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19th Hole

Sung Kang cheated, additional witnesses say. What now?

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Yesterday, we discussed Joel Dahmen’s claims that Sung Kang took a bad drop at the 10th hole at the Quicken Loans National, Sunday.

Today, as we briefly touched on in Morning 9, more actors are joining the drama. Enter Michael Klock. (This would all be so much better if it were a pace of play dispute?). Anyway, Klock was the ShotLink volunteer on the 10th hole.

Klock, like Dahmen, is sure Kang’s ball never crossed the hazard (and thus he took an illegal drop).

“Kang’s second shot was very far left and at no point ever came close to being in bounds from the initial point of entry 225 yards or so back,” Klock told Golfweek Monday, also saying the ball was six or eight feet deep in the hazard.

“Kang was insistent (’95 percent sure’ in his own words) his ball came back and entered the hazard at about 35 yards out. I caught bits and pieces of the exchange, but the rules official did quote ’95 percent sure is not 100 percent sure’ before driving Kang back to look at the line again. Kang then returned and argued some more with Dahmen, to which (Dahmen) replied, ‘If you can sleep at night, then take your drop.”

Klock added that the rules official essentially deferred to Kang, saying that if he was sure his ball crossed the hazard, he should drop accordingly.

And further exhibits for the jury: some tweets.

And someone else who was there…

So, where are we at with this? Well, not only has the PGA washed its hands of the incident after the fact with the tersely worded statement and pledge to make no further comment, but it sounds like the rules official at the time absolved himself and left the decision totally up to Kang.

Is this right? Is this how rules officials are supposed to act? Should the Tour be doing more? How certain are we Sung Kang cheated? How much does it matter?

And more important than all the previous questions: what next?

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  1. joro

    Jul 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Typical with the PGA rules non enforcement. If they warn for slow play, they warn and warn with no penalty. If you make rules you have to enforce them, not warn and warn and warn with no action. do the job right or not at all. PITIFUL !!!!!!!!!!

  2. John Krug

    Jul 5, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Trey Gowdy should investigate.

    • geohogan

      Jul 5, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      Sure and we will be lucky to get an answer in 2 years, like Benghazi.

  3. Darryl

    Jul 5, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Happens every week on tour if you watch the coverage, Phil gets away with questionable drops (and hitting moving balls, as does Tiger (he got one a couple of years ago, I cant remember where, but he gained at least 100 yards, and of course he was touch and go to make the cut on that occasion), as does DJ, Speith, Thomas etc etc ad infinitum……

    Kang gave the official an out by saying “95% sure”, the official should have had the stones to say “if you aren’t 100% certain buddy, I’m afraid you’ve got a 200 yard walk coming up”, its not Kang’s job to administer the rules, and before we get all Corinthian about this, this isn’t a Sunday morning fourball for $20, this is his career, livelihood etc doesn’t make it right, but makes it understandable.

  4. toyzrx

    Jul 4, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    All this is a social media BS. If he took an improper drop or not, the tournament is done with and his score is official. So let’s just get done with this annoying topic and publish something worth our time.

  5. Tartan Golf Travel

    Jul 4, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    The only thing that hurts Klock’s credibility is the fact that he keeps stating IB and OB. It was a hazard. It was nowhere near OB. That being said the official should have interviewed everyone around with out video evidence and based his decision on the best information he had. If no one was watching then the responsibility falls to the player to do the right thing but it appears several agreed Kang was wrong.

  6. bc

    Jul 4, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    How would this be treated differently if he (Kang) was in contention (all co-leaders) with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justice Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day to win one of the majors or the Players Championship? It would be treated differently!!!

    • Tartan Golf Travel

      Jul 4, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      There would be video.

      • bc

        Jul 4, 2018 at 9:43 pm

        So, is a video any better than numerous witness’ eyes? The answer is – NO!

        • Jon Burrows

          Jul 5, 2018 at 2:05 pm

          The answer is – ALWAYS.

          • bc

            Jul 6, 2018 at 9:02 pm

            Wrong Jon. Video is rarely positioned in-line with the ball flight path or line. Video is 2D whereas eyewitnesses see in 3D and have depth perception.

  7. Qrious

    Jul 4, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Does Dahmen get DQed for signing an incorrect scorecard? I mean Kang signed believing it is correct with 95% certainty, but Dahmen signed believing it is 100% incorrect.

    • tracey

      Jul 5, 2018 at 8:25 am

      no, if the marker refuses to sign. An official will step in and sign it. Which is what happened he said.

      • bbb

        Jul 5, 2018 at 10:12 am

        No, he said that’s what WOULD happen, so he signed it.

  8. DJ

    Jul 3, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    “How much does it matter?” Look at the prize money he won.

  9. jc

    Jul 3, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    kang got 487k for solo finish…if he had to take a penalty and drop and make the same putt, he falls into a tie for 5th, tiger and a few others move up…tiger got 312 for his tie money…so kang picks up ovr 200k for a wrong score.

  10. jc

    Jul 3, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    big diff in the official money he got paid

  11. millennial82

    Jul 3, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    WE MUST take Sung Kang’s trophy and give it to Joel Dahmen right NOW! THAT’S WHATS NEXT!!!!

    ..oh, wait a minute, Kang was T3 and Dahmen was T23..

    Only golfers who really care about this are slow playing golfers, who complain about the pace of play due to slow playing golfers.

    YES, you, you slow playing complaining weakling!

  12. Phil D. Snuts

    Jul 3, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Let Joel dahman and sung kang put on some gloves and duke it out for the “irrelevant golfer at a third tier tournament” championship belt.

    • Phil Loves Nuts

      Jul 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Yep…and you and I can battle it for irrelevant poster in third tier comments section.

    • aaron

      Jul 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      I agree, I hear Ernie Els offered his plane for the bout

  13. Whynotgolf

    Jul 3, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    FWIW I kind of side with Dahmen who is essentially trying to protect the field whereas Kang is basically trying to protect his pocket.

    When Kang said he was 95% sure, he obviously had some uncertainty. At that point the rules official has two totally different and adamant viewpoints of where the ball last cross the margin, etc. He should’ve asked if there were any other witnesses to the shot or video to support either side before making a ruling of any kind. If Dahmen did not have a view clear view of it, or wasn’t sure, I think taking the player’s word would’ve been more appropriate.

  14. saveva

    Jul 3, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    What now? I’m pretty sure the sky is going to fall, the pga tour is going to dissolve and golf is doomed. or… nothing. We just have a couple of guys certain Kang cheated wish they were Batman so they can bring justice.

  15. Sean

    Jul 3, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Because the situation was ushered by an official, from what I have read it was handled the best it could have been within the rules. Therefore not exactly fair to call the guy a cheater.

    However, collecting all the witnesses statements after the fact it seems clear that Kang didn’t cross the margin. Unfortunately unless an overwhelming majority declare that the ball didn’t cross the margin in the moment, then it is up to Kangs descretion.

    An unfortunate shady area in the rules of the game. This is tip toeing in a similar fashion to Lexi Thompson’s ball marking incident. Don’t think there was anyone please about how that turned out…

    If Kang did knowingly take an illegal drop, he has to live with his decisions. Worst consequence imo

    • Jon Burrows

      Jul 5, 2018 at 2:03 pm

      Of course it’s fair to call the guy a cheater. The official relied on Kang’s word in order to allow the drop and you have several witnesses that said he was lying or at the very least completely delusional about where his ball crossed the hazard.

    • Boyo

      Jul 9, 2018 at 7:26 am

      Yeah, like he gives a flying f about “living with it”. Like all the other millions of robbing, lying, cheating, sob’s in this world…

  16. Lowell

    Jul 3, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    If the other player was so adamant then he should of had a rules official come over. Oh wait a minute one did come over and a judgment was made. Now you can call B.S. all you want but the ruling is over so move on. What does it get the player to keep on with trying to get Kang DQ’d or to keep the dialogue going. For those who have shot tracer, really keep it to yourselves unless like you said, you would treat every call into question mandatory for shot tracer surveillance. I dont know Kang nor probably care after I post this reply for those of you thinking I like the guy. Just plain and simple, a ruling was asked by the group for what was in question and a ruling was made.

  17. Hatch

    Jul 3, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    I’d be a bit hesitant to call him a cheater, but then again I wasn’t there. It’s not always easy to know if/where a ball crossed a hazard line. However, I would definitely believe the guy saying “IB” and “OB” when talking about dropping due to a hazard. Perhaps Michael and Bob were also wearing golf shoes while spectating and “doing SHOTlink”.

  18. Man

    Jul 3, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Rules officials should have looked around the entire green for witnesses
    Kang should be retroactively DQed for signing an incorrect scorecard, and his winnings taken away and donated to a local charity

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19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 1. Woodbrook Golf Club, Wicklow

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Having been born and raised in Ireland, I can safely say that this little island offers a fantastic amount of breathtaking natural beauty, some of the best bars in the world, as well as magnificent golf courses.

In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit that go a little under the radar in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

Woodbrook Golf Club, Wicklow

@Woodbrook_Golf

Beginning with my area on the east coast, Wicklow, which is situated just below Dublin and therefore very easy to reach. Wicklow offers plenty of stunning views and is home to some beautiful golf courses. After Glen of The  Downs shut its doors last year, the cream of those courses now has to be Woodbrook Golf Club, which is an underrated gem.

Right off the bat, Woodbrook shows its uniqueness with its clubhouse. The old pavilion-style clubhouse resembles that of a cricket club, which is due to Sir Stanley Cochrane, the club’s founder, and his fondness for that sport. Inside the clubhouse, you will find all your usual facilities in pristine condition, with the walls displaying plenty of famous faces who have played the course in the past.

@Woodbrook_Golf

Woodbrook has excellent credentials as a course, hosting the very first revived version of the Irish Open in 1975. The golf course is situated on the coast and offers stunning views of the Irish Sea on one side and the Dublin and Wicklow mountains on the other. So no matter how you’re playing, your day out will be a treat.

@Woodbrook_Golf

Always in immaculate condition, Woodbrook offers up a stern challenge, and despite being a flat course, when the wind blows this a true links test. Unusually, the course features five par 3s and five par 5s, and you will want to avoid the nasty fairway bunkers if you can.

18 holes at Woodbrook GC will set visitors back a little over $50.

Food & Drink – the Harbour Bar, Bray

@theharbour_bar

A five-minute taxi will take you right onto the seafront where you will find The Harbour Bar tucked away. A very traditional Irish bar full of character that describes itself as “scruffy, wild and elegant”. The Harbour Bar was once voted the best bar in the world by Lonely Planet, and even gets mentioned in the iconic novel “Finnegans Wake,” written by Ireland’s very own James Joyce.

The music and good times rarely stop in this place, and although most nights you will hear traditional music played in the bar, there are also plenty of occasions where modern artists and comedy acts take to the stage in the lounge.

As far as drinks go, you’re never going to go wrong with a pint of the black stuff anywhere you visit in Ireland. However, if you want to sample a local craft beer, try a pint of Wicklow Wolf, the deep and rich tasting lager that is brewed just up the road. Soak up the booze by ordering the Fish And Chips for about $15 from the Fish Bar located in the same complex that offers up a variety of fishy goodness.

Where To Stay

If you decide to stay in the town, then the seafront of Bray is undoubtedly the most attractive area to spend your time. The Martello is a nice little hotel smack back in the middle of the seafront, and a double room for the night costs around $85. For slightly extra, you can stay in the Strand Hotel just a few doors down, the building which was the childhood home of Irish writer Oscar Wilde.

@IrelandSkycam

A half an hour away from Dublin on the train, Bray is also a great spot to stay to explore the capital at a fraction of the price. There are a plethora of things to see and do in Dublin itself. For general sports fans, my recommendation is to try and catch a game of hurling, Ireland’s national sport, in the 80,000 seater stadium Croke Park.

How To Get There

From the centre of Dublin, this area of Wicklow is easily accessible. It will take about 30 minutes to get here in a car, or you can take the train from the capital right into the heart of Bray. On your ride, you’ll get to admire Dublin bay, and you’ll also get a sneak peek of Woodbrook GC just before your stop.

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19th Hole

Video (allegedly) of Anthony Kim discussing Woods-Mickelson match posted on social media

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Sightings of Anthony Kim are about as rare as those of Bigfoot these days, which makes the short video posted yesterday on social media from the guys over at No Laying Up quite a development.

In the video, Anthony Kim (or someone who sounds and looks a lot like him) surrounded by a multitude of dogs, discusses Friday’s upcoming match at Shadow Creek between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

It’s not clear where the original video emerged from, and though in it Kim is discussing this week’s $9 million shoot-out between Woods and Mickelson, previous false alarms regarding Kim’s whereabouts means that when it comes to AK, social media users are always wary of being disappointed.

Anthony Kim last played on the PGA Tour in 2012, and in 2015 the American described the game as just “a fond memory” now.

What do you think about the authenticity of the video, GolfWRX Members?

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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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