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19th Hole

Marc Leishman’s wife blasted Team USA fans. Does she have a point?

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Marc Leishman’s wife, Audrey, has maintained a blog since nearly dying from sepsis in 2015. A quick scan of the site reveals her to be an good, insightful, reflective writer.

The blog, PSdontusetampons.com, is largely a vehicle to bring awareness to the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome and share Leishman’s near-death experience two years ago and what she’s learned since.

And if you think there’s something funny about/don’t understand her blog title, then you need to read beyond her post about the Presidents Cup.

Now, the article that’s placed Mrs. Leishman front and center in the golf media sphere: “This is not the Tour I know,” posted October 3.

In breaking down what Audrey Leishman had to say, we have to do a few things.

  1. Acknowledge her use of Daniel Berger’s quote to frame fan behavior doesn’t necessarily reflect her attitude toward the American team, and was really not the best stylistic choice.
  2. Acknowledge we don’t know 99 percent of what was said to her, to her husband, or to anyone else on the International team.
  3. Acknowledge Audrey is an American and she and Marc live in Virginia.

Here’s the Daniel Berger quote Audrey begins with.

“I mean, the goal from the minute we got out here was to just crush them as bad as we can and … I hope we close them out today and we got out tomorrow and beat them even worse.”

She then writes, “The fans felt the same way. I wonder why when that’s what they witnessed.”

Now, comparing boorish fan behavior to the desire to step on your opponent’s throat is not a good look. Competitors are supposed to compete and compete hard. Stay within the rules, yes, but do everything you can to beat your opponent as badly as possible. Surely, that isn’t problematic for someone married to a professional golfer?

The Berger quote is ill-applied and really only serves to undermine the rest of what she has to say. So, let’s throw it out and look at the meat of Leishman’s piece, which deals with U.S. fan behavior.

“There were many times last week that I thought about what the kids were seeing,” she wrote. “The crowds booing for good shots and cheering for missed putts. The drinking at 7 am? Screaming “Big Easy” to Ernie Els and begging for his autograph and then yelling at his players. Heckling a wife for her beauty and then her husband for his play. I was thankful my boys weren’t there to see the way people were treating their daddy. Their hero. My parents could simply turn the television off.”

Again, we don’t know the full extent of what was said to Audrey, to Marc, or what she overheard. It has to be said, however, that the offenses she chose to write about are incredibly minor by sporting event standards.

“Someone yelled “Blooming Onion!” to Marc. Check yourself and your facts because that’s not Australian in the least. Another yelled, “avocado!” at him. I feel sorry for you because if you don’t understand how delicious an avocado is, then you are living a sad, sad life. “You eat cereal with a fork!” Oh friend, maybe that’s actually you who does that, because how would you even think to say that? I understand that this was not every fan.”

Here’s the simplest take on Leishman’s complaints: the Ryder and Presidents Cups are not golf tournaments. They are sporting events. There’s more similarity in fan behavior at a New York Rangers game and the Presidents Cup contested just across the Hudson in New Jersey than the Northern Trust, which was contested in the same area earlier this year.

It’s tough to make an argument in favor of body snarking and other below-the-belt fan comments. That said, it is, and has been, a reality a sporting events around the world for as long as I’ve been alive.

Should the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup fans behave more like fans at a traditional PGA Tour event? Clearly, Audrey Leishman thinks so.

That said, there would seem to be a risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Rowdy, partisan lunacy is part of what makes these team competitions what they are. The best entertainment comes when fan behavior is right up against the line of acceptability. And as long as this is something we enjoy as fans, there will be those who cross the line.

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  1. Chris

    Oct 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Anyone who says that ‘this is what fans are like at sports’ should go watch Murray vs Djokovic at Wimbledon or a rugby 6 nations match. Yes the home team/player is cheered on louder – but Djokovic’s aces are loudly applauded not booed, and the kicker is respected in rugby with silence. You want your team to win but you respect the skill and performance shown by the opposing team. The only things that should be jeered are foul play and bad refereeing decisions!

    Only sport this broadly doesn’t apply to is soccer, with its hooligan fans and primadonna toddler players – and that’s hardly a sport we would want to emulate now is it?

  2. Neil

    Oct 11, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Golfwrx, you should be ashamed of the writer of this article. He is ignorant, close-minded, hypocritical, and extremely biased.

  3. Mike

    Oct 10, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Berger again, why give this, spit dribbling banjo playing half wit column space.
    This forum is a perfect example of the choice you have to express concerns about golf and why it’s struggling. Can you imagine the life “wifey man” lives in. Still not many choices when your IQ is single figures

  4. Duncan Castles

    Oct 9, 2017 at 5:09 am

    After the abomination of the last Ryder Cup GolfWRX praises and encourages ‘rowdy, partisan lunacy’?
    The behaviour of too many American spectators at the last Ryder Cup was unacceptable. Full stop. There is no place or need for abusive comments on the golf course, least of all when players are about to take a stroke. Your writer needs to have a long, hard think about this.

  5. Judgemental

    Oct 8, 2017 at 10:30 am

    The Worst one is……. ‘get in the hole’

  6. Mr. Replier Guy

    Oct 7, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Avocado is my safe word.

  7. Andrew

    Oct 6, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    So Marc earns a million dollar payday and exemption and now wifey thinks she can spout an uninformed opinion with impunity? Let’s help get that foot out of your mouth, wifey. First, go to a rugby game and pay attention to the lunacy of the crowd. It’s the same for team sports anywhere in the world. Second, learn your place and leave all things golf to Marc.

  8. Humble Golfer

    Oct 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    When Jordan Speith says, and I quote “…the most respectful fans in the world…” to a European crowd after winning the Open, that should tell you what golfers think of the ridiculousness that has become this game.

  9. Ryan

    Oct 6, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I mean try going to a college football game. I have seen whole beers thrown at opposing fans leaving the stands. My ex wife told me of D-Cell batteries being thrown. Trash talk in an event like this is par for the course.

    I am very happy to see her become healthy again and applaud her for bringing more awareness to what happened to her. Being a gracious loser sometimes takes being the better man/woman. And although I don’t know what was said, I didn’t see or hear anything that I thought was out of line. I’m a traditionalist in a sense but I also except that the game has evolved and is much better overall nowadays.

    • Bob Chipeska

      Oct 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Drunken, boorish behavior from spectators is not the game “evolving”.

      • jerseychris

        Oct 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm

        But it is the reason I don’t go anymore.

  10. saveva

    Oct 6, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    She fails to realize that her reaction is exactly what the fans wanted. To get under the international teams skin. Seems like her sense of humor is as thin as her skin. What would you like Mrs. Leishman? A pitty party? Mercy rule? Participation trophy? You should expect so much entering hostile terrority, that’s why home teams have an advantage. Maybe one day you’ll realize fans is short for fanatics and these fanatics are the reason you’re eating caviar and sipping champagne.

  11. Rob

    Oct 6, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    The problem with fans behaving like fans at a traditional PGA Tour event is that these two tournaments are not traditional PGA Tour events and are treated as such. Fans get crazy and the euros do it to us when we cross the pond. Its the nature of competition. She needs to lighten up and realize that when country flags are on the line, the competition is fierce and so are the fans that attend.

  12. Vinicius Costa

    Oct 6, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    In my opinion it is a mistake to compare the Presidents/Ryder Cups with other sporting events. You should compare them when held in the US versus elsewhere, then you would see a very big difference. American fans are much less respectful than their counterparts and that’s pretty much undisputed.
    Besides, when Paul Casey said he hated the Americans in the heat of the moment, pretty much everyone crucified him. So much so that he had to make a public statement saying those were unfortunate words. Now, Berger’s comments are OK… See.s like Americans tend to be overlenient with their own. Just my 2ct.

  13. Aaron

    Oct 6, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    These are once a year exhibitions that don’t pay anything. If you don’t like it don’t show up. These things aren’t going to get more civilized going forward. IMO the conversation should be just making sure this kind of stuff doesn’t bleed into the regular tour events.

  14. chinchbugs

    Oct 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    How dare she write truthful upright statements! Get her and get this off the internet!!

  15. carl

    Oct 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Sounds like she needs to get outside her private country club lifestyle once in a while. Has she ever been to another professional sporting event including a regular PGA event, college game, or even an international soccer or rugby match? The presidents cup was tame in comparison.

    I dont think she understands why someone would yell avocado. Its a stupid comment to get the player to think about something other than their game, and judging by the score, it worked.

    • michael

      Oct 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Yes, “avocado” doomed the international team. There was no other factor at play.

    • Mat

      Oct 6, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      No one who isn’t a fellow bellend understands why anyone would shout ‘Avocado!’ at a golf event.

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19th Hole

GolfWRX members have plenty to say about Justin Thomas’ comments on ‘unacceptable’ fan behavior

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At last week’s Genesis Open, after two days of golf grouped with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas had seen all the boorish fan behavior he could take, and he decided to say something about it.

And GolfWRX members had a strong response to Thomas’ reponse, as it were. First, here’s what JT had to say last week.

“Yeah, it was pretty wild this first couple days. It was all right for a little bit today, but there at the end it got a little out of hand…I guess it’s a part of it now, unfortunately. I wish it wasn’t. I wish people didn’t think it was so amusing to yell and all that stuff while we’re trying to hit shots and play.”

“I don’t know – I guess they just think it’s funny,” Thomas said. “It might be funny to them, and obviously people think of it differently and I could just be overreacting. But when people are now starting to time it wrong and get in people’s swings, is just completely unacceptable really. We’re out here playing for a lot of money, a lot of points, and a lot of things can happen. And you would just hate to have, hate to see in the future something happen down the line because of something like that.”

You can almost hear the “he’s absolutely right” and “spoiled pro athlete” contingents readying their arms!

Cool Percussion is in the second squadron, and he started a thread with this venomous post.

“Is Justin Thomas justified in his complaints? On one hand, I can see how large galleries can be a distraction to golfers. (I know if I had to play in front of one it would cost me more than “a half shot per round”)

“On the other hand: POOR BABY! Aww poor little Justin is playing in front of a big-boy gallery now. Boo Hoo. Waaaaahhhhh!!! It must be so hard for you to be paired with Tiger and have to deal with the kinds of galleries that he has had to deal with FOR VIRTUALLY HIS ENTIRE CAREER! Grow-up you spoiled, whiny brat.”

“Here’s an idea, Justin: continue to play like you did this week—keep yourself off the top page of the leaderboard—and then no one will want to come see you and you won’t have to deal with large crowds anymore.”

Now, it has to be said, there’s a difference between large crowds, the Tiger Woods crowd, and idiots who yell during a golfer’s backswing. Thomas seemed mostly upset about the latter. Cool Percussion seems to be conflating all three.

Alikane responds with

“I think he has a legitimate complaint. None of the players like distractions when they are hitting shots. Distractions can alter outcomes of tournaments.”

blink 3665 defends JT in this hot take

“I don’t have a problem with his complaint. He didn’t say that a large gallery was the source of his frustration. It was the yelling and pictures while swinging. His quote seems to have a friendly, but annoyed, demeanor. If anything I think he would be in the right to voice more frustration than he did.

“Yes, the large galleries are something that groupings with TW will have to deal with, but that doesn’t give them the right to affect the games of the players by distracting during a swing.

“So why should anyone have to put up with that? Why does his stance against “loud, annoying, drunk, inconsiderate dbs” mean he is a “spoiled whiney brat”? I think that makes him normal.”

Kjboisen doesn’t agree with the percussionist

“Dislike your perspective that JT needs to get used to those larger galleries. I don’t think that is the problem. it’s the drunken morons who yell on backswings and on important putts. If there is going to be noise, make it a constant noise. If there is supposed to be relative silence, and I hear someone yell some B.S on my backstroke for an important putt, it would bother me too.”

“I don’t think the crowds bother anyone unless someone on Tour lives under a damn rock and has never played with a group of friends who will do anything to keep a match alive… conditioned to the distracts. But the other BS is unnecessary and more precaution needs to be taken in my opinion. Active crowd patrol and searching for over-rowdy individuals to remove from the situation before it becomes a problem.”

Dciccoritti points out a likely accelerant

“Remove the booze in all sporting events. If you can’t enjoy a sporting event without getting drunk and stupid, you shouldn’t be there in the first place.”

Golfandfishing draws an interesting connection

“Every week there are posts on here calling out the stupidity of people yelling scrambled eggs bababooey get in the hole woohoo and 5 pages of posts then agree it is stupid. Justin Thomas says the same thing and he’s a spoiled brat?”

The thread is currently six pages long and more than 170 replies deep. In other words, the membership has plenty to say on the topic.

What do you think? Check out the rest of the replies and join the discussion.

 

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19th Hole

Another rules incident for Lexi Thompson

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For Lexi Thompson and the LPGA Tour, the day they hoped would never come has arrived. Lexi Thompson made a rules blunder and nearly signed for an incorrect scorecard for her second round of play at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Details are scant, but based on a report from Keeley Levins at Golf Digest, it seems Thompson’s ball came to rest near an advertising sign at the 15th hole. Believing the sign was a moveable obstruction, Thompson moved the sign. And, well, you know where this is going. The sign was an immovable obstruction. It’s unclear who Thompson consulted before making her decision, but it doesn’t appear she sought out a rules official.

Unaware that she was in violation, Thompson was told of the two-stroke penalty while she was in the scorers’ tent. After the rules official’s intercession, Thompson signed for a second-round 68, rather than 66.

The LPGA issued this statement

“During the second round of the Honda LPGA Thailand, Lexi Thompson incurred a two-stroke penalty on hole 15 for breach of the Local Rule regarding temporary immovable obstructions as prescribed in Appendix 1. The Supplementary Rules of Play for the Honda LPGA Thailand state that advertising boards are temporary immovable obstructions.”

Now, opinions on what befell Thompson at the 2017 Ana Inspiration range from “she was a victim” to “her cavalier ballmarking finally caught up with her.” Regardless of where you sit in that continuum, you’d have to expect Lexi Thompson would be calling in a rules official in any potentially dubious situation, or at the very least, giving the local rules a close read.

Ultimately, you’d have to think the takesmiths will remain largely entrenched in their post-Ana rules fiasco positions on this one. What say you, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Retired pro cricketer blasts Kevin Na for slow play. Is he right?

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A tweet and follow-up video from a retired English cricketer are making the rounds in the golf social mediaverse and snackable content realms. And while most agree that it’s not a good look for golf when Kevin Pietersen, who has more than three million Twitter followers, mocks Kevin Na for taking a small eternity over a putt and slow play is an issue on Tour, Pietersen may not exactly be hitting the mark.

Anyway, here’s the tweet and succeeding tutorial.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Surely it’s hyperbole to call the putt a “tap-in,” no? But given the length of the putt, how excessive is the amount of time Na took?

And for the millionth time, expecting players like Kevin Na (who prefers a…deliberate pace) to play quickly because it’s courteous, isn’t going to happen. Pro golf is the man’s job, and he clearly believes he does it best when he does it slowly with great deliberation. Expecting Na, or any other player of a similar mindset, to change without outside influence (slow play penalties) is unrealistic.

In other words, Pietersen ought to include @PGATour in his tweet as well.

Update: Na posted this defense/explanation on Instagram. 

 

 

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