Rory McIlory


2016 Masters Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, April 12th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethPro GolfRory McIloryThe MastersTiger Woods
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I’ve never done crack or any severely addicting drug… or even mildly addictive drugs.  But I feel like I’m in a serious withdrawal state right now after the Masters concluded a day and a half ago.  The Masters is as close to a drug as tournament golf can get.

Most “journalists” have a large portion of their articles written before the tournament ends.  I’m starting mine over a day later, and honestly, I’m coming up pretty blank.  Perhaps I’m partially brain dead from traveling all last week to the other side of the planet, and then suffering a sudden passing of an uncle on Masters Saturday.  That’s my excuse.  Then again, I’m not a journalist.  I’m a blogger.  Thankfully I don’t have a deadline a minimum number of words to turn in.

Willett Winning or Spieth Collapsing – Which Will Be Remembered?

Quick quiz: Who won the Masters the year Greg Norman blew a 6-shot lead?  Golf aficionados probably know, but the average joe doesn’t.  It was Nick Faldo, the first englishman to win the Masters.

Will the 2016 Masters be the same? Will it be known as the year Spieth blew the 5-shot lead with nine holes to play?  I hope not and here’s why.  Danny Willett played his ass off.  His final round was as close to flawless as it could have been.  Willett had five birdies and NO bogeys.  None.  Willett shot a 67 in the final round of only his 2nd Masters to win it.  That’s spectacular golf people.  Spectacular.  Hats off to Danny Willett.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth was fighting his swing in the final round of the 2016 Masters.  He was getting away with it until #12 where he dunked two shots in the water and one in the back bunker on the world’s most famous par-3.  He was able to recover from his off-shots previously and make up for it with great putting, but you can’t hit a recovery shot from water.

I think this Masters will be a very good learning experience for Spieth.  It might take a little while for the sting and mental effects to subside, but in the long run it will be a character builder and something he can look back on and build from.  Greg Norman used his Masters meltdown as a building block to great golf and business success.

Rory McIlory

One major championship left for Rory to claim the grand slam.  I think this one is going to be more and more difficult for Rory to obtain.  He has the perfect game for the Masters physically, but mentally this one is going to be tougher and tougher for him.

Rory played some very questionable shots from a game management standpoint. One in particular is the punch shot he hit out of the left trees on the par-4 11th.  Too aggressive and it went in the water.

Jason Day

Jason Day should win a Masters one of these years.  He too has a perfect game for Augusta.  He just didn’t seem to have it this past week, especially with the putter.

Ernie Els and the Yips

On the first day we watched Ernie Els 7-putt (later it was recounted and was determined to be a 6-putt).  Bad case of the yips and impossible to watch.

Aces on 16

The Sunday pin placement on the par-3 16th lends itself to aces and that’s just part of the great setup that produces excitement at the Masters.  The 3rd and final ace was by Louis Oosthuizen and was amazing.  His ball hit another player’s ball and still went in the hole.  Never seen anything like that before.

No Tiger. No Phil. No Problem.

This is the first time since possibly the mid-90s that neither Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson have at least been part of the Masters conversation.  Times aren’t changing.  They have changed.  Welcome to the new world.  We may have a flash of Phil and Tiger in the future still, but the new guard has taken over.

The Masters Never Disappoints

I say this every year and it’s true every time I say it.  The Masters Tournament never disappoints.  Thanks to Bobby Jones and Allister Mackenzie for setting up a golf course and event that is truly the best and most exciting and entertaining, year in and year out.  Even though I was not able to watch Thursday or most of Saturday this year due to more important things conflicting, it was still a thrill.

Good news! Only 359 days until the 2017 Masters Tournament!


2016 Masters Tournament – 1/2 Way Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethMiscellaneousPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters
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Due to an emergency trip, I missed most of Thursday’s Masters Tournament coverage. I caught up with as much as I could via media and the internets. The highlight for Thursday was that Jordan Spieth, who everyone thought was “struggling,” jumped out to the lead with a fine 66. The lowlight was Ernie Else apparently 7-putting for a 10 on the first hole. One of the worst cases of the yips I’ve ever seen. Later they recounted the putts and it was “only” a six putt. Kept it under double digits.

The course, because of windy conditions, was playing tougher than normal.

I was so shredded from flying to Singapore and back in 4 days that I was not very functional Friday. Massive headache that morning. So I stayed home from work and had to relax. Fortunately there was a golf tournament on to keep me from being too bored.

Friday’s round was even more tough. The lowest score of the day was -1, so nobody broke 70. Haven’t seen that in a Masters in a long time. Rory McIlory was one of the ones who shot that low round, to get to -3. Spieth dropped two shots today, for a 74. That’s the first time he’s ever shot over par at Augusta. Amazing.

Some interesting events have happened so far. Today was the last round Tom Watson will every play competitively at Augusta. What a class act. Fun times following him and Rory around during a practice round a couple of years ago.

Jason Day quickly went to 2nd place and -5, but dropped some shots to end up +1. +1 seemed out of it for a while, but when Jordan came back to the field it made +1 within reach.

Phil Mickelson’s apparel script featured some strange looking old-school pants and no belt. He missed the cut. End of story. Blame the scripting.  EDIT: I’m told Phil was wearing a belt which was the same color as his pants. #fail


Everyone is Excited About the Saturday Spieth vs McIlory Showdown But…

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters
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Rory McIloryCan’t wait for Masters Saturday to start. The big showdown between Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlory is about to commence. They’re paired together and every fan and media member seems to be salivating like mad. But…

Often times when there’s a big matchup like this it ends up being a dud and some player from the pack overtakes them. If that happens who would it be? Windy conditions and fast greens would separate a player who has the experience and guts to weather tough and high intensity golf. My quick look at the leader board didn’t produce any obvious players within a couple of shots. However there are two players at +1 who could definitely shake it up, Angel Cabrera and Jason Day.

The forecast is for winds from 18-26 mph, and the wind will worsen as the day goes on.  The advantage is for the early players, not the final groups.

I loved Jordan Spieth’s comments when asked about playing with Rory. He said he’d rather play against someone less threatening. That’s fantastic.

Let’s go.


2016 Masters Tournament Saturday and Sunday Viewing Schedule

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters
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Saturday April 9, 2016

3-7 p.m. ET on CBS TV

Masters.com Live Streaming:
Featured Groups: 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On the Range: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Amen Corner: 12-7 p.m.
Holes 15-16: 12:45-7 p.m.

Sunday April 10, 2016

2-7 p.m. ET on CBS TV

Masters.com Live Streaming:
Featured Groups: 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On the Range: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Amen Corner: 12-7 p.m.
Holes 15-16: 12:45-7 p.m.


Masters Memories: Tom Watson and Rory McIlory

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Categories: PGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters
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Rory McIloryOnce you’ve been to the Masters Tournament, even the practice rounds, you have memories for a lifetime. Here’s one that I vividly remember.

A couple of years ago I was at a Masters practice round and had the opportunity to follow around a very interesting grouping, Rory McIlory and Tom Watson. It was fun to watch the interaction between the two. Watson was helping McIlory out with tips on the golf course, and likely on life. He’s just that way.

Since it was a practice round, the players would often hit a few shots or several putts from one location. Most players know most of the pin placements so on their approaches they might hit a couple of shots to where they imagine the pins will be. On the greens they’ll putt to those same imaginary places, like lower right on the par-5 2nd (can you say Louis Oosthuizen?).

On the par-4 9th I got a fantastic vantage point to watch Tom and Rory approach the green. See the picture in this post of Rory. For those who have not been to Augusta in person, you have no idea how much elevation change there is. The 9th green is incredibly slanted from back to front. So much so, I think I’d fall down if I tried to walk down it. Watch the players during the tournament hit their approaches. The second they hit it they might get mad because they know they put it in the wrong place and the slope of the green will cause the ball to go to a very bad position.

One such bad position would be a shot which goes long. Chipping from the back of the 9th green would be a nightmare. I’d bet wads of cash that an amateur golfer could not chip a ball onto the 9th from above the green, and keep his chip on the green. It’s THAT steep.

During their practice round McIlroy walked right up in front of me and dropped about 8-10 golf balls off the back of the green. I watched in absolute amazement as he clipped those balls so crisply that they would land on the back fringe and actually check, before slowly moving to a tightly dispersed spacing. Imagine chipping from a downslope onto a downslope on greens that are probably running a 14+ on the stimpmeter. I could have sat there with 50 balls and never hit one that perfectly. I’d probably be hitting gap wedge back up to the surface for my next shot.

Tom Watson took notice too. He stopped his chipping practice and just watched. Rory didn’t know Tom was watching.

When Rory moved to another place to practice some chips or putts, Tom grabbed his caddie and pointed him to the back of the 9th green, right where Rory had been hitting those little crisp chips. He threw down about 8-10 balls. Tom Watson is one of the best around the greens in the history of the game. He wanted to see if he could replicate what Rory had been doing.

He couldn’t.

I watched Tom hit ball after ball. Some ended up in the middle of the green and some off the front and down the hill. The dispersion was massive. None of the balls ended up at the top of the green like Rory’s. Tom looked at the green, the balls, Rory… he then shrugged his shoulders and moved on.


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