ERIN, Wisconsin (Reuters) – Rory McIlroy and Steve Elkington engaged in a social media spat after the Australian took a potshot at the world number two who missed the cut at the U.S. Open on Friday.
Elkington, the 1995 PGA Championship winner, suggested that McIlroy had lost interest in adding to his collection of four major championships.
“Rory is so bored playiing golf…without Tiger the threshold is prolly 4 majors with 100mill in bank,” Elkington wrote on Twitter.
“Nobody more gifted than Rory… Hes so bored playing golf on tour,” Texas-based Australian Elkington wrote in a separate tweet.
McIlroy was not amused.
“More like 200mil… not bad for a ‘bored’ 28 year old… plenty more where that came from,” replied the Northern Irishman.
Elkington said Jack Nicklaus never discussed his earnings, to which McIlroy called out the Australian’s spelling and wrote “That’s why jack designed 100’s of golf courses… and it’s knew… mustn’t have taught grammar in the 50’s.”
The exchange came after McIlroy struggled to avoid the brutal Erin Hills rough in a shocking first-round 78 en route to an early exit from the year’s second major.
For the first time since 1974, four players head into the weekend tied atop the leaderboard, with Americans Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman and English duo Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood locked at seven-under 137.
That foursome does not quite roll off the tongue like the 1974 gang of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Raymond Floyd and eventual winner Hale Irwin, but nevertheless.
Rain started falling a couple of hours after the end of the second round on Friday night, and with thunderstorms likely on Saturday afternoon, chances are the course will not be firm and fiery.
The wind is also forecast to be light all day, so birdies should again be plentiful.
But the long fescue rough remains a severe punishment for wildly inaccuracy, so precision off the tee will remain of paramount importance, no matter what the conditions.
Webb Simpson, the 2012 champion, and fellow American Tyler Light will be the Saturday dew sweepers, teeing off at 8:26 a.m. Central (1336 GMT), with the final pairing of Casey and Harman out at 2:29 p.m. Central (1929 GMT).
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)