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.
With the world of modern equipment at his disposal, Henrik Stenson pulled the cover off his 8-year-old 3-wood with no embarrassment or hesitation. “I think quite a few [players] would like to hit like I end up,” he told The Post on Tuesday at Glen Oaks Club, where The Northern Trust will start Thursday and kick off the first of the four-tournament FedExCup playoffs. Stenson’s personal whuppin’ stick has become a thing of legend, hitting it so often and with such proficiency that he didn’t even pack a driver in his bag last week while winning the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina to vault him from No. 75 to No. 23 in the playoff rankings. The 41-year-old Swede credits a lot of that to his most reliable weapon, a 2009 Callaway Diablo Octane.
Billy Payne is retiring as chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters, the club announced Wednesday. He will be replaced by Fred Ridley. Payne, who turns 70 in October, had served in the role since 2006 and was instrumental in modernizing Augusta National, admitting the club’s first female members and growing the game worldwide. Ridley, a former president of the USGA, has served as the competition chairman since 2007. A former U.S. Amateur champion, Ridley, 65, is the first chairman to have played in the Masters (1976-78). Payne will retire from his role Oct. 16 and become chairman emeritus. “The privilege I experienced serving as chairman of Augusta National and the Masters was far