Different Strokes: Rory McIlroy flattered as Yuka Saso swings her way to Major glory

Hend’s clubs rack up the air miles . . . Word of Mouth . . . Twitter Twaddle . . . On this Day . . . In the Bag . . . Know the Rules

Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits her tee shot on the ninth hole in the playoff against Nasa Hataoka of Japan at the 76th US Women’s Open Championship at The Olympic Club  in San Francisco, California. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits her tee shot on the ninth hole in the playoff against Nasa Hataoka of Japan at the 76th US Women’s Open Championship at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

 

Yuka Saso – the 19-year-old Philippines golfer who lifted the US Women’s Open – has formed a pre-bedtime habit of watching Rory McIlroy’s swing on YouTube videos.

“I [watch] his golf and swing for like one hour, maybe more,” revealed Saso, who dramatically won the Major – and secured LPGA Tour exemption – with a playoff win over Japan’s Nasa Hataoka.

Saso will be representing Philippines at the Olympics and is hoping she might get the chance to meet McIlroy at the Games if at all possible.

“It’s flattering, it’s really cool that someone that’s used me as a model,” said McIlroy of Saso’s attempts to emulate his swing, although he claimed that any time he watches his own swing the temptation is to “pick it apart and you find everything that’s wrong with it. That’s just how we’re wired, it’s how we’re built.

“I think Tiger had the best swing in history, sort of early-2000 stage, and I talked to him about it and he still picks it apart. ‘No, I did this and that and wrecked my kneed doing it’ and all that. So, like everyone, like even Tiger, when he went on that run, he was still picking his swing apart.”

And McIlroy admitted he had noticed some similarities in Saso’s swing to his own. “The way she sort of turns off the ball, [and] like the way our heads both go at impact. There is some stuff there.”

After Saso’s win, McIlroy posted on Instagram: “Everyone’s going to be watching Yuka Saso videos on YouTube now. Congratulations!”

Scott Hend in happier times with his own clubs at the tenerife Open at the start of May. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images
Scott Hend in happier times with his own clubs at the tenerife Open at the start of May. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Scott Hend’s clubs rack up the air miles

Into his 25th season as a professional, globe-trotting Australian Scott Hend must have felt he’d experienced all of the trials and tribulations of getting from one place to another to go about his day job of hitting a little white ball around a golf course.

However, the veteran Aussie – who has 15 career wins – was left flummoxed after flying from his home in Florida for the weekend’s Porsche European Open in Hamburg where he was left without golf clubs and clothes after his luggage went missing in transit.

Hend was forced to borrow shoes and clubs from fellow players – among them Scott Jamieson, Stephen Gallacher and Alexander Levy – and to rush to the shops to kit himself out, all to no avail as he missed the cut with rounds of 79 and 76.

And Hend’s search is ongoing in his quest to be reunited with his clubs for this week’s Scandinavian Mixed Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden. Although he finally managed to get his suitcase, the clubs have been on a repeat mystery tour between Paris and Copenhagen.

As Hend updated on his social media platforms, “Golf bag has gone from CDG to CPH, CPH to CDG, CDG to CPH and who knows where it will be tomorrow. Clubs got more air miles than I have. I might see them b4 next weekend if I’m lucky.”

By the Numbers: 19-11-17

Inbee Park was 19 years, 11 months and 17 days old when she won the US Women’s Open in 2008. Remarkably, Yuka Saso was exactly the same age when lifting the title on Sunday.

Word of Mouth

“Jon is a big boy and understands we have rules, and unfortunately rules are something you may not like but they are the rules we have right now and you have to abide by them” – tournament host Jack Nicklaus on 54-hole leader Jon Rahm’s forced withdrawal from the Memorial due to testing positive for Covid-19. The Spaniard – who held a six-shot lead – paid a hefty price, losing out on a potential winner’s payday of $1.7 million.

Twitter Twaddle

Thank you @usga and @theolympicclub for a world class event, amazing venue and experience. Played great golf this week. I tried my best and that’s all I can do. Just keep learning and improving. Thank you fans for coming out and cheering us on. You make the game worth playing! – Lexi Thompson – who held a five-shot lead heading into the final round of the US Women’s Open, ultimately finishing third after closing with a 75 – keeping her chin up.

After the disappointing news about Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa had to regroup, reset and re-strategize how to play the last round. They both did a beautiful job of it. My congratulations to Patrick, who won @MemorialGolf in a playoff – Jack Nicklaus showing that life moves along.

Congrats on the win @patrick_cantlay – Xander Schauffele keeps it short and sweet.

Taiwan’s Yani Tseng pictured with Ronald McDonald after wimnning the 2008 McDonald’s LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng pictured with Ronald McDonald after wimnning the 2008 McDonald’s LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

On this day: June 8th, 2008

Emotion was the order of the day as Yani Tseng, a 19-year-old rookie from Taiwan, held her nerve to win the McDonald’s LPGA Championship at Belle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Maryland, where she shot a final round 68 to finish tied with Sweden’s Maria Hjorth.

At the fourth hole of sudden death, the teenager made a five-footer for birdie which gave her a first professional victory. “I couldn’t believe it. I just won a Major and I’m a rookie,” said Tseng, who became the first rookie since Se Ri Pak won the same championship in 1998. Tseng had started the round four shots adrift but made substantial inroads with four birdies on her front nine to get into contention.

The emotion wasn’t Tseng’s alone. Lorena Ochoa, seeking a third consecutive Major win in her dominant season, finished one stroke adrift of Tseng and Hjorth and, on finishing her round, was informed by her brother that their grandfather had passed away at home in Mexico.

In the Bag: Yuka Saso (US Women’s Open)

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (9 degrees)
3-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Hybrid: Callaway Mavrik (20 degrees)
Irons: Miura TC-1010 (5-9), Titleist Vokey SM8 (PW)
Sand Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM8 (52 degrees)
Lob Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8 (56 and 60 degrees)
Putter: Piretti Workshop prototype
Ball: Titleist ProV1

Know the Rules

Q
In making a short putt, Player A bends down onto his knees on the green and uses the bottom of the putter head to make a snooker-like action to hole out. Is this permissible?

A
Although Rule 10.1a/2 deems that “any part of the clubhead” may be used in “fairly striking a ball”, Player A’s actions are not permitted as Rule 10.1a/1 (which covers examples of pushing, scraping or scooping) clearly deems that “moving the ball like this is a push” and therefore in breach of the rules.

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