A pre-Open Championship pep talk from coach Neil Manchip propelled a previously uneasy Lowrytowards his lowest opening round in a major and the business end of the leaderboard on a rollercoaster first day at Royal Portrush. But what would Rory McIlroy have given for Lowry’s 67 at The 148th Open?
God knows there are many reasons to marvel at Tiger Woods and among the talents Pádraig Harrington has had occasion to envy was the American’s knack of finding his rhythm at major after major without recourse to anything like a tune-up coming in.
To his team-mates, Ian McKinley is an inspiration, but as the Irishman turned Italian prepares to face his old friends at Soldier Field, this Saturday’s Test is not about him but the Azzurri doing themselves proud against Six Nations rivals.
Judging by the comments of rival captains Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk during their joint press conference at Le Golf National yesterday, the knockout punch Tiger Woods delivered to Rory McIlroy in Sunday’s Tour Championship must never have happened.
When Dan Martin crashed hard on stage nine of the Tour de France last Sunday week and crossed the line 1’15” down on stage winner Rigoberto Uran, many felt his best ever chance of a podium in the sport’s greatest contest had passed him by.