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Notebook: Rory McIlroy's upcoming schedule packed with plenty of golf

By Doug Ferguson
Published on
Notebook: Rory McIlroy's upcoming schedule packed with plenty of golf

 

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods recently announced his upcoming plans and referred to a busy summer schedule. That's nothing compared with what 26-year-old Rory McIlroy has on his plate leading up to the U.S. Open.
 
McIlroy disclosed last week that he plans to add the Wells Fargo Championship to his schedule, which will make for five straight weeks in three countries.
 
He won the Cadillac Match Play Championship. He is at The Players Championship this week, followed by the trip to Quail Hollow. After that, he heads to the Irish Open at Royal County Down and then he defends his title in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
 
There was speculation he would drop Quail Hollow if he won the Match Play, in which he played 121 holes in seven matches over five days.
 
''I'm sticking to what I'm going to do,'' he said.
 
FURYK'S CAREER: The new standard for the World Golf Hall of Fame would seem to be lower as golf becomes more flush with talent. Jim Furyk went from being on the cusp of the conversation to being closer to a certainty when he won at Hilton Head. That gave him 17 career wins, plus a U.S. Open, and nine consecutive Ryder Cup teams.
 
He thinks about it, though not by choice.
 
''I'm kind of forced to because you all asked me about it,'' Furyk said. ''I don't lay awake in bed thinking about what needs to happen or anything like that. Just go play.''
 
In the past few years, one target for this generation has been 20 wins, which comes with lifetime membership on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh reached 20 and more. Davis Love III got there with his last win at Disney.
 
Furyk had gone four years until his 17th victory, a playoff win over Kevin Kisner.
 
''I always thought a cool number was 20 because it was kind of like a life-member type deal,'' he said. ''A couple guys, I want to say like (Ben) Crenshaw, got caught on 19. ... Davis struggled to get that 20th for a long time when he won. And so I just always thought it was a cool number. But I wasn't going to judge it by that. I never really looked at it. I didn't think 17 was going to be so damn hard to get, I know that.''
 
ISLAND TRIVIA: Justin Thomas was competing in the Junior Players Championship when he took a 10 on the island green 17th hole. His first two shots did not go in the water. He was never in a bunker.
 
How did that happen?
 
ISLAND ANSWER: Justin Thomas hit his first shot over the green and onto the walkway. He stubbed his chip and it came back to where he was. His chipped again through the green and into the water. He took a penalty shot and dropped it in the previous spot and chipped that one through the green and into the water. This time, he went to the drop area, hit the green and, for good measure, three-putted.
 
''I went from a tie for sixth ... to not a tie for sixth,'' Thomas said.
 
OLYMPIC QUEST: Tiger Woods was No. 1 in the world when golf was added to the Olympics for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro. He liked the idea of competing for a gold medal. He wanted to play. There was no reason to think he wouldn't.
 
That was then, this is now.
 
Woods, who has gone through a personal crisis and injuries, is No. 125 in the world. The United States can send no more than four players, provided they are among the top 15 in the world ranking. Woods is at No. 54 among Americans, right behind Kevin Kisner.
 
The cutoff is about 14 months away, so there's plenty of time, and Woods said he is healthy and progressing.
 
''Making my way up from where I'm at is just going to take consistency,'' Woods said. ''And I need wins in there, which I want to have, but being consistent every time I tee it up. It's something that I've done when I've made my comebacks before. The last one I made was a few years ago when I was I think in the 50s and got back up to No. 1. It was just by winning golf tournaments and being consistent, and I was able to do that.''
 
DIVOTS: Danny Willett had plenty at stake in the consolation match of the Match Play Championship. By finishing third, the Englishman earned the equivalent of enough FedExCup points to take special temporary membership on the PGA Tour. He now is eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the year. ... The father of Web.com Tour winner Smylie Kaufman was the golf coach for Graeme McDowell at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. ... Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has listed Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth as co-favorites at 7-1 at The Players Championship.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Keegan Bradley has lost nine straight singles matches, a drought that began when Miguel Angel Jimenez beat him in the second round of the 2012 Match Play Championship. Of those nine losses, only one opponent was an American (Bubba Watson).
 
FINAL WORD: ''You could be tied standing on the 16th tee and lose by three or win by three.'' – Graeme McDowell on the TPC Sawgrass.
 
Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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