Le Golf National is little more than two months away and Europe's Ryder Cup team is starting to acquire a steelier edge after getting a lift from a perhaps unexpected quarter with Francesco Molinari's victory in the Open Championship.
The 14-time major victor conceded he was annoyed by the incident as he finished joint sixth at Carnoustie. A huge par putt on the sixth would just about keep his vague hopes alive, but McIlroy needs a stunner in his remaining 12 holes to win his fifth Major.
"If I can put the ball on the fairway and hit my irons as well as I have done the first couple of days I'll give myself a lot of chances for birdies and it's just about converting them and taking your opportunities". Westwood beat everyone else by nine shots in the HSBC Champions and lost by one to Molinari.
Ultimately, they were just three more players to be denied by the ice-cold Molinari. And as the massive organisational now swings towards Portrush, event Executive Director Johnnie Cole-Hamilton said, "We are looking forward to a historic milestone with the return of The Open to Northern Ireland".
NBC's audience peaked between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. EST, coinciding with Woods leading the tournament before he double bogeyed on the 11th hole.
Rory McIlroy reckons Francesco Molinari will not be short of offers when it comes to forming partnerships at the Ryder Cup following the Italian's superb victory at the British Open. "It's such a great feeling".
McIlroy is back in the mix and among the crowded leaders.More news: Former cricket star Imran Khan's party claims victory in disputed Pakistan election
"The only way for me to get here is through the Senior Open because I'm not going to go through the qualifying stuff that I tried a few times when I was younger". They tipped back a few and it's late in the day.
With a brilliant birdie at the last, 35-year-old Molinari's eight-under 72-hole total of 276 eclipsed Padraig Harrington's Carnoustie tournament record score from 2007 by a stroke and kept some of the sport's biggest names at bay.
"Today was a good day for both of us with that, I guess".
"I don't really feel like it's a defeat", said McIlroy.
I can not believe there are actually people who think Tiger Woods should not be picked for the Ryder Cup. I played the way I wanted to play this week. A hangover can have catastrophic consequences for playing a very precise game like golf, so Pepperell's success was surprising.
"He's like, 'He hasn't been in this position in 10 years, and you've been here how many times in the last three years?' He was throwing it back at me", Spieth said.
"Serena and I are good friends", said the 42-year-old, whose last major triumph came back in 2008.