In the locker room, there might not be a more popular winner all year. Golfers, by nature, have to be a single-minded, selfish bunch, but be sure that when Marc Leishman birdied the last at Conway Farms on Sunday, his rivals felt delighted for the big Australian. Justin Rose was one of these, despite seeing his valiant back-nine charge come up short. The Englishman watched Leishman’s emotional celebrations with his wife and children and knew this meant more than merely the BMW Championship silverware or, indeed, the cheque for nigh on £1.2m. “It’s great to see his family there,” Rose said. “They've been through a lot.” Two years ago, Leishman was told that Audrey had a five per-cent chance of survival. He had been flying to Augusta for the 2015 Masters when his wife began to feel unwell with flu-like symptoms at home in Virginia Beach. Within 24 hours, she was in intensive care, suffering... … [Read more...] about Talk of Golf: Why Marc Leishman’s BMW Championship triumph was the most popular win all year
Rory McIlroy struggled to a three-over-par opening round of 73 at the Northern Trust Open in New York on Thursday. The 28-year-old, who decided to continue his bid for the overall FedEx Cup title despite a persistent rib injury, shot six bogeys and three birdies at the Glen Oaks club. It left the four-time major winner well off the pace of the first-round leader Russell Henley, who took the clubhouse lead after a six-under round of 64. The American is one shot clear of the world No1 Dustin Johnson, who sank six birdies and a solitary bogey. Billy Payne to step down as chairman of Augusta National and the Masters Read more The FedExCup points leader, Hideki Matsuyama, also struggled as he finished his first round one stroke worse than McIlroy on four over. McIlroy had a bogey five on the 1st hole before returning to par with a birdie on the 2nd. He then repeated the pattern with bogeys on the 5th and 7th and birdies on the 6th and 8th. However, three more bogeys on … [Read more...] about Rory McIlroy shoots three-over 73 to fall off pace in Northern Trust Open
JUSTIN THOMAS powered to his first major victory on the back on the back of a birdie that will be talked about for years to come. When he thinks back on how he won the 99th USPGA Championship, Thomas will always remember the heart-stopping drama of the tenth hole as the inspiration for his two-shot victory. 1. Justin Thomas -8 T2. Francesco Molinari -6 T2. Patrick Reed -6 T2. Louis Oosthuizen -6 T5. Rickie Fowler -5 T5. Hideki Matsuyama -5 He got an incredible stroke of luck when his ball seemed to be hurtling into the trees down the left of the hole – only to smack into an overhanging branch and bounce into the middle of the fairway. A couple of shots later, Thomas was standing over a ten-footer for birdie – and he stared at his ball in disbelief as it trickled to the edge of the hole, and stopped, almost as if it was defying gravity. The American could not believe it had not dropped. After pointing at it his ball in disbelief, he puffed out his … [Read more...] about Justin Thomas wins USPGA Championship in his first ever major victory
What a role reversal. Three weeks ago, as a close friend and Open Championship housemate, Justin Thomas swigged from the Claret Jug won by Jordan Spieth. Perhaps this part in a Sunday blowout provided the final piece of inspiration needed by Thomas to press home years of promise. Now he, the US PGA Champion, can fill the Wanamaker Trophy with whatever he chooses. The run of first-time major winners is now eight from the last nine such events. US PGA Championship 2017: final round – as it happened Read more On a ferociously hot, gripping North Carolina afternoon Thomas prevailed by two, at eight under par. He has made something of a habit of following in the footsteps of Spieth. In 2013, a year after Spieth led the University of Texas to the college golf championship, Thomas did likewise for the University of Alabama. Still, it has taken until recent times for the 24-year-old Thomas to carry such form properly into the professional ranks. Before this major … [Read more...] about Justin Thomas wins US PGA and confirms years of potential
11.50am BST 11:50 Glory's last preamble OK, so the 99th PGA Championship might not have turned a stone-cold classic yet. But it hasn’t been half bad either, with plenty that will live long in the memory. Brilliant 64s for Hideki Matsuyama and Francesco Molinari. Rod Pampling’s selfless Adam Sandler tribute act. Graham DeLaet’s birdie-eagle-eagle-birdie run. The emergence of 23-year-old local hero Grayson Murray. Jason Day’s decision to hook a big one round a tree trunk last night instead of taking his medicine and chipping out, the most preposterous way anyone will ever play themselves out of contention in a major, even if they keep staging these things until the rapture. Then there’s been the steady brilliance of Kevin Kisner, another local boy, sort of, from Aiken, South Carolina, a two-hour drive over the border. A regular visitor to Quail Hollow, he’s threatening to win this tournament wire to wire, a little local knowledge going a long way. … [Read more...] about US PGA Championship 2017: final round – live!
Jason Day was one of those who rushed to finish his round before darkness caused the tournament authorities to sound the hooter and stop play for the night.The Australian, who has struggled for form this year after his mother had a lung cancer scare that forced him to fly home, hit a fabulous 66 in the later conditions: rain had softened the greens and allowed those with later tee-times to flourish.Two more of those were Hideki Matsuyama and Francesco Molinari, both of whom signed for rounds of 64, with the Japanese player joining Kevin Kisner, first-round co-leader, on -8 at the top.Third round delayed by weather interruption on FridayPlayers will go round in three-balls on Saturday to ensure finish in timeRory McIlroy tees off at 5.20pm UK time, leaders off at 7pmFull PGA Championship 2017 Day 3 tee-times1am: That's a wrap for today then.Kisner remains in pole position to win the prize, and is currently on a score of -7.But Matsuyama and Stroud are also in the mix - both players one … [Read more...] about PGA Championship 2017 leaderboard: Scores from Day 3 with Kisner ahead of Matsuyama
The 99th playing of the US PGA Championship has sporting parallels. There is, for example, the grim scoreless draw that football hipsters insist is wonderfully entertaining on grounds of defensive performance. Factor in a dour five-day cricket Test that ends without a winner and a fuller picture can be drawn. Somebody will prevail at this major – eventually – but the event has already triggered a debate. Those seeking spine-tingling entertainment need look elsewhere. On a tense third day, during which standing still was valuable to many of those in the upper echelons of the leaderboard, golf purists insisted this is what major championship play should be all about. It is, though, a hard sell. The margin between good and bad shots has at times been impossible to decipher. To the basic particulars. Kevin Kisner’s 72 means he leads, by one, at seven under. Chris Stroud, the world No203, and Hideki Matsuyama are those closest. US PGA Championship 2017: third round - … [Read more...] about Kevin Kisner leads US PGA but players make hard work on day three
Rory McIlroy is on an inexorable pathway to suffering a third majorless season in a row when the 99th USPGA Championship concludes on Sunday. And all of us who witnessed his back-to-back triumphs in 2014 would certainly not have predicted that scenario. Yet at least the Northern Irishman will be able to console himself with the realisation that when he goes for the career grand slam at the Masters next April, nobody else of his generation will have beaten him to it. Jordan Spieth’s attempt to become to replace Tiger Woods as the youngest player ever to achieve the full-set of majors is in tatters after a third-round 71 at Quail Hollow. The 24-year-old said after his second round in Charlotte that he was “essentially out of this tournament pending some form of crazy stuff”. Alas, despite three birdies in a row from the 14th, there was none of the “crazy stuff” with which he won The Open in such memorable fashion three weeks ago, At Royal … [Read more...] about Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth all but out of the running at USPGA Championship
Rory McIlroy was stumbling towards a third season without a major title as the leaders teed off in the third round of the US PGA Championship on Saturday. McIlroy came into the event as the pre-tournament favourite on the back of top-five finishes in his last two starts and a brilliant record at the host venue Quail Hollow. The 28-year-old won his first PGA Tour title here in 2010, lost out to Rickie Fowler in a play-off in 2012 and stormed to a seven-shot victory in 2015, which included a course record of 61 in round three. However, changes to several holes and the installation of bermuda rough and greens had not suited the four-time major winner, who struggled to consecutive rounds of 72 to lie 10 shots off the lead at halfway. No player has ever won the final major of the year after trailing by more than nine strokes after 36 holes and McIlroy, whose last major win was the 2014 US PGA, looked incapable of bucking that trend, starting round three with bogeys on the second and … [Read more...] about McIlroy looks set to end third season without a major title
10.51am BST 10:51 Good morning, North Carolina! The second round of the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow was of the highest quality. Hideki Matsuyama and Francesco Molinari shot 64s. Jason Day, Justin Thomas and Ryan Fox carded 66s. Kevin Kisner posted his second 67 of the week to top the leader board with Matsuyama, and Louis Oosthuizen signed for a 67 too. However it was Rod Pampling who provided us with the moment we’ll surely all remember years from now: PGA of America (@PGA) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/7RRrf6AIOe August 12, 2017 Marvellous. Pampling, at +12 and sure to miss the cut, selflessly teed off at speed on 9 last night, ensuring his group had begun playing, and could therefore finish, their final hole before the klaxon went for bad light. He doubled and signed for a 79. “That was the best thing I did all day,” he smiled afterwards. Our hero misses the halfway cut along with some big names: Justin Rose, Daniel Berger, Graeme … [Read more...] about US PGA Championship 2017: third round – live
Kisner was not particularly fancied coming into the tournament due to his lack of distance of the tee and the minimal run available on the course.But after six birdies in a four-under-par 67, he was happy with his 289.6-yard driving average and the 71 per cent accuracy which kept him out of the difficult rough that some some of the bigger hitters come a cropper."[The rough] is brutal," Kisner said."I don't care how far they hit it."The cut is currently projected at +4 with the top 70 and ties making the weekendRory McIlroy battles his way to +2 for the tournament after four bogeys in five holesKevin Kisner stretches lead to FOUR shots with eagle at seventh, two holes from homeOvernight co-leader Thorbjorn Olesen unravels with back-to-back double bogeys on Green MileHideki Matsuyama shows more brilliant form with three straight back-nine birdies1am: That's a wrap then folks. Hideki Matsuyama shot a good 64 - meaning he shares the summit with Kevin Kisner.Kisner carded a … [Read more...] about PGA Championship 2017 leaderboard: Latest scores and updates from Day 2 at Quail Hollow
To the certainties in this world being death and taxes, when it comes to the US PGA Championship maybe we should add weather delays. Perhaps the upcoming switch of this event to May is a smarter idea than anybody has given the PGA of America credit for. Someone, somewhere appears deeply against the tournament in its current position. Suspension of play, shortly before 5pm local time on Friday, ensured a sixth such scenario in a row at this championship. Menacing skies delivered the predicted storm, with tournament officials encountering their latest organisational headache as they seek to conclude this major on time. At least they have been in this movie before. A wider danger resonates in more ominous forecasts on Saturday and Sunday. US PGA Championship: Day and Matsuyama challenge after Kisner sets pace! Read more Spectators were urged to evacuate Quail Hollow upon the halting of play as lightning approached. Golf did at least resume, 100 minutes after being … [Read more...] about Hideki Matsuyama charge for US PGA leader Kevin Kisner halted by weather
Much was made in the build-up to the 99th US PGA Championship of a young superstar returning to the scene of his first PGA Tour success and riding that wave of feel-good all the way to a major. Yet the identity of that protagonist could well prove to be Rickie Fowler and not Rory McIlroy. Two years after McIlroy broke his US duck at Quail Hollow, Fowler did the same, actually beating his Northern Irish friend in a play-off at the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship. Since then, Fowler has been described as a major winner in waiting, but although he has put himself in position on numerous occasions, it has still not happened. A second-round 70 for a three-under total at the halfway point will have convinced his many admirers – not all of whom wear bright orange outfits complete with a flat-bill cap – that his time is finally here. Certainly his comments afterwards would not have dulled their expectations. While McIlroy – with whom he played on the first two days … [Read more...] about Rickie Fowler shows form to shake off nearly-man label
Fortunately the three-time Major winner was able to follow those four dropped shots with two birdies in his closing three in a round of one-over par 72 for a two-over tally.It had McIlroy in the clubhouse trailing 10 shots behind early leader Kevin Kisner, who posted a second straight 67 to enjoy a five-stroke lead over American compatriot Rickie Fowler, who carded a 70.McIlroy kick-started his round from the 10th and needed to show all his brilliance and imagination after sending his second shot way right on to a cart path to leave stand-in caddie Harry Diamond second-guessing the distance to the green.After a ‘free’ drop McIlroy was faced with having to thread his third down a near 100-yard tree-lined cart path. He did it with a brilliant half-stroke 6-iron to find the edge of the green on route to a remarkable par.“I didn’t expect it to be there and I was a little bit unlucky to get it going down the cart path as it was really the only option I had,” he … [Read more...] about Rory McIlroy Uncovered: How world No 4 narrowly avoided PGA Championship cut disaster
RORY MCILROY began his second round with a moment of magic – but even a late rally saw him end it 10 shots off the lead in the US PGA Championship. McIlroy was in danger of missing the halfway cut for the fourth time in his last seven major appearances after dropping four shots in the space of five holes at Quail Hollow. And although he birdied the next two and came agonisingly close to making it a hat-trick on the ninth, his final hole of the day, the 28-year-old’s second successive 72 left him two over par. American Kevin Kisner set the early halfway target at eight under par after his second straight 67, with Rickie Fowler his nearest challenger in the clubhouse on three under. McIlroy said: “I thought conditions were just as tough, if not tougher this morning, as they were yesterday. “I was battling. I was scrambling well to be under par for that back nine. “I probably didn’t quite hit it as well off the tee as I did yesterday and wasn’t … [Read more...] about Strong finish but Rory McIlroy is way off the pace at PGA Championship
9.48am BST 09:48 Good morning, North Carolina! And in true Friday fashion, there’s no need for a meandering preamble ahead of a long, long second round. Plenty of time for words. Yesterday was a fascinating, if slightly undistinguished day. A great one for 2015 Players nearly man Kevin Kisner, and the big Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, who lead the field after fuss-free 67s. A few of the pre-tournament fancies - Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen - are very well placed. And your Jordan Spieths and Rory McIlroys have hardly played themselves out of contention yet, five off the lead at +1. So this could be a cracker, as some of golf’s big names manoeuvre for position. It’ll be like Moving Day, but 24 hours early, and without the cultural currency. Here we go! It’s on! How they stand after day one... -4: Olesen, Kisner -3: Murray, Woodland, Koepka, Stroud, Points -2: Finau, Herman, Reed, … [Read more...] about US PGA Championship 2017: second round – live!
Proof that the 99th US PGA Championship will not be the domain of only two players should not have been necessary. Nonetheless, such a prompt was probably useful. Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, the dynamic duo who dominated pre-tournament discussion, matched opening-round scores. That the number in question is 72, one-over par, is hardly cause to rule either of them out of lifting the Wanamaker Trophy but it will also offer incentive to others in the field. The early signs are this will be an attritional major. Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen, a player with a distinctly average record in the final major of the year, heads proceedings with Kevin Kisner, of the USA, at minus four. Among the big names to hover with intent are Paul Casey and Rickie Fowler, who are two from the lead. The relatively high state of the scoring illustrated another point; that changes as made to Quail Hollow in the past year, particularly on the greens, render this a very different venue to the one McIlroy has … [Read more...] about Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy muddle their US PGA Championship lines
Thorbjorn Olesen and Kevin Kisner are the surprise leaders after round one of the 99th USPGA Championship at Quail Hollow. The Dane Olesen took advantage of some good early conditions to go round in 67 to lead the final major of 2017 on four-under. And in the twilight of the round he was joined by Kisner atop of the leaderboard as the American birded the 18th to ensure he goes into day two as one of the two men to catch. A clutch of players from the USA are just one-shot back from the pair including the US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Gary Woodland, whose return to golf following his wife suffering a miscarriage continued with a round of 68. D.A Points is also three-under after gaining shots on 14 and 15 World number 91 Grayson Murray, on his tournament debut in North Carolina and the faultless Chris Stroud are also one-shot back. Seven players are in the chasing pack two shots behind Olesen and Kisner including the US Ryder Cup hero Patrick Reed, Englishman Paul Casey and … [Read more...] about Thorbjorn Olesen and Kevin Kisner lead USPGA Championship after tough opening round at Quail Hollow
10.30am BST 10:30 Good morning, North Carolina! It’s been a hell of a year in the majors already: 63s for Justin Thomas and Haotong Li; a 62 for Branden Grace; Brooks Koepka delivering on his promise at Erin Hills; Lexi Thompson’s marker woes; Choi Hye-jin nearly winning the US Open as a 17-year-old amateur; IK Kim consigning that missed putt to history by sealing the British; the way Jordan Spieth diced with disaster at Birkdale before turning in a performance for the ages. Oh, and Sergio won the Masters. Sergio won the Masters! And 2017 is not over yet. Here comes Glory’s Last Shot, the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, Charlotte, North Carolina! Spieth is looking to seal a career grand slam at the golden age of 24 years and 17 days. If he manages it, he’d be seven months younger than Tiger when he completed his set in 2000, and two years younger than Jack Nicklaus back in 1966. History is within his grasp. But only just: at 7,600 yards, Quail Hollow … [Read more...] about US PGA Championship 2017: first round – live!
Spieth stunned the golfing world by producing a miracle escape from a car park at Royal Birkdale to win the Claret Jug.Spieth became the youngest Open winner since Seve Ballesteros in 1979 by fending off fellow American Matt Kuchar to win with a score of -12.And the 23-year-old celebrated his victory with pals Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Jason Dufner on the flight home to the USA.Thomas posted a clip on Snapchat of Spieth drinking from the Claret Jug, which dates back to 1872, asking: “What you got there sir? Oh yeah! How does it taste?”To which Spieth replied: “Fantastic!” after lowering the Claret Jug.Jordan Spieth has now landed three majors, reaching the mark at a younger age than Tiger Woods, and admitted he would allow himself to really enjoy this one."I feel fortunate the way everything happened," he said."I'll thoroughly enjoy this. It's as much of a high as I've ever experienced. I'll enjoy it more than anything I've achieved."Two … [Read more...] about Jordan Spieth drinks out of Claret Jug as he celebrates Open win with pals on flight home