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March 07, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Phil, Keegan and Dustin play Augusta practice round

Friendship has its benefits.

Keegan Bradley and Dustin Johnson have become two of Phil Mickelson's favorite practice-round partners (Mickelson's Tuesday money matches with Johnson ought to be televised), and Bradley and Johnson got the benefit of that friendship on Tuesday, when they played Augusta National with the three-time Masters champion.

Bradley tweeted afterward, "Great day at Augusta with @DJohnsonPGA and Phil. I have a lot more to learn about Augusta National. Really great day #worktodo"

Donald says there's no McIlroy-Westwood feud

The WCG-Cadillac Championship pairs its players by rankings so we'll see No. 1 Rory McIlroy, No. 2 Luke Donald and No. 3 Lee Westwood playing together Thursday and Friday at Doral's Blue Monster course in Miami. McIlroy and Westwood have had some testy Twitter exchanges since McIlroy split with Westwood's agent Chubby Chandler, and their semifinal match at the World Match Play in Tucson was more "High Noon" then "Hey, Buddy."

However, Donald said Tuesday that he doesn't see any simmering tensions between his Ryder Cup teammates.

Q. I'm sure Rory is enjoying the view, as you said on Twitter the other day. How much danger is there of you getting sucked into watching what he and Lee Westwood are doing over the first two days and try to get back that World Ranking?

LUKE DONALD: Well, might be an advantage. They can I suppose there's a little bit of not tension, but there was a lot of energy in their match at the Match Play. Maybe they will focus on each other again Thursday, Friday, I don't know. Maybe I can just slip away and make some birdies without them noticing. Yeah, it will be a fun three ball. Obviously Rory is the guy that's playing well, but as always, you always concentrate on your own game.

Q. What do you think of the dynamic between those two?

LUKE DONALD: I think it's a very friendly one really to be honest with you. From what I can see, they are still very chatty towards each other. There's no animosity, from all the things that happened, from Rory moving away from Chubby and his group, I think it was just a business decision and that's the way they saw it, both of them.

'To leave a message of "Congrats, Rory!" please press No. 1...'

After Rory McIlroy collapsed on Sunday at the 2011 Masters, he received messages of encouragement from Greg Norman and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. McIlroy said he received much happier messages from Norman and Ferguson after winning the Honda Classic and becoming the game's top-ranked player Sunday.

Q. Can you just pick out one of the messages, like did you get one from Fergie or someone like that?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, got one from Fergie. Got one from Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, a few of the United boys. I mean, I got I got a lot. Greg Norman sent one to me. He left me a voicemail and a message. He said some very complimentary things. He left me a voicemail after the Match Play, as well, last week, didn't get a chance to catch up with him, but that was very nice of him to reach out. There was a lot. Again, just nice people just to congratulate you and give their words of support and encouragement.

Q. Messages from Wayne Rooney, Alex Ferguson; wonder what previous engagement, if any, have you had with them? They are icons of your boyhood; do you have to do a bit of a double take on the level of superstardom you've achieved?

RORY McILROY: Not really. I mean, obviously I've been to Old Trafford many times and met them briefly, but I haven't spent a great length of time with them. Again to have their support and for them to reach out to you and say congratulations yeah, it is pretty surreal knowing yeah, looking, watching Man United for so many years, and then having Alex Ferguson send you a text message or Wayne Rooney or whatever. It's a nice position to be in.

Tweet of the Day

 

We guess he really is back. 

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