Rory McIlroy, LIV Golfs high stakes and LPGA eyes Japan

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It was just over a year ago. Rory McIlroyIt was at a low point.

After going 1-3, the four-time major champion was moved by the Ryder Cup at Whistling Strits. He couldnt stop the U.S. team from historic 19-9 defeat of the Europeans. McIlroy was 15th in the Official World Golf Ranking at one point in 2021.

McIlroy has won four times since that win at the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship. In August, he also won the 2022 Tour Championship held at East Lake. He won the CJ Cup on Sunday at Congaree Golf Club, Ridgeland, South Carolina.

The latest win McIlroy moved up to No. 1He is currently at the top of the world for the ninth consecutive time in his professional career. This is the first time he has held the top spot since July 2020, and it comes 10 years after he held the position.

McIlroy said that the tournament last year was the beginning of me trying to rebuild myself up until this point. I had a very rough Ryder Cup. I think I was outside of the top 10 in the world — it isnt a position Im used too being in.

LIV Golf was a whisper on PGA Tour practice greens and driving ranges a year ago. The season-ending $50 million team championship will be the highlight of professional mens golf this week. It is being led by Greg Norman, a two-time Open Championship winner.

For much of the year McIlroy was the voice and face for the PGA TourDuring its battle against LIV Golf for top players around the world. McIlroy was asked last week by reporters whether hed like the No. McIlroy already knew the answer when he was asked by reporters last week about his desire to be the No. 1 player in the world.

332 [weeks], McIlroy said. I don’t know if it’s possible, but that’s a number in mine head.

This would make it the second most played mens game of golf in history, one week more than Norman who is second only to it. Tiger Woods683 is the record.

Here are some things to watch this week in professional golf:

Whats next on PGA Tour?

Butterfield Bermuda Championship
When: Thursday-Sunday
Where: Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton Parish, Bermuda
Champion in defense: Lucas Herbert
Purse: $6.5 Million

Three stories to keep an eye on:

The PGA Tour travels to BermudaAfter a star-studded CJ Cup field, its now a more relaxed one in Bermuda, with many top tour players taking the week off. Some recent winners of the PGA Tour are included in the field. Garrick Higgo, Seamus Power Chad Ramey. Other notables in this field include European Ryder Cup Captains Luke Donald, Denny McCarthyWinner of the DP World Tour Adrian MeronkThe winner is a sponsor exemption player. The FedEx Cup points are still available to the winner.

Big John is backTwo-time major champion John DalyDaly will play in Bermuda under a sponsor exemption. Daly, 56 years old, finished in the top 25 in 18 starts at PGA Tour Champions events. His best finish was a tie at the American Family Insurance Championship in Juni.

START YA NOISE, BERMUDA#butterfieldbdachamp @PGA_JohnDaly

— Butterfield Bermuda Championship (@Bermuda_Champ) October 19, 2022

Daly tied for 19th at the Constellation Furyk & Friends in early October, less than two weeks after he underwent a platelet-rich plasma procedure on his left knee. He missed the cut at both the PGA Championship in Southern Hills and the Open Championship in St. Andrews. He would make his first appearance in a regular Tour event since he missed the cut at August 2021s Barracuda Championship.

Masters invitation available for grabsAlthough the Masters is still five months away, an invitation to Augusta National Golf Club is on the line at this week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Amata Springs Country Club in Chonburi. The winner after four rounds will receive exemptions to the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool or the British Amateur next season. Thailands Ratchanon Chantanauwat, who is ranked No. 12 in the entire world. He defeated budding PGA Tour star, April. Tom KimHe won the Asian Mixed Cup by 2 shots at the age of 15 years, one month, and six days. This made him the youngest ever winner in a tournament that is recognized by the Official World Golf Ranking. Wenyi Ding (17 years old) was the first Chinese man ever to win a USGA championship. Junior Amateur at Bandon Dunes in July. Ding is 15th among the worlds amateur rankings. James Leow from Singapore helped Arizona State finish second in the NCAA Division I championship. Leow was also part of the winning Palmer Cup team from Switzerland. Hideki MatsuyamaThe 2021 Masters champion, he won the APAC twice in 2010, and 2011.

Whats next for LIV Golf?

LIV Golf Team Championship
When: Friday-Sunday
Where: Trump National Doral Miami
Purse: $50 Million

Three stories to follow:

Go team!:A news conference will be held at 9 a.m. to kick off the season-ending $50m team championship at Blue Monster. ET on Wednesday. In which the captains for teams seeded fifth through 12th will pick their opponents for Friday’s singles and foursomes matches. The top-seeded team will be chosen first. Each team seeded from the first to fourth position will receive a bye in the first round. Friday matches will feature two singles matches and an alternate-shot match (foursomes). Matches are played until theres a winner. No ties will be allowed. The semifinals will be played on Saturday for the four teams that have earned two points.

The weekend format: After Fridays matches, the captains of the first to fourth seeded teams and the four that advanced will select their opponents for Saturday’s semifinals. It will follow the same format as Fridays matches. The four winning teams will qualify for Sundays team champion, where 16 players will compete against each other in a shotgun-start round. Twosomes will be played, with team captains playing together. Each score will count towards a team’s cumulative score. $16 million will be split evenly between the team with the lowest cumulative score and the team that has played 18 holes. Second-place earns $10,000,000, and third-place earns $8 million. Dustin JohnsonWith 152 points,s 4 AcesGC is the top seed. Bryson deChambeaus Crushers (96 point), Sergio Garcias Fireballs (93) Louis Oosthuizens Stinger GC (72).

Trump is a pro-am:Trump played with his former U.S. president at the LIV Golf Bedminster New Jersey event in July. Trump played with Brooks KoepkaJohnson at Bedminster Trump was a participant in that tournament. Family members and survivors have criticized themfor hosting a LIV-Golf event so close New York. Saudi Arabias Public Investment Fund funds LIV Golf.

Trump said that he has known the people for a while in Saudi Arabia and that they have been friends for a long period of time. Theyve invested in many American firms, they own large portions of many, many American businesses. And frankly, what theyre doing is so great for golf and what theyre doing is great for the players. The salaries will go up. For a long time, the PGA was not a favorite of many players. They now have an option and nobody wouldve known there would be a gold rush such as this.

Whats next for the LPGA Tour?

TOTO Japan Classic
When: Nov. 3-6
Where: Seta Golf Course Shiga Japan
Defending champion: Ai Suzuki (in 2019)
Purse $2 million

Three stories to follow:

A brief hiatus:In August, Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation and the LPGA announced that the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA was being canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. LPGA players will receive a week off to finish their Asian swing at TOTO Japan Classic. This will be the LPGAs third visit to Japan in three years. Suzuki, a JLPGA player, won the 2019 Japan Classic after he played the final two rounds of the tournament without bogey. After winning 14 JLPGA events, this was Suzukis sole LPGA victory. The Japan Classic was a regular JLPGA event in each of the two previous seasons. South Korea’s Jiyai Shin won in 2020 and Japan’s Ayaka Furue 2021.

Ko widens lead:Lydia Ko now holds a 420-point advantage over Atthaya Thtikul, 19 years old, in the Race to CME Globe Points Standings after she won her 18th consecutive South Korean Ladies Championship. Minjee Lee, Australia, is 527 points behind. Brooke M. Henderson, Canada is 546 points behind. There are only two events remaining before the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. It is scheduled for Nov. 17-20, Naples, Florida. The LPGA will be returning to the U.S. after playing in Japan for the Pelican Women’s Championship in Belleair (Florida), Nov. 10-13. The CME Group Tour Championship will be decided by the top 60 players, ties and those who are in the points standings.

Thitikul takes the rookie awardThitikul, who finished sixth at the BMW Ladies Championship has a 230-point lead over Hye Jin Choi of South Korea in terms of the Louise Suggs Rolex rookie of the Year points standings. Choi narrowed her gap by finishing in a tie for third in South Korea. There are three events remaining. Thitikul, a Thai player, shot a 9 under 63 in the first round of the BMW Ladies Championship. This was her third round of 63 or less in LPGA events since May.

Official World Golf Ranking

McIlroy became No.1 with his victory at Congaree Golf Club. McIlroy became the No. 1 player in the world for a ninth time in his career. He replaced Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who moved up to No. After winning the WGC/Dell Technologies Match Play, in May, he moved up to No. 1, and he has remained there until now. Heres a look below at who moved up or down in the world rankings this Week:

Moving up

Tommy Fleetwood
Current rank 24
Previous rank: 31

The past couple of years had been difficult for the Englishman but he showed remarkable improvement by tying for fifth at PGA Championship. He then added to his record with ties for fourth at both the Genesis Scottish Open and Open Championship, as well as the CJ Cup in South Carolina. He is third in shots gained with total (2.955) in four starts this year.

K.H. Lee
Current rank 33
Previous rank: 42

A two-time winner of the AT&T Byron Nelson, Lees third-place finish at Congaree moved him up nine spots in the world ranking. This is his highest ranking in his career.

Kurt Kitayama
Current rank is 41
Previous rank: 56

Although the former UNLV star is still looking for his first PGA Tour win, a second-place finish at the CJ Cup earned him more than $1.1million. Its a good consolation prize. He was runner up in the Mexico Open Vidanta and Scottish Open last year. It is his highest ranking in the world.

Patrick Reed
Current rank:
Previous rank: 59

LIV Golf players do not always move down in the rankings. Reed moved up two positions this week. Reed made one start on Asia Tour, and two starts on DP World Tour (tying fifth at the BMW PGA Championship). He also participated in LIV events in which he is not receiving world-ranking points. He was 25th overall at the end 2021.

Taylor Montgomery
Current rank: 70
Previous rank: 74

The PGA Tour rookie was hot this season, with a fourth straight top-15 in the same number of starts. He finished solo third at Fortinet Championship, tied ninth at Sanderson Farms Championship and tied for 15th at Shriners Childrens Open. He also tied for 13th at CJ Cup.

Moving down

Sergio Garcia
Current ranking:
Previous ranking: 83

Since joining LIV Golf, the Spaniards ranking has suffered. Once ranked No. The 2017 Masters champion is now ranked 2 in the world. He was 149th in July 1999.

Matthew Wolff

Current ranking: 136
Previous ranking: 134

Wolff, another LIV golfer was ranked 12th around the world and was 30th at 2021s end. Since his last PGA Tour start at The Travelers Championship, Wolff has not collected any OWGR points.

Francesco Molinari

Current ranking:
Previous ranking: 148

Molinaris game crashed in the second half, after he lost the Masters final-round lead. Since then, he has struggled with consistency. Positive signs were a tie for 15th at The Open, and a tie for ninth at The BMW PGA Championship. He would love to be able to play in the European Ryder Cup team from his home country of Italy.

Webb Simpson

Current ranking: 99
Previous ranking: 98

He was the hottest player in the world at the beginning of 2020 after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and RBC Heritage. He had only one top-10 finish in 20 starts last season.

Zach Johnson

Current ranking: 369
Previous ranking: 359

Johnson, a twotime major champion and U.S. skipper for next year’s Ryder Cup Rome, was successful in 10 out of 23 tour starts last year.

The record

It has been quite some weeks since. Willie Mack III. On Oct. 12, he won the three-man playoff to win the Butterfield Bermuda APGA Championship, Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda. Mack won a Korn Ferry Tour Card for the first time after he passed the Second Stage Q-School. Mack will fly to Bermuda for his sixth start in a PGA Tour tournament on Tuesday. After winning the APGA event there, he was granted a sponsor exemption. Mack spoke with ESPN Monday about his incredible journey.

Q: What does it mean to you to finally receive a Korn Ferry Tour Card after so many years?

A: There were many emotions, especially after talking with my dad on the telephone. My mom, stepdad, brother, sister, and girlfriend were there. It was a great experience to have them all there to support me throughout the week. Its been a long wait.

Q: You mentioned your father. To ensure you could play at a high-quality golf school, he was responsible for two mortgages. How important were his sacrifices to your professional development?

A: I did not know about the houses until later. He did things I didnt know were happening. I have to give him all the credit. He sacrificed so much, even his own time, to ensure that I could attend tournaments. You dont realize what your parents do for you as a child until you are older.

Q: Tiger WoodsYou were granted a sponsor exemption to participate in the Genesis Invitational in Feb 2021. What did it mean for you to meet him in person?

A: It was a dream come to life. Although I missed the cut, it was a great experience to be able to have lunch for an hour with Tiger. It made that missed cut even more enjoyable.

Q: How much inspiration did Tiger give you to play the game of golf?

A: I was watching TV with my dad one Sunday while we were looking at football. We came across Tiger and stopped. From that moment on, I was hooked on golf. I bought some plastic balls and began to hit them in the backyard as well as my living room.

Q: How important is the Advocates Pro Golf Association Tour [which has a mission to bring greater diversity to golf by developing African-American players and other minorities]a key to your success in golf?

A: I began playing pro golf around the time the tour started. I believe it had only two events the first year. It has put on more events over the years for more money and it was nice being able to play at the APGA events between the larger events. The last couple years have been very good with prize money. [Advocates CEO Kenneth Bentley]Farmers Insurance was able help me get a sponsorship, which really helped.

Q: Was it true that you used to sleep in your car between tournaments?

A: The year that I turned pro was also the last year that you could directly access the PGA Tour from Q School. I reached the Second Stage, but missed the finals by two strokes. Over the next three years, I probably slept in my car for about a year and half. I was out on the road, trying make something happen.

Q: Do you still think you are developing as a player at the age of 34?

A: Definitely. There are many guys in their 40s that are still playing well on PGA Tour. I believe that golf is a sport in which confidence and experience are crucial. Im a much better golfer than last year. I believe I still have a lot of fuel left.

Q: What are your future goals?

A: I want to play well this week. I want to perform well at finals and get good Korn Ferry Tour starts. I hope to play well on Korn Ferry Tour, and then be on the PGA Tour next season.

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