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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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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. BHS

    Jun 25, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    You know whats funny…I laughed too. It was funny. I also thought after they explained the two rules involved that he should have been DQ’ed. It is no different than watching a B-ball player I root for come off the bench during a fight….I would most likely do it too. Then I know I would be sitting out the next game. In Phil’s case I would see you at the next tourney.

  2. Johnny Penso

    Jun 21, 2018 at 4:15 am

    The premise of having to be in one camp or the other is false. It is both a humorous and well-deserved middle finger to the USGA and a reprehensible act for which Mickelson was not sufficiently punished. You don’t need to pick one or the other and dig in. He should have been disqualified, end of story. It’s a permanent stain on the integrity of the game.

    • Richard

      Jun 25, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Under what rule would he be disqulified? They can’t just go, “oh no, that’s terrible, you can’t do that. You’re disqulified!”. Please tell us under which rule other than 14-5 the USGA should have acted under.

  3. Tartan Golf Travel

    Jun 20, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    The USGA has screwed up too many times to count. I think Phil had enough and was tired of playing goofy golf. Mike Davis needs to resign like he said he would.

  4. BIG STU

    Jun 20, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I like your comment about giving the USGA the middle finger. I do that all the time.

    • Dr Troy

      Jun 20, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      +1 Big Stu….This topic needs to be put to rest now. Move on.

    • stevez

      Jun 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Phil’s action was clownish and he should have been DQed. OK, but it was funny, and it was the only way of getting thru to the thick skulls of the USGA. All criticism has no effect whether from Perez or Zach Phil’s actions focused attention of the absurd putt-putt conditions the USGA had reduced the course to. Clowns and windmills…..if you one putt the 18th green you get a ticket for a free round, during the week (weekends excluded).

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19th Hole

Peter Kessler lashed out at anyone and everyone on Twitter

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With 140K followers on Twitter and a website as well, No Laying Up have become one of the most popular accounts in the golfing world. However, when the group plugged the second season of their show Tourist Sauce” with a new promo, it provoked a strong response from “the voice of golf,” former Golf Channel and PGA Tour host, writer, and producer, Peter Kessler. (Kessler responded to Green Jacket Auctions, who praised NLU’s work).

Kessler, no stranger to speaking his mind, then spent hours feuding with fellow social media users who defended No Laying Up’s promo. As is often the case in the world of social media, the arguments descended into personal insults, on which Kessler did not hold back.

Consider these tweets representative of dozens more in the same vein.

Although Kessler was firmly in attack mode, he had to be on his guard when @ProV1_iron took aim at his Perfect Club infomercials from back in the day. The spots are largely a humorous relic in the golfing world, but Kessler was having none of the “people in glass houses” analogy.

The responses from Kessler went on and on, and many had been expecting the ex-Golf Channel host cool off after yesterday’s exploits. However, the opposite happened, with Kessler getting right back in the saddle this morning and continuing his tirade against defenders of the show, with Kessler claiming NLU’s promo “is like intro to entertainment in 9th grade and school just started. Surely you’ve seen good movies and tv shows. These aren’t them.”

Despite saying that he has “Gotta run,” Kessler remains locked in a battle of personal insults with other social media users.

What do you make of Peter Kessler’s social media outburst, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Which Air Jordan model should Nike release as a golf shoe next?

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According to GolfMagic, Nike’s Air Jordan III golf shoe took off from the foul line and soared right out of stock.

Per the site: “Nike launched this new model back in February… but you’ll do very well to get your hands on either them right now as they have sold out on Nike’s website. However, a Nike spokesperson has since commented saying “more is on the way.”

Grammar aside, this is interesting.

Now, it wasn’t long ago that all golf shoes looked like this.

And with all due respect to the Etonic Dri-Lite of yore, and giving wide berth to the traditionalists in the golf footwear space, the transition to sneaker-style golf shoes is cool, isn’t it? I mean, even if you’re monumentally swagger impaired like myself and could never pull the “Js on the fairways” look off, it’s intriguing, no?

With that in mind, and recognizing the demand for the 3s, I thought it’d be interesting to consider what the next Jordan golf shoe ought to be.

Here are my finalists for the next wide release (yes, I know Nike made Ray Allen custom 11s and MJ has had a few customs). Many of these are new colorways of classic (OG) models. I’ve tried for a range of styles and picks from across the Jordan timeline. Images via the excellent catalogue on the Jordan website.

Air Jordan XXXII

Air Jordan VI

Air Jordan VIII

Air Jordan II (low)

Air Jordan XXX

Let me know what you think, GolfWRX Members!

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19th Hole

Looks like Tiger is exploring some innovative solutions to his putting woes…

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Tiger Woods was 39th in strokes gained: putting in 2018. Historically an excellent putter, Woods was hot-and-cold with the flatstick, even benching his soulmate Scotty Cameron Newport 2.

It looks like Woods may have an ace in the hole for the upcoming season, however, with respect to his green reading and putt sinking. Check out this video posted to his Instagram from the Tiger Woods Invitational on the Monterey Peninsula earlier this week.

Good thing the USGA is restricting the use of green-reading devices and technologies, because this kid looks close to cracking the eternal mystery of the perfect marriage of line and speed for every putt.

Cool stuff, though, isn’t it? It’s also cool to see Tiger so genuinely excited about his “mentee.”

We all know the story of how, after September 11, Woods re-evaluated his charitable endeavors and began to conceive of the Tiger Woods Learning Center. He’s spoken passionately about the students who have made their way through the various programs in the past, and there’s no doubt he cares deeply about the TGR Foundation’s efforts, but seeing a thin slice of that reality is awesome.

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