Following the final round of The Players, Rory McIlroy returned to Northern Ireland Monday morning and had an MRI after experiencing mild pain and discomfort in his back in the same area from a previous injury earlier this year.
Good news: The scan showed no evidence of a new injury. The bad: The stress fracture to a rib that was diagnosed in January has not completely healed.
Ben An, a rookie on the European Tour, fired an impressive bogey-free, seven-under 65, the low score on Sunday, to capture the BMW PGA Championship by six shots over Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thongchai Jaidee. He carded a 21-under total for the championship, the lowest in relation to par in the history of the tournament, beating the previous best of 19-under by Anders Hansen in 2002 and Scott Drummond in 2004.
The body language says it all for Rory McIlroy, doesn’t it? The world no. 1 hung in there on the front nine at even par, but fatigue caught up with him on the back and he shot a six-over 78 to miss the cut at the BMW PGA Championship.
Despite expressing his slight disappointment that he wouldn’t be able to attempt to defend his title at Wentworth over the weekend, there’s a silver lining that comes with having the weekend off — which is exactly that.
For those of you without iPhones — and thus, can’t download the app — here’s the video of the quick chat I did on Periscope with Graeme McDowell after he shot a one-under 71 in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship. He’s one-over for the tournament, which currently puts him just outside the cutline at the moment.
It wasn’t even the first hole-in-one during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event — that honor went to Craig Lee, who aced the par-3 no. 2 at Wentworth’s West Course.
Timing is always everything, isn’t it? I was walking back to the media center from a nearly empty range when I saw Ernie Els, one of two players still practicing on the eve of the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. I almost kept going, but I figured golf fans would love to see The Big Easy hitting balls. In other words, it was a perfect moment to use Periscope — and it turned out to be even better than I thought.
Ernie, who was in charge of the redesign at Wentworth, the event’s venue, saw me watching him and pointing my phone at him, so he said hello and asked what I was doing (mostly, I think he was surprised to see me on this side of the pond because there isn’t much American media here). I started to explain Periscope to him and his interest piqued. I mean, he got really into it — he answered questions, demonstrated a swing tip, showed off his clubs and more.
You can watch the video above, but you should really download Periscope if you can and watch it on the app for the full effect because you can see all the comments and how Ernie was interacting with fans.
The ever-unpredictable Patrick Reed was scheduled to play at the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, along with next week’s Irish Open at Royal County Down, which world no. 1 Rory McIlroy is hosting for the first time. However, he unexpectedly withdrew from both events on Monday. The strange part is that instead he’s entered in the PGA Tour’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.
In case you missed the live interviews on Periscope — since it was dark-o-clock in the U.S. — I spoke with Nicolas Colsaerts, Luke Donald, Matteo Manassero and Mikko Ilonen this morning at Wentworth, the site of the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. (Don’t worry, I asked if I could use the live-streaming app in advance and received permission from the European Tour, which has different media regulations, and I’m pretty much allowed to Periscope until the cows come home from Monday-Wednesday.)