SAN DIEGO – Scott Stallings was in the 18th fairway at Torrey Pines, 222 yards from the front of the green, needing a birdie to give himself a shot at outright victory Sunday in the Farmers Insurance Open. That’s when his caddie told him, ”Let’s see what you’ve got.” Above all, he had experience. One year and one week ago, Stallings was in a similar situation at the Humana Challenge. He hit a 6-iron from 220 yards, forgetting to account for a hanging lie until the ball sailed left and bounded into the water, the final mistake on a day he blew a five-shot lead. He didn’t make the same mistake twice. Stallings hammered a 4-iron that narrowly cleared the water and set up two putts from 40 feet for a birdie. It gave him a 4-under 68 and a one-shot lead that turned into a victory when no one could catch him. Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, videos and photos ”I don’t think one would happen without the other,” Stallings said. ”I actually thought about 18 at Humana the whole time on 18 today. Not that I was like, ‘Oh, don’t hit it in the water.’ But it was, ‘Just make sure you pay attention to everything that’s going on.”’ His final birdie capped off a wild day at Torrey Pines, one that didn’t include Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson for the first time in two decades. Nine players had a share of the lead at one point. Eight players still had a reasonable chance in the final hour. Stallings emerged the winner with one big shot, and now he’s headed back to the Masters. K.J. Choi had the best score of the week on the South Course with a 66 and was among five players who tied for second. The pins were set up in favorable positions for birdies, making the course play the easiest it had all week. But that didn’t make it easy – not for Gary Woodland, Jordan Spieth, Pat Perez and so many others who squandered a good chance to win. Woodland appeared to have the best chance to catch Stallings. He was one shot behind – with plenty of length to reach the 18th in two – until he chose fairway metal off the tee on No. 17 and hooked it into the canyon. He felt he had to make his 45-foot par putt to have any chance, and three-putted for double bogey. Woodland, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, missed an easy birdie attempt on the 18th and closed with a 74. ”This will be hard to swallow,” Woodland said. ”I felt like I kind of gave one away today.” Marc Leishman of Australia had the last chance to force a playoff, but his drive on the 18th went well right and bounced off the cart path and a fan. He had no chance to even consider going for the green in two. His wedge for an eagle stopped a few feet to the side of the hole, and a tap-in birdie gave him a 71. Stallings finished at 9-under 279. Jason Day (68) and Graham DeLaet of Canada (68) each made birdie on the last hole to tie for second. So did Perez, the San Diego native who grew up at Torrey Pines and whose father is the longtime starter on the first tee at the Farmers Insurance Open. Perez missed a 10-foot birdie chance on the 17th. He closed with a 70. ”It’s great and bad,” Perez said about his runner-up finish. ”This is the one I want to win more than anything in the world, and I came up short. … I thought today would have been my day. I would like to be in that position again.” Spieth didn’t make a birdie over the last 15 holes, and he fell back with back-to-back birdies late in the round. The 20-year-old Texan made a meaningless bogey on the last hole that only cost him a spot in the top 10. By then, his day was over. He closed with a 75. ”I just lost control of the golf ball,” Spieth said. He also revealed that he tweaked his ankle Friday and felt it kept him from getting into the right position on his back swing. Stallings, who started the final round three shots behind, won for the third time in his career. Two of those were tournaments that Woods played, yet Woods wasn’t around on Sunday either time. He missed the cut in the Greenbrier Classic and did not make the 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines. Stallings made six birdies over his last 11 holes, along with a pair of bogeys. Most remarkable is that he managed to hit only four fairways in the final round. But one that he did was important – the 537-yard closing hole, giving him a chance to get home in two for a birdie at worst. He never considered laying up and trying to make birdie with a wedge in his hand. ”You don’t get very many opportunities to win golf tournaments on this tour,” he said. ”I didn’t necessarily understand the situation I was in as far as the score, but I did know I had an opportunity. … I was playing to win.” Charley Hoffman, another San Diego native, made a hole-in-one on the third hole and closed with a 67 to tie for seventh, along with Ryo Ishikawa of Japan and Will MacKenzie, who each had a 70.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The PGA Tour is closing on a deal for Detroit-based Quicken Loans to become title sponsor of Tiger Woods’ tournament at Congressional, The Associated Press has learned. Two people who have been told about the deal said Quicken Loans could begin its sponsorship before the next tournament, to be played June 26-29. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is not completed and has not been announced. Dan Gilbert, who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, is the chairman and founder Quicken Loans. It would be a big boost to the Tiger Woods Foundation, which receives the net proceeds from the event currently called the AT&T National. The foundation has created seven Tiger Woods Learning Centers, three of them in the Washington, D.C., area. AT&T, in the final year of its contract, was not planning to renew the sponsorship. The Dallas-based company announced two years ago that it would sponsor the Byron Nelson Championship starting in 2015. AT&T already is under contract through 2024 as the title sponsor of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA Tour. It also sponsors a Champions Tour event in San Antonio. Greg McLaughlin announced Tuesday that he is leaving after 14 years as president and CEO of the Tiger Woods Foundation. McLaughlin was the tournament director of the AT&T National and did well to keep AT&T on as title sponsor through 2014 after the upheaval in Woods’ personal life. Woods had a personal endorsement deal with AT&T – the logo was on his golf bag – for nine months until the telecommunications giant cut him loose in December 2009. McLaughlin and PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw declined comment Thursday, saying there was nothing to announce. The title sponsorship would expand on the sports marketing programs of Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender. The company closed $70 billion of volume across 50 states in 2012, with web centers in Detroit, Cleveland and the Phoenix area. The company sponsors NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, along with involvement in the IndyCar Series and with Team Penske. Quicken Loans is title sponsor of a Sprint Cup race in Brooklyn, Mich., on June 15, which is two weeks before the PGA Tour event at Congressional. It announced late last year it would sponsor the Sprint Cup series race in Phoenix on Nov. 9. The AT&T National began in 2007 with a military theme built around the Fourth of July in the nation’s capital. It has been held at Congressional for all but two years, in 2010 and 2011, as the course prepared to host the U.S. Open. In those years, it was played at Aronimink outside Philadelphia. Congressional is under contract through 2014, though discussions are underway to host the tournament every other year. Three tournaments benefit Woods’ foundation. The others are the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, which began in 2003 and now is part of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The other is the unofficial World Challenge, which announced last year it is moving from California to Isleworth, the club near Orlando where Woods once lived.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Blaine McCallister birdied his last two holes Friday at Poppy Hills for a 5-under 66 and the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s First Tee Open. McCallister, seeking his first Champions Tour victory after winning five times on the PGA Tour, closed with birdies on the par-4 eighth and par-5 ninth holes. ”I’m swinging it well and hitting the golf ball well,” said McCallister, who has one top-10 finish in 74 career Champions Tour starts. ”I’m starting to feel like I belong out here.” McCallister’s round, which ended 5 1/2 hours after John Cook took the morning clubhouse lead, included a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th – his eighth hole of the day. ”They say golf is about patience, patience, patience,” McCallister said. ”Some people have been nice to me with sponsors’ exemptions and I feel it’s finally starting to pay off.” Cook, Skip Kendall, John Inman, Lee Janzen and Tom Byrum were 4 under. Cook and Kendall shot 67 at Poppy Hills, and Inman, Janzen and Byrum had 68s at Pebble Beach, the site of the final round. ”It’s taken me awhile to get back to 100 percent,” said Cook, a nine-time Champions Tour winner who missed 10 weeks of the season after a suffering a back injury at his Florida home in February. Kendall made the field Tuesday in an open qualifier. ”I putted extremely well and I took advantage of my opportunities,” Kendall said. Two-time defending champion Kirk Triplett had 69 at Poppy Hills. Davis Love III, making his second Champions Tour start, had a 71 at Poppy Hills. The 20-time PGA Tour winner tied for 64th last week in Hawaii. He won the PGA Tour’s Pebble Beach event in 2001 and 2003.
It was like death and taxes – inevitable. Eternal, even. It’s somehow fitting that Phil Mickelson and his longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay decided to call it quits this week. The duo’s last start together, the FedEx St. Jude Classic two weeks ago, was where it all began. “I do think every time I come back here, 25 years ago to the day basically on Monday, Tuesday, it was at Farmington Golf Course was the first day that Bones and I ever worked together. It was exactly 25 years ago this week,” Mickelson said on June 7. “Every time I come back here to Memphis I always think about that and that particular moment.” Mickelson didn’t play last week’s U.S. Open, electing to attend his daughter’s graduation instead, but Bones was still there, walking the insanely long fairways of Erin Hills on the off chance his boss of two-and-a-half decades could somehow make his opening tee time. Lefty didn’t make that tee time, but Bones’ diligence in preparing for the highly unlikely eventuality is as good a place to begin an examination of the duo’s unique relationship as any. Make no mistake, Mackay was much more than simply an “outdoor butler,” an affectionate term for caddies in Tour circles. He was Mickelson’s friend and confidant. He was Lefty’s competitive compass when things sped up on the golf course as they often do when you find yourself in contention, and Mickelson and his wingman found themselves in the hunt often. Forty-one of Mickelson’s 42 Tour titles came with Mackay on the bag, the exception being the 1991 Northern Telecom Open which Lefty won as an amateur with his future manager, Steve Loy, pulling looping duties. “I’m undefeated,” Loy joked earlier this year in Mexico when Mickelson’s brother, Tim, had to stand in when Mackay came down with an illness. Player-caddie relationships simply aren’t built to last. The stress of playing the game at the highest level combined with the inevitable ebb and flow of a career tend to create an excess of emotional baggage for both employer and employee. The adage on Tour goes that there are two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be, but since 1992 Mackay has been neither. In Bones, Mickelson had a perfect yin to his complex competitive yang, someone who could provide a voice of reason when all Lefty could hear in his head was, “Go for it.” Mickelson has spoken of the annual “veto” he allowed Bones, a one-time card Mackay could use, without question or concern, if he and his boss disagreed on a particular shot. “I do want to say for the record that I did not use my ‘veto’ this year. I would like to pass it along to [Mickelson’s interim caddie, brother Tim], in all its glory,” Mackay wrote in a statement announcing the duo’s split on Tuesday. Mickelson playfully fired back in his own statement, explaining that the veto was “non-transferable,” but joking aside, the agreement is a telling sign of the depths of trust shared by the two. It’s the type of agreement that’s not shared by many player-caddie combinations and for good reason. That kind of confidence only comes from decades of trial and, in Mickelson’s case, plenty of error. The best example of this complex and compelling relationship came on Sunday at the 2010 Masters. Mickelson’s drive at the 13th hole had raced through the fairway and into the pine straw. Clinging to a one-stroke lead, Mickelson being Mickelson eyed the situation – which included a pair of trees in front of him and Rae’s Creek waiting 200 yards away – and informed Bones, “I’m going for it.” Not once but twice Mackay attempted to talk Lefty into taking a more conservative shot and layup, and both times Mickelson was having none of it. History will hold that Mickelson’s 6-iron came to rest 4 feet from the hole for a two-putt birdie that helped secure his third green jacket. But it was Bones’ unique approach on that special Sunday that resonated with his fellow caddies. The balance between trying to talk your player out of what you believe to be an overly aggressive shot and not chipping away at their confidence is a fine line, and no one did that better than MacKay. Bones doesn’t appear to be heading into retirement, which means someone is going to hire a Hall of Fame caddie in the next few months, but there may never be a tandem like Lefty and Bones again. It was a relationship that was built on much more than just golf or glory, and it ended far too soon.
ATLANTA – Pat Perez, never one to mince words or sugarcoat a $10 million elephant in a room, was asked on Wednesday about his chances this week at the traveling circus’ big finish. “You know, for me to win the FedExCup, there’s got to be a million things that have to go right and the biggest one happens to be me winning,” the eclectic veteran figured. “For me it’s like winning the Powerball, because all the top guys would have to play bad, which they haven’t done all year. So for them to all do it at once and me win, it’s about the same odds as Powerball.” And does Perez play Powerball? “No, no chance. I bought a can of chew instead. Got more enjoyment out of that,” he answered. East Lake understandably to some qualifies as “fantasy land” – Perez’s words, not mine – but the elusive jackpot at the end of this week’s rainbow has a much more tangible meaning to others in the field. After a decade, winning the FedExCup has fully evolved into an accomplishment that transcends even the most lofty expectations the PGA Tour had when it introduced its unique version of a playoff in 2007. Players may have initially embraced the concept in ’07, if not the overly complicated math, but the cup’s place among the game’s most coveted achievements was very much in flux. Tiger Woods skipped the postseason opener in the New York area in ’07, the year he won the inaugural FedExCup, and Sergio Garcia hasn’t played the playoff lid-lifter four times in 11 years. The $10 million was always attractive, and players by and large appreciated what the playoffs did for golf – creating meaningful competition during a time of year when the game had largely been a sporting afterthought – but the FedExCup wasn’t necessarily high on players’ priority lists. That notion has changed, slowly but surely, as evidenced by this week’s field at East Lake and the level of play so far this postseason. That evolving reality has never been as obvious as it was on Tuesday when Jordan Spieth, the points leader entering the finale, was asked what was more important to players this week, assuming they would have to choose – a victory at East Lake or the FedExCup? “I think players are probably more focused on the FedExCup than the Tour Championship,” he said. Tour Championship: Articles, video and photos Current FedExCup Playoff points standings That doesn’t mean Spieth or the other 29 guys in the field completely understand the convoluted points and permutations that go into the winning equation, but with history has come a general understanding of what needs to happen to claim the cup. Just twice in the playoff era has the winner at East Lake not gone on to win the FedExCup, and both of those victors came before the circuit reworked the points structure to help tilt the competition toward those who play the best in the postseason. Although he said he isn’t aware of every possible scenario, Spieth fully grasps the concept that – for the top five points leaders – one win (the Tour Championship) will beget another (the FedExCup) on Sunday. “There are a lot of scenarios where I can still win the FedExCup and not win, and I can finish seventh like last week and probably still win depending on how it shapes up,” he explained. “But the likelihood is the guys that have been playing really well, the guys that are hot, you’re likely to see toward the top of the leaderboard again.” Spieth’s wait-and-see scenario came to fruition for last year’s points leader Dustin Johnson, when Rory McIlroy went into a playoff with Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore late Sunday. McIlroy needed to win the OT bout to claim the $10 million, while Johnson waited in the clubhouse for an alternative, as a Chappell or Moore victory would have assured him the cup instead. “I still give [Chappell] crap, because he’s a buddy of mine, so I still jab at him every once in a while about how much he cost me,” joked Johnson, who begins this week third on the points list. Johnson can joke about his $7 million shortfall, the difference between finishing first and second in the FedExCup standings, because even though the check gets people’s attention, it’s the meaning and depth of the competition that motivates players – at least players at this level. “In terms of this week, it’s definitely not about the money. It’s definitely not about being better than anybody else. I just like to win, and I like trophies,” said Justin Thomas, who enters the week behind only Spieth. “Not only the Tour Championship, but anytime you can win a year-long race and be known as a champion of an entire year, it’s a big deal.” The FedExCup means vastly different things to different people, but the biggest difference now is that it’s truly meaningful to the players.
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – Eventually, Shane Lowry ended up here, in The Open Clubhouse. It was more than an hour after his unifying victory at Royal Portrush, and by the time Lowry arrived at this makeshift lounge, about a hundred friends, family and various VIP guests were posted up on plush cube seats, tipping back Heinekens, picking at lemony pastries and savoring a title by one of the island’s homegrown heroes. Still flushed from victory, the claret jug in his left hand, Lowry was whisked through his own victory party. “Save some for me,” he laughed, pointing at one of the lads who was double-fisting beers. The lively scene was a stark contrast to how Lowry’s Sunday had started, down the road at the Bushmills Inn. Sleeping on a four-shot lead, with the weight of the Emerald Isle upon him, Lowry tossed and turned for much of the night before rising at 6:30 a.m. He texted his caddie, Brian “Bo” Martin – “At least I got a good night’s sleep,” he wrote, facetiously – and fired off another message to Neil Manchip, his longtime swing coach and psychologist. He wanted to meet, now. And so a few hours before the round that would forever change his life, Lowry, 32, walked along the river with Manchip, revealing his darkest fears. “I was so scared about messing the lead up,” he said. That’s what he’d done three years ago at Oakmont. Before the 2016 U.S. Open devolved into chaos, it was Lowry who had staked himself to a four-shot lead through 54 holes. That afternoon he shrunk in the moment and, even more dishearteningly, limped into the clubhouse with three late bogeys. He wound up second, after a closing 76. “I’d give anything to be standing on the 14th fairway again,” he said. The former prodigy had proven his big-game chops, taking a WGC title in 2015, but earlier this year he’d again showed his vulnerability. In January, he built another four-shot cushion, this time in Abu Dhabi, but by the time he stood on the 12th tee, he trailed by three. He needed a birdie on the 72nd hole just to eke out the title. And so there was reason for apprehension when he arrived at Royal Portrush on Sunday. In benign conditions a day earlier, Lowry had shot a sizzling 8-under 63, being carried home by a frenzied crowd that had adopted the Irishman as one of its own. That was no small feat, of course. It’d been 68 years since The Open was last held in Portrush, and that lapse of time had nothing to do with the quality of the spectacular Dunluce Links. Instead, it reflected the R&A’s uneasiness in bringing golf’s oldest championship into this divided country, following decades of sectarian violence. Lowry grew up in the town of Clara, County Offaly, about three hours from the border, but resounding cheers followed him throughout the course, sending a powerful message that a golfer from the Republic could be universally celebrated. Said Graeme McDowell, “They treated Shane like one of their own. There is no border when it comes to Ireland.” Against that backdrop the first tee was fraught with tension, as Lowry nervously awaited the start of Game 37. On the practice putting green, Manchip offered some final instructions. “We talked about all the possible scenarios that could happen,” Manchip said, “but the biggest thing was this: Just play the next shot as well as you can.” At 1:42 p.m., Lowry set off up the stairs and through the grandstand tunnel, walking under the emblem of the claret jug and a sign that read “This is the one,” as if he needed any reminder. He breathed deeply waiting for his turn to play away, the tri-colored flag of the Republic fluttering in the wind behind him, and then hit a rope hook that barely went head-high. He settled himself enough to drain an 8-footer for bogey. Your browser does not support iframes. Full-field scores from the 148th Open Championship Full coverage of the 148th Open Championship That Lowry could even contend for The Open seemed unimaginable a year ago. After carding a miserable opening round at Carnoustie, Lowry sobbed in the parking lot. “Golf wasn’t my friend at the time,” he said. Stressed out, he missed his fourth consecutive cut in his favorite tournament, his world ranking plummeted, and his game remained in disarray. He sacked his caddie of nine years, Dermot Byrne, and a fresh voice didn’t stop him from losing his PGA Tour card. Linking up with Martin, Lowry said, “gave me a new lease on life,” but so too did a return to his roots on the European Tour, where a decade ago Lowry had launched his star, as the jolly 22-year-old amateur who won the Irish Open. “This is a game of confidence,” McDowell said, “and when you’re not playing well, you can get the stuffing knocked out of you. He came back and remembered who he was again. That’s the best thing that ever happened to him – it just gave him that little kick you need to refocus and re-motivate and get himself back to where he needs to be.” The back-nine recovery in Abu Dhabi was Lowry’s first title in nearly three years, and he posted three more top-10s this season on Tour (including at the PGA) to boost his world ranking back inside the top 40. “The golf he’s been playing, it’s been flawless, really,” Martin said. “He doesn’t have to prove to anybody that he’s a good player. But he had to prove it to himself, genuinely.” There’d be no greater challenge than what he encountered on the back nine Sunday. Conditions were deteriorating, and even if the apocalyptic weather never blew through Portrush as anticipated, temperatures never crept above 60 degrees, an annoying rain spit at players most of the day and the 30-mph gusts were enough to make the QUIET PLEASE signs whistle and the TV camera covers flap. And yet, Lowry seemed unbothered. Layered in only a black polo and light rain vest, he resembled a bare-sleeved offensive lineman playing a January game at Lambeau. “I’m not sure I was able to feel anything out there I was so worked up,” he said. In the worst weather all week, Lowry made two bogeys coming home, but so did everyone else, or worse. He never led by fewer than four on the back nine, allowing him to finally soak in the moment on 17. “Look around,” he told Martin, “because we may never get to experience something like this again.” The 72nd hole turned into a celebration of European golf. As Lowry made his way up the fairway, fans serenaded him with cheers of “Ole, Ole, Ole!” Preparing to play his approach into the 18th, he spied his wife, Wendy, and 2-year-old daughter, Iris, at the back of the green and began to tear up. Martin patted him on the back and leaned in close. “Get ahold of yourself,” he said. “You’ve still got to hit a shot.” Lowry played safely into the green, then nearly was stampeded by the golf-mad fans who’d overwhelmed the blue-jacketed marshals and flooded the 18th hole to cheer their favorite son. “Watching that, I just felt immense satisfaction,” Manchip said, “knowing that he’d achieved in Ireland what he was always capable of doing.” More than an hour expired before Lowry floated down the walkway and through the doors of The Open Clubhouse. He was ushered upstairs, into the players’ lounge, for some quality time with his family and then a toast with the R&A. There were countless media requests: The TV car wash, the news conference with the press, another series of 1-on-1s here with the tournament broadcast partners. Lowry, it seemed, was the only one who didn’t partake in the revelry, so on his way to the BBC booth, he grabbed a fresh pint of Guinness and took a swig, the foam sticking to his upper lip. “More of that soon,” he promised. When he finally left Royal Portrush Golf Club, it was 8:58 p.m. The Clubhouse had already run out of beer. A cold, steady rain was falling. A few spectators were stumbling toward the exit. Carrying Iris in his left arm, with the claret jug being wheeled out in a hard-shelled protective case behind him, Lowry answered questions in one final interview, saying what he’d already said more than a dozen times: That the entire week was a dream. He climbed into the back seat of an SUV, peeled out onto Bushmills Road behind a police escort and unleashed a Woooohoooo! that cut through the quiet night. A member of his inner circle was asked what was in store for the rest of the evening. “We’re driving down to Dublin,” he said, “and we’re going to f—ing party.”
MILTON KEYNES, England – Hinako Shibuno’s dream debut continued Saturday as she fired a 5-under 67 to seize a two-shot lead going into the final round at the Women’s British Open. The 20-year-old Shibuno, a rookie on the Japan LPGA Tour who is making her LPGA Tour and major championship debut, hit six birdies in the final nine holes of the third round for a 14-under 202. Overnight leader Ashleigh Buhai (72) started with a three-shot lead at Woburn Golf Club and stretched it to five as Shibuno had bogeys on Nos. 5 and 9. But with Sung Hyun Park also closing in, Buhai stumbled with three bogeys in five holes. The 30-year-old South African, who has never won on the LPGA Tour, dropped to second at 12 under. Full-field scores from the AIG Women’s British Open Full coverage of the AIG Women’s British Open Second-ranked Park was a shot further back in third after a bogey-free 68. Americans Morgan Pressel and Lizette Salas, and top-ranked Jin Young Ko, were tied for fourth on 10 under. Ko (68) is seeking her third major title of the year after winning last week’s Evian Championship in France. Pressel birdied eight holes on her way to a 66, while Salas (70) had two bogeys in her opening nine. Defending champion Georgia Hall was 10 shots back after a 74.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – From soft fades come special things. We’ve seen this ultimate makeover before. Dustin Johnson did it back in the day, after years of Butch Harmon’s cajoling, and won two majors, as well as a nice cushion atop the world ranking and untold millions. For Rory McIlroy there was no Harmon in his ear pushing for change, it was simply a natural transformation and the tendencies of modern equipment. After spending the entirety of his career roping hooks off tees the metamorphosis has been gradual, yet this week that buttery soft fade is unmistakable. He carved a fade into the third fairway Saturday at the Wells Fargo Championship. Birdie. He sent another just left of the eighth green. Birdie. And he capped his scoring on a breezy day with a towering tee shot that found the middle of the 15th fairway. Birdie. “That’s the most consistent shot that I hit with the driver,” explained McIlroy, who is tied for second place at 7 under following a third-round 68. “These modern drivers nowadays, it’s harder to turn them over than it used to be, so I’ve had to adjust. I can’t hit that big swinging draw that I used to hit. I mean, that was my bread and butter.” It wasn’t all fades and good fortune at Quail Hollow Club. McIlroy bounced an otherwise perfect day off a cart path on his way to a double bogey at No. 12, but even that potentially disastrous miscue came with a curious warning. Back in 2012, when McIlroy romped to victory at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, where he will return in two weeks for the year’s second major, he recklessly launched drives over the dunes late into his final round despite an overwhelming lead. The commonly held theme is that the Northern Irishman kept hitting driver because he could. Which brings us back to the 12th hole, where his tee shot sailed deep into the woods left of the fairway. Wells Fargo Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage “This is sort of where I probably knew I should have hit 3-wood, but I wanted to hit driver to challenge myself, I wanted to hit the tougher shot just to see where I was with my swing and where my game was,” he said. “I didn’t quite pull it off and it sort of bit me, but I was fully committed to what I was doing because that was my intention.” That’s right, he hit driver not because he needed to or even because it was the right play. He hit driver to see if this version of his game is ready for the kind of pressure that normally only comes on a Sunday with a title on the line. Rory McIlroy two back, feels really good about himself If he’s being honest – and Rory’s always honest – he didn’t expect to be in the hunt this week at Quail Hollow, despite a career resume on the layout. He hadn’t made a cut in two months and he’s not won a PGA Tour event since fall 2019. He also just made a fairly significant transition to a new swing coach, although he contends his work with Pete Cowen is a return to something more familiar. But being back at Quail Hollow, where he owns the course record and has won twice (2010 and ’15), has stirred a familiar competitive spirit. There’s also the fans. So many fans. A crowd estimated at 12,000-plus was predicted for this weekend’s rounds and the vast majority of those on property took the opportunity to follow McIlroy. The cheers were intoxicating. “It was buzzy, that atmosphere,” McIlroy said. “It’s just so cool to play in an atmosphere like that again. I’ve missed it. I didn’t think I would miss it as much as I did, but I really have.” When asked the last time he started a Sunday with something on the line McIlroy took a moment. “Bay Hill?” he offered more than asked. He began the final round of the ’20 Arnold Palmer Invitational tied for second place and two shots back (just like this week). He struggled to a closing 76 and the next week play was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. McIlroy, and pretty much everything else, hasn’t been the same. Sunday will be a chance for McIlroy to reconnect with that thing that makes him special, that thing that made him so dominant in ’12 at Kiawah Island and a year earlier at the U.S. Open. “I sort of realized that it’s hard for me to bring the best out in myself without that atmosphere that we had today,” he said. “I’m excited to be in the position I’m in.” His change of fortune this week has been dramatic but in many ways it owes its origins to one longtime-coming notion – from soft fades come special things.
Share Faith & Science Evolution Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Intelligent Design For #GivingTuesday, Please Give a Push to Our Massive Critique of Theistic Evolution!David [email protected]_klinghofferNovember 27, 2017, 1:05 AM Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Recommended This week there launches the most massively substantive critique ever of the science and philosophy behind theistic evolution — what contributor Paul Nelson calls the beautiful monster, the 1,007-page Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique. And tomorrow is #GivingTuesday, a day designated to stand athwart the commercialism of the season, and think seriously about the things that really matter. Please consider supporting the Center for Science & Culture with a gift tomorrow — or better yet, right now! — to help us get out the news about this wonderful and terrifically important tome.Discovery Institute scientists and scholars are well represented in the book — including Stephen Meyer, Douglas Axe, Jonathan Wells, John West, Ann Gauger, J.P. Moreland, and Günter Bechly. Meet the contributors and editors in an excellent video here. One of the striking things about the debate over TE (theistic evolution) is the way TE proponents use the language of faith as a tool, conjoined with out-of-date science, to advance an account of origins fundamentally at odds with traditional theism. ID advocates meet them powerfully on the battlefield not of religion but of science and philosophy.Much is at stake in the controversy. All too often, members of faith communities find the TE view a convenient fallback, allowing them to avoid a confrontation with the prestige science of our day as the popular media represent it. The contributors to Theistic Evolution explain why this position sells both faith and science short.The challenge, of course, is sharing this information with the thoughtful men and women, and young people, who most need to hear it. That is a major undertaking. On #GivingTuesday, please consider joining us in it.You will be contributing, as well, to a range of new efforts, here at Evolution News and at Discovery Institute, to bring the best science on biological and cosmic origins to the widest audience possible. As you’ll find here, our new undertakings for 2018 include: More new books…one by a prominent European scientist who has embraced intelligent design; another by an historian who demolishes the biggest myths about science and faith in textbooks and pop culture; and a new entry in the Privileged Species book series by biologist Michael Denton.Online courses drawing on virtual reality technology that feature some of our top scientists such as Doug Axe, Michael Behe, Steve Meyer, and Jonathan Wells.A Spanish-language version of Evolution News to reach millions of Spanish-speaking readers both in the United States and around the world. Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Yes, it will be an extremely busy year. To make the most of the opportunities being presented, we need you with us. Read more about the 2018 Evolution News and Science Today Campaign. Think carefully about the stakes for our culture. Then please commit whatever you can to help us reach the world!Photo credit: Paul Nelson. A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Tags#GivingTuesdayAnn GaugerCenter for Science & CultureDiscovery InstituteDouglas AxeevolutionEvolution News and Science Today CampaignfaithGünter Bechlyintelligent designJ.P. MorelandJohn WestJonathan WellsMichael BeheMichael DentonPaul NelsonscienceSpanishStephen Meyertheistic evolution,Trending
Faith & Science A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All The title of an article by John Farrell in Commonweal is a dead giveaway. When writing about the interaction between faith and science, as Farrell does in the piece, the title “The Conflict Continues” is like a flashing red light that the mythological Warfare Thesis pitting science versus religion is coming at you.Sure enough, Farrell does not disappoint. He informs readers that the fear that science could “make God seem unnecessary” is “widespread today among religious believers,” particularly in the U.S. where “opposition to belief in evolution remains very high.”Indeed, this fear has “haunted the debate over the tension between religion and science for centuries.” Farrell notes that Edward Larson and Michael Ruse point out, in their new book On Faith and Science, that the “conflict model doesn’t work so well.” But that seems to be a minor speed bump for Farrell. He finds that:The idea that the world operates according to its own laws and regularities remains controversial in the evolution debate today, as Intelligent Design proponents attack the consensus of science on Darwinian evolution and insist that God’s direct intervention in the history of life can be scientifically demonstrated.Farrell also writes that Isaac Newton, driven by concerns about secondary causes, “insisted God was still necessary to occasionally tweak the motions of the planets if any threatened to wander off course.”Riddled with MythsFarrell’s piece is riddled with myths. Secondary causes are not nearly as controversial as he would have us believe. He utterly mischaracterizes ID, and Newton said no such thing. It is true that Newton suggested that the Creator could intervene in the cosmos (not “insisted”).And was this the result of some radical voluntarism? Of course not. Newton suggested God may intervene in the cosmos because the physics of the day (which by the way he invented) indicated that our solar system could occasionally have instabilities. The fact that it was running along just fine, and hadn’t yet blown up, suggested that something had intervened along the way.Newton was arguing from science, not religion. But that doesn’t fit the Epicurean mythos that religion opposes naturalism while science confirms it. The reality is, of course, the exact opposite.Photo credit: Isaac Newton (bust), in the British Museum, by Aaron Bradley, via Flickr.Cross-posted at Darwin’s God. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Tags“consensus science”CommonwealcosmosDarwinian evolutionEdward LarsonEpicureanismfaithhistoryintelligent designinterventionIsaac NewtonJohn FarrellMichael Rusenaturalismphysicsplanetsreligionsciencesecondary causessolar systemvoluntarismWarfare Thesis,Trending Cornelius G. HunterFellow, Center for Science and CultureCornelius G. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology. He is Adjunct Professor at Biola University and author of the award-winning Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil. Hunter’s other books include Darwin’s Proof, and his newest book Science’s Blind Spot (Baker/Brazos Press). Dr. Hunter’s interest in the theory of evolution involves the historical and theological, as well as scientific, aspects of the theory. His blog is Darwin’s God. Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Intelligent Design Commonweal Misrepresents Isaac Newton, Intelligent DesignCornelius HunterJuly 2, 2018, 11:33 AM Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Recommended