Roaring Rory or FIGJAM Jr.? Very few people were likely surprised to see Tiger Woods's name at the top of the British bookies' odds this week, but they'd be forgiven if they were taken aback by the name right below his: Rory McIlroy. The Irish young gun's 16-1 odds put him as the second favorite, and as he tells Neil Cameron of the UK's Daily Record, McIlroy thinks even those odds are generous.
He's just plain honest. At 21 and after only two years as a tour pro, McIlroy is the ninth best golfer in the world with £5million already in his bank account.
Add to that the fact he has never shot more than 69 on the Old Course and he is indeed incredible value.
Last night McIlroy said: "A lot of guys will be backing me because they want me to do well more than anything else.
"I knew I would come here as one of the favourites but that doesn't put extra pressure on me because I know that if I go out and play this golf course the way I can, I should have a good chance.
"I've never been afraid to talk myself up. I don't think you should be. I have played well here in the past and if I don't let the occasion get the better of me, there's no reason why I can't do so again.
"I'm not putting myself under pressure to perform. I'm just quite confident. I feel I'm hitting it well coming here."
There's a thin line between confidence and arrogance, and it's great to see McIlroy just (but firmly) on the right side of it. With all of the comparisons the media and fans have made between Tiger Woods and every young player to come through the ranks since (from Anthony Kim to Rickie Fowler), it's McIlroy who reminds me most of the early Tiger. Here's a kid who not only knows exactly how good he is, he knows that all the talent in the world doesn't matter if you don't play well on the weekend. Speaking of Kim, McIlroy may have learned from some of his American counterpart's mistakes. Cameron posits that the young Irishman's promise "to keep as low a profile as possible" will likely keep him out of the local pubs for the week. John Daly, fashion maven? If Rory McIlroy is attempting to blend in at the Open Championship, John Daly is trying to do the exact opposite. According to Reuters (via the New York Times), Daly made a splash at the Champion's Dinner with an eccentric outfit.
If former Open champion John Daly's Technicolor dreamcoat that had
spectators clambering over one another for a glimpse is anything to go
by then this week's British Open could be a sight for sore eyes.
Daly, the winner here in 1995, was the talk of the champions
dinner when he sported a luminous green and orange jacket, in a
refreshing contrast to the sober-suited likes of Tiger Woods, Nick
Faldo, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson posing for a photo in front of the
18th green as the sun set on the Old Course.
Daly has long been the most colourful player on the tour, and he
and his girlfriend were sporting equally eye-catching matching
harlequin-style trousers for a practice round earlier in the week.
[R&A's chief executive Peter] Dawson was all in favour of
Daly's eccentricities even after enjoying his sartorial taste at rather
too close quarters.
"I was sitting opposite him at dinner, so I had it all night, and my eyesight survived," he joked.
Daly's been making waves the past couple years with some truly
outrageous (and outrageously terrible) costumes, but I'm a
little surprised he's being as bold in golf's hallowed home at St.
Andrews. Regardless, I can think of few things that would be more exciting for golf
(and for lap-band surgeons everywhere) than Daly making another
shocking run on the Old Course, so hopefully his game will be as sharp
as his clothes on Thursday.Big Ben's Bathroom Break Ben Roethlisberger has been in the news for all the wrong reasons for the last few months, and it seems like his luck isn't getting any better. As the Columbus Dispatch's Bob Baptist reports, the Steeler's QB is under fire for recent unconventional irrigation techniques…or something along those lines.
That Ben Roethlisberger left his mark at the Country Club at Muirfield Village last week is not in question.
The nature of the mark is.
Multiple reports yesterday suggested that a Dublin homeowner saw the troubled Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback urinating on the course during a round of golf early Friday evening.
The woman reported the incident to the club and then called police, who investigated. But Roethlisberger and his friends had left the course by then, the woman did not press charges, and no citations were issued.
A source close to Roethlisberger told ProFootballTalk.com that the man seen urinating was another member of Roethlisberger's group.
A woman who answered the phone at the club, after hearing the caller describe the man, reportedly told the caller that it was Roethlisberger. The caller then told police that it was Roethlisberger, according to the police report.
Okay, I'll preface my thoughts on this by saying that, while I've never personally committed this "offence," it's obviously not such an uncommon thing to do (although I'd have to think a decent human being would have found a tree). Normally I would say "what's the big deal" in a situation like this, but that's before reading this part:
Before playing the Country Club at Muirfield Village, Roethlisberger attempted to get a tee time at the more prestigious Muirfield Village Golf Club across the road. But according to a source at that club, he was denied.
"His reputation precedes him," the source said.
If you're a Super Bowl MVP quarterback (not to mention former star at Miami of Ohio) and you can't get a tee time at even the most exclusive clubs in the state, you must have a questionable reputation. Something tells me that this isn't the sort of relief Roger Goodell was hoping to get from the Roethlisberger situation.(Photo Credit: Tim Hales/AP)