Many happy returns if Rory tops money list
Sunday 04 October 2009
The 50th birthday of Rory McIlroy's father could be even more special than planned tomorrow. Gale-force winds, as high as 70mph, forced the cancellation of yesterday's play on all three courses being used for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships in Scotland.
Instead of cutting the event to 54 holes, it was decided to extend it into tomorrow – and that could now be the day when 20-year-old McIlroy goes top of the European money list for the first time.
The celebrity pro-am has also given him the chance to partner his father, Gerry, in a tournament and providing all goes well when they resume at Kingsbarns today, they will play the final round together at St Andrews.
As a joint halfway leader, with fellow Ulsterman Michael Hoey and Scot Richie Ramsay, McIlroy had no quibbles with the decision. "You can't argue," he said. "I think everyone can see that, especially here at Kingsbarns. I am looking at the ninth hole just now and with the way that wind is blowing you wouldn't be able to get your ball near that green in three shots, never mind trying to putt on it. I think the forecast for the next two days is pretty good, so if we have to wait till Monday to finish then we have to wait."
Ramsay, who is also yet to play Kingsbarns, added: "I think the right decision has been made. You look at some of the exposed greens on these courses and the balls are just blowing off in all directions, so you couldn't play in that wind. Plus, if you put everyone out there and had to bring them on and off the course throughout the day it would be pretty tough to co-ordinate that with three courses."
Meanwhile, the European Ryder Cup captain, Colin Montgomerie, yesterday insisted that he knows precisely what he will be doing in a year's time.
"Lifting a certain gold trophy high into the air at Celtic Manor and thanking my team for their sterling efforts in regaining the Ryder Cup," writes Montgomerie in his latest captain's blog on the European Tour website. "I know it will not be an easy task. I know the Americans will be tough opponents. We will have to be at our best. But I also know I will have the players on the golf course, backed up by a team of people behind the scenes, that will enable the European Tour to succeed and I will leave no stone unturned in my attempts to do so.
"When Wales was successful with its bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2001 it seemed such a long time away, but now here we are almost in the home straight. It will be great to see all the players fighting for qualification over the next 12 months and those that don't make it, of course, will have to try and impress me in other ways."
Montgomerie, who has three wild cards to hand out when the points race ends in August, makes the latest of a series of visits to the Welsh venue this week. The American captain, Corey Pavin, will be there too.
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