Golf Buzz

Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler
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Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler have been friends and opponents on the golf course for years.

Good buddies Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler have both been playing golf since they were tykes. They first squared off against each other in the 2007 Walker Cup, when they were 18, and now are frequent practice partners down in South Florida.

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We know what they look like now. Here are a few photos of them back in the good ol' days.

 

 

 
Rory McIlroy and Gerry McIlroy
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Should Rory McIlroy win the Open Championship on Sunday, both he and his dad will have plenty to celebrate.
If Rory McIlroy goes ahead and wins the Open Championship on Sunday, he'll pocket a cool $1.67 million.
 
And his dad and three of his friends will split a fairly substantial prize of their own.
 
No, there isn't a paternal payoff clause in the Open regulations. Gerry McIlroy's reward would stem from his belief in his son's golf talents a decade ago.
 
 
According to reports in the British media, Mr. McIlroy and three of his friends strolled into a betting shop in their hometown of Holywood, Northern Ireland, when Rory was a 15-year-old prodigy. They wagered £400 – £100 each – that the youngster would win the Open sometime in the next 10 years – before he turned 26.
 
Guess how old Rors is now? Well, he was born May 4, 1989, which makes him – 25 years old.
 
So, £400 at 500-to-1 odds comes out to £200,000. And £200,000 right now equals about $341,000. 
 
So, needless to say, Mr. McIlroy and his betting buddies will be cheering extra hard for McIlroy to claim the claret jug. If he does, they'll have no trouble buying a round for the house on Sunday night, and Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday ...
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tom Watson at the Open Championship
USA Today Sports Images
Tom Watson's good play at the Open Championship had another Tom Watson fretting about his financial future.
On Friday, Tom Watson became the oldest player ever to make the cut in the Open Championship. No one was more upset by this development than Tom Watson.
 
The "other" Tom Watson is the manager of a William Hill betting shop in Hoylake – just down the road from Royal Liverpool – and his shop figures to lose a bundle if the U.S. Ryder Cup captain happens to pull off a sixth Open victory. Because the shop manager and the Hall of Fame golfer share the same name, plenty of "punters" have popped into the shop this week and put some money down on Watson to win – at 500-to-1 odds.
 
"I saw his practice round and I was hoping to witness him having a nightmare on the course at Hoylake, yet it was anything other than that," Watson the shop manager told The Liverpool Echo. "I'll be getting my leg pulled all week if he's on the leaderboard."
 
 
Watson the golfer opened with a pair of 73s to make the cut, then added a 75 on Saturday. That leaves him 15 shots behind 54-hole leader Rory McIlroy – and should afford Watson the shop manager the luxury of a decent night's sleep ahead of the final round.
 
And now that Watson's worries are largely over, he'd love to join his namesake for a round of golf.
 
"I play off 11 at Bromborough Golf Club, so I'd be no match for Tom," he said. "But after all the stick I've had sharing his name, I'd love to play a round with him and pick up some tips."
 
July 19, 2014 - 10:10am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
T.J. Oshie
YouTube
After seeing this video, you get the feeling T.J. Oshie might want to stick to hockey.

If you're choosing teams for a pick-up hockey game and St. Louis Blues star and U.S. Olympic hero T.J. Oshie is available, you'd make him your first selection.

Oshie, you'll remember, led the U.S. to a preliminary-round victory over Russia in the Winter Games when he scored four times in six tries during a shootout.

Now... if you're choosing a partner for your weekend golf match and Oshie is an option, you might want to take a pass -- even though he might have some game based on something we saw earlier in the year.

During the first round of the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe on Saturday, Oshie four-jacked from just a few feet.

Yikes.

In Oshie's defense, those were a couple of serious power lip outs.

I wonder if Oshie happened to see any of the first round action from the Open Championship on Thursday... specifically, this:

It happens to the best and the worst of us. Nice to know we're not alone.

July 19, 2014 - 6:39am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
USA Today Sports Images
If Rory McIlroy is able to win the Open Championship this weekend, he will put his name alongside some elite company in the annals of golf history.

Rory McIlroy is hoping to do something this week that has only been done six times in the long history of the Open Championship -- win from start to finish.

Ted Ray (1912), Bobby Jones (1927), Gene Sarazen (1932), Henry Cotton (1934), Tom Weiskopf (1973) and Tiger Woods (2005) are the only players to win the Open wire-to-wire.

MORE: Open leaderboard | Saturday's Open Championship photos | Complete coverage

McIlroy began the third round of the Open on Saturday at Royal Liverpool with a four-shot lead at 12 under over Dustin Johnson.

According to Justin Ray, a researcher for Golf Channel, in major championship history, players with a 4+ shot lead after 36 holes have gone on to win 51 percent of the time.

So, yes, the odds are in McIlroy's favor, but perhaps not as severely as you'd think.

It should be noted that McIlroy is included among that 51 percent -- he won the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional after taking a six-shot lead into the weekend (he was also the wire-to-wire winner there).

Should McIlroy win come Sunday, he'd also join Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players in history to win three majors (since the Masters became a major) by the age of 25.

Bob Torrance
Bob Torrance, longtime golf coach and father of European Tour star Sam Torrance, was a beloved figure on the practice range for many decades.
The buoyant mood at the Open Championship was broken a bit on Friday when European Tour star Sam Torrance revealed that his father, longtime golf coach Bob Torrance, had died at age 82.
 
"Sad day my dad just passed away peacefully in his sleep," Torrance said on Twitter. Bob Torrance had been battling cancer.
 
Torrance was a disciple of Ben Hogan, and on several occasions visited Hogan at his home in Texas. He worked with a number of Europe's top players, including his son – who won 21 times on the European Tour and played on eight Ryder Cup teams – as well as Ireland's Paul McGinley and, more recently, Padraig Harrington, whom he coached to all three of his major championships.
 
 
"Bob is the best swing coach in the world," Harrington said after winning his third major at the 2008 Open Championship. "You can see his genius in the way he can analyze any swing. He's spent his whole life examining the golf swing and his knowledge of cause and effect is just incredible."
 
He was also quite a character on the range and, not surprisingly, many players and fellow instructors took to social media to express their respect and condolences. Here is a sampling of the outpouring:
 
Sergio Garcia: Very sad to hear the passing of the true golf coaching legend Bob Torrance today! Our best wishes and love to June & Sam at this time #RIPBob
 
Luke Donald: Bob Torrance lived and breathed golf, a true gentlemen admired by all, he will be missed. Thoughts with June and Sam at this time #RIPBob
 
Justin Rose: Really sad to hear the passing of Bob Torrance. Always stopped to chat with him and his wife June. Great people
 
Graeme McDowell: The golfing world lost a legend today #RIP
 
Maarten Lafeber: Sad to hear that Bob Torrance passed away. What a nice man he was and a great coach!! RIP Bob
 
Simon Khan: So sad to hear news of Bob great character and legend of the range condolences to June and @torrancesam
 
Thomas Levet: @torrancesam dear Sam, your dad was a legend, we will all miss him ..all my wishes to you and your beautiful family, RIP Bob ..
 
Peter Kostis: @torrancesam Sam... I'm so sorry for your loss. Bob was a one of a kind legend. He and June were a special couple. Condolences, Peter
 
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño: Sorry to hear about Bob Torrance. Golf legend and a true gentleman. My thoughts are with you @torrancesam. As he used to say: #AdiosAmigo
 
Simon Dyson: So sad to hear about bob Torrance passing away..the range on tour will never be the same..:(
 
Marc Warren: @torrancesam ur dad dedicated his life and soul to the game we love.We're all forever in his debt, there will never be another like him #rip
 
Darren Clarke: Very sad news about Bob Torrance. Spent many hours on the range with him up in Largs. I would not be where I am today without Bob. #RIPBOB
 
Pablo Larrazabal: Sad news for all the world of golf about our friend Bob Torrance... #RIPBob #thanks
 
Soren Hansen: Just heard we sadly lost one of golfs great today. Rip Mr Torrance. Thanks for showing the way in my early years on tour. #Legend #1
 
Claude Harmon III: Sadly, we lost a legend today. RIP Bob Torrance.