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WATCH: Jason Dufner’s agonizing missed 3-footer cost him $300 grand

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Just 17 feet from the hole on the 18th green at The Players, Sunday, Jason Dufner looked like he could be on his way to a solo second-place finish (and $1.188 million) at TPC Sawgrass.

Dufner couldn’t convert on his 17-footer, leaving himself three feet to the hole. As this is a story about a man missing putts, you know what happened next, Dufner yanked his par attempt well left, before tapping in for bogey.

Regarding the second putt: The yips? Maybe. Bad putting? Certainly. Costly? Extremely.

Dufner’s T5 finish earned him a cool $418,000. Not bad, right? Well had he made the par putt, he’d have finished T2 and pocketed $726,000. And if he’d made the birdie, he’d have finished solo second, earning $1.188 million for his week’s work.

Here’s the putt, per Steve Scott on Twitter…

…and Clay Smitherman

Now, there are surely stories of this nature every week on Tour, but Dufner’s is a glaring example.

A good craftsman never blames his tools, but since this is GolfWRX, Dufner’s offending flatstick was seemed to be the Scotty Cameron Circle T T5S (SuperStroke PistolGTR Tour grip) we shot earlier this year.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jack Nicholas

    May 17, 2018 at 10:50 am

    His putting method uses too much upper-body rotation. Too much method and not enough feel and flow.

  2. kevin

    May 15, 2018 at 9:19 am

    does anyone want to mention or comment on the fact jason dufner was +7.8 in strokes gained putting for the week. yes, he was in the top 3 of the best field of the year in putting for the week. yes it was an expensive miss, but he putted brilliantly for the week.

    • John

      May 16, 2018 at 7:53 am

      Well said, Kevin. No one putted worse than Jordan Spieth on Sunday and there’s not one comment or article about that.

  3. acew/7iron

    May 15, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Putting…It can make or break a round and what is so frustrating to me personally is that some people have it naturally like those kids you see playing piano & guitars at 7 years old. They never really practice putting outside of 10 minutes before they start…they get the speed correct and their misses seem to burn the edge on ever attempt.

    Jason does not have “the gift” and must work to overcome the demons of misses past. I feel his pain…The only progress I have made is I hold the putter in the same manner every time I putt now (unlike last season when I changed grips constantly) and I practice 2-3 times a week for a couple each visit to green. Im probably barely above average with the flat stick when compared to membership at my club.

  4. TeeBone

    May 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    It was about 4 1/2 feet. But I guess it sounds “better” when you say it’s less.

  5. steve

    May 14, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    He hit the ball about 1 inch off center and all that precious putter “MOI’ didn’t compensate his toe hit or errant putter head path. This goes to prove that all the heel-toe-back-weighted putter designs are totally useless and in fact scientifically deleterious. He lost it on the back stroke and the putter couldn’t rescue him because the putter weight MOI inertia could not be overcome. All you need is a Bullseye or Cashin putter!!!

  6. JThunder

    May 14, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    No one cares how a millionaire 1%er “lost” the amount of money the average person makes in 6 years… One man’s pocket change is another’s life-or-death income. Everyone responsible for that state of affairs should be ashamed.

    • F3H

      May 14, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      This is such an ignorant comment. As a member of this site you undoubtedly support the golf industry as a whole and, I’m sure, watch the PGA tour on television. In doing so, you are contributing to the current state of professional golf that allows these player to play for such large amounts of money.

    • the dude

      May 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      …dumb

    • kevin

      May 15, 2018 at 9:17 am

      yikes. what an useless comment. he’s a one percenter because he’s in the top .1% in the world at what he does.

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19th Hole

Lexi Thompson violates Rules of Golf at Indy Women in Tech Championship

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During the third round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson unknowingly ran afoul of the Rules of Golf.

Preferred lies–AKA lift, clean, and place–were in effect at soggy Brickyard Crossing. Thompson hit her drive at the par-5 10th hole wide right. It settled in the sixth fairway. Believing she was allowed to lift and clean any ball in the fairway, Thompson began to do so.

The rule, of course, only applies to balls that settle in one’s own fairway. Fortunately for Thompson, an official saw what was happening and stepped in to administer a penalty.

“Thankfully, Marty [the official] intervened before she hit her next shot,” Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill reported. “Otherwise, she would have been hitting from the wrong spot, and it would have been a two-shot penalty. So, in a sense, it saved her a shot.”

The LPGA issued this statement.

“While playing the third round of the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson incurred a one-stroke penalty for breach of the preferred lies local Rule (Appendix IA Part 3b Course Conditions).”

“The Committee adopted the preferred lies local Rule due to the turf conditions of the golf course after receiving over an inch of rain. The LPGA, under the local Rule, restricts the player from preferring her lie when her ball lies in a closely-mown area of a hole other than the one being played.”

“During the play of hole #10, Thompson’s tee shot came to rest in the fairway of hole #6. As Thompson’s ball lay on the fairway of hole #6, she was not entitled to prefer her lie.”

“She preferred her lie in breach of the local Rule but prior to playing her stroke from a wrong place (Rule 20-7), she was questioned by a Rules official regarding her actions. As she had not played her stroke from the preferred spot, she did not receive the general penalty of two-strokes under the local Rule. However, she did incur a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 for lifting her ball at rest without authority.”

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19th Hole

Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods’ caddie, paid a heckler $25 to leave at the WGC-Bridgestone

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While Steve Williams would likely have taken a different route, Tiger Woods’ current caddie admitted to bribing a fan to leave his boss alone.

LaCava called into ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” and told a tale of paying of a heckler at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

LaCava said the man heckled Woods throughout his final round at the Bridgestone, and on the 14th hole, LaCava interceded, telling the man to check out action elsewhere on the course. Interestingly/absurdly, the man said he would be happy to, provided LaCava reimburse him for his ticket.

Here’s the full transcript c/o ESPN.

Mike Golic: “Did you have any issues with the people at Bellerive?”

Joe LaCava: “Not at all, and you hit it right on the head, 99 percent of the guys and women are behind Tiger, pushing for Tiger. They want to see good golf in general they’re not anti-the-other-guys, but they’re certainly rooting for Tiger more so than the other guys. But, funny you guys ask that question. The week before in Akron, I had a little incident with a guy who was harassing my guy on the 14th hole at Akron the last day outside the ropes, roughening him up pretty good. And I said, hey listen bud, why do you gotta go there? Everyone’s having a good time, everyone’s pulling for Tiger. You don’t like the guy that’s one thing, but you don’t to be yelling at my guy, screaming negative stuff like that. And I said at the end of the day, if you affect him, his performance, it effects my bottomline. So he calls me a couple names and I go back and forth with the guy, and I say why don’t you just leave. And he says well if you give me $25 for the ticket that I bought today I’ll leave. And I said here you go, here’s $25.”

Mike: “Did he leave?”

Joe: “So I whip out $25 and he starts to go down the 14th fairway toward the green. I say look pal $25 is $25 you gotta head the other way. So he starts to head the other way, he goes 20 yards down the line, then he calls me a certain other, a swear word. So I run 20 yards back the other way and I’m going face to face with this guy. And all the sudden Tiger’s looking for a yardage, and I’m in it with this guy 20 yards down the line. So some cop has to come in, push this guy outta the way, and take him outta the tournament.

Mike: “So what did Tiger say when you came back to give him the yardage?”

Joe: “Well that’s a great question. We were so far to the right of the trees, and he was on his third shot believe it or not, we were still 150 yards away from the green, and he didn’t really know what happened. He heard the commotion, he heard the guy yelling at him, so we talked about it after the fact, but he didn’t really know how it developed. And he says I was wondering what happened, and he goes normally it wouldn’t that long to get a yardage. I said well a little incident down the road. He didn’t have a problem with it, and actually I gotta standing ovation for kicking the guy outta there.

Security probably should have happened sooner when LaCava was $25 richer.

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19th Hole

A brief cart ride (by his caddie) has big implications for Akshay Bhatia at the U.S. Amateur

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16-year-old Akshay Bhatia may be looking for a new caddie for his next event. The rising star of amateur golf was penalized when his caddie accepted a ride on a golf cart at the 14th hole during the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur.

Bhatia would go on to lose to Bradford Tilley.

The match was all square at the 14th. Chris Darnell, Bhatia’s caddie, made a pit stop at the bathroom after Bhatia hit his approach. While the player walked to the green, Darnell was approached by what he believed was a USGA official driving a golf cart.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell said afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Of course, neither players nor caddies can ride on any form of transportation during the round unless authorized, per the Rules of Golf. Bhatia was penalized accordingly and lost the hole after a (real) official spotted the infraction.

Particularly frustrating for the golfer was the fact that he had birdied the par-5 and believed he was going 1 up on his opponent, only to find out they were all square.

As mentioned, Bhatia would go on to lose in 19 holes.

Adding another layer to this drama, Darnell said Tilley’s caddie had done the same thing earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

What are the chances Tilley or his caddie admit to the infraction now? And who is this mystery idiot who loves the USGA enough to drape himself in their garb but is daft enough to blatantly break a straightforward rule of competition?

Dumb rule? Certainly in this sense. But so many situations exist in amateur play that you can understand why the USGA would level a prohibition on transportation. Still, shouldn’t there be some room for interpretation? It’s difficult to argue Bhatia himself gained any advantage…

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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