By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- You can bet that Greg Norman, who captains the International Team for the Presidents Cup, will be watching today's final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational with great interest.
The top three players on the leaderboard -- Adam Scott, Jason Day and Ryo Ishikawa -- are expected to be playing for Norman in November at Royal Melbourne when the matches are renewed for the ninth time. Day, who is 23, currently leads the standings while Scott is fourth and Ishikawa is 13th. The top 10 after next month's BMW Championship automatically make the team and Norman has two Captain's Picks.
"What I am seeing on the leaderboard of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational this week illustrates once again how the pendulum of golf continues to swing in a global direction," Norman said. "Take for instance, the development that has taken place with Ryo since he blasted on the scene leading up to the 2009 Presidents Cup and the emergence of a "new star" in Jason Day, with his very impressive climb up the ladder of the world rankings, ... to a veteran and "old boy" of this trio Adam Scott, who seems to have found his competitor level and skills that propelled him into the top five in the world at one stage."
Day, who finished second at the Masters and the U.S. Open, will be playing on his first Presidents Cup. The 31-year-old Scott has played in four Presidents Cups while Ishikawa, who is 19, made his debut in 2009 at Harding Park when he joined the Aussie as one of Norman's Captain's Picks.
"I have been very open about my thoughts and opinions on the fact that the game of golf has truly gone global again, reminiscent of the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s," Norman said. "With the domination of Northern Ireland, England, South Africa, Argentina and Europe over the past few years, and now, this week the other side of the world is stepping up to the plate and rightfully so.
"I love seeing where the game is right now with the quality and character of players. In the long run, the rest of the world elevating their game will serve as a stimulant for the Americans to elevate their games in an attempt to regain the domination they once had. Professional golf is the healthiest it has been in a long time and with that, it is in a great place."
The United States owns a 6-1-1 record in the biennial matches with the lone American defeat coming at Royal Melbourne.
BETHESDA, Md. – Rory McIlroy continues to lap the field at the 111th U.S. Open.
The 22-year-old has just made consecutive birdies to become the first player to reach 13 under at a U.S. Open. And if McIlroy can make a third straight at the 18th hole, he would tie the major championship record of 63 for the second time in his career.
Only two players have ever shot two 63s in a major championship – Vijay Singh at the 1993 PGA and 2003 U.S. Open and Greg Norman at the 1986 British Open and 1996 Masters.
McIlory fired a 63 in the first round of last year’s British Open. He has now held at least a share of the lead in five of the last six rounds at a major.
BETHESDA, Md. -- The USGA announced Wednesday that Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., has been selected as the site of the 2018 U.S. Open Championship.
The dates of the championship are June 14-17, 2018. It will be the fifth U.S. Open to be hosted by the club, which is the only venue to host the championship in three centuries.
Shinnecock Hills hosted the second U.S. Open in 1896, and James Foulis won the championship by three strokes over Horace Rawlins. In 1986, Raymond Floyd shot a final-round 66 to break out of a tightly bunched field and win by two strokes over Chip Beck and Lanny Wadkins. Nine years later, Corey Pavin clinched his two-stroke victory over Greg Norman with a memorable 4-wood approach to the final green. Retief Goosen outlasted Phil Mickelson by two strokes to claim his second U.S. Open title in 2004.
“We are thrilled that our national championship will return to one of our country’s most-storied venues,” said USGA President Jim Hyler. “We are confident that Shinnecock Hills will provide a true challenge for the world’s premier players, as it has for more than a century.”
Shinnecock Hills opened in 1891, and the present course was designed by William Flynn and opened in 1931. The 2018 championship will mark the 19th time the U.S. Open will have been played in the state of New York and the 10th time on Long Island. As of the 2011 season, New York has hosted 66 USGA championships, which ranks third among all states.
Shinnecock Hills was one of the founding clubs of the USGA in 1894 along with The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., Newport (R.I.) Country Club, Chicago (Ill.) Golf Club and Saint Andrew's Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Shinnecock Hills had America's first golf clubhouse (complete with locker room, showers and grill room), which was designed by Stanford White. It was also the first 18-hole golf course on the East Coast.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
AUGUSTA, GA -- Greg Norman knows.
He didn't find himself between cabins. Or watch his golf ball play pinball on the 10th hole, but, lord, the man has had his share of heartbreak at Augusta National. Whether it was Larry Mize's chip and run in 1987 or Norman's meltdown in 1996, the man has driven down Magnolia Lane shaking his head more times than anyone can count.
He would sit at his locker, tapping his putter at the end of yet another almost and wonder the same thing: How can a course he loves so much tear his heart out.
He watched her do it to young Rory McIlroy Sunday afternoon. One minute McIlroy makes the turn home in the lead. The next? He's hitting from between two cabins, then hitting another tree and scraping it in for a triple-bogey seven.
"I knew exactly how he felt,'' Norman said from his home in Jupiter, Fla. "I've experienced it.''
He went to the 18th hole several times in his career -- including 1986 -- with a chance to win. And in 1996, he entered the day with a six-shot lead and closed with a 78 -- to Nick Faldo's 67 -- and finished second by five shots.
He was impressed with the way both McIlroy and CBS' Peter Kostis handled discussing it afterward.
And it made Norman shake his head once again.
"What is it with golf destiny?'' he said. " Isn’t it strange? It taps you on the back of your head and it either pushes you ahead or pushes you back. Who determines that? It's crazy.''