McIlroy and Hovland bring glamor and theater to St Andrews

JIt’s not just about numbers, although without them it would be meaningless. What intrigues players as well as spectators is the unforgettable magic, something memorable to delight and delight everyone who loves the game – even the LIV rebels hiding under the table.

The moment arrived for Rory McIlroy and the rest of us in the tenth, 386-meter fourth class, named after longtime wizard, triple open champion, Bobby Jones, who had mastered this track twice, in 1926 and 1927.

McIlroy’s classic giant engine flew like a bird, on its way to the heart of the green, until the ball rolled painfully into the green recess. But the Irishman is master of the great stage, and in front of the packed pavilions which had gathered around the St Andrews loop, to see the works at three holes at the turn, he blew as far as he could alone. The ball rose to the sky, falling at exactly the right point in its flight, and after a flight of 27 meters, it landed very softly in the hole for an eagle — and a championship shot.

Fans waited patiently for hours for something like this, and roaring filled the air in all directions. McIlroy was in front of the field with his playmate, Victor Hovland, who played with similar enthusiasm.

There were fears – rather in the R & A’s indoor campus than in the locker room – that someone would beat this venerable track this weekend. McIlroy threatened to do just that, but still shook it well with five birds and an eagle, leaving him a late bogey, which lifted him to part of the lead through the closing day.

The choice at and near the top of the standings at the start of day three was to hold or turn, and it was encouraging to see McIlroy and Hovland, the penultimate pair, gamble from the first base.

The 398-meter Kartgate (Out) attracted golfers like a siren in a gentle breeze, and it was the smiling young man from Oslo who took advantage of it, as well as the treacherous 480 meters on the fourth.

The Irishman flew the first of five equal players to put two behind his traveling companion, which also reduced his score to increase his advantage to three overnight leader Cameron Smith.

Victor Hovland drives his car on the thirteenth. The Norwegian ended the day with a draw on top with Rory McIlroy. Photographer: Tom Jenkins / The Observer

McIlroy opened his shoulders to hit 414 yards at 6 to manageable proportions, equivalent to a Norwegian flying while shooting in terrifying consistency. An hour and 20 minutes into their tour, Hovland rode the heights, with McIlroy shooting on his heels.

In the difficult seventh minute, Hovland hit very well and found the clean field bunker, which would have stopped his run of sparrows at four, while McIlroy was able to stop his shot with a well-tied iron from the butt, but could not get the money. . They placed Pars on the first of two short holes, the eighth, as cross-country traffic slowed their progress for a few minutes, Hovland needed a second beast to get close to the hole, and McIlroy settled down more easily.

Arriving at the turn, they knew they needed an explosion to widen the small gap in the chase field – and McIlroy made a monster drive to reach 9th Green 352 yards. Hovland slipped first, pushing away a long eagle and then mistaking the birdie, while McIlroy remained calm for the welcome birds as they headed home, one shot behind the Norwegian.

Then came that Eagle, only second in the championship, after Shane Lowry’s chip earlier in the day. Hovland, who seemed to be a safer and more efficient use of the breeze, sat on a bird now sitting next to McIlroy in the lead, growing steadily as the evening sun weakened.

They benefited from seeing their prey in front of them, except for the pursuers who started behind them, Cameron: Young and Smith. The Australian put together seven pairs and flies after the first bogey, but took his time to get out of second gear. The second day began brightly; Now he is twice late, with Young, who flew 10th – with a lot of golf left to play.

The challenge for McIlroy and Hovland to get home remained the same as when they started two and a half hours earlier: to drive the track or try to beat. And in the spirit of the game, they chose the latter.

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    Once again put off by the strange march of a swift crossing between the other contenders, they chatted amicably before the clock on the eleventh, with time running out in fame.

    By noon, they metaphorically joined the hip. Now McIlroy finally broke free with a 14th-place birdie for the only lead – only to get it back when he hit the ball into the wall on the Padgat and posted his only ghost of the day. When he and his friendly rival flew in at the age of eighteen, parity was resumed.

    So a very special Saturday for McIlroy, Hovland, the old stadium and the game – just when needed.

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