Jun 24, 2019

Can Rory McIlroy win another major in front of a home crowd?

By Ottawa Golf Blog   Posted at  6/24/2019 05:50:00 AM   No comments

He may now live stateside with his American wife, but there’s no doubt that Rory McIlroy will receive a hero’s welcome when he returns to his native Northern Ireland to compete in The Open Championship next month. Held at Royal Portrush Golf Course for the first time since 1951, what a return it would be for McIlroy if he went on to win the major for a second time, and the first time in front of a home crowd. You’ll find McIlroy at odds of 7/1F in Open Championship betting odds, with Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods behind him on 9s.

Previous success on Dunluce
McIlroy has already teed up on Dunluce Links, the course on which the Open is being played. At the age of 16, he arrived fresh out of school and was chasing a spot on the Walker Cup team. The course record at the time was 64, and he managed to surpass it, with a competitive score of 61. Two years later, he made the Walker Cup team and turned professional – and as they say, the rest is history.

While the course has undergone a number of changes in the years since, including increasing in length by 130 yards, 10 new bunkers and the creation of two new holes, McIlroy is confident in his ability to return to home soil as champion:

“I shot 62 at Quail Hollow in 2010 on the old set-up and then they went and redesigned it and I went back in 2015 and shot 61 on the new course.

“Hopefully the same things happen at Royal Portrush. I hold the record on the old course, but it would be special to come back to The Open and break it on the new one”.

Lifting the Claret Jug at Hoylake
It was in 2014 that McIlroy last won the Open Championship, with the competition being held at Royal Liverpool that year. It’s his only Open win to date. In fact, since his (second) victory in the PGA Championship that same year, in August, McIlroy is yet to add to his major championship tally.

The 2014 Open saw McIlroy hold a lead over his opponents after every round of putting and he was triumphant over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia by two strokes with both golfers T2.

On winning, McIlroy said: "It wasn't easy - there were a few guys making runs at me and I just needed to stay focused. To win three legs of the Grand Slam at 25 is a pretty big achievement”.

He has since remained one major win away from a career Grand Slam – The Masters the only tournament to evade him.

Skipping the European Tour
Earlier this year, McIlroy caused controversy when he revealed he wouldn’t be participating in the Irish Open, as well as only competing in the minimum required number of European Tour events to maintain his membership and ensure he remains eligible for the Ryder Cup. His reasoning behind the decision was to keep himself fresh and in the best possible stead for success at the Open in Portrush. Despite this, he is set to tee-off at the Scottish Open which takes place the week before the third major of the calendar year. Speaking to BBC Sport Northern Ireland, he said: "If I was to play the Irish Open, The Open Championship would be my third event in a row.

"For me, that's not the best way to prepare for what could be the biggest event of my life.
"I never thought I would play a major in Northern Ireland. It would be the biggest achievement of my career if I was able to win it".

Jun 15, 2019

Takeaways From My 3 Days At 2019 RBC Canadian Open

By Ottawa Golf Blog   Posted at  6/15/2019 03:33:00 PM   No comments
It was a busy three days at the RBC Canadian Open; returned late Sunday and back to my regular jobs Monday. I've finally had a chance to decompress and here's some takeaways from my time walking around Hamilton Golf and Country Club:

  • If it wasn't going to be a Canadian to win the Canadian Championship (a Canadian hasn't won since 1954) Rory McIlroy was definitely the 2nd choice and he didn't disappoint as huge crowds followed him all week and scores of 64 and 61 on the weekend pretty much annihilated the rest of the field.

  • Hamilton Golf and Country Club is an amazing old golf course (1894 -18 holes designed by Harry Colt in 1914). Although Rory's winning score of -22 was very low the course wasn't easy and challenged the players all week.

  • There were many new fans watching the PGA Tour live for the first time at Hamilton. Including some family and friends who absolutely loved their first PGA Tour golf experience. From the golf (#TheRink was awesome) to the food and the entertainment (Florida Georgia Line on Friday Night) to all the merchandise they bought. Sounds like they'll be back whether it's at St. George's next year or wherever. RBCCO was definitely a smashing success.

Jun 10, 2019

Rory McIlroy Wins 2019 RBC Canadian Open

By Ottawa Golf Blog   Posted at  6/10/2019 10:24:00 PM   No comments

I knew watching Rory McIlroy bomb his drive 353 yards down the first fairway Sunday at Hamilton Golf and Country Club and then almost subsequently canning it from 42 yds. We were going to be in for a special day of golf from Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy. Who would of thought it was going to be so special. With Rory firing a round of 61 and winning his 16th PGA Tour title; the Canadian Championship. Can't wait to see him next year at  St. George’s Golf and Country Club.

Rory endears himself more by donning a Raptors jersey after winning 2019 RBC Canadian Open.(Photo from Golf Canada)

Press Release

HAMILTON, Ont. — Using a loonie as his ball marker, Rory McIlroy fired a final round 9-under par 61 to win Canada’s National Open Championship, the RBC Canadian Open in his first appearance.

McIlroy’s 22-under-par 258 is the lowest 72-hole score ever carded at the RBC Canadian Open. The previous record of 263 was held by Johnny Palmer (1952), Scott Piercy (2012) and Tim Clark (2014). His final round 61 is also the best final round at the 110-year-old event, breaking the record of 62 held by Andy Bean (1983).

The 30-year-old entered Sunday’s final round sharing the lead with Americans Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson. He started his round by lipping-out a chip for eagle on the first hole, en route to birding four of his first five holes. With the win the Northern Irishman claimed his 16th PGA TOUR title.

“It’s been a while since I played like this and sort of put my foot down, but it was so nice to do it today,” said McIlroy. “I’m very proud of what I’ve done today. Hopefully this sets up well for the rest of the year, too.”

McIlroy becomes only the sixth player to win the career Triple Crown, having won the U.S. Open in 2011 and The Open Championship in 2014. He joins an exclusive club that includes Tommy Armour, Walter Hagen, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods.

“The reception from the Canadian crowds have been incredible this week,” added McIlroy. “They couldn’t have been any better. They’ve been so welcoming all week. I can’t wait to come back next year.”

McIlroy is the first golfer to win the RBC Canadian Open on his first attempt since Chez Reavie in 2008 and the first European to capture the title since Sweden’s Carl Pettersson in 2010.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry and American Web Simpson finished tied for second at 15-under par 265 for the tournament. Americans Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker finished tied for 4th at 13-under.

Adam Hadwin fired an even-par 70 in the final round, finishing as the low Canadian at 12-under par 268 on the tournament. Hadwin was awarded the Rivermead Cup for the fourth time of his career as low Canadian.

“The crowd was amazing all week,” said Hadwin. “That reception coming up 18 was something special. I pictured it with being a few more [strokes] under earlier in the week, but they were amazing. I’m just disappointed I couldn’t get it done in front of them.”

By virtue of his sixth-place finish, Hadwin qualifies for the 2019 Open Championship being held July 14-21 at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. Also earning an exemption in the Open Championship was Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell. New for 2019, the RBC Canadian Open is included in The Open Qualifying Series. Up to three players who are not already exempt earned places in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush

The 2020 RBC Canadian Open is being held at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto from June 8 to 14.

Jun 9, 2019

Rory McIlroy Surges, Adam Hadwin Canada’s Hope RBC Canadian Open Saturday Update

By Ottawa Golf Blog   Posted at  6/09/2019 09:28:00 AM   No comments

Amazing Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open as huge crowds followed the last 7 groups with Rory McIlroy surging to the top of the leaderboard with a bogey free round of 6 under par 64. Rory’s loving his first visit to Canada’s National Open Golf Championship.

“It’s probably the best atmosphere I’ve played in a long time,” said McIlroy. “The Canadian fans really come out and support this event this event. That 13th Hole there [The Rink] is pretty cool. I think what they’ve been able to do here is right on the limit of fun, but still in keeping with the traditions of the game, so I think it’s been awesome. I’ve had a wonderful reception from everyone and just exited to get to play in front of them again tomorrow. “

BC’s Adam Hadwin is one shot back of McIlroy, Webb Simpson, and Matt Kuchar with three back nine birdies and huge support from the crowds. Canadians Nick Taylor and Mackenzie Hughes are 8 and 9 under.

Sunday is going to be one awesome day of golf at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Jun 8, 2019

Canadians Positioned Well For Weekend At RBC Canadian Open

By Ottawa Golf Blog   Posted at  6/08/2019 08:47:00 AM   No comments
Wow what a fun day covering the RBC Canadian Open. Four Canadians in the top 10 after 36 holes. Not bad as the pressure will ramp up for the weekend for the Canadians. Nick Taylor, Adam Hadwin, Ben Silverman and Mackenzie Hughes all have a legitimate shot at claiming the Canadian major the first since 1954. Saturday being Red and White day at the RBC Canadian Open fans will be supporting the Canadians in the field in throngs. As Friday crowds were amazing.

I got a chance to follow a bunch of groups including Mackenzie Hughes, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka all finished strong but no stronger then Tennessee own Brandt Snedeker who shot a 60 to tie the lowest round ever recorded at the RBC Canadian Open. Ben Silverman carded a 9 under par 61 which tied the lowest round ever recorded by a Canadian at Canada’s National Championship. 

Mackenzie Hughes on the par 3 #8 at Hamilton Golf and Country Club

Jun 2, 2019

Bad Lies by Tony Jacklin & Shelby Yastrow - Book Review

By Ottawa Golf Blog   Posted at  6/02/2019 08:13:00 PM   No comments
It’s not often that I get a chance to actually read a novel. Busy with life’s various paths, most of my reading post kids seems to be golf articles on my iPad. I was lucky enough to get my hands on “Bad Lies”, a fictional court room drama based on libel, slander and professional golf.

Jack Nicklaus - World Golf Hall of Famer, 18-time Majors Champion has endorsed it by saying,

“A courtroom, like the game of golf, exposes the truth about people. A fascinating page-turner.”

Written by Tony Jacklin and Shelby Yastrow they seem to be the perfect mix with Jacklin’s Hall of Fame golf knowledge and Shelby’s vast legal knowledge. The book is sure to intrigue both golfers and those that like court room drama novels.

The authors create characters that are both believable and fascinating to follow through the ups and downs of a daily court room trial.

In particular Charlie Mayfield, Eddie Bennison lawyer is superbly written as a lawyer who’s character shines through the mere words on the pages.

Bad Lies was a perfect read on my recent weeks vacation and with Fathers day around the corner, it would be a perfect gift for that Dad that enjoys reading and golf.

At $31.95 CDN "Bad Lies" can be purchased on Amazon.

May 11, 2019

Rocket Tour Knit Headcover Review

By Ottawa Golf Blog   Posted at  5/11/2019 12:52:00 PM   No comments
My son Gus and I love doing reviews of golf accessories as they're for us an integrable part of golf. So was thrilled Rocket Tour sent over some knit headcovers for us to review.

Here's a little history on this 15 year old Boulder Colorado based company from their website:

Since 2004, Rocket Tour has designed golf head covers that are a unique mix of classic and modern with a stylish fun twist encouraging self-expression on your golf bag. Created to inspire golfers to “show their stripes,” the quality knit and putter covers are personally designed by founder Helena Stanton and hand-finished in Boulder, Colorado. Best known for their knit headcovers in recognizable Rugby Striped Pom Poms and Skinny Stick Hybrid Covers, Rocket Tour designs a variety of options to sport your favorite sports team, alma mater and more. Rocket Tour supports and outfits more than 250 collegiate golf programs, junior golf programs, state golf associations and charity initiatives. Heading into the brand’s 15th anniversary celebration in 2019, now more than ever the Company is spearheading a movement to rep your style and your team!

Gus was thrilled to test out a driver head cover from Rocket Tour as I had just purchased him a Ping G812 Driver and it didn't come with a head cover.

What he liked about the head cover:

He loved the colour combination of the Victory Stripe Pom Pom - Black - Red / White
I'm not sure whether it's because they're the colours of two of his favourite hockey teams (Ottawa Senators/67s) but when he first saw it he couldn't wait to put it on his Ping driver.

He really like the way it fit his new driver, snug and he didn't have to worry about it falling off during his time playing golf.

He liked the way the head cover made his worn out old golf bag "cool" again.


The only thing he didn't like was after a few rounds he thought the head cover was "falling apart" as longer threads started to appear on the pom pom of his head cover.

Upon scouring Rocket Tour's website this is what I came upon (a solution):

Sometimes POM POMS or TASSELS need a trim - knit material used in a sporty environment sometimes causes wayward threads that need a quick snip (only on pom or tassel not on body of cover). This is normal and will help keep your POM POM or TASSEL looking nice longer. Shake and snip any long stray threads.

What I really liked about the headcovers I got to test out were the fact they were so versatile. I tried the Argyle Skinny Stick in Black/Red  and it fit great on my Taylormade #5 hybrid as well as my Titleist  #3 hybrid.

I also like the fact the Rugby Strip POM POM in Black / Red fit and protected better both my 3 and 4 woods. Something important especially when you're carrying your bag as much as I do.


Rocket Tour headcovers are both functional, versatile, and stylish. Gus and I loved the way they performed on the golf course.

Individual headcovers will run you between $30-$43 USD and sets will obviously cost you more, pretty reasonable considering I've paid more for headcovers that haven't been as functional as Rocket Tours.

Plus any company that's been around since 2004 and puts out Masters headcovers is #1 in my books.

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