Yesterday Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy revealed that he might not compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to stay clear of any controversy which might occur over which country the 23 year old should represent.
The world No 1 who is from the beautiful County Down in Northern Ireland, could play for either the Republic of Ireland or Great Britain in Brazil when golf is due to be a part of the Games again for the first time since 1904.
“If I could and there was a Northern Irish team I’d play for Northern Ireland. Said McIlroy
When it was announced that golf was returning to the Olympics back in 2009 McIlroy announced he would “probably play for Great Britain” which he also repeated last year, but he has now had second thoughts.
To be honest, does it really matter who he plays for? As long as golf is back in the Olympics for everyone to see and McIlroy gets to show his talent to a much wider audience it can only be good for the game.
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Ryder Cup captain José Maria Olazábal and two of his fine players – Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari – will add a sense of Ryder Cup fever to the Portugal Masters at Vilamoura next week.
All three will play in the sixth edition of the Portugal Masters at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura. Captain marvel Olazábal, took Europe to an incredible 14 ½ – 13 ½ victory over the USA at Medinah Country Club thanks to the players in the final two pairings who managed to match the bravery of the ten players who had finished their games in front of them.
Olazábal will also be joined by the four guys who were behind the scenes with him all week in Medinah, Vice-Captains Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Paul McGinley will also competing in the €2,250,000 tournament.
All sixteen people plus many more who travelled to Medinah played their part in the astonishing victory which will go down in history forever and I for one am glad it’s every two years as I don’t think I could handle that pressure year on year.
Just in case you missed the wining putt, here it is again!
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The women’s British Open came to a standstill today as 36 players scores were scrapped after the second round at Hoylake was cancelled due to 50mph winds.
The day started windy and it was tough for the early starters but the winds rapidly got stronger and only an hour’s play was possible this morning, with those on the course a cumulative 52 over par!
Personally I would have let them get on with it, would have made for great viewing!
A statement was released by the Ladies’ Golf Union saying “It would have been unfair to those competitors not to cancel all scores for the round in question.”
Conditions did not improve and play will get under way again at 06:50 BST tomorrow morning.
Felicity Johnson who is flying the flag for England and was the joint leader early in the first round, shot a nine on the par-four first and was eight over after three holes when the play was bought to a halt at 8am this morning.
It was so winday on the 12th tee Cristie Kerr had her ball blown off the tee three times, I think that’s when it was decided by the officials to stop play.
Let’s hope for calmer conditions tomorrow.
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The Women’s British Open comes to our screens this Thursday and American superstar Michelle Wie says she expects the course at Hoylake to provide a tough but fair enjoyable challenge.
The young American has struggled to find form this season but is hoping that her experience in majors will help her out this week. Wie has played in an incredible 30 major championships so far in her career. She also has two Solheim Cups under her belt but she has only had one top-10 finish all season.
Keep your eye out for 15-year-old Lydia Ko, who three weeks ago become the youngest-ever winner on the LPGA Tour.
Catriona Matthew who won the Open in 2009 and Karen Stupples the 2004 champion are flying the flag for the Brits.
Come on girls!
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The big hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts is looking forward to the opportunity of competing in the KLM Open on Thursday as he starts his preparations for the Ryder Cup in Medinah.
Colsaerts who finished 19th two weeks ago at the Johnnie Walker Championship, was handed a wild card pick for his impressive form this season, which included a win in a top class field at the Volvo World Match Play Championship back in May.
This will be the Belgian’s first appearance since the announcement, and this weeks tournament will be held at the Hilversumsche Golf Club, which is his penultimate tournament before his first appearance at the in Medinah.
Colsaerts is the only rookie on Europe’s team and he will be playing alongside Olazábal and Europe team-mate Martin Kaymer, hopefully he will impress Ollie and start the first day in the showpiece event!
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Scotland’s braveheart Richie Ramsay managed to put all distractions aside as he cruised to victory in the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre with another impressive performance.
Ramsay carded six birdies in a flawless third round, he masterfully secured the European Tour title in convincing fashion thanks to a quality 66 that lifted him to 16 under.
The was a host of players chasing him but they couldn’t quite match the brilliance of the scot. Marcus Fraser,Fredrik Andersson Hed, Romain Wattel and Danny Willett were four shots back in second, they and the rest of the field having been left trailing in the overnight leader’s wake.
This is Ramsay’s second win on tour, the other coming at the South African Open in December 2009.
“Between then and now I’ve made a lot of big decisions about my career. Today was vindication of that,” said the 29 year old.
I think there will a lot more to come from this man. Watch this space!
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13 years ago Paul Lawrie was given the chance to hit the first tee shot of The 1999 Ryder Cup in Brookline, and the memories of it still give him the shivers today, but after making his debut (not long after his British Open win) in golf’s greatest team event Lawrie can’t wait for a second bite at the cherry.
The Scot has held a strong position on the Ryder Cup Qualification Lists, but for months has refused to accept he was a certainty for the 12 strong team bound for Chicago, and he now can’t be caught even in this week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and is finally prepared to talk openly about his return to the Ryder Cup.
There is still one place remaining out of the ten automatic qualifiers with Nicolas Colsaerts bidding to become the first Belgian golfer to play in The Ryder Cup, needing a finish of no worse than second. Good luck this week Nicolas, I would love to see him in the team.
European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal has said publicly that Republic Of Ireland star and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington will have to produce an amazing performance at Kiawah Island this week if he is to keep his Ryder Cup spot, unless he wins of course which will take him into the automatic qualifying positions.
The Irishman currently lies 19th in the European qualifying list.
“He will have to do extraordinarily well here,” Olazabal said.
Harrington, with two British Open titles to his name has slipped to 63 in the world and needed a wildcard pick to be a part of the winning team at Celtic Manor back in 2010.
He would certainly be one of my picks, he’s gutsy, he’s been there and done it before under pressure and has won 3 major titles, and he’s in pretty good form. There isn’t anybody else in the waiting list with those credentials. Has to be a dead cert to picked if he doesn’t qualify Jose.
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