LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – By the time Newcastle United kick off their Premier League campaign at home to champions Manchester City in little less than a month’s time the squad would have clocked up an astonishing 24,687 pre-season air miles.
Globe-trotting West Ham United will not be far behind while five other clubs would have covered distances in excess of 12,000 miles as they take their brands to far-flung destinations.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – For Rory McIlroy the secret of his stunning victory at the Open on Sunday came down to two rather unremarkable words: process and spot.
That was the mantra he repeated in his brain throughout four majestic rounds of golf at the Royal Liverpool course.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Four superb rounds in the 60s on an Open course ready punish the smallest errors should have been enough for American Rickie Fowler to have had something bubbly in the old Claret Jug on Sunday.
The 25-year-old with the looks of a Hollywood heart-throb fired a six-under-par fourth round 66 at the Royal Liverpool course alongside the Merseyside coast to complete a collection of cards which included two 69s and a 68.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – They flocked in their thousands to crown Rory McIlroy the new prince of the links and the Northern Irishman with a twinkle in his eye and a magician’s touch with a golf club did not let them down at the British Open on Sunday.
It was not all plain sailing – Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler saw to that – but when the 25-year-old tapped his ball a few inches across the 18th green into the hole to seal victory the roar that went up could probably have been heard across the Dee Estuary in North Wales.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – A late-night chat with his coach worked wonders for England’s Chris Wood as he scored the joint lowest round of this year’s Open on Sunday, signing off with a seven-birdie 65.
The 26-year-old, who has an enviable Open record, spent Saturday evening on the sofa trying to work out what was missing with his game in the three previous rounds of 75, 70 and 73.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Tiger Woods believes he justifies a place in the United States Ryder Cup team despite missing the year’s first two majors through injury and finishing dismally at the British Open on Sunday.
The 14-times major champion is well outside the automatic nine places for the match against holders Europe at Gleneagles in September and may require one of captain Tom Watson’s three wildcard selections.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – Rory McIlroy left the door invitingly ajar for a charging pack led by Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia before slamming it shut with a dazzling finish on Saturday to lead the Open by six strokes with one round left.
The Northern Irishman began the day four shots clear of Dustin Johnson, was reeled in by inspired American Fowler after 12 holes, but magnificent eagles at the 16th and 18th saw him disappear over the horizon with a 16-under-par total of 200 at a rain-soaked Royal Liverpool course.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – While there is still hope Sergio Garcia will battle all the way in the final round at the British Open, the Spaniard knows he faces a near impossible task to overhaul Rory McIlroy on Sunday.
“If he shoots three under, I have to shoot 10,” the 34-year-old, who looks destined for yet more major frustration, said on Saturday after a round of 69 left him on nine under par – seven shots behind the Northern Irishman.
HOYLAKE, England, July 19 (Reuters) – Rory McIlroy’s grip on the Open loosened on Saturday as he suffered a jittery start to his second round and American Rickie Fowler launched a barrage of birdies.
The Northern Irishman began the day four shots clear but after bogeying the opening hole and struggling to fire on all cylinders on a soggy Royal Liverpool course, his lead was cut to one by a charging Fowler.
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) – This time there was no freaky Friday for Rory McIlroy as a majestic second round gave him a four-shot stranglehold on the British Open at a sweltering Royal Liverpool course.
Several second round blow-outs this season, the most recent at the Scottish Open, meant all eyes were on the 25-year-old Northern Irishman to see if he could capitalise on his one-stroke overnight lead rather than shoot himself in the foot.