Ewan Murray

Author's details

Name: Ewan Murray
Date registered: October 11, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united

Latest posts

  1. Catriona Matthew paints ominous picture of Ladies European Tour | Ewan Murray — April 20, 2017
  2. Jordan Spieth out to banish demons of spectacular Masters collapse — April 1, 2017
  3. Tiger Woods rules himself out of the 2017 Masters — March 31, 2017
  4. Danny Willett: ‘There have been massive highs but some pretty low lows’ — March 31, 2017
  5. Lydia Ko looks to dispel doubters after coaching upheaval with major comeback | Ewan Murray — March 29, 2017

Author's posts listings

Apr 20

Catriona Matthew paints ominous picture of Ladies European Tour | Ewan Murray

The US-based 47-year-old Scot says up-and-coming European female golfers need a part-time job to support themselves and the financial contrast with the LPGA is certainly stark

Catriona Matthew has never needed to shout from the rooftops to make significant points. She does, however, carry enough experience and knowledge to speak with authority on the state of women’s golf.

The 47-year-old is one of the most understated and underappreciated sportspeople in the UK. Her triumph at the 2009 Women’s British Open, 11 weeks after giving birth to a daughter, remains one of the most remarkable stories in golf.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/apr/20/catriona-matthew-ladies-european-tour-golfers-lpga

Apr 01

Jordan Spieth out to banish demons of spectacular Masters collapse

Jordan Spieth is hoping to make amends after blowing a five-stroke lead by dropping six strokes in three back-nine holes during the final round of last year’s Masters

If afforded an each-way Masters bet to save your life, there would be no cause for deliberation. Jordan Spieth finished tied second on his Augusta National debut in 2014, returned to win the opening major of 2015 and, despite an epic, painful collapse last year, showed enough resolve to play the closing six holes in one under par to be joint runner-up.

Leading sportspeople insist career lows resonate far more than the ultimate highs. If that is the case, Spieth’s stumble from a seemingly unassailable position of five shots in front of the 2016 Masters field provides motivation that will be hard to match.

Related: Jordan Spieth loses his Masters title at Amen Corner

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/apr/01/golf-masters-augusta-jordan-spieth-collapse

Mar 31

Tiger Woods rules himself out of the 2017 Masters

• Four-times champion still struggling with a back injury
• 41-year-old says he is not ‘tournament ready’

Tiger Woods has confirmed he will not participate in next week’s Masters, the 14-times major winner admitting his game is “not tournament ready” as he battles continuing back issues. In the latest ominous glance towards the future Woods said on Friday he remains unclear as to when he may play again.

Woods has played only three competitive rounds in 2017, the last coming before he made a Friday morning withdrawal from the Dubai Desert Classic in early February. Woods, 41, cited back spasms having underdone three surgeries on the same area in recent times.

Related: Jordan Spieth leads high-profile exodus from Houston Open

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/31/tiger-woods-golf-masters-injury-2017-not-tournament-ready

Mar 31

Danny Willett: ‘There have been massive highs but some pretty low lows’

Yorkshireman has suffered slump in form following Augusta triumph last April but says his religious upbringing has helped him come to terms with his woes

Keeping faith has never been so important to Danny Willett. In 12 months the 29-year-old has endured professional struggles that could define a career if not for the claiming of The Masters which, in part, triggered this fall. Willett becoming a major champion at Augusta National last April led to so much surprise at his subsequent toils. The most unfair claim of all is that Willett was a shock or unfitting champion.

The son of a vicar, Willett might have believed a greater being has been exacting revenge after permitting the sport’s ultimate high. “I grew up with Christian values and around the church, being in the vicarage” Willett says. “It was probably slightly different from what most people encounter but I would say a lot of who I am and what I have done is down to the way my mum and dad brought us up. That [religion] has been a big part of me.

Related: Masters 2016: Danny Willett wins after Jordan Spieth’s disaster at the 12th

Related: Masters 2016: Danny Willett thanks fate for help in unlikely victory

Related: Danny Willett’s dismal run continues with missed cut at HSBC Championship

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/31/danny-willett-masters-golf-augusta-interview

Mar 29

Lydia Ko looks to dispel doubters after coaching upheaval with major comeback | Ewan Murray

The world No1’s failure to win since July has brought the first sign of upheaval in a fairytale career but the teenager’s struggles may have been exaggerated

If this is a crisis, it is the kind the vast majority of golfers would gleefully accept. Lydia Ko might be the defending champion at this week’s ANA Inspiration, the first major of 2017, but in the context of her stunning rise these are troubled times. Ko has not won since last July – that proved a fourth victory of 2016 and a 14th on the LPGA Tour – and last weekend missed a cut (at the Kia Classic) for only the second time as a professional. Suddenly, the discussion around the double major champion has altered.

That Ko is still a teenager was commonly overlooked when she was in such dominant form. The routine inconsistency of youth is surely a key issue now but Ko’s career choices instead dictate her early season narrative and will until she enjoys success again. At the end of last year, she changed equipment company before dispensing with her coach and caddie. This is at the very least the first sign of upheaval in a hitherto fairytale career.

Related: Lydia Ko becomes youngest to clinch two LPGA majors with ANA Inspiration win

Related: Teed off by Trump? Why protests to move the US Women’s Open miss the mark

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/29/lydia-ko-major-comeback-ana-inspiration-golf

Mar 20

Tiger Woods opens up on racial slurs that drove his desire for dominance | Ewan Murray

Former world No1 says in book on his extraordinary triumph at the 1997 Masters ‘I wanted us to be colour blind. Twenty years later, that has yet to happen’

It is sad a reminder of Tiger Woods’s brilliance arrives at a point when his career has never been clouded in more doubt. With little over a fortnight to go until the Masters, the 41-year-old still cannot confirm his participation as he battles recurring back problems. Still, there was an upbeat Woods in Manhattan on Monday as he launched The 1997 Masters: My Story. Woods’s decline has not diminished the level of focus on his every move as exhibited by disappointment at the book store when fans were limited to one copy per person.

Twenty years ago Woods was not so much at the peak of his powers as offering a sign of things to come. He prevailed at Augusta by a dozen shots to claim his first major, thereby endorsing every theory that existed since childhood that he would prove a golfing phenomenon. This book is notable for being in existence at all, Woods being so guarded in his public dealings, and therefore provides superb and so rare detail of the thought processes of this golfing genius. When Tiger speaks people still sit up and take notice.

Related: From the Vault: The world meets Tiger Woods for the first time

Related: Bullish Tiger Woods has no intention of becoming a ceremonial golfer | Ewan Murray

Related: ‘Extremely disappointed’ Tiger Woods pulls out of two PGA events with injury

Related: The disappearance of Tiger Woods

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/20/tiger-woods-racial-slurs-1997-masters-my-story

Mar 19

Dustin Johnson grows into No1 role and sets sights on WGC Match Play

American hopes to follow victories in Genesis Open and WGC Mexico Championship with another this week in Austin

Dustin Johnson is chasing a treble that would once have looked impossible for one of the great underachievers of this age. Building on last year’s maiden major he has risen to world No1 and is now threatening to develop a stranglehold on the top of the rankings.

Johnson’s success at the Genesis Open in the middle of last month catapulted him to the summit for the first time. At 32, given the widespread and legitimate view that Johnson is the most naturally gifted American player of his generation, the undertone related to his earlier struggles in matching expectation with outcome.

Related: Dustin Johnson holds off rising star Jon Rahm to win WGC event in Mexico

Related: Dustin Johnson takes place of Jason Day as golf’s world No1 after win in LA

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/19/dustin-johnson-wgc-match-play

Mar 09

Luis Suárez’s dive exposes Barcelona’s cheating, amid the celebrations | Ewan Murray

The notion of the club’s revival against PSG being special is undermined by their players tumbling. The message? When things get tough, keep conning officials

The post-match Camp Nou scene that resonated most with me did not involve Barcelona’s group photographs. It was not Luis Enrique in such a mood that one thought he might be of a mind to reconsider his future. The sight of distraught Paris Saint-Germain supporters, motionless on the upper tier, was what struck a chord.

Never mind celebrations, what lingered was that gut-wrenching feeling of painful defeat as experienced only by those who care passionately for their team, and which dismisses the cliche that football is “only a game”. It is unexplainable to anyone who hasn’t suffered the same level of dejection.

Related: Neymar stands apart to make the impossible possible for Barcelona | Sid Lowe

Related: Barcelona 6-1 PSG: the internet reacts to an absurd football game

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/09/luis-suarez-dive-barcelona-cheating-psg

Feb 24

Rory McIlroy: ‘Trump’s whole circus, this big show, is intriguing to watch’

The four-times major winner on feeling sorry for Tiger Woods and his own preparations for the Masters in April after recovering from a rib injury

It would have seemed unfathomable in 2014, when Rory McIlroy was celebrating victory at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla, that his haul of four majors would remain unchanged in 2017. It is still a source of general bemusement. As he contemplates his return from a rib injury at next week’s World Golf Championship in Mexico, McIlroy makes it clear his competitive fire has never burned more intensely.

“I want to be the best golfer in the world,” he says. “I want to be ranked the best golfer in the world. I want everyone to think I’m the best golfer in the world.

Related: If Rory McIlroy must play golf with Trump we need some juicier details | Marina Hyde

I never thought I would say this but I felt sorry for Tiger

Big battle today at Trump International with Clear CEO Garry Singer @McIlroyRory @PaulONeillYES @realDonaldTrump Drain the putt… pic.twitter.com/AZJqEVtlBT

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/24/rory-mcilroy-tiger-woods-masters-career-grand-slam

Feb 23

Golf fumbles around for appropriate relationship with betting | Ewan Murray

As growth of markets and tipster columns focus attention on the sport, it seems at pains to keep the gambling world at arm’s length for fear of being compromised

Contemplate the scenario: round two of an Open Championship, Golfer X is flirting with the cut line when playing his 36th hole. Cue back-to-back drives out of bounds and confirmation of an early exit.

Related: If Rory McIlroy must play golf with Trump we need some juicier details | Marina Hyde

Related: Pie-gate leaves nasty smell – and it’s football’s links with betting industry | Paul MacInnes

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/feb/23/golf-fumbles-appropriate-relationship-with-betting

Feb 15

If golf really wants innovation, how about a second cut for Saturday? | Ewan Murray

Golf Sixes and the European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley’s other initiatives are a hopeful sign that the need for radical thinking may be dawning on the game

In these days in which golf and innovation are suddenly bedfellows, one wonders what might happen next. The most fascinating aspect relating to the wearing of shorts during practice rounds, music accompanying players on the driving range or potential for fireworks on tees is the level of attention these background – and not tournament-defining – elements receive. Golf’s obsession with tradition is illustrated when these elements of show business are added and onlookers report them as somehow revelatory.

Meanwhile, pro-am formats such as the one used at Pebble Beach last weekend render what should be premium competition utterly unwatchable. Later in the year, the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship will follow the same tired and elongated trend. It is this format which has to change; not the introduction of Beyoncé and some rockets.

Related: European Tour looks to entertain with new €1m GolfSixes team event

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/feb/15/innovation-and-open-minds-will-be-needed-to-bring-golf-to-wider-audience

Feb 11

European Tour looks to entertain with new €1m GolfSixes team event

• Players in six-hole tournament will tee off to fireworks and music
• Tour chief Keith Pelley seeks to make golf relevant to a younger audience

The European Tour’s admirable quest to keep golf prominent will be endorsed once more with the creation of a unique six-hole team event in England in May. GolfSixes, which will be formally unveiled by the Tour’s chief executive Keith Pelley on Sunday, will be held at the Centurion Golf Club near St Albans on the weekend of 6 and 7 May, and carries a prize pool of €1m (£852,000).

In a greensomes match‑play format – meaning the better tee shots are selected at each hole – teams of two from 16 nations will play matches in a shortened version of golf, first in four groups before knockout stages are staged on the Sunday.

We will have music on the 1st tee, fireworks on the 1st tee, it will be an entertaining golf product.

If you move ahead five years from now, I can’t see that players won’t all be wearing microphones.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/11/european-tour-golf-team-event

Feb 08

Golf in the rough again over Olympic venue that discriminates against women | Ewan Murray

After the problems at Rio, there is more negative publicity over the venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where women cannot become full members

It is happening again. The wave of negative publicity which preceded golf’s return to the Olympic Games may have been offset in part by the thrilling men’s finale in Rio, but another public relations disaster has not taken long to arrive. Bulletins from Tokyo, where the venue for the Games’s tournament, Kasumigaseki Country Club, operates a policy whereby women cannot become full members and cannot play on Sundays, yet again bring golf’s Olympic alliance into question, just as it does the competence of those managing it.

At a time when the International Golf Federation should be using all its energies to convince 2016 refuseniks why participation in Tokyo 2020 makes perfect sense, it has been hit by another storm. Welcome back to golf’s age-old problem of discrimination, which has now been catapulted back into focus, this time far away from gin-stained corduroys on Scotland’s east coast.

Related: Olympic debacle is latest mis-hit in golf’s round of poor publicity

Related: Tokyo Olympic golf course urged to let women be full members

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/feb/08/golf-olympic-venue-discriminates-against-women-tokyo-2020

Jan 27

Brentford’s blue-sky thinking faces another test at Chelsea in FA Cup

The Championship club renowned for their innovative use of statistics are thinking beyond today’s tie and are targeting the top flight

The 2013 FA Cup meeting of Brentford and Chelsea bestowed attention on the League One club. This was a sign of things to come. From Mark Warburton’s subsequent departure as manager to the removal of his successor, Marinus Dijkhuizen, after such a short spell he was barely afforded scope to learn his players’ names, this has been loosely and sceptically identified as one of English football’s madcap clubs.

The drawing of Chelsea once more offers useful opportunity to alter perception. As a now prominent Championship club with aspirations of moving even higher, – and why not, if Bournemouth and Hull City can do likewise? – Brentford’s progress has vindicated the ownership of Matthew Benham.

Related: Brentford turn down £12.5m from West Ham United for striker Scott Hogan

Related: Brentford play high-stakes game as they chase £130m Premier League jackpot | James Riach

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/27/brentford-chelsea-fa-cup-statistics-targeting-top-flight

Jan 25

St Andrews women members still have no changing room in main clubhouse

• Women members have to change in separate building to men
• St Andrews says it is not practical for women to change in clubhouse

More than two years after a historic vote by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club seemingly to end centuries of discrimination by admitting women to the club, female members still have no changing room inside the St Andrews clubhouse. Instead women, who were allowed to become members from September 2014, are obliged to use facilities 100 yards away in a separate building, the R&A-owned Forgan House.

Related: Muirfield members face their demons again: is it time to let the ladies in? | Marina Hyde

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jan/25/st-andrews-women-members-changing-rooms--clubhouse

Jan 15

Rory McIlroy to have scan on back and in doubt for HSBC Championship

• World No2 edged out by Graeme Storm in play-off
• ‘Obviously that [pulling out] is worst‑case scenario’ says McIlroy

Rory McIlroy’s participation this week in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is in doubt, with the world No2 confirming in the immediate aftermath of a play-off defeat at the South African Open that he will undergo a scan on his injured back on Monday.

Graeme Storm, whose future on the European Tour was in doubt at the end of last season, defeated McIlroy at the third sudden-death hole on Sunday. The pair had earlier tied at 18 under par, McIlroy having made up a three-shot deficit after the third round.

Related: Graeme Storm beats Rory McIlroy in South African Open play-off

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/15/rory-mcilroy-injury-hsbc-championship-abu-dhabi

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