In today’s PGW Daily Rundown, Rory receives acknowledgement of his riches, but stays humble, even holding a trick shot contest for fans; Erin Hills will be without Ryan Moore or Geoff Ogilvy; and a women’s college golfer at Duke becomes a two-time Annika winner.
No Moore: Ryan Withdraws From U.S. Open
At last year’s U.S. Open, the title was captured by Dustin Johnson, one of the best players in the world without a major victory. If the trend is going to continue at Erin Hills next week, it won’t be Ryan Moore who finally breaks through on the major stage.
The 34-year-old majorless American was forced to withdraw from his spot at the U.S. Open after a shoulder injury put him on the sideline for a month.
- Solid Finishes: Moore has two top-10 finishes this season in events with very strong fields: a T3 at the year-opening SBS Tournament of Champions and a T9 at The Masters.
- Pain Increased: Moore has struggled badly in his last two starts, combining two missed cuts with a T53 and a T67. He finished +5 or worse in all four.
- Recovery Time: The recovery for Moore’s shoulder injury is 3-4 weeks, forcing him to withdraw from next week’s U.S. Open.
- Breakthrough Season: Moore did have a great 2016 season however, with nine top 10s in 23 events, including a win at the John Deere Classic. He also qualified for the Ryder Cup as a Captain’s pick, where he scored the winning point for the victorious American side.
- Alternate Plans: Moore will be replaced in the U.S. Open field by Michael Putnam, the first alternate at the Columbus, Ohio Sectional.
“While the strained shoulder is a minor injury, Ryan’s doctor recommended he take time off to let it heal. He is expected back at full health.”
–Jeremy Moore, brother and manager
Making Bank: Rory Only Golfer in Forbes Top 10
For years, professional golfers have held high positions on the annual Forbes’ list of highest-earning athletes in the world, with Tiger Woods dominating the top of the list until fairly recently.
The new Forbes list came out earlier this week, and while several golfers are in the top 100, just one made the top 10: 2016 FedEx Cup Champion Rory McIlroy, who came in at sixth.
- High Rank: With $50 million in earnings between salary and endorsements, the 28-year-old four time major winner McIlroy tied the NFL’s Andrew Luck in the sixth position on the Forbes Top 100 athlete earnings list.
- Millions Earned: McIlroy is credited with $16 million in salary alone, an enormous number for a golfer, in addition to $34 million in endorsements. McIlroy earned $10 million for winning the 2016 FedEx Cup and was fourth on the PGA Tour in earnings, with $5.7 million in earnings. Seven finishes inside the top five in 2016 aided that number strongly.
- Solid Season: Rory is off to another successful season in 2017. Injuries have limited him to just six starts, but he has four top 10s, including T4s at the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
- Five Higher: The only higher earning athletes in 2016 were Cristiano Renaldo (soccer- $93 million), LeBron James (basketball- $86.2 million), Lionel Messi (soccer- $80 million), Roger Federer (tennis- $64 million), and Kevin Durant (basketball- $60.6 million).
- Other Golfers: The other golfers in the top 100 were Phil Mickelson (12th– $43.5 million), Tiger Woods (17th– $37.1 million), Jordan Spieth (21st– $34.5 million), and Dustin Johnson (48th– $27.6 million)
“Luckily, that amount of money doesn’t sort of mean much to me anymore.”
–Rory McIlroy in 2016 after winning the $10 million FedEx Cup Champion Bonus.
McIlroy Engages Fans: Holds Trick Shot Contest
The Rory Foundation, the charity founded by world #2 Rory McIlroy has conceived a unique opportunity: a trick shot contest.
McIlroy took to social media recently to announce the contest, which calls for anyone interested to take a video of their best trick shot and upload it to Twitter with the hashtag #RoryTrickShot. The winner will receive a spot in a European Tour pro-am event.
- Children’s Charity: The contest is being held by the Rory Foundation, which helps children’s charities around the world.
- The Judge: Rory himself will watch all submissions and select a winner.
- The Prize: The winning shot will be get to golf in a professional event: the pro-am of the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open, held at Portstewart in Northern Ireland (Rory’s home country) on July 5th.
— Rory Foundation (@roryfoundation) June 7, 2017
2006 U.S. Open Champ Ogilvy Passes On Qualifying Opportunity
Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot with a score of five-over-par, taking advantage of 72nd hole collapses by Phil Mickelson, Colin Montgomerie, and Jim Furyk on his way to his first, and only, major championship victory.
For winning, Ogilvy was granted a 10-year U.S. Open exemption, which ran out last year. Ogilvy’s career has stagnated since the 2012 season, and the eight-time Tour winner has struggled to qualify for the biggest events. One more he will not be playing: the 2017 U.S. Open.
Ogilvy passed up a chance to qualify via sectionals, instead deciding to use the week to rest, potentially a wise decision given his tenuous hold on his PGA Tour card.
- Late Withdraw: The 39-year-old Ogilvy had been scheduled to compete in the popular Columbus, Ohio sectional earlier this week, but made a late decision to withdraw in favor of rest.
- Ranking Freefall: Ogilvy has reached as high as #4 in the Official World Golf Rankings, which he accomplished after winning the 2009 WGC-Match Play Championship. After a series of recent struggles, Ogilvy currently ranks 215th.
- Rest Needed: With the busiest part of the season approaching, Ogilvy felt the rest would do him better. He is currently playing on a one-time exemption for his high position on the career money list.
- Decent Season: In the current season, Ogilvy has made nine cuts in 17 events with one top 10, a T4 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last November.
- One Goal: Ogilvy said that he would have entered sectional qualifying if he had a better position in the FedEx Cup standings. He currently ranks 113th with the top 125 at the end of the season receiving their 2018 PGA Tour card.
“If you play the qualifier, it beats you up, and then the tournament beats you up, and then I could go to [The Travelers Championship] physically tired and maybe lose a bit of confidence if I don’t play well. It was really hard for me.”
Duke’s Maguire Wins Annika Award For Second Time
While the LPGA is certainly not lacking in young talent, it may not be long before they get to boast another teen superstar.
Leona Maguire, a junior at Duke University, won the Annika Award, one of the most prestigious honors in college golf, for the second time in the past three years.
Nearly turning pro after last season, Maguire opted to play one more season at Duke, one in which put together another phenomenal season. She finished the season #1 in the women’s college golf rankings.
- The Best: The Annika Award, named for LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam, was introduced in 2014, with Duke’s Leona Maguire winning it for a second time. She previous won in 2015. The award is voted on by college golfers, coaches, and media.
- Impressive Season: In ten 2016-17 starts, Maguire finished T6 or better in all 10, with three victories, two second-place finishes, and three thirds.
- Duke Degree: Maguire nearly turned pro last year, eventually withdrawing from the final stage of Q-School, with plans to graduate from Duke next spring.
- Go Low: Maguire had a 70.29 scoring average, the best of anyone in women’s college golf since Lorena Ochoa had a 70.13 average in 2001.
“She is probably the smartest player I have ever coached.”
–Dan Brooks, Duke golf coach