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.
A former college football player who was late to the game of golf, Billy Payne still managed to grasp its history, especially as it related to Augusta National Golf Club, where he made a relatively meteoric rise in stature at a place used to a different pace. Payne, who retired Wednesday (effective Oct. 16) as the club's chairman, was fond of saying that he strived to maintain the ideals of Augusta National's founders -- great amateur golfer Bobby Jones and Wall Street financier Clifford Roberts -- men he never met but whose legacy he strived to maintain. And yet, neither Jones nor Roberts would have been remotely familiar with any of the things Payne, 69, accomplished in his 11-year tenure as chairman. Unlike any of his five predecessors, Payne reached far beyond Augusta National's boundaries and made the club and the Masters Tournament a force beyond one week a year in April.
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