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19th Hole

Spieth tells fans to put phones away: “Sometimes it’s cool to actually watch”



Jordan Spieth appeared in a don’t text while driving PSA for AT&T a couple of years ago, if you recall. The spot was titled “It Can Wait.”

It seems the young maestro is of a similar mind with respect to a crowd full of cell-phone waving fans recording his every move (on one occasion, at least).

Spieth went long and left at the par-3 eighth hole yesterday and needed to take relief from a cart path.

He then turned to the swarm around him and said.

“If everybody could do me a huge favor and not video this shot…Thank you. Sometimes it’s cool to actually watch. Please, no phones. Can’t have any going off in this shot.”

Now, to be fair, we shouldn’t generalize that Spieth is anti-fans with phones in general based on this one remark, but you could reasonably surmise his frustration extended beyond merely the events of the eighth hole.

Here’s the video, c/o Paul Plumb.

Fans have been permitted to take pictures and video during tournament rounds since the Northern Trust last year.

Look for “It Can Wait: Part II,” in which Spieth advocates for fans to wait until the next group comes through to pull out their phones and hit record.

But really, what do you think about this, golf fans? Beyond Spieth’s remarks (and it is no doubt annoying to be surrounded by a mob of picture takers…especially after a bad shot), what do you think about the prevalence of phones on Tour?

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  1. Bob Booey

    Jun 5, 2018 at 9:34 am

    We need something to do during their 5 1/2 hour rounds play in 2 somes. How about a compromise? You speed up and we’ll put our phones away.

  2. BCC

    Jun 4, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    I think opposite… It’s fans’ choice to enjoy through camera more than look with their eyes. If it’s not good for them, they will not take it out but if they do, then they already decided what best for them. Some may do, some may dont.

    As a player, the best thing is to adapt with cultural change; otherwise, you will keep frustrated.

  3. Hagen

    Jun 4, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Put the phones on silent and all will be happy. Not that hard to use just a little bit of common sense.

  4. TeeBone

    Jun 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

    People…put the SnapFace down and experience life a bit.

  5. ZMoney

    Jun 2, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    It’s far beyond just golf tournaments. Nothing is worse that being at a concert and no one is actually watching it because they are concerned about their photography. I can tell you that the bands hate it as much as the PGA pro’s and it has nothing to do with how much money they make. It’s annoying.

    • Mark

      Jun 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Dead on target here ZMoney. People are more concerned with posting pics or video to show off to their friends online when they go to events than actually experiencing what they should be watching.

      And anybody at a golf tournament who’s phone is not on silent is an idiot … Period

  6. Justin

    Jun 2, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I refuse to suffer stupid people who want to waste my time showing me what all they have recorded on their smart phones, so I don’t see the point in it all. I guess somebody is watching, it just isn’t me.

  7. Phil

    Jun 2, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Im confused… Ive owned many phones in my lifetime, and I thought the MUTE button was invented so that its silent during operation… What phones are making noises during video? I just dont get the “Go Off” scenario, like the old days of shutter cameras.

  8. James T

    Jun 1, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    I remember driving 100’s of miles, years ago, to observe a total eclipse of the sun along the majestic Columbia River. It lasted about 2.5 minutes during which most of my time was spent looking through the viewfinder of a camera. The 20 seconds I actually saw the eclipse with my eyes (yes, you can look at it directly during totality) were magical.I have some great photos but I’ve always regretted not having more face time with the sun and the moon.

  9. Bob Jones

    Jun 1, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Ban cell phones photography at golf tournaments. Period.

  10. dan mccor

    Jun 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    I hate the yellers and the phone phreaks but more than anything I hate multimillionaires complaining about the very people who pay the money they win from enjoying themselves or recording a shot they spent hundreds of dollars to watch.

    Did not of these people ever play hockey, baseball, basketball or football. Could Speith not make a free throw because there was noise or distractions.

    Its time golfers grow a pair.

    • Jason Hutty

      Jun 2, 2018 at 5:27 am

      It’s not a case of growing a pair, it’s a case of having redneck fans having to be told how to behave because they’re incapable of doing it themselves. Many of us (including the players) just want people to understand the environment and behave accordingly, it’s not too much to ask, even from paying punters.

  11. dat

    Jun 1, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    He is completely correct. There should be a tour policy.

  12. Hamachijohn

    Jun 1, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I tend to lean towards a “no phone/camera” policy. However, just stay focused and take the shot for crying out loud… looks like he got unraveled mentally. WWTD (What Would Tiger Do)?

  13. Milo

    Jun 1, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Oh I’m sorry! I thought this was America!

    • Tom B

      Jun 1, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      So only fans have rights in America? The golfers don’t have the right to ask people to put away their phones?

    • Joey5Picks

      Jun 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      It is. And people are missing experiencing things live because they’re too busy watching it on their screen as they record it.

    • DougE

      Jun 2, 2018 at 8:51 am

      This is America, where there are still rules/law which need to be followed. A professional golf tournament is open to the public to attend. But, once you enter through the gates, it is a private event, subject to the rules of the event, which include rules of etiquette. Read the back of any ticket. There are rules. That is how a civil society works. Asking for a little respect, whether it’s Jordan Speith or any other civilized, sane, responsible human being, is not asking too much IMO.

  14. K Ayers

    Jun 1, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    The phone situation is not significantly different that the clowns yelling “in the hole” for every shot. Rather than enjoy the game they want to be able to show others what they saw. Or… didn’t see but recorded. Pathetic.

    • Joey5Picks

      Jun 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm


    • kevin

      Jun 1, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      ever went on vacation and took a picture?

      • Travis

        Jun 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

        Nope, these people must not have a single photo of anything in their life. They’ve experienced everything first hand with zero recording of anything to remember it by.

  15. Charlie

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:59 am

    I agree with Speith. Record vids at home from TV. MUCH better pics and vids from TV.

  16. Elliot mcdongle

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Put the freaking phones away! Can’t stand being behind someone at a concert or show and have to stare at their phone above their head the whole time. Enjoy the moment. It’s not nearly as cool watching it later on your phone.

  17. Brian

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Couldnt agree with the above two comments more, the phone craze drives me NUTS! Enjoy the moment, stop worrying about letting everyone know you’re there, most of us dont even care!

  18. Kevin Arnold

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Couldn’t agree more….watch the tournament, look at the shots, and throw the phones away. The 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, man those were good times.

  19. Corey

    Jun 1, 2018 at 9:59 am

    This is a Spieth diva moment that I support 100%. Golf tournaments, concerts, etc are perfect summations of our society today. More worried about getting social media likes rather than living in and enjoying the moment.

    • Tom

      Jun 1, 2018 at 10:58 am

      I’m torn. While I do agree it’s nice to live in the moment, it’s also nice to have a record of it. I don’t have social media so I can’t comment on the likes, but I do like having pictures and videos of moments I’ve enjoyed.

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19th Hole

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



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



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



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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19th Hole