Masters mistakes foil McIlroy’s latest Grand Slam bid

first_imgThe four-time major winner probably will struggle just to extend his run of top-10 Masters finishes.The 29-year-old from Northern Ireland stumbled to his second consecutive one-under par 71 in Friday’s third round at Augusta National, walking off on one-under 215 and eight strokes adrift of leaders after a closing bogey.“It’s not as if I’m playing bad golf,” McIlroy said. “I’m under par for the golf tournament, but I’m just not enough under par. I just made too many mistakes.“All aspects of your game have to be really sharp to have a chance to win and to score well around here.”McIlroy needs only the Masters green jacket to complete a career Grand Slam, an every-major win feat managed only by Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan.“I saw Tony (Finau) shot six-under the front nine. I’m going to need something like that tomorrow to maybe have a chance,” McIlroy said, before sounding a more realistic tone: “I can play a good round of golf and finish the week on a positive note.”World number three McIlroy was the oddsmakers pick when the week began after an impressive victory in last month’s Players Championship and seven top-10 finishes to begin the year.McIlroy matched his Masters career low in last year’s third round on the way to fifth place, his fifth Masters top-10 in a row, but never looked to duplicate the feat this time.“I just tried to play a good round of golf,” McIlroy said. “But I just haven’t been getting much out of my round. I’ve just been making too many mistakes.“I’ve been making the birdies, and doing the things that you need to do around here. I’ve just been — if I’ve missed a green, I haven’t got it up and down or put myself out of position.”Too many tee shots into the woods and missed greens proved McIlroy’s undoing.“I’m hitting some good shots. It’s just about hitting the shots a little bit better,” McIlroy said.“It’s not as if anything is glaringly obvious in terms of what’s lacking in my game. It has just been one of those weeks where I haven’t quite got the momentum that I needed to get.”– Little errors, big woes –McIlroy settled for early pars before a 32-foot birdie putt at the par-3 fourth, but drove into spectators to bogey the par-3 sixth and another bogey followed at seven.His tee shot at the par-5 eighth — which he eagled Friday and birdied Thursday — went left into the forest and McIlroy swung his club in disgust then salvaged par.At nine, McIlroy bunkered his approach and could only blast into the rough on the way to bogey.“Missing it left on six. Put myself out of position on a couple of the par-5s, where I can’t go for the green in two,” McIlroy said. “Just little things like that where a different day could be a different result.”McIlroy began the back nine with a birdie but made bogey at 11 for the third day in a row before escaping trees to birdie the par-5 13th.An eagle from eight feet at the par-5 15th and 12-foot birdie putt at 16 revived hope but he needed a 14-foot par save at 17 and missed a 14-footer to bogey 18.“The rough this year is… longer than it usually is and it’s just hard to get control of your ball out of it,” McIlroy said. “I just haven’t driven it in the fairway enough to have control going into these greens.”last_img read more

Mike Sorensen: Utah Jazz: At least pick didn’t get booed

first_img Related All of a sudden we have a little bit of everything going on in the world of sports …It’s probably a good thing the Jazz didn’t invite the fans for draft night at the EnergySolutions Arena like they have in the past. The reaction to the pick of Kosta Koufos would likely have been similar to the reaction at Madison Square Garden when the Knicks chose Italian Danilo Gallinari. Which was similar to the one at my house by my Jazz-fan son when the Jazz chose Koufos …There’s something about unknown big guys with funny names that makes fans wary. Sometimes they work out (Dirk Nowitzki, Manu Ginobli) and sometimes they don’t (Darko Milicic, Niciloz Tskitishvili, Oleksiy Pecherov, Greg Ostertag) …The Jazz brass certainly were excited to get a player projected to be picked as high as 13 or 14 at No. 23. However, the simple fact is, Koufos fell to 23 for a reason or else a bunch of teams would have taken him. You can’t say the Jazz got a lottery player. He’s still a No. 23 pick …I’m not saying Koufos won’t be a good player. He’s been compared favorably by some to Mehmet Okur, so perhaps he can take the Turk’s place in four or five years. By then he’ll only be 23 or 24 …Good for BYU’s Trent Plaisted to get drafted after a lot of folks thought he wouldn’t. I’ll still be surprised if he sticks on Detroit’s roster, but then again I’m still surprised former BYU center Greg Kite lasted for 12 seasons in the NBA …Speaking of Kite, did you know he started 225 games during his career, including all 82 in 1990-91 with Orlando? At least Plaisted is a slightly better free-throw shooter than Kite, who shot an abysmal 48.6 percent from the foul line in his NBA career …Once again, no American male players made it to the second week of Wimbledon. This year was one of the worst ever, however, with only one American male player making it as far as the third round, the worst U.S. showing since 1926. With Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova both eliminated last week, the Williams sisters are on a collision course for the finals, unless they start playing like the American men …How about former Salt Lake pitcher Jered Weaver becoming just the fifth pitcher in Major League history to be the losing pitcher in a no-hitter pitched by his own team. Weaver pitched the first six innings of the Angels 1-0 loss to the Dodgers Friday, but his error contributed to L.A.’s only run in the fifth inning …Just when local fans were getting excited about the Blaze, they go and blow a lead and lose a playoff game at home. While it was disappointing, give Danny White and the Blaze credit for recovering from that awful 0-9 start all the way to hosting a first-round playoff game …Just when local fans are getting excited about Real Salt Lake after five straight games without a loss, the team goes and loses in the worst possible way — an own-goal in the 89th minute to one of the league’s worst teams. At least RSL still has more than three months left on its schedule, unlike the Blaze, who are done for the year …Not that an American has to win the U.S. Women’s Open, but it was too bad to see Stacy Lewis fade badly Sunday with a 78. The winner, in case you didn’t see, was 19-year-old South Korean Inbee Park, not to be confused with Angela Park, a 19-year-old Brazilian-born 19-year-old of Korean descent, who lives in California. She finished in a tie for third place with Lewis and In-Kyung Kim, not to be confused with Mi Hyun Kim, who finished in a tie for sixth, and Song-Hee Kim, who tied for 24th …Who’s the best player on the PGA Tour now that Tiger Woods is out for the season? It’s got to be 47-year-old Kenny Perry, who won for the second time this year at the Buick Open and moved into third place on the FedEx points list. Kenny Perry? Yikes … Finally, for all you diehard college football fans, the season begins exactly two months from today for BYU, Utah and Utah State (Weber State starts two days earlier), with training camps a little more than a month away. Utah Jazz notes: Williams making himself at home in Utah — all yearcenter_img E-mail: sor@desnews.comlast_img read more