BBC BLOGS - Iain Carter

Archives for February 2012

Rory's reputation gains world support

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Iain Carter | 16:36 UK time, Monday, 27 February 2012

Rory McIlroy is not officially the world's number one golfer but it will feel as though he is when he embarks on the second leg of his American tour of duty this week.

Of the many abiding images he stirred during his run to the final of the WGC Match Play, perhaps the most powerful was the chanting of his name during the final which he lost to Hunter Mahan.

McIlroy was treated as the home town boy despite the fact that the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland was facing an American Ryder Cup player in the Arizona desert.

They love a star in the United States and although McIlroy failed to claim his first WGC title on Sunday evening he remains the one that shines most brightly in the game right now. As far as the Tucson crowds are concerned he has already earned his stripes.

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Captivating WGC Match Play deserves better treatment

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Iain Carter | 11:11 UK time, Monday, 20 February 2012

This week provides the most exciting single day of golf outside the majors, yet it often feels as though the game doesn't make the most from what should be a refreshing change of format.

First round day at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship is always the most captivating opener to any tournament as the world's top players go head to head, knowing that defeat means their week is done.

Indeed, given the Wednesday start, it can be finished before a normal tournament week would have even begun.

On the other hand, if you are able to string a run of wins together there is every chance of laying foundations for the rest of the season.

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'Awesome' Grace ready to step up

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Iain Carter | 14:03 UK time, Friday, 10 February 2012

First impressions stick and Branden Grace could not have made a better one at the start of the 2012 season.

While Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are likely to be this year's dominant personalities it is also worth noting the less heralded figures, like Grace, who prove that professional golf is the ultimate sporting meritocracy.

The South African was rightly voted the European Tour's Golfer of the Month for January after his back-to-back victories in the Johannesburg Open and the Volvo Champions event on the Links at Fancourt.

Those wins now have the 23-year-old rubbing shoulders with McIlroy and co and after completing his first spell of golf in the Middle East, Grace is now preparing to head to America to explore yet more uncharted golfing territory.

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Lawrie proves it pays to keep on going

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Iain Carter | 13:51 UK time, Monday, 6 February 2012

"There's always next week," is the phrase that provides first refuge to the gutted golfer.

When hopes and dreams have been shattered, sometimes by calamitous self destruction, often all that is left is the belief that wrongs can be righted seven days hence.

It is usually said in hope rather than expectation and in recognition of the need to swiftly climb aboard the horse again to allow mental scars to heal rather than fester.

Kyle Stanley provided no finer example with his PGA Tour victory in Scottsdale on Sunday and, to a slightly lesser extent, Paul Lawrie gave another a few hours earlier with his popular win in Qatar.

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