PGA Tour Confidential: The Verizon Heritage

Rory McIlroy, Verizon Heritage
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy, 19, turned down a special exemption from the PGA Tour this week.
Van Sickle: While Rory may eventually want to take a PGA Tour membership, a la Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter, he doesn't need the 15-event obligation right now. Especially when he is probably more comfortable on his home continent, and when he can start loading up on lots of appearance money since he's become a star.

Shipnuck: Rory McIlroy is smart to spurn the PGA Tour. I got a glimpse of his girlfriend at the Masters and if I was young Rory, I, too, would spend as much time as possible close to home.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Rory is not dissing the U.S. tour by not taking the temporary card. He enjoys playing in the States, and he's been coming over here since he was a kid, and you could easily imagine him someday owning a home here and calling the PGA Tour his home. But not now. Even before he cashed his first check here, his father and managers were saying that, for now, Rory wants to make the European tour his home circuit, and that 10 or 11 events in America are plenty. I don't think he's as wed to Northern Ireland as, say, Olazabal is to Spain, but it's something like that. In other words, he's Irish and he's proud. But Rory is also a child of the universe. He's already played all over the world. He's not a Ryder Cup nut. He thinks there's way too much fuss over a friendly competition. For a lot of kids today, the old walls that we grew up on are coming down.

McCallum: Maybe young Rory was just skeptical of terms like "special temporary membership" and "deed of consent." They sound like something the U.S. Border Patrol would come up with.

Evans: Jack, golf is not an urban game like basketball, so the terms do tend to sound like they were formed by an accountant from the burbs.

Herre: Did anyone catch Feherty's remark about Wadkins and Olazabal? He said they were the two most feared Ryder Cup players ever. Personally, I'd take Lanny and Seve.

McCallum: Monty's not bad. And he gave a glimpse of how interesting the next Cup will be by blasting a photographer and questioning China's sense of etiquette.

Van Sickle: Don't think you'd want to play any of those three guys, especially Seve and Ollie together. Raymond Floyd in his prime was not somebody you'd be keen to play, either. Not to mention Percy Alliss and the Whitcombe brothers.

Herre: Yeah, those Whitcombe brothers were tough.

McCallum: Surprisingly, the Whitcombes — all of them — were on Twitter.

Friedman: Wait till Monty gets on Twitter!

McCallum: One final thing: I see that Lefty turned down a chance to buy into the Padres. I can't believe he would miss the chance to call himself in from the pen for an inning or two. When I interviewed him several years ago, the first thing he did was throw me a glove and tell me to catch him. He then described the three types of sliders he throws.

Herre: Jack, you had the perfect description of Phil in that memorable story: The smartest kid in the class. It has been used by others many times since.

Friedman: Concerning Jim's remark about the Open tickets at Bethpage selling slowly. We're seeing the same phenomenon here at the new Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, with premium seats going begging (and looking conspicuously empty on TV). I have a feeling that a lot of the same corporate folks have also decided to take a pass on the golf. It'll be interesting to see what the final tallies are in a couple of months.

Van Sickle: Even though the Lamborghini dealers are willing to cut you a price, I've decided to stick with my '02 Camry. Same thing. Am holding off on buying Pirates tickets until Pittsburgh gets a major-league franchise.

Herre: It's gotta be killing the USGA, which likes to hold the Open in the NYC area as often as possible because that's where the money is.

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