Sport Golf

Monday 26 September 2016

McIlroy's eyes on the prize as he undergoes laser surgery

Published 11/12/2015 | 02:30

'McIlroy will test out his new vision in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship next month'
'McIlroy will test out his new vision in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship next month'

Actors get face lifts, tummy tucks and, if they're women, boob jobs, but for golfers, the eyes are the body part most often chosen for enhancement.

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Rory McIlroy has announced his laser eye surgery to the world via Instagram, and the experience of his peers suggests it can only improve his game.

Our own Pádraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and Michael Hoey have undergone this procedure, and in the immediate aftermath, felt it helped their depth perception and performances.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Tom Kite, Hale Irwin, Se Ri Pak, Laura Davies and Lee Westwood are among the elite who declared themselves happy with their laser surgery.

In McIlroy's case, he first got spectacles when he was ten, but graduated to using contact lenses to correct his vision.

Few, if any golfers, wear spectacles as did Hale Irwin and Tom Kite for years. The big disadvantage was in rain and wind, and both men found a great relief in ditching the specs.

McIlroy, recent winner of the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai, will test out his new vision in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship next month.

Achievements

Europe's number one was named the Tour's 'Golfer of the Month' for November following his achievements in Dubai.

McIlroy has spoken of his desire to "make the next 10, 15 years my time" but he will do well to match the longevity and competitiveness of Des Smyth.

Smyth, 62, tees off today in the European Senior Tour's season-ending MCB Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius.

The former Ryder Cup player and vice-captain (twice) is an eight-time winner on the regular Tour and has five Senior Tour titles to his credit plus two Champions Tour victories.

Smyth first turned pro in 1974 and, once he got out on the European Tour, never lost his playing rights.

He is joined in the tournament by fellow Irishmen Philip Walton and Denis O'Sullivan.

Graeme McDowell partners Gary Woodland in the 54-hole Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Florida, and the duo opened with 13-under par in the scramble format yesterday.

Billy Horschel and Hunter Mahan joined McDowell/Woodland on that mark, leaving them a shot behind leaders Harris English and Matt Kuchar who set the pace at 14-under.

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