Notebook: McIlroy could follow Donald, win two money titles at once

Rory McIlroy
Getty Images
Rory McIlroy is leading the European Tour money list by about $565,000 over Justin Rose in his quest to win the cash crowns on both sides of the Atlantic.
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Sunday, October 07, 2012 | 3:11 p.m.

MEDINAH, Ill. -- A year ago, Luke Donald made history as the first player to win the money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same year.

One year later, Rory McIlroy is in a position to match him.

McIlroy has wrapped up the PGA Tour money title at just over $8 million. No one can catch him even by entering the Fall Series tournaments and winning. It's a little closer on the European Tour.

McIlroy is leading the money list by about $565,000 over Justin Rose, who has at least three tournaments left to reach his minimum 13 events.

A year ago, Donald thought he had the money title wrapped up until Webb Simpson was runner-up at the McGladrey Classic to go ahead of him. Donald entered Disney, and ran off six straight birdies on the back nine Sunday to win the tournament and wrap up the money title.

FREDDIE'S PULSE: There was pause for concern during the Ryder Cup when U.S. Assistant Captain Fred Couples was seen getting his blood pressure checked by paramedics in the middle of the day.

Turns out it was just a joke.

''I was walking by that area from the 11th green to the 12th tee where the EMTs are,'' Couples said. ''I said to them, 'Save any lives today?' And they said they weren't very busy so I wanted to give them something to do.''

He asked them to check his blood pressure. When he ran into them Saturday, a tradition had been established and they did it again.

PGA of America officials checked it out when they learned about the photo, and Couples couldn't figure out what the fuss was all about. Once he realized what had happened, he couldn't stop grinning.

''Look at me,'' he said Sunday, spreading both arms out to the side. ''I mean, I could die tomorrow, who knows? But I'm a model of health, aren't I?''

MICKELSON ON THE MARK: The lasting image of Phil Mickelson at the Ryder Cup was giving Justin Rose a thumbs-up and approving nod after each of the big putts Rose made on the last three holes to beat him.

Mickelson also left his mark in the record book.

He set U.S. records for playing in the most Ryder Cups (nine) and in the most matches (38). But when Rose beat him, Mickelson set a U.S. record with his fifth loss in singles. Rose previously beat him in 2008. Mickelson also lost to Jose Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia and Phillip Price.

Mickelson tied a Ryder Cup record for largest margin in team play when he and Keegan Bradley defeated Luke Donald and Lee Westwood in foursomes, 7 and 6.

Tiger Woods, meanwhile, tied Raymond Floyd for the U.S. record for most losses in foursomes (eight).

DIVOTS: Rory McIlroy received two replicas of the Wanamaker Trophy from his win at the PGA Championship. One of them was given to the Holywood Golf Course in Northern Ireland where he grew up. ... Nicolas Colsaerts will hook up with the guy who first introduced power to this recent generation of players. Colsaerts and John Daly have received sponsor exemptions to the Open next week at CordeValle in northern California. ... Ian Poulter tied a European record with four points contributed as a captain's pick. Lee Westwood also had four points at The K Club in 2006 when he went 3-0-2. ... Francesco Molinari has played on two winning teams in the Ryder Cup without ever having won a match. He is 0-4-2.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Steve Stricker has never won a Ryder Cup match as a captain's pick. He was 0-2-1 in 2008 and 0-4-0 in 2012. He qualified for the 2010 team at Wales and went 3-1-0.

FINAL WORD: ''As far as team versus individual, it's the lowest point of my year.'' - Jim Furyk after the Ryder Cup.