Posts Tagged ‘Augusta National’

Woods Masters win fuels chase for Open Championship tickets

April 16, 2019

It was probably just coincidence but Tiger Woods winning the Masters and extra tickets going on sale for July’s Open Championship sent the R&A ticket site into meltdown on Monday.
Woods’ remarkable victory at Augusta National has raised the excitement levels another notch ahead of the Open’s historic return to Royal Portrush.
“We were already looking forward to seeing him at Royal Portush (July18-21) but for him to come here as reigning Masters champion will make it extra special,” said Royal Portrush Professional, Gary McNeill.
“Perhaps that was reflected today with so many people looking to get tickets. I’m sure many people would have been looking those tickets anyway but the fact Tiger won no doubt spurred more people on to try and get their hands on them.
“He is such a big draw and you could see that at Augusta with all the patrons cheering and clapping him onto every tee and green and everyone was delighted to see him win.
“He will be thinking grand slam now. Next month’s PGA Championship is at Bethpage where he has won before and then the US Open is at Pebble Beach where we won in style back in 2000.
“Imagine if he arrives at Royal Portrush with those two under his belt as well. Now that would be incredible.”

Last year tickets for championship days (Thur-Sun) at The Open sold out in record time prompting The R&A to explore increasing the capacity. A further 15,000 were released on Monday via the R&A’s ‘The One Club’.
An R&A spokesman said; “We have seen extremely high levels of demand for tickets today which led to us experiencing some technical issues with the website. These issues were resolved earlier and we are now receiving orders from fans purchasing tickets.
“We have communicated with members of The One Club to keep them informed. We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused and would encourage those fans on the waiting list to keep trying via the website.”
Woods has yet to set foot on the North Coast gem but his victory on Sunday ensures that he will deservedly be one of the favourites come July.
“It was unbelievable after what he has been through in the last 10 years,” added Gary.
“To come back and win a major, I wasn’t sure he would do it but having won the Tour Championship at the tail end of last year obviously proved to himself that he could do it.
“To be able to do it, in the most difficult of circumstances on a course that tests every aspect of your game. It was fantastic.”


No guarantees of Masters success for Rory

April 9, 2019

We’ve been here before, Rory McIlroy and The Masters.
According to the perceived wisdom, Rory’s game is tailor-made for Augusta National.
It’s a done deal. He’s bound to win it. The Holywood golfer will pull on the green jacket and join the list of golfing greats to complete the grand slam.
It’s all nonsense of course. Speak to Greg Norman about winning at Augusta or ask Phil Mickelson about the grand slam. The 48-year-old is still waiting on that elusive US Open win to book his own place amongst the golfing legends. Nearly 20 years of trying and he’s finished second six times.
There is ample evidence to suggest that Augusta National suits the games of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Keopka and Justin Rose just as well as Rory, maybe even better. And if they are considered genuine contenders, can anyone seriously rule out in-form Francesco Molinari or Paul Casey?
The truth is that some parts of Rory’s game, his driving, his long iron play give him an advantage at Augusta, but his inconsistent wedge game and his shaky putting have held him back.
Yet for all that, as the 29-year-old gears up for the opening major of the season, and his 11th appearance at The Masters, there are genuine reasons to be positive about his chances, the most significant being his very strong competitive start to the season.
At the back end of last year, when he signaled his intentions to stay closer to home in Florida and focus more on the US PGA Tour it was seen by many as a direct slap in the face to the European Tour.
He insisted that it was all about getting back to the summit of the game and his performances would suggest that he made the right decision. No missed cuts, seven top 10’s, a second and crucially a win at the Players’ Championship where he had to dig deep after an early wobble.
He is now up to third in the world and his putting has certainly improved under the guidance of former tour pro Brad Faxon but his wedge play still needs some work, especially from 75-100 yards in. Even just a small gain could make a decisive difference.
He also heads to Augusta full of confidence following that win at Sawgrass but the real test will be how he deals with expectation levels, both public and personal. He has spoken in recent months about the three P’s – patience, perspective and poise – and that mantra will surely be put to the test at Augusta.
Ahead of the recent Dell Match-play event he said; “I would have said a couple of years ago, ‘I need to win a Masters. I need a Green Jacket’. Where now it’s, ‘I want to. I want to win it. And I’d love to win it’. But if I don’t I’m okay.
“I’ve had ten years of learning at Augusta, some tough times. And if one day I’m able to get that Green Jacket at the end of 72 holes, all of those experiences will have played a part in helping me do that. So have I a desire to do it? Yes. Do I have a need to do it? No.”
He’s playing well, he’s seemingly in a good place mentally only time will tell if 2019 will be his year.

Day Four – Master 2018 – Resolute Reed claims green jacket; Rory’s Grand Slam quest continues

April 9, 2018

2018 Masters Champion, Patrick Reed (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Patrick Reed claimed his maiden Major Championship title after holding off the charges of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to win the Masters Tournament.
Grand slam chasing Rory McIlroy entered the final day three shots behind the leader but he was never able to put any real pressure on the American and his challenge faded.
Loose off the tee and struggling on the greens Rory eventually signed for a two-over par 74 and finished the tournament in a tie for fifth.
“I played probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played here this week, it just wasn’t meant to be,” said Rory.
“Of course it’s frustrating and it’s hard to take any positives from it right now but at least I put myself in a position, that’s all I’ve wanted to do.
“For the last four years I’ve had top tens but I haven’t been close enough to the lead. Today I got myself there, I didn’t quite do enough but I’ll still come back next year and try again.

“I think 100% I can come back and win here. I’ve played in two final groups in the last seven years, I’ve had five top tens, I play this golf course well. I just haven’t played it well enough at the right times.

“I can’t give a good answer as to what I can take from this into the future but I’ll sit down and reflect over the next few days and see what I could have done better.”
Although the Holywood golfer’s chances ended in disappointment, Augusta National still produced plenty of final day drama.

The 2015 Masters Champion Spieth was the first to test the nerve of the overnight leader Reed, threatening the course record with a remarkable streak of nine birdies in the opening 16 holes, including four in five from the 12th.
An unfortunate break on the final hole though, where his drive clipped the trees mid-air and dropped just short of 180 yards from the tee in the rough, spoiled his chances as a bogey five meant he had to settle for an eight-under 64 and a 13 under total.
Next up was Fowler, who birdied the last to post a 14 under total after a five under 67, but Reed stayed resilient the whole way through and a two-putt par at the last for a one under 71 was enough to clinch a one-stroke triumph on 15 under par.

“I knew it was going to be tough. Any time trying to close off a golf tournament is really hard, but to close off your first Major and to do it at a place that is so close to me,” said Reed.
“I knew that the lead was going to shrink at sometimes, I knew the lead could grow, it’s just the flows of golf. You just have to know how to handle it and the only way I felt like I could get that done was to make sure the putter was working.

“It was tough out there but to be able to make that putt on 14 and then to make the two-putt on 17, it just gave me that momentum going to 18 which in the past has given me so many issues.

“It’s almost impossible to put into words. Just to make the par on the last and watch the ball go in the hole and know that I’ve won my first Major. One of my huge goals this year was to not only contend in Majors but also get back in that winning circle. To do it in the first Major and finish off that drought, it just meant so much to me.”

Day Three – Masters 2018 – Rory trails Reed by three ahead of Sunday showdown

April 8, 2018

Rory McIlroy celebrates making eagle on the eighth hole during the third round of the 2018 Masters Tournament
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy will reprise their epic 2016 Ryder Cup clash at Hazeltine when they lock horns in the final group of the 2018 Masters.
The first Major of the season was billed as one of the most eagerly anticipated in many years and the event is certainly living up to the hype, especially on an enthralling moving day which saw Reed, McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood all shoot in the mid-60s.
Grand slam chasing Rory carded a bogey-free seven under par 65 to close to within three shots heading in to Sunday’s final round.
“It was a great day. I’m closer to the lead than I was starting off the day, which a bonus, especially when you see Patrick go out and shoot 67 and obviously play very well,” said Rory.

“I rode my luck a little bit out there – the chip-in on the eighth hole, finding my ball in the azaleas on 13, not the first time. Then hitting the tree on 18 and coming back in the fairway and making a birdie from that.

“I rode my luck a little bit out there today. Hopefully, I don’t have to rely on it too much tomorrow, but it was just a great day. To get myself into the final group, and have a chance to win another major, I’m excited. You couldn’t ask for much more out of today.”

Nine of the top 12 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are within the top 15 of the leaderboard after round three, but it was the World Number 24 Reed who stole the show and delighted the patrons with four birdies and two eagles helping him to a five under 67 and a 14 under total.
Five shots clear of the field after an eagle at the 15th, Reed suffered a bogey on the 16th hole soon after McIlroy had put the galleries into raptures with a closing birdie on the last.

“I think the biggest thing this week is just going out and playing golf. I’m trying not to allow the moment to take over me, really just go out and play some golf and just hit golf shots,” said Reed.

“I feel like I’m hitting the ball well enough, I feel like I’m putting well enough. I just need to go out and play the game and not worry about everything else and just play golf.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun tomorrow. Obviously, we’re both playing really solid golf, and to be able to go into a final round on Sunday at the first major and go up against each other and go out and play some good golf, it’s going to be a lot of fun to go out there. But really, I’m just going to do my thing and stick to my game plan and go out and enjoy my Sunday.”
Fowler is five shots off Reed’s lead in third place on nine under par, while Rahm is one further back on eight under – both having signed for 67s.

202 P Reed (USA) 69 66 67,
205 R McIlroy (Nir) 69 71 65,
207 R Fowler (USA) 70 72 65,
208 J Rahm (Esp) 75 68 65,
209 H Stenson (Swe) 69 70 70,
210 B Watson (USA) 73 69 68, T Fleetwood (Eng) 72 72 66, M Leishman (Aus) 70 67 73,
211 J Spieth (USA) 66 74 71, J Thomas (USA) 74 67 70,
212 D Johnson (USA) 73 68 71,
213 J Rose (Eng) 72 70 71, L Oosthuizen (RSA) 71 71 71, C Smith (Aus) 71 72 70,
215 J Walker (USA) 73 71 71, T Finau (USA) 68 74 73, J Day (Aus) 75 71 69, C Hoffman (USA) 69 73 73, M Kuchar (USA) 68 75 72, B Wiesberger (Aut) 70 73 72,
216 S Kodaira (Jpn) 71 74 71, A Hadwin (Can) 69 75 72, F Molinari (Ita) 72 74 70, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 75 74 67, H Matsuyama (Jpn) 73 71 72, K Kisner (USA) 72 75 69, S Kim (Kor) 75 73 68, R Henley (USA) 73 72 71,
217 H Li (Chn) 69 76 72,
218 J Vegas (Ven) 77 69 72, A Scott (Aus) 75 73 70, D Berger (USA) 73 74 71, Z Johnson (USA) 70 74 74, R Moore (USA) 74 72 72, P Casey (Eng) 74 75 69,
219 W Simpson (USA) 76 73 70, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 69 76 74, F Couples (USA) 72 74 73, B Langer (Ger) 74 74 71,
220 T Woods (USA) 73 75 72, B Grace (RSA) 73 73 74, B Dechambeau (USA) 74 74 72,
221 X Schauffele (USA) 71 78 72, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 79 70 72, K Stanley (USA) 72 74 75, M Kaymer (Ger) 74 73 74,
222 T Hatton (Eng) 74 75 73, C Reavie (USA) 76 71 75, D Ghim (am) (USA) 72 76 74,
223 B Harman (USA) 73 74 76, P Mickelson (USA) 70 79 74, I Poulter (Eng) 74 75 74,
224 V Singh (Fij) 71 74 79,

Day Two – Masters 2018 – Reed leads, Rory five shots back

April 7, 2018

Henrik Stenson walks onto the 13th green during the second round of the 2018 Masters Tournament (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy will have to chase down US Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed after the American carded nine birdies in a stunning six under 66 to lead by two heading into the weekend at the Masters Tournament.

Grand slam chasing Rory carded a second round 71 (-1) while Reed opened with three successive birdies and carried that momentum the whole way through to finish the day on a nine under par total.

“My game feels okay. I played really well on the back nine, especially I made three really good pars on ten, 11 and 12 and then I had chances all the way in,” said Rory.

“I’m a little frustrated that I’m not in the clubhouse at say, six or seven under, I missed two really good chances coming in. It was a tricky day. Anything under par was pretty good but I feel like I left a couple out there.”

Reed was three shots clear stepping into the 16th tee but a bogey on the famous par three opened the door for the chasing pack, which was led by second-placed Marc Leishman of Australia, who signed for a five under 67 to move to a seven under for the week thus far.

“Everyone wants to win, and if you don’t believe you can win them, then you probably shouldn’t be playing,” said Reed.

“I believe that if I play the golf that I know how to play, that I can win majors. And it’s just one of those things – I have to go in and not get ahead of myself and go into tomorrow and just take it shot by shot, hole-by-hole, like I’ve been doing.”

Swedish former Open Champion Stenson is two shots further back after adding a two under 70 to his first round 69. He and Rory will play together in the second last group today (Saturday).

With heavy rain forecast for today, it is set to be an eventful moving day and a thrilling weekend in the year’s first Major Championship.

135 P Reed (USA) 69 66,
137 M Leishman (Aus) 70 67,
139 H Stenson (Swe) 69 70,
140 J Spieth (USA) 66 74, R McIlroy (Nir) 69 71,
141 D Johnson (USA) 73 68, J Thomas (USA) 74 67,
142 B Watson (USA) 73 69, C Hoffman (USA) 69 73, T Finau (USA) 68 74, R Fowler (USA) 70 72, J Rose (Eng) 72 70, L Oosthuizen (RSA) 71 71,
143 B Wiesberger (Aut) 70 73, J Rahm (Esp) 75 68, M Kuchar (USA) 68 75, C Smith (Aus) 71 72,
144 T Fleetwood (Eng) 72 72, H Matsuyama (Jpn) 73 71, Z Johnson (USA) 70 74, J Walker (USA) 73 71, A Hadwin (Can) 69 75,
145 V Singh (Fij) 71 74, R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 69 76, H Li (Chn) 69 76, R Henley (USA) 73 72, S Kodaira (Jpn) 71 74,
146 J Vegas (Ven) 77 69, B Grace (RSA) 73 73, R Moore (USA) 74 72, F Couples (USA) 72 74, K Stanley (USA) 72 74, J Day (Aus) 75 71, F Molinari (Ita) 72 74,
147 M Kaymer (Ger) 74 73, D Berger (USA) 73 74, C Reavie (USA) 76 71, B Harman (USA) 73 74, K Kisner (USA) 72 75,
148 T Woods (USA) 73 75, B Dechambeau (USA) 74 74, A Scott (Aus) 75 73, S Kim (Kor) 75 73, B Langer (Ger) 74 74, D Ghim (am) (USA) 72 76,
149 P Mickelson (USA) 70 79, T Hatton (Eng) 74 75, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 79 70, X Schauffele (USA) 71 78, P Casey (Eng) 74 75, W Simpson (USA) 76 73, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 75 74, I Poulter (Eng) 74 75,
150 J Dufner (USA) 73 77, S Lyle (Sco) 74 76, J Olazábal (Esp) 74 76, C Schwartzel (RSA) 72 78,
151 B Steele (USA) 76 75, T Pieters (Bel) 73 78, D Frittelli (RSA) 77 74, S Sharma (Ind) 77 74, P Cantlay (USA) 75 76, D Willett (Eng) 75 76, T Potter Jnr (USA) 73 78,
152 P Perez (USA) 73 79, W Bryan (USA) 74 78, P Kizzire (USA) 76 76, R Fisher (Eng) 78 74,
153 K Chappell (USA) 77 76, A Noren (Swe) 74 79, T Immelman (RSA) 78 75, Y Ikeda (Jpn) 76 77, J Niemann (am) (Chi) 76 77, D Redman (am) (USA) 76 77,
154 Y Miyazato (Jpn) 77 77, G Woodland (USA) 78 76, A Cook (USA) 74 80,
155 B Horschel (USA) 76 79, I Woosnam (Wal) 79 76, M Weir (Can) 76 79,
156 L Mize (USA) 76 80,
159 A Cabrera (Arg) 76 83, M O’Meara (USA) 78 81, S Garcia (Esp) 81 78, Y Lin (am) (Chn) 79 80,
160 M Parziale (am) (USA) 81 79,
166 H Ellis (am) (Eng) 86 80,

Day one – Masters 2018 – Spieth leads, Rory three shots back

April 6, 2018

Rory McIlroy plays his second shot on the first hole during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy opened with a three under par 69 at the Masters Tournament, leaving the Grand Slam-chasing Northern Irishman three shots off the lead of Augusta National specialist Jordan Spieth.

“If I look back on my highlights for the day, I’d say I had three of them,” said Spieth.

“Two of them were bogeys and one was an eagle. My bogey save that I made on seven was a fantastic putt that kept it going, I saw a putt go in. It was a very difficult putt, and I could have dropped to over par, and it led to stepping on eight tee feeling regrouped.

“I hit two beautiful shots and made a three there, and then on 18 – unfortunately, I’ve had to do some interesting things on 18 in my career here. That was actually one of the more comfortable tee shots for me.

“I just wasn’t very on it with the driver today, and I was playing a fade and just kind of got it there early. But it was a beautiful chip shot. I probably couldn’t have gotten closer with a whole bucket of balls.”

The four-time Major winner McIlroy would join an elite list of players to have claimed all four of the Major Championships if he were to earn a Green Jacket this week and, having won a first title in 18 months two weeks ago on the US PGA Tour, entered the week full of confidence.

Opening with a birdie, the 28-year-old from Holywood had a steady if unspectacular front nine before birdies at the 13th and 15th, along with three crucial par saves in the final three holes, moved him into a share of fourth.

“I made one mistake, the bogey on seven. But apart from that, I missed a couple of birdie chances early on, and I just told myself to stay patient out there. I think anything around 60 out there is a pretty good score,” said Rory.

“You look at it and not anyone is really getting away. Jordan had a pretty strong finish there. But this is my best start in a few years and it’s such a hard golf course to play catch up on. If you start to chase it around here, that’s when you start to make mistakes.

“But to be right up there and have the ability to stay patient, because of the position I’m in, that’s a nice luxury I have over the next few days.”

He was joined there by fellow European Tour Members Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain, Haotong Li of China, American Patrick Reed and Swede Henrik Stenson, among others, as 2015 Masters Champion Spieth put on another masterful display at the pristine Georgia venue to move two strokes clear on six under par.

Olympic champion Justin Rose set for Irish Open

April 25, 2017

Olympic Champion Justin Rose has added his name to the list of world-class stars lining up to play in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Portstewart Golf Club from July 6-9.
The Englishman will be playing in Northern Ireland for the first time in his professional career. His last Irish Open appearance was back in 2010 at Killarney when Ross Fisher claimed the title.
The 36-year-old finished tied for 44th in Co Kerry but has since become a Major Champion – winning the 2013 US Open – as well as securing Olympic Gold at the Rio 2016 Games.
The nine-time European Tour winner came agonisingly close to a second Major title at the recent Masters Tournament, losing out to Sergio Garcia in a play-off at Augusta National.

That impressive performance came on the back of a solid opening five months of the season that included a second place finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Tickets to watch Rose attempt to dethrone the reigning champion and home hero Rory McIlroy can be purchased at
“I haven’t played the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for a while so I’m excited about going back,” said Rose, currently ranked eighth in the world.
“With Rory’s involvement the last couple of years the event has gone from strength to strength and being part of the Rolex Series will give it an even bigger boost.
“Irish fans are always a lot of fun to play in front of, it’s always good ‘craic’ out there! We’ll all enjoy the tournament and it’s obviously great preparation for The Open Championship too.
“I think it’s very good to get some links golf under your belt before The Open. Playing the Scottish Open the week before is a great idea and also playing two weeks before is great because you can have a week before to fine tune.

“The fact that we have these options running into The Open is fantastic and they are top quality events which will hopefully attract not just the top European players, but maybe some players from across the pond in the USA as well.”

Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at, and begin at £20 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with tickets for Thursday and Friday costing £40 and day tickets for the weekend costing £45.
An adult season souvenir ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, costs just £100 (a saving of £90 over the course of the five days).
Concessions are available for customers aged over 60 and between 16 and 21, while children under 16 are permitted free entry when accompanied by a ticket holding adult.
To get a full seated view of all of the drama at the 18th green, grandstand tickets cost an additional £11.50 for Thursday and Friday, £16.50 for Saturday and £21.50 for Sunday.
Official Hospitality packages are also available on the ticketing page, or alternatively contact the European Tour’s dedicated Hospitality Sales Team, who will be happy to answer any queries and discuss the various hospitality options, on or +44 (0) 1344 840681.