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Crazy finish gets 35-year-old journeyman into the US Open

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Some people go nuts for U.S. Open qualifying narratives, and some golf fans are more tuned out to the 36-hole sectionals. But even if you’re not heavily invested or terribly interested, Chris Naegel’s story is pretty cool.

The 35-year-old Wildwood, Mo., native had partial status on the Web.com Tour. Mostly, however, he has toiled on mini-tours in his career. In 2012, he won the eGolf Tour’s Oldfield Open and the Adams Tour’s Buffalo Run Casino Classic in 2015. Naegel has made just four starts on the PGA Tour.

Currently No. 1,081 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Naegel looked to be out of the running for one of the three qualifying spots available at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Richmond, Texas, Monday.

Four strokes off the qualifying pace with five holes to play, Naegel birdied the 14th and 15th holes. However, disaster struck at the par-4 16th, where he carded a bogey five.

However, he bounced back with a birdie at the 17th hole and then eagled the 18th hole to get to 10 under par for his 36 holes. The score was good enough to get him into a playoff for the last qualifying spot.

After forcing the playoff, Naegel then took down Blaine Hale, an incoming senior at Oklahoma, to earn his first ever start in a major championship.

Nagel primarily played college golf at Missouri Baptist. He played on the Hooters Tour from 2008 to 2012 while also teeing it up on the Adams Tour, Minor League Golf Tour, and eGolf Tour.

He finished 89th on the Web.com Tour money list in 2016. Playing 21 events in 2017, he finished 117th. He has limited status on the Web.com Tour this year after finished tied for 57th at Q-School.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. bebop a lula

    Jun 6, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Really cruel calling a professional golfer a journeyman, he is out there living the dream and It’s great that he has qualified for the US Open.

    It’s one of the great thing about the Open and the Us Open that every has a chance of getting there (unlike the masters)

  2. Don Dust

    Jun 5, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Good for him. Was expecting more then -4 for last 5 for a crazy finish and first link I see on wrx.

  3. 2putttom

    Jun 5, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    at time this game can be strange but kind… go gett em’ Chris.

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19th Hole

Baba Booey for Life! Does this GolfWRX member have a point?

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Oh boy, here’s a heater. On the subject of Baba Booey-ing at golf tournaments, WRX member Stickner started a thread, writing

“For those that think nois.e while a player hits shouldn’t be allowed, you must also believe that fans should NEVER make noise.

“A player with a large gallery jars a 70 footer for eagle to take the lead. The crowd erupts! This should not be allowed.

“Why you ask? There are other golfers well within earshot of the noise. This could disrupt their game. Why does the nearby player you can see deserve the “courtesy of quiet” but the one 400 yards away that you can’t see doesn’t?

“We have all seen players back off because the crowd erupted on another hole. What happens when that eruption happens in the backswing right before the player is about to transition to the downswing? Those boisterous hooligans need to keep their traps shut as this is a gentleman’s game right?

“Being quiet while someone plays golf is silly. My guess is that the elitist snobs that played this game a century ago needed a scapegoat when hitting a bad shot and noise became their scapegoat.”

He wraps his rant in, well, the most appropriate way possible: “BABA BOOEY FOR LIFE B&^%HES!”

Now, this flies in the face of the “isolated noise during the golf swing is extremely distracting” argument that is popularly leveled in defense of silence. But let’s see what GolfWRX members think about Stickner’s comments.

MtlJeff says

“While i am not in favor of intentionally yelling during a swing, your point is an interesting one. I hadn’t really thought of it like that, the loud roars often get overlooked when it comes to the “distracting noise” narrative.”

Eagle1997 says

“Planned vs. Spontaneous. Jabroni Factor only applies to one.”

Blackngold_blood says

“I am fine with cheering for a great shot or groaning for a bad one. My problem with…bababooey and mashed potatoes is the fact that it has nothing to do with GOLF! All the person is doing is screaming “Look at me, I need attention!” Or how about the even less classy “How’s your ankle” that was shouted at Finau after he hit his last approach to 18. I get the point that these are professional athletes and golf is becoming more mainstream but the immature comments need to stop.”

Naptime says

“Background noises and distant noises can be perceived as while noise. If you play next to a highway you adapt and become less aware of it. But if a trucker blasts a horn in your swing it would startle and at least for me would probably result in a hot grounder to third base. Yelling Baba Booey or any other lame comment after a swing doesn’t startle the swinger, just make the shouter sound like a doofus who can’t hold his alcohol.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does Stickner have a point? Should the rules of the wider sports world apply to golf, or does golf fandom require a particular understanding of when to be quiet and when to cheer?

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19th Hole

Both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth laughed at Phil Mickelson’s 13th hole antics

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The image of 48-year-old Phil Mickelson jogging after his golf ball on the 13th green at Shinnecock, Saturday, was bizarrely comedic. Even if you condemn Mickelson in the strongest of terms, taken on its face, the scene is a silly one.

That said, it’s interesting that two of the biggest names in the game had the same response: laughter.

Speaking before the Travelers Championship, Rory McIlroy said

“I saw what happened…and honestly, I laughed. I felt there was a massive overreaction to it. Knowing Phil, he knew what he was doing, and as a player who has been in that head space before in a tournament, I can see it happening.”

Jordan Spieth voiced similar sentiments earlier in the week

“I laughed, I thought it was really funny…Phil knows the rules…There was a chance it was going to go back behind the bunker and he’s got to chip back, or he was going to play off the green anyways, so he was potentially saving himself a shot. So if that was the intent, then what’s the harm in that? He’s playing the best score he can.”

There are a couple of widely different perspectives (and plenty in-between) here.

One: Thank goodness Spieth and McIlroy aren’t uptight dogmatists when it comes to the rules, and they appreciate the humor in an absurd situation.

Two: Spieth and McIlroy, as significant figures in the game, ought to stand up for the integrity of the rules of golf, condemning Mickelson’s behavior…and perhaps question whether disqualification was in order (as Jason Day and other pros have done).

Which camp you find yourself in likely aligns with how you view the Mickelson incident: A humorous and well-deserved middle finger to the USGA or a reprehensible act for which Mickelson was not sufficiently punished?

Beneath Mickelson’s behavior and the responses of McIlroy and Spieth is the ever-growing rift between the USGA and PGA Tour players–as well as a level of annoyance with/disdain for the organization’s Rules of Golf.

Remembering how Mickelson spearheaded the overhaul of the PGA of America-run U.S. Ryder Cup team and its procedures when he called out captain Tom Watson in 2014, it was the same sort of situation: “Is this calculated, or has he lost his mind?” everyone seemed to be asking.

In the wake of those remarks, players rallied behind the veteran, and he assumed a leadership position in the reform effort. Whether we see something similar with respect to the pros and the USGA/U.S. Open, it certainly looks like the political will for change is there among Tour players, as McIlroy and Spieth’s remarks suggest.

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19th Hole

In other Phil Mickelson news…robot-delivered food

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Not an Onion story; real thing that is actually happening here. Phil Mickelson and his manager/business partner, Steve Loy have signed a deal with Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. and its flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy’s, to open 30 yogurt locations in San Diego.

We’ll just quote directly from the press release, because, who can paraphrase language like this?

“Reis & Irvy’s-branded signature robot characters of the same name can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatos and sorbet topped with a selection of six delicious toppings in under 60 seconds. With self-checkout touch screen ordering and payment options, video animation, music and delicious frozen dessert provided exclusively by Dannon, robot vendors meet consumer demand for convenience, entertainment and a superior quality product.”

Mickelson and Loy are reportedly keen to challenge the status quo in food retail.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such transformative industry change,” says Mickelson. “I’ve pushed boundaries my whole career and that mindset carries over into the business world. The energy and passion from the Generation NEXT team to both deliver a quality product and disrupt food retail is exciting.”

Reis & Irvy’s has awarded $130 million in franchise and licensing contracts since its launch in 2016.

Dress shirts on course. Robo froyo. What will Phil do next, indeed.

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