3:20 pm Update: Rory heaps praise on Bryson DeChambeau, golf’s mold-shattering phenom:
“It’s the first time I played with him, first time I met him. Great guy, first and foremost. Very polite, very courteous, and obviously the method that he has is very much his own,” McIlroy added.
“It’s funny, he was walking just ahead of us there down the first fairway with the cap on and the stuff, and the pants, and it sort of reminded me of what it would be like to play with [Ben] Hogan.”
When it comes to high praise, that’s game, set, match! Not since Dick Fosbury in 1968 has a sportsman shocked the world the way Bryson DeChambeau is doing in 2016. And it’s only January.
2:40 pm Update:
- Looks like Golf Channel WILL have resumption of play in Abu tonight. That’s nice. 10:30 pm EST, I believe. Even if you don’t stay awake for it all (I think I’ll aim for an early rise and blow off the night coverage), you can check to see if the fog stayed away, which would allow them to finish on Sunday.
- Lahiri falling apart in round three at the Hope. Found water on two of three holes. Probably asking too much for a guy to play three consecutive new courses in a row and compete with guys who have been playing them for over a decade.
- Was reading Geoff Shackelford’s blog a little earlier today. He had several nice entries. Rory “surreptitiously” trying out DeChambeau’s clubs. Not sure exactly what that means.
- Worth reading from Pro Golf Now: “Rory McIlroy: Is Rory Losing His Popularity Among Millennials?“
8:11 am Update: Sounds like ETP is going to cover tonight’s (tomorrow morning in Abu) resumption of play. I assume GC will carry it.
7:08 am Update: RORY BIRDIES 2ND HOLE, NOW ONE BACK!!
5:45 am Update: Okay, round three has started, live coverage has started, and I’ve got some coffee in me. A few thoughts:
- American Bryson DeChambeau, reigning NCAA champion and U.S. Amateur champion, whose college career was yanked out from under him when SMU received a ban, finds himself in the final group alongside Rory McIlroy. That’ll take the sting out of the college golf ban.
- DeChambeau, if he were to win, might decide to turn pro immediately. He’s remaining an amateur because if he does so, he’s qualified for the year’s first three majors. A win here would qualify him, amateur or pro.
- Jordan has started off birdie-par-birdie and is T-16, five off the lead, three out of second place. Could he get back into contention?
- Euro Sevener Branden Grace is T-16, tied with Spieth. Euro Seveners Bjorn and Jaidee are T-4. And, of course, Euro Sevener Anirban Lahiri is T-3 at the Hope Desert Classic. Hey, jalnichols, care to comment?
4:45 am Update: Finally we have the third round tee times. Rory teeing off at 3:35 pm Abu time, which is about two hours from now and an hour worse than yesterday. He’ll be lucky to get nine in. (Will GC show the conclusion of round three tomorrow [tonight in U.S.]? Doubtful.)
Rickie played his way into contention, but Jordan went the wrong way in round two. It’s poor consolation, but Jordan will possibly finish his third round today. His tee time is 1:45 pm local, which also means he will figure prominently in the early part of today’s broadcast.
Fog tomorrow could be a real problem given that the leaders will need to play around 27 holes.
4:30 am Update: Okay, the delay today was not one hour, as Golf Channel claimed, but rather two hours and 50 minutes, five minutes longer than yesterday. The second round did conclude just 30 minutes ago. We are waiting on pairings. Okay, Rory teed off at 2:40 Abu time yesterday. It’s nearing 1:40 now, so if he teed off immediately — and he won’t — he wouldn’t have time to finish. So, we must face the facts… they will not finish round three today. That means the leaders will have to get up early tomorrow to play a handful of holes, then play the fourth round in the afternoon. Not optimum, but it is what it is.
The European Tour tweeted out this rather interesting tidbit about Rory:
11.17am: 5 shots back. Outside the top 10.
11.35am: 2 shots back. Tied 2nd.
4:15 am Update: Okay, ETP says play is delayed, then starts showing round two. But they are not showing the resumption of round two. Rory is on hole No. 10, so this is from the partial round two played yesterday. Euro Tour website shows every player finished, but no tee times for round three yet.
4:00 am Update: Play delayed for an hour by fog, they are saying. I’m a little confused about the situation. (Hey, I just got up!) I believe the second round was just concluded. It’s now 1:00 pm in Abu Dhabi. Third round tee times are not yet posted. If they compute the cut, then play off both tees in threesomes, can they get the third round finished today?
3:45 am Update: Rory finishes round 2 birdie-eagle to move to T-2 with Bryson DeChambeau, two back of Andy Sullivan. Round 3 live coverage about to begin on Golf Channel.
- Anirban Lahiri, Euro Sevener, sits T-3 at the Hope.
- Abu Dhabi round two set to resume at 10:15 pm EST. No idea is Golf Channel plans to cover the conclusion of round two. Nothing in their Twitter feed as of right now, 3-1/2 hours before the resumption. (Five of their last ten tweets were about Mickelson, one about Woods. Oh, no, they aren’t dinosaurs, are they…) But who knows? Maybe they’ll have it. You’d think a couple of hours of Rickie/Rory/Jordan live golf in prime time (on the West Coast) might give them a ratings bump. I just asked GC via a tweet; I’ll let you know if I hear back from them.
- Round 3 live coverage set to start on GC at 4:00 am EDT. That’s a great time, as far as I am concerned.