Rory McIlroy criticizes the USGA and the R&A, world-class golf authorities who have announced their intention to put a stop, including intervening on equipment, to the increase in the distances of the shots.
“They are wasting time and money.
Rather, they should focus on making golf a sport within everyone’s reach. They are short-sighted. They are trying to change something that affects 0.1% of golf. 99.9% of golfers play for fun and don’t need anyone to tell them which irons or balls to use”
Meanwhile, good news for all the fans in the world of golf. The public is back on the PGA Tour but the Phoenix Open of golf, in Scottsdale (Arizona), in the stands will not be able to guarantee the show offered in the pre-Covid period.
Named “best tournament” of the top American circuit in 2018 as in 2019, during the course of the week it was used to hosting over 600,000 spectators (618,000 in 2016). The health emergency has changed everything and the event will be able to welcome up to a maximum of 5,000 fans a day.
“There won’t be the usual atmosphere, but it will be better than nothing” says Jon Rahm, world number 2 and favorite on the eve. The Spaniard, back from three seventh places (Masters, Sentry Tournament and Farmers Insurance) in as many appearances, is aiming for the big shot.
The title will be defended by the American Webb Simpson (ninth in the ranking) who, in 2020, overtook his compatriot Tony Finau on the first additional hole, this year absent because he was involved in the Saudi International (European Tour) in the same days.
Francesco Molinari will not be in the game, he will enjoy a rest session after the two Top 10 collected in The American Express first and then in Farmers Insurance. The blue in 2015 made a hole in one show on hole 16 (par 3) of TPC Scottsdale, nicknamed “The Coliseum”
Tiger Woods (out for a new back surgery) did the same in 1997, with the grandstand – usually seating 20,000 spectators – exploding with joy. Among the favorites to the title, in addition to Rahm and Simpson there will be Justin Thomas, world number 3, Xander Schauffele, fourth in the ranking, and Rory McIlroy, sixth in the rankings.
There will therefore be five players in the world Top 10 in the field in Scottsdale. In an event that since 1973 has been played in the same week as the Super Bowl. This will be the case again this year, with the event that will offer a prize pool of 7,300,000 dollars.