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  • Mistwood ready for Illinois Women’s Open Jul 22, 2014 7:40 PM
    A sold-out Sunday Pro-Am will kick off the 20th staging of the Illinois Women’s Open at Mistwood in Romeoville. Len Ziehm also provides a look at the upcoming International Crown.

     
  • Bullington grabs 1-stroke lead after 67 Jul 22, 2014 8:31 PM
    Another University of Iowa golfer is showing the way in the Illinois Open heading into the final round.

     
  • Mike North video: $300,000 won on Mcllroy bet Jul 21, 2014 11:26 AM
    Rory Mcllroy's father and his friends placed bets on the phenom when he was 15 to win the British open and now they are getting to cash in after yesterday's victory.

     
  • McIlroy wins British Open for 3rd major Jul 20, 2014 3:27 PM
    HOYLAKE, England — Rory McIlroy had to work a little harder, sweat a little more. No matter. Just like his other two majors, this British Open was never really in doubt. Staked to a six-shot lead going into the final round, McIlroy turned back brief challenges with key birdies around the turn and a majestic drive at just the right moment to close with a 1-under 71 and complete a wire-to-wire victory at Royal Liverpool. In another major lacking drama over the final hour, what brought the British Open to life was the potential of its champion. McIlroy won the U.S. Open by eight shots. He won the PGA Championship by eight shots. And with his two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler, the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland joined some elite company beyond the names on that silver claret jug. Jack Nicklaus (23) and Tiger Woods (24) are the only other players since 1934 to win three majors before age 25. Boy Wonder is back. Or maybe he’s just getting started again. “I’ve really found my passion again for golf,” McIlroy said. “Not that it ever dwindled, but it’s what I think about when I get up in the morning. It’s what I think about when I go to bed. I just want to be the best golfer that I can be. And I know if I can do that, then trophies like this are within my capability.” McIlroy put an end to this major with a powerful drive down the fairway at the par-5 16th, setting up a two-putt birdie to restore his lead to three shots. He finished with two pars, the last putt from inches away. McIlroy simply smiled, shared hugs with his caddie and Fowler, and then waved mother Rosie onto the green. She was not at the other two majors he won. He turned and applauded the fans in the horseshoe arena around the 18th green, and then returned to collect the oldest trophy in golf. This could have been another romp except for a shaky stretch early for McIlroy, and solid efforts from Garcia and Fowler. Garcia pulled within two shots with four holes to play until he put his tee shot in a pot bunker just right of the 15th green. His first shot failed to get over the 4-foot sodden wall and rolled back into the sand. He made bogey, and two birdies over the final three holes were not enough. Garcia shot 66 and was runner-up in a major for the fourth time. “I think that we gave it a good effort,” Garcia said. “And there was someone a little bit better.” Fowler, playing in the final group for the second straight major, didn’t do anything wrong. He just didn’t do enough right to make up a six-shot deficit. Fowler played without a bogey and shot 67. All that’s left for McIlroy to become the sixth player to win the career Grand Slam is a green jacket from the Masters. “I don’t have any doubt he’ll win there,” Fowler said. “I just hope I get that one before he does.” It was the first time two straight majors were won wire to wire. Martin Kaymer did it last month at Pinehurst No. 2, winning the U.S. Open by eight shots. McIlroy, who finished at 17-under 271, wasn’t the only big winner Sunday. Ten years ago, his father and three of his friends each put up 100 pounds ($170) at 500-1 odds that McIlroy would win the British Open before he turned 26. The kid made good on the best with a brand of golf that had him marked early as golf’s next great player. “He’s never reminded me. I knew that he’d done it,” McIlroy said. “I’m not sure if it will pay out. If it does, it’s a nice little bonus.” McIlroy moved up to No. 2 in the world, perhaps on his way to regaining the No. 1 ranking that once looked as if it would be his for years. He ended the 2012 season by winning his second major and capturing the money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour. Since then, the road has been bumpier than some of the dunes at Hoylake. McIlroy signed a megadeal with Nike and switched out all his equipment. He changed management for the second time, leading to lawsuits that are still to be decided in court. And after getting engaged to Caroline Wozniacki on New Year’s Eve, he abruptly broke off the engagement in May with a telephone call. His path to victory in The Open was much smoother. The winning shots might have been those two eagles he made at the end of the third round, giving him a six-shot lead. Those extra shots came in handy. McIlroy, after smashing his opening tee shot and making an 18-foot birdie putt to stretch the lead to seven shots, looked shaky for only a short stretch on the front nine. He took bogey on the par-5 fifth hole by hitting his approach under the grandstand, hacking out of a shaggy drop area over the green and missing a 6-foot putt. On the next hole, he took another bogey by failing to get up-and-down left of the green. McIlroy steadied himself with a birdie on the par-3 ninth. And after Garcia in the group ahead made a 10-foot eagle putt on No. 10 to get within two shots, McIlroy responded by reaching the green in two for another birdie. Garcia blinked when he could least afford it, leaving a shot in the bunker at No. 15 as McIlroy watched from the tee. Jim Furyk was among four players who tied the course record with a 65 to finish fourth. Tiger Woods was long gone. He finished his 75 as McIlroy was still on the practice range. Woods finished 69th — his worst finish over 72 holes in any major — and wound up 23 shots behind.

     
  • Golf’s next big thing might already be here Jul 20, 2014 8:19 PM
    Golf enthusiasts can quit worrying about the future of competitive golf. The next big thing will come along to replace Tiger Woods. Maybe he already has in Rory McIlroy.

     
  • Pace, Diaz share lead through 54 holes at Marathon Jul 19, 2014 6:27 PM
    Lee-Anne Pace made a name for herself as an amateur in her native South Africa, then proved herself with eight wins on the Ladies European Tour. Now she’s ready to make waves in the U.S. Pace shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday to grab a share of the third-round lead with Laura Diaz in the Marathon Classic.

     
  • Rory McIlroy builds 6-shot lead at British Open Jul 19, 2014 11:50 PM
    Rory McIlroy looked as though he had just thrown a knockout punch at the British Open, and it was only Saturday. When he rolled in a 10-foot eagle putt on the final hole for a 4-under 68, he straightened his back, stared defiantly at thousands of fans crammed into the horseshoe arena around the 18th green at Royal Liverpool and lightly pumped his fist. He went from being tied for the lead to six shots ahead of Rickie Fowler in just over an hour.

     
  • Illinois Open to offer plenty of intrigue Jul 19, 2014 11:49 PM
    The 65th Illinois Open golf tournament will have a record nine past champions and a record 81 amateurs in its starting field.

     
  • Tiger Woods nearly misses cut at British Open Jul 18, 2014 1:40 PM
    Tiger Woods has shot one of his worst rounds at the British Open, a 5-over 77 that nearly cost him a chance to play this weekend. Woods has failed to make the cut at a major only three times in his professional career, most recently at the 2011 PGA Championship. He was in danger again after a triple-bogey at the 17th hole pushed his score to 3 over for the tournament — outside the projected cut.

     
  • Rory McIlroy builds a 4-shot lead at British Open Jul 18, 2014 4:57 PM
    Rory McIlroy only saw birdies at Royal Liverpool, mostly on his scorecard, and even one pheasant that trotted across the eighth green as he was lining up a putt. That was but a minor interruption in his command performance Friday in the British Open. Once he made a birdie, and then another, nothing could stop McIlroy.

     
  • Spellman’s Scorecard: Hawks’ party of five second to none Jul 17, 2014 10:10 PM
    From top to bottom, the Blackhawks got it going on as Wednesday's press conference proved.

     
  • Knoll outlasts Hardy in 4-hole playoff Jul 17, 2014 9:08 PM
    The reign of college players continued in the 84th Illinois State Amateur on Thursday — but this time it took a four-hole playoff to decide the champion. Deer Park’s Chadd Slutzky, a 36-year old financial trader, took a 2-shot lead into the 36-hole finale of the tournament at Cantigny, in Wheaton.

     
  • Slutzky showing the young guys how it’s done Jul 16, 2014 9:31 PM
    Chadd Slutzky could be the first non-college player to win the State Amateur if he can survive Wednesday’s 36-hole finale.

     
  • British Open challenge just what Johnson craves Jul 15, 2014 4:28 PM
    Twenty-five players who competed in the John Deere Classic were on the tournament’s jet to the British Open on Sunday night, and golf columnist Len Ziehm says Zach Johnson figures to have the best chance of that group when the third major championship of the season tees off on Thursday at Royal Liverpool.

     
  • British Open: a new golf course, a new Tiger Woods Jul 15, 2014 1:40 PM
    Tiger Woods was an hour into his practice round Tuesday at the British Open when he stood on the fifth tee with a foreign object in his hand. In golf vernacular, it’s called a driver. “This is a different golf course when what we played in ‘06,” Woods said. “It was hot, ball was flying. It was very dusty. Now we’re making ball marks on the greens, which we weren’t doing then.”

     
  • Mickelson confident — at least about links golf Jul 14, 2014 1:57 PM
    Phil Mickelson rolled long putts across the practice green in front of the Royal Liverpool clubhouse, some of them going in, most of them the right distance. He chirped to the caddie of Brandt Snedeker about their money game, a Mickelson tradition at the majors. Lefty was in good spirits Monday at the British Open, except for having to return the claret jug.

     
  • Tall order? Not for JDC champion Harman Jul 13, 2014 8:09 PM
    Local heroes Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker were in the hunt and the weather couldn’t have been better. That assured the John Deere Classic of its best year for attendance and revenue since tournament director Clair Peterson invited Michelle Wie to spice up the field eight years ago.

     
  • Rose tied for lead after 3 rounds of Scottish Open Jul 12, 2014 5:14 PM
    Justin Rose set up a chance to capture back-to-back titles by shooting a 5-under 66 at the Scottish Open on Saturday to move into a share of the lead with Marc Warren after three rounds.

     
  • Inbee Park has 1-shot lead in Women’s British Open Jul 12, 2014 5:10 PM
    One year later, Inbee Park is still chasing history at the Women’s British Open. Instead of trying to win an unprecedented fourth straight major, Park has a chance to become only the seventh woman to win four of the LPGA’s majors. Instead of photographers capturing her every move at St. Andrews, the 26-year-old South Korean has gone about her work without fanfare at Royal Birkdale.

     
  • Zach Johnson’s 67 earns share of JDC lead Jul 11, 2014 7:56 PM
    The John Deere Classic isn’t Zach Johnson’s personal showcase. It just seems that way at times. Johnson gained a share of the first-round lead after shooting a 63 on Thursday. He added a 67 in Friday’s second round to hit the midway point in the tourney in a tie for the lead with William McGirt.

     
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