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19th Hole

Sergio Garcia says he doesn’t care about the Race to Dubai. Should he?

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While it’s a bit too “middle school book report” to begin with a quote, this Sergio Garcia statement can’t be buried.

“Winning the Race to Dubai is great but I’m not going to change my whole life for it,” Garcia said. “I’m happy finishing second, third or fourth or whatever.”

What a ringing endorsement for the European Tour’s season-ending, big money playoff from one of the tour’s most visible and significant players!

Indeed, Garcia didn’t even play in the past two Rolex Series events, which is, again, not the preferred look for the “global golfing spectacle.” That said, Garcia has frequently opted out of FedEx Cup Playoff events when he can afford to.

Garcia could in fact still be the series winner. He’d need to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and have current No. 1 Tommy Fleetwood finish 13th or worse and current No. 2 Justin Rose worse than third.

It doesn’t sound like Garcia really knows/cares about this scenario, however.

“It doesn’t really bother me. … I’m going to go out there and try to do what I do every week, which is to play the best I can play and give myself the best option of winning. I can’t control what other people do.”

“I see a 2-percent chance of me winning the Race to Dubai, but I’m fine with it. I can live with it. It’s been a great year, and that’s not going to change.”

Well then. While Garcia’s honesty is respectable, it’s probably not the look the European Tour would prefer. That said, Garcia long ago generated enough capital to/has the status to play exclusively on the PGA Tour. So, in a sense, any appearance by the Spaniard on the European circuit is a favor to that tour.

Still, if he’s unable to muster enthusiasm, it’s probably best for all if he avoids outright indifference, right?

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19th Hole

Barstool Sports founder shot a 66 (of sorts) at Shinnecock, our Swing Analysis

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Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports’ founder, just brought upcoming U.S. Open venue Shinnecock to its knees…kind of.

How did El Pres wind up teeing it up in Southampton? Portnoy wrote about the genesis of the challenge in a characteristic blog post.

“So Riggs and I got in a huge debate a couple weeks ago on Barstool Radio. The question at hand was whether I could win the US Open with unlimited mulligans. For me the answer was a no brainer. Of course I would. That’s not even me bragging. That’s just me knowing what I’m capable of and knowing what unlimited mulligans actually means. I’d 100% birdie every par 3 and then par everything else. That’s -4 a day. Riggs projects the winner at Shinnecock this year will shoot -4 for the entire tournament. The ENTIRE TOURNAMENT. That means I’ll win by roughly 12 strokes. Easy peasy”

“Well apparently the good folks at the USGA caught wind of our argument and have generously offered to let me play Shinnecock on Monday with unlimited mulligans…When I said I’d win with unlimited mulligans I assumed that for the first 2 rounds I’d play from dawn to dusk to achieve my perfect score of -4 per day.”

Was this an insane expectation or something easily achievable? First of all, what do you think Portnoy’s handicap is? 20-25?

Here’s his action

Our Tom Stickney had these remarks after watching the video.

“His shoulders open and tail needs to be stuck out more. Portnoy gets the club rotated a touch too much to the inside and it gets laid off on the way back. An over-the-top transition and a faulty pivot causes the fire-and-fall-back finish.”

Having seen his swing, knowing he had a wheelbarrow’s worth of golf balls and a crew of mulligan retrievers, how do you think El Pres did?

Surely, Barstool will produce video of the round beyond the few cell phone videos on Twitter and Instagram. And if you’d like to see those fragments, check out Portnoy’s Twitter, the Barstool Instagram, and well, the myriad of Barstool-related accounts.

But here’s the bottom line: With an innumerable amount of mulligans, the Barstool founder managed to shoot 66.

Even say he averaged 10 mulligans per shot, shooting four under with, what we’ll label as an “extremely average” swing is impressive. .

Maybe it’s a feat of endurance, determination, and strategy more than it is a great golfing performance, but Portnoy’s performance in Southampton was more than a mere publicity stunt.

And even though we might stereotype the Stoolies as members of the “mashed potatoes” crowd, it’s tough to say the exposure and interaction is bad for the USGA and the U.S. Open.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Interested? Impressed? Don’t care.

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19th Hole

Bryson DeChambeau went full Golf Scientist in professing his love for “The Golfing Machine”

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Published more than 30 years ago, Homer Kelley’s “The Golfing Machine” remains a golf swing bible for some, far too esoteric for others, and a weapon of mass destruction for others still.

Bryson DeChambeau, as we know, is firmly in camp No. 1. The former SMU physics major was always a fertile ground for Kelley’s scientific, geometric prose.

PGATour.com’s resident equipment writer, Jonathan Wall, spotted this DeChambeauian gem from a recent press conference in which some unidentified scribe served the Golf Scientist a heaping portion of red meat…or should we say, cake.

May he never change! While we at GolfWRX have been down with DeChambeau since the days of his single length Edel irons, even if you aren’t a fan, how can you not find the man entertaining?

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19th Hole

The Florida Mid-Am final ended with a player getting punched in the face. Or did it?

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On paper–that is the Florida State Golf Association’s paper, not the police report–Marc Dull won the Florida Mid-Am when his opponent, Jeff Golden, withdrew.

Dull had just birdied the 16th hole to pull even, when the skies opened.

A FSGA statement on the final match indicates what happened next

“With the players on 17, play was halted by heavy rains. When conditions permitted play to continue nearly two and a half hours later, Golden was unable to continue due to an unfortunate injury and defaulted the match.”

Indeed, the statement is technically correct. However, it hardly tells the full story…and what a story it is.

Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner did some digging into the “unfortunate injury,” and what he found was certainly surprising.

Per a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office police report, Jeff Golden (the man who suffered the “unfortunate injury”) called police. Golden claimed he was assaulted in the Coral Creek Club parking lot by his opponent’s caddie. According to Golden, Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs, punched him in the face.

Why in the world did this happen? Apparently, during the ninth hole of the Golden-Dull match, Golden asked Dull about the condition of one of the holes, inquiring as to whether the cup was damaged.

“Don’t worry about it,” Hibbs (again, this is Dull’s caddie) told Golden. “If you’re going to make it, you’re going around it.”

Following this, Golden told a rules official that he believed the caddie’s statement constituted advice (to Golden, who was not his player). Apparently/incredibly, the rules official agreed, and Golden was awarded the hole.

Hibbs, presumably furious, left the course at this point and returned to the clubhouse.

During the previously mentioned rain delay that interrupted the match, Golden claims Hibbs approached him in the parking lot while he was at his car getting additional clothing.

Per the report, Hibbs “approached him, apologized, then punched him on the left side of the face.”

Now this story would be ridiculous enough if these facts were agreed upon. However, Hibbs says the incident never happened. He claims after leaving the course, he was in the clubhouse during the entire rain delay.

Nobody saw the alleged attack, and there were no surveillance cameras trained on the parking lot. Further, Golden’s face was not swollen or cut and Hibbs’ hands showed no evidence that he’d punched anything.

Golden maintains he was punched and that his shirt had blood on it, also claiming that he suffered “concussion symptoms.”

Golden declined to press charges, and both Hibbs and Dull maintain nothing happened.

Per Ryan Lavner, FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that Golden “didn’t want to play anymore.”

“Regrettably, the golf course was very playable and Jeff understood that he needed to resume the match. I think he was just ready to go,” adding police “found absolutely no evidence of an assault.”

What do you make of this, GolfWRX members? The scales of justice don’t seem to be tipped in Mr. Golden’s favor, do they?

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