weather icon Clear

McIlroy had an idea this might be Mitchell’s week at CJ Cup

Rory McIlroy may be the only person in Las Vegas who had an idea what was coming this week.

Asked Wednesday before the start of the CJ Cup why it has become so hard to win on the PGA Tour, McIlroy said the fields are so deep that three-fourths of the players can win any given week.

Like who, he was asked. Who is a player who can win that most people don’t know about? Keith Mitchell, he said, then told a story about playing the final round with him at Quail Hollow in the spring.

“(The fields) are so deep that people wouldn’t maybe pick a Keith Mitchell to win a tournament at the start of the week, but you play a final round on a Sunday, he stopped me in my tracks,” McIlroy said of the current CJ Cup leader. “I was like, ‘he’s a hell of a player.’ And people don’t realize. I mean, you could say that about 100 guys out here.”

Mitchell has a five-shot lead entering Saturday’s third round.

Blowing off steam

Harry Higgs, who enters the weekend tied for second, is serious about his two weeks of golf in Las Vegas. But the days in between the Shriners Children’s Open and CJ Cup were a time to experience all the city has to offer.

“All during the week last week for Shriners I stayed out away from the Strip, and then again this week I’m staying away from the Strip,” he said Friday. “I did go in Sunday night and stayed Sunday and Monday, you know, just make the donation to the Aria and thanks for having me.”

Sunday included a dinner at the Bellagio with friends that he described as awesome.

“We certainly kicked back a few too many cocktails,” Higgs said. “I don’t think I got out of bed until like 2 p.m. on Monday, but I guess that was great prep. It’s nice to be in the same place for two weeks and then also have the ability to go off — to go and blow some steam off.”

Chip shots

* Mackenzie Hughes had the round of the day on Friday, shooting a 10-under 62 to reach 11 under and get into the pack of those chasing Mitchell.

* Abraham Ancer had the shot of the day, making the rarest of numbers in golf. Ancer holed a 4-iron from 250 yards out on the par-5 14th for an albatross. His shot landed short of the green, hopped on and took a 90-degree turn left, rolling into the cup for a 2.

* Collin Morikawa most likely played himself out of the tournament over a three-hole stretch on the back nine. Morikawa went bogey, double-bogey, bogey on holes 10-12, putting two balls in the water.

Morikawa, a member at The Summit, shot a 70 on Friday and stands at 7 under heading to the weekend. The CJ Cup has no cut after the second round.

* After two rounds, just one player is over par. Kevin Streelman is 1-over and would have avoided the distinction if not for an unplayable ball in the desert on the 17th hole.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

LPGA match-play event returning to Las Vegas in 2022

The LPGA is coming back to Las Vegas in 2022, making it official with the release of the tour’s 2022 schedule that includes the Bank of Hope Match Play once again headed to Shadow Creek at the end of May.

Koepka makes short work of DeChambeau in Las Vegas match

Brooks Koepka defeated Bryson DeChambeau 4 and 3 in their made-for-TV match at Wynn Golf Club on Friday to claim bragging rights in golfest bitterest rivalry.

Golf’s most bitter rivalry comes to Las Vegas on Friday

Golf’s most bitter rivalry arrives at Wynn Golf Club on Friday for a made-for-TV event. There’s little doubt that Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are anything but friends.

Remarkable run has Morikawa on top of global golf world

Over the weekend, Collin Morikawa became the first American to win the season-ending DP World Tour Championship and the European Tour’s Order of Merit.

Sodetz cruises to second Las Vegas City Amateur title

Golf analysts love to say that you can’t win a tournament on the first day. Brett Sodetz proved that theory wrong at the Las Vegas City Amateur.

Former Rebel Finkelstein settling into life on LPGA Tour

Dana Finkelstein stands 95th on the LPGA money list with one full-field event remaining, and a top-100 finish will get her into almost every tournament next year.

Home staging industry resilient during pandemic

In 2020 and 2021, Vegas saw a hot housing market, likely driven by low interest rates and movement from out-of-state buyers. Yet still, COVID and its wider effects weighed on everyone in some way and the home staging industry was not entirely immune. Like many other industries, there was much needed adaptation in order to stay afloat and take advantage of business opportunities.