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First female members at Augusta

The all male exclusive Augusta National Golf club in the US has opened its doors to women by announcing that former American secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore will be its first two women members.

Augusta, home of the US Masters since it started in 1934 issued a statement saying that “this was a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome both women as members of Augusta National Golf Club”.

Club chairman Billy Payne went on to say: “It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their green jackets when the club opens this fall.”

Rice is now professor of political economy at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business having previously worked for US President George W Bush as national security advisor and later as secretary of state.

Double Major winner back at number one in the world

rory mcilroyrory mcilroyWell he had loads of doubters these last few months but Rory McILRoy said that people were pushing panic buttons for no reason as he tore apart the field at Kiawah Island to win the USPGA golf tournament.

Tiger Woods has moved to second place in the all-time list of PGA Tour winners after winning the AT&T National title at Congressional. It was Woods 74th PGA win taking him clear of Nicklaus and behind Sam Snead who still holds the top position with 82 wins.

tiger woodstiger woodsWoods was neck and neck with Bo Van Pelt after both bogeyed the 16th on the final round of the AT&T tournament. However Van Pelt could not handle the pressure allowing Woods to clinch his third title of the year.

Based on this, all he has to do is win eight more PGA tournaments to catch Snead.

Even considering his recent personal problems and sometimes indifferent form, nobody doubts that he will shortly achieve this remarkable feat and ultimately go on to surpass that magic number of 82.

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Golfer plotting an ‘aggressive approach’!

He’s up, and then down, so what’s going to happen to McILroy as he attempts to win ‘back to back U.S. Open Golf Championships. This year’s event at THE OLYMPIC CLUB, San Francisco, California from June 11-17, 2012 has been described as ‘the graveyard by the sea’. The course is renowned as the place where favourites perish and ‘the birthplace of the rank outsider’.

rory mcilroyrory mcilroyMcILroy bids for back to back wins at the US Open

Golfer plotting an ‘aggressive approach’!

He’s up, and then down, so what’s going to happen to McILroy as he attempts to win ‘back to back U.S. Open Golf Championships. This year’s event at THE OLYMPIC CLUB, San Francisco, California from June 11-17, 2012 has been described as ‘the graveyard by the sea’. The course is renowned as the place where favourites perish and ‘the birthplace of the rank outsider’.

McILroy has missed three of his last four cuts so the odds don’t look good for the 24 year old to win at this stage.

The Ulsterman disagrees. The course favours a left-to-right shaped shot and McILroy says ‘it suits his eye, regardless of what the stats show about favouring an outsider!’

Tournament organisers have made sure that the tension is high pairing the current number one Luke Donald with McILroy who is at number two 2 spot in the world golf rankings on the starting day.

This a ‘must win’ event for McILroy if he wants to regain his number one crown back.

He is quoted as saying that ‘I’m going to attack the golf course and play aggressively when I can’.

Last week in Memphis he was tied for the lead before double-bogeying the final hole.

McILroy feels that his recent ‘missed cuts’ were something he needed.

“I took my eye off the ball recently” he said. “But you still have to work hard, put the time in to keep at this level.”

Let’s hope he has learned the lesson that success comes from more than juts natural ability.

You have to work hard all the time, not just some of the time.

* Saturday 16th:

As a footnote to the above story and due to a delay in publication dates I was able to update the above article.

The title should have read – McILroy ‘back to the drawing board’

So it’s his fourth time now to miss the cut recently and surely this is one young Ulsterman who needs to go back to the basics.

Defending US Open Champion Rory McILroy’ three-over par 73 in his second round and his opening 77 meant that after the second round of the US Open he was 10 over and facing missing the cut.

He wasn’t on his own though. World number one, Luke McDonald carded an eleven over for the two rounds and he also is on his way home.

McILroy had one chance to save the day with a 15-foot birdie chance on the final green of his second round. True to recent form he bogeyed it.

Well he has the Irish Open at Royal Portrush in two weeks time and two weeks later comes the Open at Royal Lytham.

As he said yesterday: “I’ll go home now and start playing some links golf”.

So what’s happening to McILroy?

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US Open, McILroy, Luke Donald, world golf rankings, Royal Portrush, Irish Open, Royal Lytham


Rory McIlroy has catapulted himself back to the number one position in the World Golf Rankings after finishing second in the Wells Fargo Championship, which was held at Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina (May 3 – 6), the course on which he won his initial PGA Tour title in 2010.The young Ulsterman could only manage a par on the first playoff hole and lost out to Rickie Fowler, who holed a four-foot birdie putt to claim his first victory on the circuit. It was still good enough for McIIroy to take back the top spot in golf from Luke Donald by finishing in the top three on the PGA Tour for the fourth time in five events this season.


rory mcilroyrory mcilroyThe next major is at TPC Sawgrass in Florida May 10-13 and it will be a stern test for him. He has missed the cut in his only two starts on the Stadium Course, where two years ago he is quoted as saying that he just didn’t like the course.

McIIroy has somewhat tempered that statement recently stating that he has yet to learn how to play it. In 2009, he shot 74-77—151 to miss the weekend by seven shots, and the following year his 73-72—145 missed by three strokes.

After displaying poor form at the Masters where he tied for 40th, McIlroy displayed his best golf at Quail Hollow by playing the middle rounds in 68-66. He might have won the competition had he not missed a seven-foot putt for par on the 17th hole in the final round. After averaging 28.3 putts per round over the three days, he seemed to struggle with the flat stick on the final day when he took 32 putts.

And so it is to TPC Sawgrass next where McIIroy will have to find a way of upping his game in order to retain his coveted number one position in the World Golf Rankings.

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So it’s that time again and defending champion Rory McIIroy is expecting a far sterner test of his ability at the US Open 2012 this year. The event which is being played at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California between June 14th -17th,will be much different than last year when the course at Congressional near Washington had so much rain in the days preceding the tournament.

‘It made the scoring low’ McIIroy is quoted as saying. In his view The Olympic Club will be much different.

The second major of the year should see the weather again play an important role in proceedings, this time dry and hot by all accounts. Last years weather far more suited the man from Ulster where he was 16 under par and eight clear of the rest of the field.

McIIroy expects that level par at The Olympic Club this time round will be close enough for the cut and not to far away from the score needed to win.

So don’t expect anybody to knock four shots off the championship record like he did last year.

The recent Masters was a disappointment for McIIroy who is hoping for a return to form for the 2012 US Open.

He is also hoping that Tiger Woods will be in contention at this years US Open as well.

‘Hopefully both of us can play a bit better at Olympic,” he said.

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Rory McIlroyRory McIlroy

After winning the Honda Classic, the name of the world’s number one golfer is no longer Luke McDonald but a young 22-year-old Ulsterman, Rory McIlroy.

He is the second youngest to hold this spot after Tiger Woods who was just 21 when he claimed the top spot in golf back in 1997.

And he did it in some style as well holding off a powerful challenge from Woods at the Honda Classic in Florida to win by two strokes.

McIlroy is quoted as saying that this was something special. “I wanted to be the best player in the world from the age of 10 or 11.”

Next up is the big one, the Masters, and although he is already the bookies’ favourite, a rejuvenated Woods will certainly test McIlroy’s undoubted talents once again.

The Masters is one of the four major championships in men’s professional golf. Details of this year’s tournament are as follows:

Dates: April 5th-8th, 2012

Location: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia.

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After a superb season in 2011, Englishman Luke Donald has firmly taken hold of the number one golf player of the year mantle in the World Golf Rankings.

However, time waits for no man – his challengers have already indicated that he is in their sights for this year’s season. As if to prove the point both Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood have announced they are joining him full time on the PGA Tour with indications that Tiger Woods is also ready to rejoin.

Donald won twice on the PGA Tour last year and will open his season in three weeks at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where his rivals for the crown – Westwood, McIlroy and Woods – also will be on hand.

Last year, Donald did not start on the PGA Tour until the Northern Trust Open in February and missed the cut. However, from then on the statistics speak for themselves. Out of 18 PGA tour events he played, Donald finished in the top 10 in 14 of these.

Before last season, everybody said his main problem was not winning enough with a total career score of only five previous victories.

The Englishman nearly matched all that in 2011, however, by winning the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the BMW PGA Championship, the Barclays Scottish Open and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. When you add in the fact that he also ended up in the top 10 a staggering 20 times in his 25 tournaments around the world then all that’s missing from this man’s resume is that all-elusive first major championship.

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GUI (Golfing Union of Ireland)

April 6th-10t: West of Ireland championship, Co Sligo.

May 11th-13th: Irish Amateur Open Championship, Royal Dublin.

May 25th-27th: Irish Close championship, Royal Portrush.

June 2nd-4th: East of Ireland championship, Co Louth.

July 9th-13th: North of Ireland championship, Royal Portrush.

July 24th-26th: Boys and Men’s Inter-provincial championships, Royal Co Down.

July 28th-August 1st: South of Ireland championship, Lahinch.

August 8th-11th: European Individual championship, Carlton House.

August 15th-17th: Mens Home Internationals, Glasgow Gailes.

September 19th-22nd: Chartis Cups and Shields National finals, Kinsale.

ILGU (Irish Ladies Golf Union)

April 11th-13th: Womens Interprovincial championship, Cork.

May 26th-27th: Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play championship, The Island.

June 8th-10th: Curtis Cup, Nairn, Scotland.

June 16th-19th: Irish Women’s Close championship, Co Louth.

August 17th-18th: Senior Cup finals, Grange.

September 4th-6th: Womens Home International championships, Cork.

September 26th-29th: ILGU Interclub championships (National finals), Courtown.

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