Sunday 22 April 2018

Rory McIlroy in mouth-watering group for US PGA

Rory McIlroy, left, and Rickie Fowler
Rory McIlroy, left, and Rickie Fowler
Padraig Harrington. Photo: Getty Images

William S Callahan

The PGA of America has whetted the appetite of golf fans for next week's US PGA Championship by releasing information on some top groups to watch in the first round at Quail Hollow.

Rory McIlroy, bidding for his third Wanamaker Trophy, will line up alongside Dubai Duty Free Irish Open champion Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler at 1.35pm local time (6.35pm Irish) next Thursday.

Jordan Spieth (Open), Sergio Garcia (Masters), and Brooks Koepka (US Open), play together in a 2017 Major champions' elite group.

All six of these stars were in action at the weather-affected WGC-Bridgestone championship at Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio yesterday.

The start of round two was delayed for 45 minutes due to bad weather.

Another 45 minute interruption came in the middle of the morning before a threat of lightning brought the players off the course from 1.11pm to 4.30 local time.

Former US PGA champion Jimmy Walker had the lead at five-under par through ten holes when the hooter blew to signal the suspension.

McIlroy was on three-under after nine at that point.

After the resumption, Walker got home in 65 to lead at seven-under par.

McIlroy pitched in from the rough for birdie on 16 to get to four under, and made two pars for 69

Meanwhile, Seamus Power and Padraig Harrington competed in the PGA Tour's Barracuda Championship, formerly the Reno-Tahoe Open, at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno, Nevada.

The tournament format is a modified stableford system where a double eagle gets eight points, an eagle is worth five points,and a birdie two points. Par is zero points, a bogey is minus one point, and players get minus three points for a double-bogey or worse.

Power comfortably made the cut with 16 points, adding nine yesterday to his opening seven.

Leader Stuart Appleby of Australia was on 24 points.

Harrington made a late bid to save himself from the cut, scoring four birdies on his last eight holes, but it was too little, too late, as he finished on four points, four off the projected cut mark when he finished.

Ireland's Leona Maguire safely made the cut in the Ricoh British Women's Open championship at Kingsbarn Links. Maguire shot 71 for four-under par.

South Korea's In-Kyung Kim led the field into the weekend on 11 under with a 68. Georgia Hall of England and Lexi Thompson (USA) were next on nine under after rounds of 67 and 68 respectively.

Brendan McGovern was the leading Irishman in the Scottish Senior Open at one-under with a 70. Paul Broadhurst's opening 66 set the pace at five-under par.

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Live, Sky Sports Golf, 7.0 pm

Women's British Open

Live, Sky Sports Golf, 12.0pm

Irish Independent

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