FRIDAY  | MARCH 22, 2019
by Gary Van Sickle

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Luke Donald’s graph on the Official World Golf Ranking website reminds me of a stock I once owned, Gemstar. It ran up from $24 to $92 a share, as I recall, then suddenly cratered into the abyss. I bailed out too late. My chute didn’t open.

The line on Donald’s OWGR graph that charts his ranking this century also has a Gemstar-like quality. Its downward angle is not a softly-sloping rollercoaster; it’s a sheer White Cliffs of Dover drop.



by John Hawkins

Rory McIlroy’s first really good shot at winning a major championship occurred at the 2011 Masters, where he carried a four-stroke lead into the final round. By the time he reached the 10th tee and hooked his drive so violently that it nearly busted a window on Butler Cabin, the 21-year-old McIlroy had completely lost control of the wheel.

Prodigy meets tragedy. Youth meets truth. What few people could have noticed was that McIlroy and Angel Cabrera played together in Sunday’s final pairing, meaning two of the game’s speediest golfers were stuck in the caboose on a train full of deliberate, ultra-analytical tour pros who need at least 4½ hours to play 18 holes.


It’s your honor
Editor’s note: Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at Please provide your name and city of residence.


Promoted: The PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson, in an Instagram post by former President George W. Bush, who reacted to his first hole-in-one, at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas. Said the former president: "With coaching from @thebushcenter CEO Ken Hersh and board members Mike Meece and Bill Hickey, I scored my first hole-in-one at the home of our Warrior Open and the @attbyronnelson." Bush used an 8-iron on the 12th hole.



Number of strokes under par for Joel Dahmen and Sepp Straka, the co-leaders at 66 after the first round at the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla.




The Grill Room with Bob & Jay
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss Rory McIlroy, the recent Players champion who joined an elite club by winning his 15th title on the PGA Tour before age 30. The show includes audio from McIlroy, runner-up Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods. Plus, Morning Read co-founder Alex Miceli talks about the effects of the revised Florida Swing, including this week’s Valspar Championship.

Hawk & Rude: Players Championship wrap
John Hawkins and Jeff Rude discuss an exciting Players Championship won by Rory McIlroy, who picked up his 15th PGA Tour victory seven weeks before his 30th birthday.


Golfscape, a U.K.-based international online reservation service, has named the Highland Course at Primland in Meadows of Dan, Va., to its 2019 list of the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses. Highland ranks No. 8 in the U.S. and No. 28 in the world, according to Golfscape.


William “Bill” Stevens, the president of Manchester Country Club in Bedford, N.H., has been named a Top Private Club President by BoardRoom magazine. Stevens, the president of Harvey Construction in Bedford, was one of 25 club presidents honored by BoardRoom.


Sea Pines Country Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C., has selected architect Phil Smith to oversee renovations to the Arnold Palmer-designed Club Course. Upon Smith’s completion of a master plan, work will begin on the practice facility, followed by renovations to the course.


KemperSports recognized its top performers at the company’s annual awards dinner. The event marked the end of the three-day KemperSports Leadership Conference in Chicago.


March 21-24
European: Maybank Championship

Saujana G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

PGA Tour: Valspar Championship

Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, Fla.

LPGA: Bank of Hope Founders Cup

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Wildfire GC, Phoenix Chitimacha Louisiana Open

Le Triomphe G&CC, Broussard, La.

12700 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 300, Reston, Virginia 20191
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