“Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t know”, he said. But both decisions are the counterintuitive acts of a prodigy who is determined to balance work and play, maximize his talent yet cling to his boyhood and avoid becoming too over-serious or grinding about his game. He also has watched Jordan Spieth produce an inspiring year in golf by winning the Masters and U.S. Open, and then coming within one shot of a playoff at the British Open. “And from playing some of the tournaments, I was pretty dehydrated – Valhalla and Tulsa”. But this year I don’t have to worry about it. There’s a grandstand there. “That’s a hard one“. “OK, we’ve got the rankings there, but it’s all a matter of opinion”.
“Your opinion”, his questioner pressed.
“You have to drive the ball well here”, said Day, who ranks third in driving distance on the PGA Tour this season.
Davis Love III won the PGA Championship in 1997 at Winged Foot.
Two major triumphs in one year and a shot at the world No. 1 have Jordan Spieth rapidly recalculating his career goals. I think there’s a little bit of tension and pressure and I would say even restriction, to some degree, that guys have when you’re supposed to rise to the top.
But they had to admit that a world-class golf course beat the alternative. Back then, McIlroy was asked whether all the attention Spieth was getting “gets your (competitive) juices flowing?” I’m excited to just share a couple days with Rory, and Zach as well. We didn’t even get into a play-off.
However, McIlroy has been diligent with his recovery and said earlier this week he fully expected to play well.
Whistling Straits will be Bowditch’s fifth major and he comes into the week off some good play at Firestone last week, a Saturday 7-under-par 63 the highlight.
Among the big takeaways from his press conference here on Wednesday: He went for a 20-minute run Wednesday morning, with no ill effects, and he felt no pain and suffered no swelling as he walked 72 holes on the ankle in Portugal last week. And he knew he was ready.
“Over the last two years, I would say it’s probably a toss-up between Jordan and myself”, McIlroy said.
Playing partners Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer were two and one under respectively, Kaymer returning to the scene of his first major title in 2010.
“It’s a golf course where you’ve got to be patient”, Villegas, 33, told Reuters while working on his short game on the practice putting green close to the imposing stone clubhouse, modelled on an Irish farmhouse. McIlroy is long off the tee, Spieth is not as long, and Johnson is a true medium-length hitter.
“Expectation levels are the same”, McIlroy said.
They have played eight rounds together in their careers. So I’ve only got two ligaments on the outside of my ankle instead of three. I feel like I’m playing well, hitting it well on the range.
“If anything, having to sit those tournaments out, especially The Open Championship going back to St. Andrews, which is probably my favourite venue in the world, it gave me a huge sense of perspective”.
Expectations haven’t changed for Spieth, either. McIlroy is 22 strokes better in that stretch, but he pointed out that some of those rounds were before Spieth, who just turned 22, was the player he is now. Although it’s often said that Whistling Straits favors big hitters like Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson finished a shot out of the playoff in 2010, and non-bombers Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard almost won in ’04.