Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fore Things: Rory can take over as world No. 1

MEXICO CITY – Justin Thomas leads Dustin Johnson by one shot at the WGC-Mexico Championship, and that – as entertaining as it is by itself – tells only a fraction of the story through 54-hole at Club de Golf Chapultepec.

1. Earlier this week Rory McIlroy was asked the importance of being world No. 1, and he admitted it was essentially an ego boost. If all goes well on Sunday, his ego will be boosted. If McIlroy, who is tied for third place and two shots back, wins on Sunday and current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (who is in second place) finishes in a tie for fourth or worse, the Northern Irishman will move back into the top spot. McIlroy last held the No. 1 ranking in June 2015.

2. The reviews for this week’s stop in Mexico and Club de Golf Chapultepec have largely been positive, but the poa greens have left a few players confused and a little cranky. Asked to explain the difference between this week’s greens and those at Riviera, which are also poa, Johnson had an interesting take. “Well, I mean Riv’s greens roll fantastic,” said Johnson, who won two weeks ago at Riviera.

WGC-Mexico Championship: Articles, photos and videos

3. Jim “Bones” Mackay was back on Phil Mickelson’s bag on Day 3 after taking Friday off to recover from a stomach virus. Mackay was noticeably slow moving around the course as he continued his recovery on Saturday. “He was good; Bones was good today. Yeah, it seemed to be only a 24-hour thing,” Mickelson said.

4. Justin Thomas’ father, Mike, has a collection of golf balls from the tournament’s his son has won that he keeps in a special case. That said, the display for the balls Justin’s used to make a hole-in-one is a little less grand. Following his ace at the 13th hole on Saturday, Thomas was asked what his father would do with the ball. “I think he has them like in a shoe box in his office,” he said.

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