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19th Hole

What GolfWRX members love about watching golf on TV



While there’s plenty of negativity about golf coverage in general, and plenty of specific criticisms are valid, televised golf can be pretty entertaining.

GolfWRX forum member MilkyButterCuts was inspired to start a thread titled “Things is love about watching modern day professional golf.” And while we’ll agree to disagree on the value of Gary McCord’s contributions, the thread is turning into an interesting catalogue of the best elements of the ever-developing (not quickly enough for some, sure) medium of televised golf.

MilkyButterCuts likes

1. Nick Faldo & David Feherty
2. How competitive every tournament has been, we rarely see blowouts anymore. Playoffs the past 4 weeks.
3. Spieth yelling “JORDAN!!” after every other shot

Christosterone adds

Shot tracer
Super slow Mo….except the “Konica Minolta BizHub” part
Putting camera angles
Featured groups on the app

HoosierMizuno says

DVR – haven’t sat through live golf in a long time. skip the commercials and the ceo interview and you’ll cut the broadcast in half easily
Rope47 says

I love that most every tournament has a chance to go to a playoff. I love watching two or three guys fighting down the stretch and making clutch shots under pressure. I actually like it better when I don’t have a favorite and I can purely enjoy it.

Lookylookitzadam adds

1. Mic’d up conversations between caddie and player
2. Toptracer
3. Feherty’s commentary
4. Rahm’s emotions

Which elements of today’s golf coverage do you enjoy, GolfWRX members? Check out the thread for more responses and to add your voice to the chorus.


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19th Hole

An airline lost Thornbjorn Olesen’s golf clubs…and his backup clubs…and his suitcases



Thorbjorn Olesen has arrived in Sweden for the Nordea Masters. Unfortunately, his golf clubs have not…nor have his back up clubs.

He tweeted this, Tuesday.

“So the comedy continues, @British_Airways have managed to now lose 5 suitcases and 2 sets of golf clubs in 10 days! Decided to bring my only backup set of clubs on this morning’s flight to the Nordea Masters in case my other lost set don’t arrive and BA have also now lost these!”

Thousands of tour pros fly hundreds of times per year, yes, but doesn’t it seem like more golf bags are getting lost than should? Sidebar: Masterful GIF game, Mr. Olesen.

Olesen hasn’t provided an update on his bag(s) since the tweet above, so we’re not sure where things stand now. BA responded with this

Nope…doesn’t sound good at all…

Olesen also fired off this tweet–good he can see the humor in what has to be an utterly enraging situation.

Guess this is a #PlayBetter so you can afford NetJets, etc, situation, because it’s certainly not ever going to be a #AirlinesStoppedLosingBags situation. Also Ship Sticks is at least theoretically in play, right?

Or, of course, there’s option 3: Telescoping golf clubs in a collapsible bag that you can take as a carry on. That’s the surest bet: Just stash ’em overhead! Gotta get to work inventing those…

But really, rough stuff, and here’s hoping the Dane gets his bats back.

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19th Hole

Shane Lowry roasts rules officials for PGA Championship debacle



Shane Lowry isn’t exactly thrilled with the ruling–or lack thereof–he got at the PGA Championship.

Viewers joined the drama in medias res late in the Sunday telecast, Justin Thomas waiting to play his pitch shot from beside the par-3 16th green. Lowry was 10 under at the time, four strokes behind Brooks Koepka (Thomas was 11 under). The Irishman’s tee shot missed the green, settling next to a camera tower.

It was unclear during the telecast what was keeping Lowry from playing as he argued with officials, and the commentators seemed to suggest Lowry ought to go ahead and play and stop obstructing Thomas. JT eventually played, hitting a poor shot and bogeying the hole. Lowry, after a near 10-minute delay played from his original position and bogeyed the hole. Running hot, he bogeyed the 17th hole as well to fall outside the top 10.

Now, Lowry is speaking on what happened, telling the Irish Times

“I think the referee didn’t have the balls to make a decision there, and if he did I would have had an easier shot…If you put (European Tour official) John Paramor or any of the good referees out there, and he would have given me full relief. But he wasn’t giving me full relief, he was telling me to drop it in a tree basically.”

“The camera tower was the issue. I took my drop there was another camera tower in my way, straight away I felt I should get dropped on other side and they were getting me to drop it in the middle of the tree. I can’t, so where do I drop it? They’re saying drop it here, I have a club length (to drop the ball) and it is still my way. He wouldn’t make a decision. The other referee said, ‘it is your decision’. I said, ‘Do you know what? I’m just going to play’. I didn’t want to wait around any longer.”

Thomas, for his part, didn’t blame Lowry.

“It had nothing to do with Shane. The rules officials were having a hard time coming up with a ruling,” Thomas said. “They were kind of looking at each other and saying, ‘Well, what do we do?’ And Shane’s like, ‘Look, just tell me if I get a drop or not.’ And I’m a quick player, and that’s why I went.”

You can see Lowry’s eventual shot and the position he was in here.

Look, we all know the Rules of Golf can be complicated in their application. We also know that if an official gives a player bad advice, the player isn’t protected if he violates the Rules by the mere fact that he was doing what the official directed.

Thus, in situations where officials aren’t sure, they have little incentive to offer firm guidance, which brings up a more important point: The Lowry situation wasn’t some outrageous and unforeseen development. With the tower in play, all officials should have been well aware of the players’ options. In general, you want all officials to be able to apply the rules, yes, but particularly in expected situations.

More than mere doofery, the debacle speaks to a lack of preparation that is utterly unacceptable. Equally unacceptable–and likely final scoreboard altering–is the amount of time it took to come to the (lack of) decision.

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19th Hole

“Congratulations” to Brooks Koepka, and “thank you” to Tiger Woods



In much the same way that Paul Casey’s breakthrough victory at the Valspar Championship earlier this year was, Brooks Koepka’s convincing triumph (and second major win this year) will be overshadowed by Tiger Woods’ bona fide contention in a major golf tournament.

Yes, Woods’ detractors will howl about Koepka not being given his due…about how the unflappable Floridan once again got the job done with a host of challengers bringing the heat amid the, well, sweltering St. Louis heat.

Koepka deserves all the credit in the world, and laurels ought to be heaped upon the bow-wristed-backswinging masher of the golf ball. However, the reality among most golf fans and 99 percent of general sports fans is that the faithful were hoping to see Woods’ first major victory in a decade. In his post round press conference, Koepka himself said, “Other than me, my team, everybody was rooting for Tiger… as they should.”

It doesn’t take anything away from Koepka’s win to acknowledge that the gravitational pull, of what was surely record viewership, was for a Woods’ victory. If anything, it’s another feather in Koepka’s Nike golf cap to (to mix metaphors) have paddled against that current successfully.

Starting the day four strokes ahead of Woods, it was always going to take a Koepka collapse at eminently gettable Bellerive. That didn’t happen, and from the seventh hole on BK was a veritable golfing colossus, pounding his drives down the fairway, hitting all but a handful of greens in regulation, and playing his final 12 holes in 5 under par.

On a day where the likes of Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler all faltered to one degree or another, Woods reversed his own 2018 trend of fading on the weekend with an inspired 6-under 64. Fans are right to be excited.

Inspired, the final round was, in vintage Woodsian ways: the man didn’t hit a fairway on the front nine and managed to go out in 3-under. Sure, he was the beneficiary of the favor of the golf gods and the trampled grass of the swelling galleries, but artistry like this towering hook at the ninth was a joy to watch.

Then, of course, for all the difficulty Woods had off the tee (both with driver and irons), he was masterful in carving approach shots toward Kerry Haigh’s attempted tucked pins. Consider this shot at the 15th.

Tiger Woods firing a 64 in a major on Sunday in the year 2018…at 42…after spinal fusion and wandering out of a personal abyss…was impressive. Indeed, today was a day most (even Tiger himself) doubted would ever come. Better writers than I can debate how many rungs below Ben Hogan’s comeback this is on the ladder of achievement.

More than its impressiveness, however, Woods’ Sunday charge at Bellerive was just plain fun to watch, wasn’t it? He stirred the echoes of the Tiger Woods of the early 2000 and mid 2000s. He showed that, should his back continue to hold up, he will contend in majors for, what, at least the next five years?

And if you like that sort of thing, you know, seeing one of the greatest of all time at the top of his game, you have to say, “Thank you, Tiger,” for taking the long, difficult, and often dark road back to serious contention in a major championship.


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19th Hole