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November 26, 2014Scott, McIlroy inspire each other to better golf (The Associated Press)

Rory MacIlroy, left, of Northern Ireland shakes hands with Adam Scott of Australia during the trophy presentation of the Australian Open golf tournament in Sydney Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. MacIlroy was presented the Stonehaven Cup after he defeated Scott by one stroke finishing 18-under par. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

SYDNEY (AP) -- On the eve of the Australian Open - and their first tournament together since September - Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott were doing their best Wednesday to sound like a mutual admiration society.

November 25, 2014Scott out to bury Sydney hurt against inspirational McIlroy (Reuters)

Adam Scott of Australia tees off on the ninth hole during the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song

By Nick Mulvenney SYDNEY (Reuters) - Adam Scott still feels the hurt of losing the Australian Open title to Rory McIlroy on the final green last year but believes the world number one has also inspired him to become a better golfer. Scott was set to win a rare "Triple Crown" of Australian titles when he went into the final round at Royal Sydney last year but bogeyed the final hole to allow McIlroy to win his only title of 2013 with a birdie. "I certainly have a thorn in my side after not winning last year. ...

November 25, 2014More seeds for a global tour in golf (The Associated Press)

Brooks Koepka of the U.S. chips out of the bunker on the 2nd fairway, during the first day of The DP World Tour Championship, held at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Stephen Hindley)

The PGA Tour has small circuits in Latin America, Canada and China. Commissioner Tim Finchem spoke in 2010 about golf heading toward a ''world tour,'' even though he wasn't sure what it would look like or when it would all come together.

November 25, 2014Woods at 5-year mark of Thanksgiving accident (The Associated Press)

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2014, file photo, Tiger Woods winces after tee shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. It was five years ago this week that a fire hydrant he struck with his SUV became the symbol of his before-and-after career. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Any mention of golf during the week of Thanksgiving used to be about the Skins Game.

November 25, 2014American Koepka wins European Rookie of Year award (Reuters)

Brooks Koepka of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 18, 2014.         REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

LONDON (Reuters) - Brooks Koepka matched the feat achieved by fellow American Peter Uihlein 12 months ago when he was named European Tour Rookie of the Year on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Koepka finished eighth on the money-list in his first full season on the circuit and also won the Turkish Airlines Open earlier this month. "Winning the Rookie of the Year award means so much," Koepka said in a news release. (Writing by Tony Jimenez, editing by Toby Davis)

November 24, 2014McIlroy grouped with Ogilvy, Appleby in Australia (The Associated Press)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds the Race to Dubai trophy at the DP World Golf Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday Nov. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/STR)

SYDNEY (AP) -- No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy has been grouped with Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby for the opening rounds of his Australian Open title defense this week and will be among the early starters at The Australian golf club.

November 24, 2014Rookie sensation Ko faces 'tough' task to match 2014 (Reuters)

Aug 17, 2014; Pittsford, NY, USA; Lydia Ko hits her tee shot on the 3nd hole during the final round of the Wegman's Championship golf tournament at Monroe Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko knows full well that she will face a formidable challenge next year in trying to replicate, at the very least, her astonishingly successful rookie campaign on the LPGA Tour. The 17-year-old capped a storming 2014 season by clinching her third victory in a gripping three-way playoff for the Tour Championship on Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida. The youngest player in the elite field, Ko also claimed the circuit's inaugural "Race to CME Globe" title and its $1 million bonus for the biggest payday in women's golf. ...

November 24, 2014Els dreams of carrying South African flag at 2016 Olympics (Reuters)

Ernie Els of South Africa tees off on the third hole during the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song

By Tony Jimenez (Reuters) - Ernie Els is dreaming of holding aloft the South African flag at the opening ceremony when golf returns to the Olympics in Brazil in 2016, he said at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. The South African, who has won four major championships and more than 60 titles around the world, will be 46 when the sport returns to the Games fold in Rio de Janeiro following a 112-year absence. ...