Devil Ball Golf

  • Changes made to 2018 European Ryder Cup qualifying process

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 27 mins ago

    After suffering a resounding defeat to the Americans — for just the first time since 2008 — in the Ryder Cup last fall, the European side and the European Tour have jointly announced changes to the qualifying process which they hope will give new captain Thomas Bjorn more opportunity to field a team of 12 players in peak form when the biennial matches resume in Paris next year.

    “The change to our minimum tournament requirement will help many of our members who play around the world but who, at the same time, wish to remain loyal to the European Tour,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

    As for the Americans and new captain Jim Furyk, there has been no announcement of changes to the qualifying process for their side.

    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Rory McIlroy withdraws from Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with rib injury

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 1 day ago

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    A day after finishing runner-up at the BMW SA Open in South Africa, world No. 2 Rory McIlroy withdrew from this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the United Arab Emirates, citing a rib injury.

    “It’s bitterly disappointing to have to withdraw from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship,” McIlroy said in a statement released by the European Tour. “I think everyone knows how much I love playing this tournament, which is one of the best on the European Tour.

    “To be forced to miss this week through injury is really quite annoying to be perfectly honest, but I am sure the tournament will be a huge success and I hope everyone involved has a great week. In situations like this you simply have to listen to the experts, and the team I have consulted have all advised me to rest until my rib has fully recovered.”

  • Mickelson 'hopeful' to compete in CareerBuilder Challenge

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 2 days ago

    Phil Mickelson is in his first year at the ambassador — basically, the host — of the CareerBuilder Challenge, scheduled to start on Thursday. However, a pair of off-season sports hernia surgeries have his place in the field in doubt.

    At the Friday deadline to commit to the event, Mickelson’s name remained on the field list, suggesting the five-time major winner isn’t ready to abandon plans to play.

    Then on Saturday, a Mickelson spokesman told Golf Channel that the left-hander is “hopeful” to compete in the event in the California desert.

    Mickelson last played on the PGA Tour in October at the season-opening Safeway Open in Napa, Calif. Then he underwent the first of his two sports hernia surgeries, followed by another in December.

    If Mickelson is unable to play at the CareerBuilder, he’s committed to play in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, just outside of San Diego, the following week.

  • Rory McIlroy to undergo MRI for back injury suffered in SA Open

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 2 days ago

    Rory McIlroy finished the playoff runner-up on Sunday at the BMW SA Open, but he was frankly fortunate to finish the tournament at all.

    McIlroy suffered a back injury before his second round on Friday in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it led to an up-and-down round that included eight consecutive one-putt greens. The world No. 2 had considered withdrawing before the round, but he played through the pain and got through 75 holes of competition before losing to winner Graeme Storm on the third playoff hole.

    Ahead of his planned start at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, McIlroy will have an MRI on Monday.

    “I am going for a scan tomorrow,” McIlroy said. “I fly to Dubai tonight and then will go for an MRI tomorrow just to see what’s up with this joint in my back. It was manageable this week with tape and a few pills, so I am fine, but first and foremost I have to get fully fit and healthy again and hopefully I’ll be all right to play next week.

    “We will see what happens, but like I said, it is manageable with the tape and a few anti-inflammatories, but it’s not 100 percent.”

  • Graeme Storm upsets Rory McIlroy in SA Open playoff

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 3 days ago

    It seemed as though Graeme Storm had lost his European Tour card last season by the slimmest of margins, missing out on finishing inside the top 111 in the Race to Dubai in order to maintain status. The ramifications on his career would be huge.

    Then, Patrick Reed, who has European Tour membership, decided not to play in the Turkish Airlines Open, leaving him short of the five European Tour-specific events required to be a member. All of a sudden, Storm had a reprieve, given his card back by sliding into the top 111.

    Storm took full advantage of his career revival on Sunday, holding off Rory McIlroy on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the BMW SA Open in South Africa.

    Both Storm and McIlroy finished regulation at 18-under 270 at Glendower Golf Club, and they each made par 4s on the 18th hole during each of the first two holes of the playoff. Then McIlroy missed the green the third time around, unable to get up and down for par with an 8-foot putt. Storm, who found the center of the green again, converted the two-putt for the winning par.

    The win is the 38-year-old Storm’s first on the European Tour since the 2007 French Open.

  • New PGA Tour commissioner open to possible legal sports betting

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 4 days ago

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    New PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is keeping an open mind to all kinds of new opportunities and avenues now that he is at the helm — including not shutting the door on an embrace of legalized sports betting.

    “You look at [daily fantasy sports providers] DraftKings and Fan Duel, you look at gaming in the international markets, there’s a lot of opportunity there,” Monahan said in a Tuesday interview with Golf Channel. “There’s some complexity, and that complexity has held us back from moving forward. But we will look at it and have an open mind toward it.”

    Sports betting is only legal in a few American states, including full sports betting in Nevada. However, through online off-shore sportsbooks and local bookmakers, Americans are estimated to wager in the hundreds of billions on sports each year. Overseas, particularly in Europe, sports betting is legal and in the open, with books sponsoring sports teams and leagues.

    There is some legislative momentum to bring about an overhaul of federal gambling laws, including allowing sports betting and clearing the way for more regulated and taxed online gambling sites.

  • Tokyo governor implores 2020 Olympic golf host club to admit women

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 4 days ago

    Yet again, golf faces a conflict over a high-profile club and its membership practices.

    Kasumigaseki Country Club will host the men’s and women’s Olympic golf tournaments during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The problem is that the club doesn’t admit women as full members. It’s a practice Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike would like to see changed. She has asked the club personally to admit female members.

    “I feel very uncomfortable about women not being able to become a regular member in this era,” Koike said Friday, according to Reuters.

    Women are also reportedly banned from playing at the club on Sundays — which seems an obvious optics problems considering Olympic medals will be on the line for women, perhaps on a Sunday, at the course.

    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Woody Austin unwittingly shoots 59 in Diamond Resorts Invitational

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 4 days ago

    Breaking 60 has become so passe in golf that Woody Austin did it on Friday in the first round of the Diamond Resorts Invitational … and didn’t know he’d done it.

    We kid, of course; shooting 59 or better is still a big deal. However, Austin wasn’t keeping track of his strokes in the conventional sense at the Orlando event. The field, which features a mix of 27 PGA Tour Champions and four LPGA Tour pros, as well 47 celebrities, is being contested under the modified Stableford scoring system. Austin made 10 birdies and an eagle, adding up to 43 points and first place among the pros. It also added up to 59 at the par-71 Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort.

    “I really never thought about it until I birdied 16,” Austin said. “That got me to 11 under and I thought, OK.”

    The thing is, Austin didn’t know the host course was a par-71 track. So when he walked off the 18th hole, he had no idea of what he accomplished.

    “I didn’t know it was a par-71 so when I walked off the last green I thought I shot 60,” Austin said. “Everybody goes, ‘No, it’s a par-71.’ So, ah, cool.”

  • Justin Thomas opens Sony Open in Hawaii with 59

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 5 days ago

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    Justin Thomas shot the eighth round of sub-60 in PGA Tour history on Thursday, shooting 11-under 59 in the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

    For anyone who thought last week’s winner of the SBS Tournament of Champions was due for a post-victory letdown, they were wrong.

    Thomas came to his final hole of the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at 9 under on the day. With a birdie on the second of the two par 5s he’d see on the round, he could top the course record he already had a share of from two years ago. After finding the fairway bunker with his tee shot, Thomas smashed his 207-yard second shot to 15 feet from the hole for an eagle that would give him a 59.

    “I was so bummed when that tee shot went in the bunker,” he said. “I thought it was going to be good. I got up there and had a perfect lie, and I’m like, you know what am I going to do, lay up? And if it comes off, great, and if not, whatever.”

    Then, Thomas, who already has two PGA Tour wins on this young season, finished the job to make the 3 that sent the crowd — and playing partner Jordan Spieth — into a frenzy.

  • Rory McIlroy unlikely to compete in 2020 Olympic golf tournament

    Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 5 days ago

    Don’t expect to see Rory McIlroy in the Parade of Nations at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

    Ahead of this week’s BMW SA Open in South Africa, the reigning FedEx Cup champion said he doesn’t intend to compete in the Olympic golf tournament — for either Ireland or the United Kingdom.

    “More likely than not, I won’t be going to the Games in 2020,” McIlroy said. “Just because of my personal feelings towards – not the Olympic Games, the Olympic Games are great and I think golf included in the Olympics is fantastic. But for me, it’s just something I don’t want to get into, and that’s a personal choice and hopefully people respect that decision.”

    The four-time major winner didn’t slight his country in his remarks, saying he wanted to avoid potential issues regardless of his choice.

    “It’s not to say where I’m from is a bad place. Northern Ireland is one of the best places on Earth, and I try to get back there as much as I can,” he said. “But again, it’s a personal decision and it’s a decision I haven’t taken lightly and a decision I’ve fought myself over for so many years.”