McIlroy predicts PGA Tour run World Tour (and wants to be a horse)



Rory McIlroy touches on everything under the sun in an entertaining two-hour podcast sitdown with US golf blog No Laying Up.

Not only does he hint heavily (and we hear rumblings of things to come we will reveal soon) that a PGA Tour run World Tour (with a buyout of the European Tour) is inevitable, he also touches on his hair, his fashion sense, betting, getting a new caddie for next season and lots more. 

There’s even his admission that if he could be someone else for a day he’d plump for the life of former Epsom Derby winner Galileo, currently making millions for John Magnier and Co at Coolmore Stud.

NLU: A lot of people out there want to trade places with you. Is there one person out there you’d like to trade lives with?

RMcI: Wow, no. I don’t think so. A couple of years ago I went to Coolmore Stud. They breed some of the best racehorses in the world. And their biggest stallion is a horse called Galileo. I wouldn’t mind trading places with him for a week! (Laughs). He has a pretty good life, I tell you. He is loving it. That’s the one specimen that came to mind. He covers, I don’t know how many mares a day. Literally people will pay 500 grand a go to have a horse by Galileo. It’s unbelievable the money they make out it. 

As for the World Tour, the deep pockets of the PGA Tour and a possible takeover of the European Tour,  (go to 1:01:38 in Part II) he said: 

It’s such a global game now. Even the PGA Tour expanding, going to Asia, going to these places… It’s a world tour. It is happening one day I think.

I think it has to happen. As time goes on, just to have all these tours working agains each other and having to change dates, it’s counter-productive. I think everyone has to come together and say this is what we need to do.

I don’t know what the solution is. The easy thing would be for the PGA Tour to go and buy the European Tour and say, we’ll take it from there. You still run the European events and we have a model that is 12 events a year, exlcuding the majors, that are the biggest events.

Like say tenis the ATP 1000 they call them. And then you have the 500 series events and the 250s and sort of rank them like that In any given week, whether it is the golf circuit or the tennis tour, there are three or four tournaments going on at the same time.

I just don’t see any other way. 

NLU: It would be so cool to see a ton of Americans come over and play the Irish Open.

RMcI: I’d love that. I just think that’s the way it is going to happen. I don’t see any other way. I wouldn’t take the stance of Greg Norman all those years ago, trying to start it himself. I am only a pawn in the whole game. I am a player and I will play anywhere. And I want to win golf tournaments. But I know there have been discussions that have taken place. But maybe early stages. Maybe one day.  

Check out the full podcast here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).  

from News – Irish Golf Desk


Motivated Galway ready for Warrenpoint; Grange seek end to 71-year drought

Adrian Walsh (Ballybunion) holes the winning putt on the 20th green in the AIG Junior Cup at semi-final win over Loughrea at Carton House (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

Adrian Walsh (Ballybunion) holes the winning putt on the 20th green in the AIG Junior Cup at semi-final win over Loughrea at Carton House (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

An inspirational speech from All Ireland Hurling title winner Joe Canning could prove prophetic when Galway try to make it third time lucky in the AIG Barton Shield Final at Carton House today.

The Connacht champions have lost the last two finals of the blue riband foursomes event, going down to Royal Dublin in 2015 and Warrenpoint last year.

A four-hole win over Tralee means they again face Warrenpoint — two-hole winners over Castle — in a revenge final.

And Canning reminded them in a specially arranged pep talk last weekend that the club’s strength in depth means the quartet who tee it up today will be firing on all cylinders.

Joe Lyons (Galway) driving at the 8th tee in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

Joe Lyons (Galway) driving at the 8th tee in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

“Joe made a very good point about the Galway hurlers this year, saying that the big thing for them was that the guys in training were pushing them hard,” said veteran Joe Lyons after he partnered teenager Luke O’Neill to a one-hole win over Darren O’Sullivan and Eoghan O’Donnell.

“Every evening they trained, he said, there was depth there. So, basically, there’s no-one there too comfortable in their position, and we’ve guys on the sidelines who would be willing and more than capable of coming in for any of us.”  

As it turns out, Galway go with an unchanged line-up for today’s decider with Ronan Mullarney and Liam Power —three-under as they beat Fergal O’Sullivan and Rory Hill by three holes— back in action against Ryan Gribben and Irish international Colm Campbell.

Victory would be sweet for Galway, who are going for a rare double as they are also in AIG Senior Cup semi-final action against Royal Portrush tomorrow.

Lyons said: “Look, we’ve been here before. Warrenpoint seem to be going well out there, they’re two very good teams, but we wouldn’t fear either of them, that’s the thing. 

Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) driving at the 13th tee in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House  (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) driving at the 13th tee in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House  (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

“It’s all on the day. If we turn up on the day we’re a match for anybody and with a bit of luck it will go our way. 

“We’ve Senior Cup to think of at the end of the week as well.”   

As for any change in dynamic considering they are coming up against the side that beat them last year, Lyons said: “I don’t think so. Just go out and play golf and get it around in as low a number of shots as possible and do our best. It’s the same ball going in the same hole. 

“I don’t think it will change anything but I suppose in one sense we might be a little more motivated given the fact they beat us last year.

Liam Power and Ronan Mullarney (Galway) with their caddy David Mortimer on the 7th green in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

Liam Power and Ronan Mullarney (Galway) with their caddy David Mortimer on the 7th green in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

“It’s not that there was any ill feeling or anything, the game was played in great spirit and we know all the guys up there and they’re a nice bunch of lads, but at the same time, you’d like to get your own back.”  

Warrenpoint are determined to retain their title after the disappointment of their AIG Senior Cup failure in Ulster.

While Stephen Coulter and Paul Reavey lost by two holes to Alan Lowry and Jack Walsh, Campbell and Ryan Gribben beat Alex Gleeson and Robert Moran by four holes.

“It was a good tight game. We knew when we saw the draw that Castle are a good team and we knew it was going to be a tight game,” Campbell said. “We’re delighted to get over the line and get the job done.

“We got off to a nice start, I chipped in on the second form the front edge of the green after three-putting the first for a half and then we held some really good putts from there on.

“We were very comfortable and we never really looked in trouble. Ryan held a couple of really good putts — on 14 and 16 — two important par threes and that just kept momentum with us. We managed to make a nice birdie there on 17 to go four-up playing the last.”

If he’s worried about Galway, he’s not letting on.

“We know Galway are going to be out for revenge tomorrow and they have a very good side but I think if we play to our capabilities we will be very difficult to beat,” Campbell said.

In the AIG Junior Cup, Grange will be bidding to end their 71-year wait since their last victory in the event when they face Ballybunion in the decider.

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

Tight marking……Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint) driving at the 12th tee watched by Jack Walsh (Castle) in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

Robert Moran (Castle) pitching to the 12th green in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

Colm Campbell and Ryan Gribben (Warrenpoint) with caddy Tony Trainor waiting to play on the 12th green in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

Alan Lowry and Jack Walsh (Castle) driving from the 12th tee in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

Alan Lowry (Castle) reacts to his putt on the 13th green in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

2017 AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Carton House

Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) with his caddy Irish Close Champion Jamie Fletcher on the 12th green in the AIG Barton Shield at Carton House today (20/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

The Rathfarnham club had scratch men Jack and Robbie Pierse as caddies as they saw off Malone 3.5-1.5 with Paul McGinley’s nephew, Niall McCormick, taking the 15th and 17th to clinch the winning point with a gutsy, 2 and 1 win over David Fleming.

Adrian Walsh, an All Ireland winner in the Jimmy Bruen Shield two years ago, was the hero for the Kerry club as he sank a clutch, five-footer for par on the 20th in a 3.5-1.5 win over Loughrea.

His opponent,  David Byrnes, ran his birdie putt 12 feet past and missed the return for par as Walsh left his 30 footer five feet short but made his match-winner.

“It’d be unreal,” Walsh said of the prospect of winning the title. “We won the Bruen two years ago. I don’t think there are too many people in the club with two All-Irelands so it would be nice to bring one home, especially in the Junior Cup because you’re on your own.

In Bruen you have a partner with you the whole time. It would be a sweet one to bring home the Junior Cup.”

He certainly sounds up for the fight when he meets McCormick today.

“Ready to go again,” Walsh grinned. “Roaring to go. Sure it can only give me confidence when you go down 20th and come out the right side of the match. So I’m raring to go tomorrow.”

AIG Cups and Shields, National Finals, Carton House (O’Meara Course), Maynooth

AIG Barton Shield, Semi-finals

Galway beat Tralee by 4 holes

  1. Joe Lyons & Luke O’Neill beat Darren O’Sullivan & Eoghan O’Donnell by 1 hole;
  2. Ronan Mullarney & Liam Power beat Fergal O’Sullivan & Rory Hill by three holes.

Warrenpoint beat Castle by 2 Holes

  1. Stephen Coulter & Paul Reavey lost to Alan Lowry & Jack Walsh by 2 holes;
  2. Colm Campbell & Ryan Gribben beat Alex Gleeson & Robert Moran by 4 holes

AIG Junior Cup, Semi-Finals

Ballybunion 3.5, Loughrea 1.5 (Ballybunion names first)

  1. Philip Byrne bt Padraig Hynes 2 holes;
  2. Frank Geary Jnr. lost to Evan O’Doherty 3/1;
  3. Ronan Cross bt Paddy McMahon 4/3;
  4. Adrian Walsh bt David Byrnes 20th;
  5. Brian Slattery halved with Brendan Dunne.

Grange 3.5, Malone 1.5 (Grange names first)

  1. Kevin O’Meara bt Ben Brennan 2/1;
  2. Paul McNiff lost to Luke O’Sullivan 3/2;
  3. Graham McDonnell halved with James Millar;
  4. Niall McCormick bt David Fleming 2/1;
  5. Jack Ward bt Jamie Thompson 7/6

AIG Pierce Purcell Shield

Semi-Finals, Thursday 21st September

8am Royal Curragh v Moyola Park (Royal Curragh names first)

  1. Michael Cleary & Brendan Mullins v Seamus Graffin & Timothy Steele;
  2. Eddie Trant & Jimmy Murphy v Malachy McKee & Stephen Heaney;
  3. Anthony Ryan & Thomas Powell v Bernard O’Kane & Gerald Loughlin;
  4. Martin Whitty & Bill Geraghty v Conor McKenna & Tony Johnston;
  5. Brenny Murphy & Paul Dempsey v Desmond Cleary & Martin McNabb

8.45am Thurles v Portumna (Thurles names first)

  1. Tommy Quigley & Shane Quigley v Dean Cox & Brian Mooney;
  2. Stephen Quigley & Martin Fahy v Padric Cahalan & Alan Hayes;
  3. John Looby & Gerard Maguire v Dan Hogan & Padraig Hogan;
  4. Pat Coote & Sean Sherlock v Enda Quigley & Alan Page;
  5. Johnny Nevin & Adrian O’Keefe v Sean McEntee & David Hughes

AIG Junior Cup Final

10.45am Ballybunion v Grange (Ballybunion names first)

  1. Philip Byrne v Kevin O’Meara;
  2. Frank Geary Jnr v Paul McNiff;
  3. Ronan Cross v Graham McDonnell;
  4. Adrian Walsh v Niall McCormick;
  5. Brian Slattery v Jack Ward

AIG Barton Shield Final

11.30am – Galway v Warrenpoint (Galway names first)

  1. Joe Lyons & Luke O’Neill v Stephen Coulter & Paul Reavey
  2. Ronan Mullarney & Liam Power v Colm Campbell & Ryan Gribben

from News – Irish Golf Desk

Real life photos of F90 BMW M5 in Donington Grey Metallic

The all-new F90 BMW M5 will be available in Spring 2018 and among with a series of technical changes, it will also deliver a wide range of exterior colors. According to our sources, the US-specific ordering guides list the following colors: Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic, Singapore Gray Metallic, Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic, Marina Bay Blue Metallic, Donington Grey Metallic and Bluestone Metallic.

Other special colors offered for an extra cost or through the BMW Individual Program include the Azurite Black Metallic, Champaign Quartz Metallic, Almadine Brown Metallic, Rhodonite Silver Metallic, Frozen Marina Bay Blue, Pure Metal Silver and Frozen Dark Silver. Other color options are likely to be offered as well as the new M5 advances into its lifecycle. After its unveil in Frankfurt with two colors – the Marina Bay Blue Metallic and the Frozen Dark Red Metallic – the M5 we have here today showcases the Donington Grey Metallic. The beautiful grey shade was made famous by the new BMW X6 M and was later added to the BMW color palette.

Looking at the entire color offerings, it’s easy to observe that each color brings something to the table, the darker shades give the F90 M5 a more stealth look while the grey-based colors enhance the design of the M5 with its two lines that run from the rear to the front of the car. Those customers looking to stand out more will certainly favor the light paint jobs, especially when paired with some carbon fiber bits and blacked out parts and wheels.

When it arrives next year, the M5 will feature the newest version of BMW’s 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Now, it makes 600 hp on the nose and 553 lb-ft of torque. All of that fury is sent through an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic that’s been specifically tuned for M5 duty. When powering all four wheels, as it does normally, this new BMW M5 can accelerated from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds. That makes it the fastest accelerating BMW of all time, faster than even the M4 GTS. Top speed will be electronically-limited to 155 mph. However, with an optional M Driver’s Package, that top speed increases to 189 mph.

To see more real life photos of the new M5, click below.

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VIDEO: BMW 230i xDrive vs Audi A4 2.0 Quattro 0-60 mph

BMW and Audi have a long history of compete with each other. The two cars from BMW and Audi that so often compete with one another are the 3 Series and A4, respectively. However, the new Audi A4 is possibly the best iteration ever from the brand and the current BMW 3 Series is one of the worst from the brand. So what about putting the Audi A4 up against what many people consider to be the spiritual successor to the 3 Series, the BMW 2 Series?

In this new video from TFLC, they see which is fastest, the Audi A4 2.0T Quattro or the BMW 230i xDrive. Now, this test is a bit odd, considering the 230i xDrive is a two-door coupe and the A4 2.0T is a four-door sedan. Plus, the A4 is considerably bigger and heavier. However, both cars are quite similar in powertrain and drivetrain. Both cars have 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines, automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive. The differences between the two are in the details.

The Audi A4 makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque while the BMW 230i makes 248 hp and 258 lb-ft. The Audi has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and the BMW has an eight-speed torque-converter auto. While both cars are all-wheel drive, the Bimmer’s is rear-drive-based and the Audi’s is based off of front-wheel drive. So which will be faster at around a mile above sea-level, in Colorado?

While TFLC didn’t have the 230i xDrive on hand to compare directly, they recently tested it on the same track in the same weather conditions and recorded a 5.9 second 0-60 mph time. That’s pretty damned quick, considering that the claimed time isn’t much faster than that and this test was done at very high elevation. So the litter 2er did far better than expected. The best time they could get out of the Audi A4 was a 6.7 second 0-60 mph time, which is almost a full second slower, for you mathletes.

That’s pretty surprising that the Audi is that much slower, considering it has more power and a lot more torque, combined with a snappier gearbox. I think a lot of the difference came from the fact that the A4 doesn’t let you really brake-torque it and hold revs on a launch. Maybe there’s some sort of launch control they didn’t use but that seems to be part of the culprit in the Audi’s demise. Ultimately, though, TFLC was split on which car was better. Although, with the Audi A4 only costing a few thousand dollars more (as-tested), it seems like the better value, considering it comes with two extra doors, a bigger back seat and a more luxurious cabin.

The article VIDEO: BMW 230i xDrive vs Audi A4 2.0 Quattro 0-60 mph appeared first on BMW BLOG


Speed Yellow BMW M4 Convertible Gets AC Schnitzer Goodies

Straight from what seems to be a catalogue of flashy BMWs, the guys from BMW Abu Dhabi released photos of their latest M4 delivered in their showroom, a Speed Yellow Convertible with a few AC Schnitzer goodies thrown in for good measure. The end result is quite eye-catching, to say the least. The combination of Speed Yellow and black does make everything look rather interesting but it may not be to everyone’s taste.

The interior is dressed in all black with a couple of noticeable exceptions, like the carbon fiber trims thrown all around to further enhance the sporty character of this drop top. The highlights of the said trims have all been done in Speed Yellow as well to match the overall theme of the car. Speaking of carbon fiber we also have to mention the side mirror carbon fiber covers that give this thing yet even more character.

The AC Schnitzer bits are represented first of all by the bi-color AC1 lightweight forged wheels that dominate the exterior alongside the massive air splitter at the front also sporting Speed Yellow accents. The canards on the sides of the front bumper are carbon fiber as well while the rear diffuser – also from AC Schnitzer – is made of the same material and houses the AC Schnitzer custom exhaust.

The new exhaust system will definitely bring out the best sound the S55 3-liter twin-turbo engine under the hood is capable of providing while also improving the air flow from the engine bay to the rear of the car. This way, the pedal response should improve while some small power increase might also be attained. There’s no word on whether the German tuner also fiddled with the ECU map of the car but if they did, the power could’ve been taken up to over 500 HP.

The article Speed Yellow BMW M4 Convertible Gets AC Schnitzer Goodies appeared first on BMW BLOG


VIDEO: E90 BMW M3 race car with E30 M3 engine

Engine swaps in BMW are nothing new, especially when the E30 3 Series is involved. Enthusiasts and tuners love to swap bigger, more powerful engines into the bay of an E30 3 Series. Doing so creates a power-to-weight ratio that’s absurd and makes for incredible fun. However, what about swapping an old E30 M3 racing engine into a more modern BMW?

Cencini Sport Cars Garage created an E90 BMW M3 WTCC racer that uses an the same 2.3 liter four-cylinder engine from an E30 M3 DTM racing car. According to the poster of this video, this racer makes 320 hp at an astonishing 8,200 rpm. While that might not sound like a lot of power, especially in an E90 M3 which is far bigger and heavier than the E30 M3 it came from, it’s plenty. This E90 M3 WTCC is stripped out and lightened dramatically, so as to go racing obviously, so 320 hp is more than enough to be fast. What helps even further is the relative lack of weight.

Compared to the old 4.0 liter naturally-aspirated V8 from the E90, which was very modern and quite heavy, the E30 M3 DTM’s four-pot is very small and very light. So that removes a significant amount of weight off the nose, making turn-in sharper and giving it better front-end grip, which will help in racing. It’s also less complicated, meaning better reliability. Remember, BMW went racing with this engine for a very long time and it’s a very durable, strong engine.

The best part, though, isn’t the power or the lack of weight. It’s the noise. Dear lord, the noise. The sound of old-school racing engines never gets old. It sounds brilliant here, shrieking and screaming all the way to its stratospheric redline. Enthusiasts often rave about the naturally-aspirated V8 of the E90/E92 M3 or the screaming V10 of the E60-gen M5. I’d rather have this. Give me an old-school, pure motorsport engine any day of the week and twice on race day. How do I get one of these engines in an E36 and into my driveway?

The article VIDEO: E90 BMW M3 race car with E30 M3 engine appeared first on BMW BLOG


Michelin to Become Official Tire of IMSA Beginning in 2019

IMSA today announced that Michelin will become the “Official Tire of IMSA” in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and its two major Challenge series beginning in 2019. Michelin will provide tires on every Prototype and GT Daytona race car competing in the WeatherTech Championship in addition to its continued participation in the GT Le Mans class. The GTLM class will continue to be open to multiple tire manufacturers.

The 2019 IMSA Michelin SportsCar Challenge will feature the GS class for cars built to international GT4 specifications and Touring Car for TCR-spec race cars. The IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, featuring LMP3 race cars, also will ride on Michelins.

“The significance of this expanded partnership with Michelin, one of the world’s most recognized premium brands, cannot be overstated,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton.

“IMSA has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Michelin, and we are proud to confirm this long-term agreement.

“Our expanded partnership with Michelin, which also enjoys strong relationships with many of our participating automotive manufacturers, will be a catalyst for accelerating the growth of the WeatherTech Championship and IMSA as a whole.”

Michelin replaces Continental Tire, which had been the exclusive tire provider for the P, GTD and Challenge series.


As the “Official Tire of IMSA,” the WeatherTech Championship, IMSA Michelin SportsCar Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge, Michelin also becomes the entitlement partner of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup beginning in 2019.

It replaces Tequila Patron, which has sponsored the Endurance Cup since its inception.


“The continued growth and success of the WeatherTech Championship and IMSA’s related series provides a great platform for us to engage performance enthusiasts and showcase our MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport family of ultra-high performance tires.

“Michelin does not enter into long-term collaborations lightly or solely for our own benefit.

“We are committed to IMSA, the competitors and fans to help continue the growth and success of the series on and off the track. This is a tremendous opportunity to work together to grow the sport.

“We are enthusiastic and eager to make our MICHELIN tires available to the entire field beginning in 2019.”

Added Pascal Couasnon, global director of motorsport for Michelin Group: “Most of the top vehicle marques entered in the WeatherTech Championship are Michelin customers who have chosen Michelin tires for their premier production vehicles.

“The technology, innovation and relationships that we develop together with the manufacturers in competition helps Michelin to better meet their needs, and ultimately the expectations of their owners and fans.”

Michelin’s increased IMSA presence in 2019 includes becoming the exclusive tire for the IMSA Prototype Challenge, which utilizes global LMP3 race cars, and the IMSA Michelin SportsCar Challenge.

“We are seeing tremendous interest in the LMP3, GT4, and TCR classes internationally and are pleased to have the opportunity to work with IMSA to develop these vehicle platforms going forward,” Couasnon said.

On an international basis, Michelin currently competes in the FIA World Rally Championship, FIA Formula E Championship, the FIM MotoGP World Championship, and the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans where Michelin teams have celebrated the overall win for 20 consecutive years.

IMSA also has a long-running strategic partnership with the WEC and the ACO, which organizes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“This collaboration with Michelin will inherently make it more seamless for IMSA teams competing internationally and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and for international teams wishing to compete in the WeatherTech Championship,” said Atherton.

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