After contemplating shutting things down for the balance of 2017, Rory McIlroy is in the field this week at The Northern Trust. Speaking to reporters at a media event Tuesday, McIlroy detailed his plans to play in all four playoff events - two of which he won last year - despite a rib injury that has nagged him all season and twice led him to take time off. After a T-22 finish at the PGA Championship, McIlroy lamented his inability to shake the injury and offered up the notion that he might skip the postseason on both the PGA Tour and European Tour in an effort to get healthy for 2018, when he will renew his quest for the final leg of the career Grand Slam. "I have a good bit of time to get healthy and address a few things going forward," McIlroy said at Quail Hollow.
Even though Tiger Woods hasn’t played a PGA Tour event in almost seven months, he still has a huge impact on the game. As he recovers from his fourth back surgery and from an infamous DUI arrest and subsequent rehab for prescription pills, Woods now finds joy in his connection with the up-and-coming stars of the game he once dominated. That includes recent PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, who found it “surreal” that Woods wanted to hang out with him in Florida after the victory — which meant quite a bit to the 24-year-old Thomas. “I probably got just as much joy out of that as I did winning, which is just bizarre to say and probably for you all to hear me say,” Thomas said Wednesday, one
Billy Payne, the chairman of Augusta National, has announced he’ll be stepping down from his perch atop the kingdom of green jackets. Payne took over leadership duties at the famed home of the Masters in 2006, following the departure of former chairman Hootie Johnson. It was under Johnson that Augusta National feuded most openly with women’s groups about the club’s all-male policy, and it was under Payne that the club finally relaxed that policy, admitting its first two female members in 2012.