The Fringe: Despite Issues, McIlroy 'Would Love' Playing With G-Mac

By Matthew Castonguay
Tuesday July 8th, 2014 11:07 am EDT

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Welcome to The Fringe, Back9Network's daily feature created to keep you up to date on the best stories happening in golf, social media and pop culture.

McIlroy Still Wants to Play with G-Mac at Ryder Cup

Two of Northern Ireland's favorite sons, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, have been in the news lately with speculation that their once-strong relationship has been strained by legal issues

McIlroy's people are are currently suing Horizon Sports Management, the firm currently representing McDowell, for receiving what McIlroy's group called “markedly inferior” conditions than McDowell when both were represented by the group. Many fear these legal issues could compromise their relationship and harmony on the European team come this fall at the Ryder Cup. McIlroy has tried to squelch these rumors

“It won’t - that is complete nonsense," McIlroy said of the speculation. "G-Mac knows what is going on. It hasn’t affected our relationship in any way."

Champagne Shower

McIlroy and McDowell have been the best of friends since McIlroy joined the pro ranks. The two went back-to-back in the U.S. Open in 2010 and '11 and have paired up to claim Ryder Cup glory for Europe. But right now, rumors are rampant that the two aren't as close as they once were, thanks to a lawsuit between McIlroy's camp and the people who represent McDowell. 

McIlroy addressed their relationship on Monday saying, "At times it’s awkward because he’s with someone (Horizon), but at the end of the day, we are the same two people we were. I would love to tee it up with G-Mac in the Ryder Cup, and (captain) Paul McGinley knows that."

As it stands now, McIlroy is on the 2014 European Ryder Cup squad on points; McDowell sits just outside the top nine in points, despite his come-from-behind win last week at the Alstom Open de France. 

Related Link: Rory McIlroy Will Play for Ireland in 2016 Olympics


Ryo Ishikawa Wins, Feels Ready to Play at the "Highest Level" 

Once hailed as "Japan's Tiger Woods," Ryo Ishikawa has faded into the background after exploding onto the the PGA Tour scene in 2012. Last week, however, the golf prodigy did wonders to get his career back on track by winning the Japan Golf Tour's Sega Sammy Cup. It was the 11th professional win of his career. 

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After early success in Asia, Ishikawa came to the U.S., joining the PGA Tour as one of the biggest names in all of golf. Coming highly touted and with great expectations, he struggled early in his career outside of Japan. Other players, like Hideki Matsuyama, began to overtake him. Feeling this pressure has encouraged Ishikawa to rebuild his game. 

"His win made me realize stuff," Ishikawa said regarding Matsuyama's win at the Memorial earlier this year. "Hopefully this can be a start for me to push on at the highest level. I need to put in the work to catch up with Hideki and win titles in America as soon as possible."

Related Link: Ryo Ishikawa Pops Bottles


Richard S. Johnson has a Golf Course in his Yard? 

Let's face it, everyone who truly loves the game of golf wishes they had a golf course in their backyard. Current Web.com Tour player Richard S. Johnson was working on his backyard golf course and posted this picture of his progress: 

All right, all right … this doesn't look like it's actually a golf course in his backyard. More or less, it just looks like he's mowing his lawn. But hey, backyard golf courses are a thing. Mostly, they're reserved for the rich and famous PGA Tour mega stars … but we can all dream. Personally, I'm torn between (someday) recreating the masterpiece of a backyard that belongs to Dave Pelz:

Or the one John Smoltz built in his Georgia backyard: 

Hmm … luckily, I don't have to make that decision any time soon. 


In Case You Missed It

Golf Pro Saves Man From Sinking Minivan In Water Hazard

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Being a head golf professional usually involves running the golf shop, giving lessons, and maybe playing a little golf. It usually does not involve saving a man's life -- unless you're Josh Gardner, the pro at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club in Calgary.

Gardner was giving a lesson on Saturday when he saw a minivan rolling down a hill, going airborne into a water hazard on the course. Read More

Grin and Bear It: Baylor QB Throws Club At Simulator

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Quarterback Bryce Petty was given the keys to the high-powered Baylor offense after Robert Griffin III was drafted second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, and he now enters the 2014 season as a Heisman favorite.

In preparation for the season, Petty apparently enjoys throwing not only footballs, but golf clubs as well. He posted this video of himself in a golf simulator, and it's probably the last one he'll post too. Read More


Out Of Bounds

Tim Howard has become an Internet sensation following his ridiculously awesome performance for the United States Men's National Team during this year's FIFA World Cup action. Unfortunately, the U.S. was bounced by a pesky Belgian squad during the first round of the knockout stage.

After all of that, Howard still had one more save in him, this time at the airport. For this save, however, the object in his personal space wasn't a flying soccer ball; it was an over-zealous fan: 

Boom. Access, denied. 

Related LinkJohn Daly Is A 'Real American' 

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