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Jeff Golden issues statement on Florida Mid-Am incident

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Jeff Golden is sharing more details about the events of May 16 at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

If you recall, police were summoned to Coral Creek Club during a rain delay in the Golden-Marc Dull final. Golden alleged Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs, punched him in the face during a parking lot altercation. Dull and Hibbs both deny the incident occurred.

Rather than paraphrase or pull quotes, it seems appropriate to post the majority of Golden’s statement as is, since it’s his attempt to speak for himself and set the record straight.

“When my name was announced on the first tee, my opponent’s caddie immediately asked an off color question. I laughed off the timing of that question, along with many other examples of bad etiquette to come. Alcohol appeared to be influencing his behavior. I’ve never seen an opposing caddie engage in so much conversation with a competitor. On the eighth hole I had become extremely frustrated because I was forced to back off my shot two different times when my opponent and caddie were talking and moving. I expressed my disappointment with their etiquette to the match referee following our group.”

“The ruling that came from the caddie’s comments on the ninth hole started because of a simple question that I posed: “Was that advice?” I thought this was the only way to slow down the caddie, clean up the etiquette and play a gentlemanly match. I felt justified in my decision, especially since my opponent then asked his caddie, “Why did you say that?” The caddie recused himself from the match, but he didn’t leave the property.”

“…I didn’t even get my bag out of my car when the caddie reappeared and said he’d like to apologize. I most likely had a smile on my face, because I was ready to put the past behind us, and he punched me in the face. I was knocked to the ground, and by the time I looked up, he was walking away, to my surprise, toward the clubhouse. The pro shop is a separate building, so that’s where I immediately went for help. The inside of my mouth was bleeding and my face was throbbing. I realized my hand was also hurting –that’s what broke my fall instead of my head.

“The pro shop employee called the police and was extremely helpful, getting me ice and offering any help I needed. The police arrived, and the deputy concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to justify pressing charges. I gave a recorded sworn statement to the deputy recapping the events.”

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf. Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated “ex-caddie” punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

“The FSGA gave me one option when the rain stopped. I had to play. My opponent had the option to concede the match and take responsibility for his caddie, but he told me he had nothing to do with what occurred.”

Golden further indicated that he conceded the match because of “physical and emotional distress, pulsing pain in my face, dizziness and cuts on my right hand.” He indicated he was surprised the FSGA didn’t suspend the match.

With respect to that point, it’s probably worth pointing out that 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.”

The FSGA hasn’t provided additional comment or modified that statement.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Manfaat Kesehatan

    May 28, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    hopefully all in good health and fine..

  2. Johnny Penso

    May 28, 2018 at 12:18 am

    I suspect there’s a lot more to the story than we’re getting here.

  3. Richard Douglas

    May 27, 2018 at 12:10 am

    This seems to be a very credible account. Why else would Golden choose not to continue?

    I’m baffled by law enforcement’s reaction, but those people are pretty stupid as a rule.

    This match should have been suspended. Better yet, Dull should have conceded the match. It seems pretty obvious what his caddie did.

  4. Mike W

    May 25, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Nothing new under the sun. Ted Ray knocked the daylights out of Wilfred Reid at the U.S. Open between the second and third rounds of the U.S. Open while the latter was leading the field (Reid completely collapsed thereafter), an incident immortalized in the book “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. One can only imagine the huge blow up today in the world of instant media, video of the event, at a restaurant, going viral, the likely suspension of Ray, the whole thing would’ve been blown up into an international scandal. But Ray went on to nearly win it all and later the two patched it up and became good friends.

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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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