the belief that it was only his generation that could play the game properly.  My guess is he’s a closet Luddite.

Next is the statement that Mr. Woods can only hit the green because of square grooves.  Hello.  Earth to McGleno/O’Grady/O’Grady, you can’t really mean if I gave Mr. Woods a V grooved wedge he’d be unable to hit the green can you?  If this isn’t one of the most bitter statements I’ve never seen a case of "wedge envy" before.  The Eagles wrote a song about this whole thing; Get Over It.

To compare the use of modern equipment in golf to the use of steroids in other sports mimics whistling past the graveyard on a dark and stormy night, it’ll make you feel better a little bit about your own mortality.   How much have scores improved?  Are there a raft of players scoring the equivalent of hitting 70 home runs.  Is it easier to get the ball in the hole?  Did you watch the US Open by any chance and take note of the winning score? 

There’s more but you get the idea.  I’ve not read a more childish set of statements uttered in earnest.  My initial reaction was to offer Mr. McGleno/O’Grady/O’Grady some cheese and crackers to enjoy with his whine.  That was followed by my wondering what’s the motivation for these assertions? Does he hope to get his name in the papers?  Well that worked.  It also got him all over the internet because there are a lot of folks like myself .  Maybe I should throw away my 460cc headed driver, cavity back irons,  square grooved wedges, and three piece urethane covered ball because I’m overwelmed with guilt at the prospect of being a cheat and the equivalent of a drug user.  Oh the anguish.  Consternation grips my thoughts; I’m torn by the ethical dilemma the words of Mr. McGleno/O’Grady/O’Grady have created inside my tiny little brain. What to do! What to do!  HA!  The game is too much fun these days,  not easy, but fun so I do believe I shall continue on and leave the whiner to cry in the desert on his own.  I don’t believe my soul is in danger, nor do I believe the soul of the game is in any dire need of repair.  

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Chantel McGleno

    Jun 5, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    WOW! I guess I’m in a lot of shock right now… Not only the bashing of Tiger Woods but I was told from some family Members that Mac O Grady is my uncle.

  2. Brian Kaplan

    Apr 11, 2008 at 1:11 am

    I would of loved to see Phil vs tiger back in the day.I was around 16 years old at a local public golf course called rancho park in los angeles, when phil as i know him as, decided to take me under his wing and teach me,without even asking for one thing back. His kindness was a 10,his physical shape would match up to tiger pound per pound easily, I know he was so healthy in regards to what he ate that even tiger could not have matched it.So yes I do believe in what phil has to say as if you did not know him and see his work ethics you have know reason to be so negative.The reason he does not have a published number, there would be to many calls.

  3. aaron

    Jul 10, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    I will only agree with O’Grady in one respect. Tiger couldn’t play with the old old timers equipment. Byron Nelson said (Golf Digest interview) that if Tiger played in his time with the hickory shafts, he’d snap every one of them.

  4. steve

    Jul 10, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    mac o grady or whatever his name is a complete idiot—you know something really bothers me about mac or phil or whatever they call him–if you you check on the top golf instructors in golf magazine or golf digest im not sure which one off-hand–they put mac o grady is ranked as one of the top instructors–with no contact info—how do you contact him for a lesson—what a complete scam—who ranks these teachers— themselves???—-as far as this enigma of “ballstriking” goes—tiger hits the ball very solid maybe hes not hogan pure but hits it solid enough—and tigers putting when hes on–awesome—and tigers iron play–awesome–wedge play–awesome—chipping–awesome–creativity and imigination–awesome—bunker play–awesome—-get the idea

  5. DB

    Jul 10, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    When it comes to the question of great champions, equipment and other factors can be thrown out the window. It is simply a matter of what makes a champion like Tiger: Mental tenacity, competitive strength, personal accountability and leadership in every aspect of life, etc. The only measuring stick we have is how Tiger compares to and competes against his peers today. Barry Bonds took steroids, but is he a champion? No. World series rings: 0. If you could manufacture the intangibles that Tiger posesses and he took them in pill or cream form, McGleno may have an argument and Nike would rule the world. But until then, go ahead and give all the other players steroids and make their grooves octagonal for all I care. I guarantee in the long run Tiger will come out on top until a better competitor comes along.

  6. Andrew

    Jul 10, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Over time, all sports evolve. Tennis- wooden rackets, sweater-vests, long pants and long skirts have become what it is today. Look at a pair of Basketball sneakers from 20-30 years ago and it’s amazing that the players could even jump.

    The point is, as long as everyone has access to the same gear, what’s the argument? Tiger Woods is TODAY’s best player, if you want to compare him historically that’s fine too but don’t knock him because he has access to technology that everyone else has.

    Conditioning also plays a huge role. Do you think Jack and Arnie were at the gym bench pressing what Tiger presses now? Look around the tour, especially the younger players and you can see how far the sport has come in terms of physical strength and physical attributes. THE SPORT HAS EVOLVED, and for the better.

    Tiger is the best player of our generation, hands down. And he has transcended the game of golf like NO OTHER. That cannot be disputed. Someone also mentioned the quality of the players throughout the field, also a great point. For the top 50-75 maybe even 100 PGA pros, the skill level is so tight, it’s so much of a mental game and how you approach each shot…Tiger just handles pressure in a way that is also un-matched. He expects to win every tournament he enters, and it’s that approach that gives him that extra something that other players seem to buckle when they encounter.

  7. Michael

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:12 am

    Mac who?

    My mama always told me, “Consider the source” before wasting time and energy on them.

  8. john james

    Jul 9, 2007 at 1:40 am

    Normally, I don’t respond to trivial fluff like this, but Mac’s comments and these last mind-numbing observations by Justin demand it. First, O’Grady had a fabulous physical game, but mentally when the pressure was on to hit that long iron to the sloped green or sink the putt, his mind shanked. He had documented melt-downs. He was, and is, a loser. Every player today will tell you that the hardest thing to beat about Tiger is his mind-set.
    Equipment and the game evolves. Tiger’s ability has changed the courses, his physical conditioning has changed the physical shape of golfers from pot-bellied softies(go look at Jack in the ’60s) to buffed athletes. All the players during Jack and Arnie’s era played with the same equipment, just like players today have the same gear as Tiger. What you do with that equipment determines how great a player you are.
    It’s too bad Mac has fallen still lower in the golfing ranks by having to try and get some publicity by these idiotic comments.

  9. Justin

    Jul 8, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    You all need to get off the tiger band wagon. The equipment today is so much better it is almost is like cheating. Also tiger is not even close to the best ball striker whoever thinks that does not Know golf. Mac is even a better ball striker then tiger. Tiger just has an incredible short game that saves him all the time from his bad shots. Whoever wrote that article probably knows as much about golf as my sister. You probably are a weekend hacker like the rest of you out there with a 15 handicap or something.

  10. GR1NDER

    Jul 7, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Sounds like someone needs a mental coach…. or perhaps just a psychologist!

  11. joerookie

    Jul 6, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Arnie, Jack, Slammin Sammy, Hogan and all the others played the field using the same equiptment of the day. Tiger is doing the same, playing against the field with the equiptment of the day. Even the grass is different today compared to when Arnie, Jack and Hogan played and won their Majors. Unless you are taking drugs you can easily see that Tiger Woods is a 9+ of 10 easily. I watched O’Grady play at the Buick Open a few times, and he’s a talented individual, but he must be on crack to make comments like these.

  12. nynick99

    Jul 4, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    I’m in my 60’s and have seen every great player from the 50’s to the present. I can say without question that Tiger is the best ball striker I have ever seen. Jack is the greatest champion with 18 majors, but Tiger is the best golfer.

    In addition, when Nicklaus, Arnie, Player and Trevino went into a major, they only had to beat, at most, 15 players. The competition is so much better today that it isn’t even close.

    To show how much impact Tiger has on the tour, they never had to ‘Nicklaus-proof’ the courses as they do today. Also, when Tiger joined the tour the total prize money was about $70MM. now it is almost $300MM. Nicklaus, Arnie, etc, never had that kind if impact. Don’t get me wrong, Jack Arnie, Player and all the rest were great golfers and grew the game, but Tiger took it ito the stratosphere.

    O’Grady is just jealous of the players of today, especially Tiger.

  13. Nick

    Jul 4, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    To compare todays golfers to golfers 4 decades ago is simply not fair to either. The equipment is completely different, the main advantage being todays balls. The courses are completely different. The game in general is nowhere near the same. While I do feel that the players 30 and 40 years were overall better players and there was more competition, to say that Tiger would not have won is ridiculous. Just imagine Nickluas, Palmer, and Tiger battling for the trophy.

  14. Johnny2Putt

    Jul 3, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Mr. McGleno/o’Grady/O’Grady,

    You might understand the golf swing, but you don’t understand golf.

  15. Champ

    Jul 3, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Does Tiger even have square grooves on his Nike blades?

  16. EnglishBob

    Jun 30, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    “O’Grady attempted to qualify for the PGA Tour through Q School 17 times before receiving his tour card, during this time he legally changed his name from Phil McGleno to Phillip McClelland O’Grady, and then to Mac O’Grady. His best finish in a major is a T-9”

    I assume Mac plays in Green.

  17. A.J.

    Jun 30, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Wait, so let me get this straight, Tiger has these grooves so he is cheating, let’s just completely disregard the fact that every other player on tour has the same exact type of stuff. In the hands of Tiger they are like steroids, in the hands of everyone else they aren’t? What a joke, Tiger is the best and probably would have been the best had he played back then.

  18. Justyn

    Jun 29, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Interesting. The courses were shorter in the days and are now longer due to the equipment improvement. I have a feeling if Tiger were to play back in the days of Nicklaus, Hogan, etc… he would actually have more wins.

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Morning 9: (People’s) Champion Golfer of the Year | BK on J.B.’s pace of play | Xander vs. R&A? | Portrush triumphant

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

July 22, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Champion Golfer of the Year
Look, you watched Shane Lowry win The Open by six strokes, holding his never to improve by upon the margin he started Sunday at Portrush with by two. No need to recap that. Instead, let’s check out some of the fantastic writing inspired by Lowry’s hoisting of the Claret Jug.
For example, this passage from Tom English at BBC Scotland…
  • “…The 16th is infamous around here. It’s called Calamity Corner for a reason. Lowry, though, was in a place where nothing could hurt him. He was kicking for home and preparing for victory. Still a steely focus, still in his bubble. It’s impossible to know if Lowry heard it, but on his way to the 16th tee a Northern Irishman shouted out at him: “You’re doing us proud, Shane.” Us.”
  • “Through the sunshine of Saturday and the brutality of Sunday, Lowry was serenaded. He wasn’t south or north, he wasn’t Catholic or Protestant, he was Irish. He was their guy. He was the one they transferred all their passion and all their love to when Rory McIlroy exited on Friday.”
  • “Through Lowry, they united. And it was powerful. Back in the worst days of The Troubles, the people trying to build bridges were always horribly undermined by those trying to blow them up. The badness always got more projection than the goodness.”
2. Lowry’s day in the sun was windy, rainy for pretty much everyone else
Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”The final round of the 148th Open Championship will be remembered for Shane Lowry’s fairytale victory and the sordid horror stories that many of his pursuers will recall with strains of bemusement and bewilderment.”
  • “Royal Portrush was as mendacious as advertised on Sunday after three days of general hospitable appeasement. All it took was a strafing wind out of the southwest – the wind most oppressive on the Dunluce Links – to provide the kind of necessary accouterment.”
  • “…It’s not that the weather that moved in over the Causeway Coast and Glens was more severe than anything most competitors had seen before. But as Russell Knox explained after shooting a 77: “We’ve played in worse rain. We’ve played in more wind. But it was on the biggest stage on a demanding course. So everything is kind of highlighted.”

Full piece.

3. BK won’t blame J.B. 
Per Golfweek’s Steve Dimeglio Koepka (who finished tied for fourth after a final-round 74) had this to say about his exceedingly deliberate playing partner…”J.B. had a rough day. J.B. is a slow player. I know it’s difficult with the wind, but I didn’t think he was that bad today,” Koepka said. “I thought he was all right. There were times where I thought it was slow. There’s a lot of slow guys out here.”
  • “What I don’t understand is when it’s your turn to hit, your glove is not on, then you start thinking about it, that’s where the problem lies. It’s not that he takes that long. He doesn’t do anything until his turn. That’s the frustrating part. But he’s not the only one that does it out here.
  • “But like I said, it wasn’t that bad today, it really wasn’t. It was slow, but it wasn’t that bad for his usual pace. It was relatively quick for what he usually does.”
4. Leaning on Bo
Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…”Lowry needed someone to talk to Sunday afternoon.”
  • He knew he was lucky to escape the first hole without significant damage, dropping just one shot to Tommy Fleetwood by making a bogey putt of significant length. All afternoon he held his lead, and all afternoon thoughts persisted about how bad it would hurt to see it slip away in front of his countrymen. Some of them were faces he recognized from back home in Clara, County Offaly.”
  • “Enter caddie Brian ‘Bo’ Martin.”
  • “He was unbelievable today,” Lowry said. “He kept on my back all day, kept talking to me, he kept in my ear. I kept on telling him now nervous I was, how scared I was, how much I didn’t want to mess it up. All I could think about was walking down 18 with a four- or five-shot lead. And lucky I got to do that.”
5. John Bradley’s bad Sunday
Golf Channel’s Jay Coffin…”Holmes began the final round in third place and in the penultimate group with Brooks Koepka. He shot a final-round 87, seven shots worse than any other player, and tied for 67th place, beating only three players who made the cut.”
  • “The first shot of the day flew left off the first tee and into the internal out of bounds. He reloaded and opened with a double-bogey 6.”
  • “By the time Holmes made the turn, he shot 41 and was well out of contention. But the next nine holes were much, much worse than the previous nine.”
  • “Holmes, 37, made triple bogey on the par-4 11th hole, then followed it with a double bogey on the par-5 12th. After two more bogeys over the next four holes, he closed with consecutive double bogeys on the final two holes to shoot a second-nine 46 and a 16-over 87.”
6. A relatable champion
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch…”Only his exquisite command of a golf ball distinguishes Shane Lowry from any Irishman you’d get from central casting. He is a dry wit, is fond of a pint, is colorful with his language, is devoted to his family and is a stranger to the gym. He looks like a man more likely to be guarding the Claret Jug than having his name engraved on it, but he’s undeniably a man you’d want to be drinking from it with.”
“Lowry grew up just 130 miles from Royal Portrush, a journey of four hours across Ireland’s backroads and, crucially, the U.K.’s border. That’s why Lowry can escape the yoke that has often been draped on the shoulders of Northern Irish natives who make a name in the world beyond. Unlike Rory McIlroy, he need not navigate the binary bigotry of Northern Ireland, and isn’t asked to declare an allegiance, Irish or British. In a place consumed with identity, he is someone fans can simply identify with.”
7. Take us back to Portrush!
So pleads Golfweek’s Forecaddie...
“After all, players have given their thumb’s up, as The Man Out Front’s colleague Alistair Tait reported. And R&A officials on site all seemed giddy about the venue, openly gushing about ticket sales and mostly pulling off a successful operation. The club members, other than having their phones ring off the hook with golfers wanting to experience one of golf’s best courses, struck TMOF as quite pleased they hosted and sounded ready for another.”
  • “Golf architect Martin Ebert, the club’s consulting architect who was doing his best to take in the proceedings in between congratulations for deftly touching up H.S. Colt’s design, told The Forecaddie that meetings this week will determine what went well and what needs work. Topics may include adjustments to Ebert’s new 7th hole, the internal out of bounds that killed Rory McIlroy’s week and a few other intriguing restorative elements held back from the pre-2019 preparations.”
8. Xander vs. the R&A?  
ICYMI: Xander remained unhappy over the weekend about his (driver’s) failed test (he did delete a couple of tweets on the subject though)…
Geoff Shackelford…”At issue: Who went public or even leaked news of Schauffele’s Callaway Epic driver failing a COR test for “spring like effect”?
  • “Schauffele says it was the R&A, host this week and one of two governing bodies in golf. But assembled media and fans were unaware of the issue until the world No. 11 spoke following Friday’s second round. While there were rumblings of failed tests on the grounds, according to Schauffele, within the “traveling circus” of pro golf the failed test was known. One player jokingly heckled Schauffele, and he blames the R&A.”
  • “It is an unsettling topic,” Schauffele said. “I’ve been called a cheater by my fellow opponents. It’s all joking, but when someone yells ‘cheater’ in front of 200 people, to me it’s not going to go down very well.”
9. Other golf stuff!
On the LPGA Tour…(AP report)Cydney Clanton and Jasmine Suwannapura ran away with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on Saturday, shooting an 11-under 59 in best-ball play for a six-stroke victory.
  • At the PGA Tour’s alternate event, the Barbasol Championship, Jim Herman fired a final-round 2-under 70 for a one-stroke win over Kelly Kraft.
  • Kristoffer Ventura won on the Korn Ferry Tour.

 

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Not even gaoth and basiteach could stop Lowry’s march to the Open Championship

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In Gaelic, gaoth is wind, and basiteach is rain. Don’t ask for a pronunciation lesson, however. Neither of those elemental forces offered much opposition to Shane Lowry, in his essentially, wire-to-wire victory in the 148th playing of the Open Championship.

10 years after he won the Irish Open, as an amateur no less, at Baltray, Lowry came to Royal Portrush and held off Tommy Fleetwood to win his first major championship.

We’ve identified 5 keys to victory, and are pleased to relate them below. It was a glorious week in Portrush, and our return should not be too far off in the future.

1. The atmosphere

In Scotland, it’s the craic; in Ireland, it’s the shebeen. That wondrous, celebratory mood that transcends age, weather, and any conceivable obstacle. Lowry withstood a short, missed putt in 2009, and here he was again, a decade later, in similar circumstances. Eager to lay away the burden of his 2016 US Open loss to Dustin Johnson, Lowry breathed in the environment with enthusiasm. Eschewing a Saturday evening of monastic contemplation, he and his caddie went out for a pint or two. It was the craic and the shebeen that carried him on its shoulders, to victory.

2. The quick starts

There was no doubt that Brooks Koepka’s caddie, Ricky Elliott, had much experience going round the Portrush. Trouble was, Brooks didn’t. His putting abandoned him for four straight days. In complete contrast, Lowry appeared to make every roll in site, until Sunday. By then, no one was making putts. Have a glance at these starts for the burly Lowry:

  • Thursday: -2 through 7
  • Friday: -5 through 8
  • Saturday: -2 through 7
  • Sunday: -2 through 7

Never once did he get off with a struggle. 11-under par each day, heading to the back nine, was a whale of an advantage. Many will point to the glorious birdies he made over a closing hole or two, but it was that knowledge that the outward half was his, that doubtless buoyed his spirits.

3. Grace while scrambling

It would be fitting that, in some dialectal variation of a communication system, the word Lowry or a derivative, meant Big man with soft hands. His driving was exquisite all week, but in order to secure birdies, he needed to chase it on here, bump it on there, flop it on here, and roll it up there. The launch pad made no difference: short grass, thick stuff, or sand. Lowry was on point from start to finish. If it were a Ryder Cup year, the European captain would doubtless search for a partner for the Irish Hagrid. As it is, they have plenty of time to figure out how to use this latest weapon.

4. Consistently great play

Not once all week did Lowry make a fortunate bogey. Even as he gave a shot or two away  (8 bogies in total, 5 in the final round) he was never on the brink of disaster. Near as the cliffs and the causeway were for some, Lowry never dance along gravity’s edge. The entirety of the week was an artisan’s master class. Fortunate us, we have the video to review, to review what Lowry taught us in real time.

5. The fan support

There’s a difference between atmosphere and fan support. Atmosphere is for the fans, and can distract the player if he allows it. Support needs nor writing nor speech; it is felt by the intended recipient and utilized to will shots toward their target. After Clarke, McDowell and McIlroy gave evidence that they would not challenge for the title of Champion Golfer of the Year, Lowry became a de facto Ulsterman. And why not? County Westmeath borders County Cavan, and the later is one of the 3 non-Northern Ireland counties of Ulster. There was great affection and appreciation for each competitor this week, but a special warmth was reserved for the eventual champion.

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5 things we learned on Saturday at The Open Championship

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On Saturday, the Royal and Ancient announced that tee times would be moved up on Sunday, in anticipation of, well, British Open golf weather. Cue head scratch and chin stroke. At least the organizers didn’t opt for split tees or some other, silly-American addition to the game. On Saturday, we again watched the ebb and flow of Royal Portrush. The “strike early and hold on late” mantra that has characterized this tournament.

On Saturday, we marveled at one man’s near-mastery of this wondrous, Harry Colt design, whose absence from the Open Championship rota must never be repeated. To limit ourselves to five things learned is lamentable, but it is both burden and duty. Accordingly, here are the 5 things that we learned from Saturday’s 3rd round of the Open Championship.

1. European golf fans are marvelous, while American ones have much to learn

“Ole, ole ole ole” is the most supportive thing you can hear on a golf course. Not bah-bah-black sheep, err, booey, not mashed potatoes. Today, the “ole” was replaced with “Lowry,” in tribute to the Irish champion. There is community in European events, and much as they want their golfer to win, they support everyone who plays proper golf. There will be no appeal here to the wags who insist on cementing their unfortunate place in history as burdensome; instead, we tip our cap to the great golfing fans of Northern Ireland, who carry all who compete on the wings of appreciation.

2. Shane Lowry is happy to dream a dream

Don’t wake him just yet, thank you very much. Another 24 hours of this hypnagogic state will suit him well. The Irishman had 8 birdies on Saturday, for 63 and 197. He has 19 birdies and a mere 3 bogeys on the week. He sits at 16 shots below par, 4 clear of his nearest pursuer. No, it’s not over. It has barely begun. Royal Portush has shown that it will cede a low score to great golf, so a 62 is not out of the realm of the possible.

In truth, perhaps a dozen golfers have a chance, but you would be challenged to find a better selection of challengers. Justin Rose, Danny Willett, Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood are four Englishmen who would love to lift the Claret jug in triumph on Sunday. Brooks Koepka, J.B. Holmes and Rickie Fowler represent the American contingent who hope to spirit the trophy away to a distant shore. And lest we forget, the young Spaniard, Jon Rahm, continues to take steps toward the highest echelon of championship golf. Above them all sits Lowry, current occupant of the Iron Throne. He has lost a final-round lead in a major event before. Sunday will give him a chance to demonstrate all that he has learned in the interim.

3. Brooks Koepka blueprints major championship golf

Speaking of Koepka, he’s still here. He birdied 17 and 18, just as viewers and fans were convinced that this tournament had left his domain. Only the envious and the haters (cousins to the envious) find fault with his golf game. They attempt to marginalize his skill set, focusing in desperation on his power, calling him one dimensional. In truth, we haven’t yet seen his best. He has reached -9 with a B+/A- effort at best. If the cylinders that fired for Lowry on Saturday, find their way to Koepka’s engine on Sunday, he will claim the title. It’s not possible to say that confidently nor currently about any other golfer than him.

 

4. Tommy Fleetwood will have his major opportunity on Sunday

The Englishman did what he needed to do on Saturday, to secure the coveted pairing with Lowry in round 4. Fleetwood made 5 birdies on the day, and didn’t threaten to make worse than par. The only difference between his round and that of the leader, was his concluding run of 6 pars. Reverse hole 15-17, and Fleetwood sits at -15, while Lowry resides at -13. Fleetwood has been accurate as a laser this week, and he will need to repeat that performance from both tee and fairway, to give himself a chance at victory.

5. What will the weather bring?

Wind, for one thing. For three days, competitors have dictated the shape of their shots. On Sunday, that right will not be theirs. Winds from the left, from the right, from every possible angle, will demand that golfers play shots low, under and through the gusts, to reach their targets. Rain, for another thing. The moisture will thicken the rough, allowing balls to drop deep into the native grasses. It will cause shots to squirt sideways, perhaps down a ravine, perhaps worse. If what is predicted, comes to pass, we’re in for an entirely-new tournament over the final 18 holes.

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