Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, spring 2018

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to be playing alongside his father Gerry, a jovial former bar tender. The differences play out on the golf course, too. McIlroy's major championship victories have been defined by dominance, with 8-stroke laughers at both the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship. Without a similar ability to overpower a golf course, Spieth's victories (and defeats) have been more dramatic. At the 2015 U.S. Open, he fin- ished birdie-double bogey-birdie to win by one. At the following year's Masters, he led by five strokes with 9 holes to play but hit two balls in the water on number 12, made quadruple bogey and lost a hear tbreaker. This year's British Open was a monument to Spieth's hear t, tenacity, golfing brain and supernatural scrambling ability. Playing the 13th hole of the final round, in a dogfight with Matt Kuchar, Spieth uncorked an astonishingly crooked drive that doinked a spec- tator on the noggin and caromed into an unplayable lie in the sand dunes. With the tour- nament slipping away, he had the wherewithal to ask for a penalty drop on Royal Birkdale's driving range, which was so far out of play no one had bothered to deem it out-of-bounds. Spieth salvaged one of the greatest bogies in golf history and then stepped up to the next tee and nearly made an ace. On the *next* hole he poured in a 50-footer for eagle and then, just to show off, birdied the ensuing two holes. "Yeah, it's been a really exciting career," Spieth said at December's Hero World Chal- lenge. "It's been exciting in both ways, in the bad and in the good. I don't know why I have a knack for the craziness, but it just seems to take shape." This year, both Spieth and McIlroy will bring their unique styles to Pebble Beach. It will be a great show, but don't be fooled by all of their good cheer. Both are playing for history, with one eye always on their biggest rival: each other. The 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am runs Februar y 5-11. For more information or tickets, go to 120 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 McIlroy is one of the greatest drivers of the golf ball of all time, able to decimate even the brawniest courses. Johnson has spent the last year at number one but, with only one major championship victory, is still a step behind the pace being set by his young rival. Photo: Motofoto / Alamy Stock Photo

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