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Graeme McDowell thanks social media for getting his golf clubs back

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Graeme McDowell’s golf clubs were lost in transit from Paris to Manchester Sunday. Air France’s snafu left McDowell sans sticks as he was slated to tee it up in the Open Championship qualifier, Tuesday.

Ultimately, he withdrew, explaining he wouldn’t be able to cobble a set together from the tour trucks.

“My equipment is kind of old generation stuff,” he told the Belfast Telegraph. “My irons are three years old. My driver is a couple years old. I really don’t play with a lot of up-to-date equipment, so a lot of the stuff would have been very difficult to replace. The irons I use, Srixon won’t carry those on the truck anymore. The wedges I use, Cleveland, they won’t be on the truck anymore. The putter is 15 years old.

Now, McDowell must finish in the top 10 at this week’s Irish Open or next week’s Scottish Open to have a shot at making the Open field.

Fortunately, his weapons have been returned to him, and he credits the roles social media played in the return.

“I spent most of Monday on the phone to customer service at Air France which was frustrating to say the least,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“We established that the clubs were in Paris but not when they would get to me. It was basically ‘get in the queue, you’re one of many that have lost a bag and you’ll wait your turn.’

“On Monday night, I still didn’t know where my clubs were. It wasn’t until around 10.3am on Tuesday morning that I talked to somebody sensible at Air France who could tell me they would put the clubs on a flight for me.

“Thankfully the story had a happy ending. They landed at Dublin on Tuesday night at 10 o’clock and a courier company had them in the hotel by 3am this morning.

“It was really the power of social media in the end. If it wasn’t for Twitter and the fact that the story gained a huge amount of momentum to where Air France’s PR department had to call me and sort things out, the clubs would still be in Paris somewhere.”

Beyond just losing McDowell’s bag, can you believe he was told “get in the queue?” Dude didn’t just lose his luggage, he lost the ability to do his job…and from a PR standpoint, why step in it, Air France?

Here’s a bit of advice for any airlines losing a pro’s bag (again, this happens more than it should, and will continue to happen): Make a public apology (social media is great for this!) and a diligent search for the clubs! Good riddance!

 

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tom54

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I agree with Aaron 100%. No back up set? He would have had everyone’s encouragement to give it a go with a replacement set. Who knows maybe he needs an upgrade in his equipment too, just like the rest of us are told every six months or so whenever something new hits the market. If I was a pro and my sponsor didn’t keep what I used around for emergency I’d change equipment company.

  2. clint

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    So Graeme McDowell got satisfaction because he’s a professional athlete and his clubs are his livelihood, but when the rest of us lose our pants and shaving kits we just have to take our place in the queue? That’s BS.

  3. Dan

    Jul 4, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Believe it or not this isn’t a tragedy

  4. Jon

    Jul 4, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Hearing a paid endorser tell the world he plays a bunch of relics doesn’t really make me want to run out and drop big bucks on their “latest and greatest” clubs.

  5. James T

    Jul 4, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Why does it take social media to shame a company into doing the right thing???

  6. Tiemco

    Jul 4, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Graeme is obviously not a WRXer, no back-up set? WTF?!?!?!

  7. aaron

    Jul 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    This is a pathetic story to me…you’re a professional golfer, put together a set-play a practice round and give it a shot. If you don’t qualify you have an excuse but to withdraw because you don’t have your favorite sticks is lame

    • Aaron

      Jul 4, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      You’re lame for not understanding how difficult it is to play your best with a “loaner” set or a brand new set which doesn’t match your gamers. Even if he could find and buy a set off the rack, the standard specs probably aren’t what he’s used to, so who would bend or cut them down? Srixon/Cleveland’s truck doesn’t go to the qualifiers. Graeme said he can’t give it his 100% without his sticks, it’s that simple.

      • aaron

        Jul 5, 2018 at 11:24 am

        read the story moron he appeared to have access to the tour truck so they most certainly would have had all of his specs….I understand not being at your best but his clubs don’t make him a great golfer maybe he wouldn’t have qualified, maybe without his clubs he’s a 10 handicap I don’t know but why not at least try

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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19th Hole

Jean van de Velde’s 1999 British Open collapse is still tough to watch in LEGO form

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Gather ‘round, golf fans, for the saddest British Open story ever told–in LEGOs.

Maestro of the plastic medium, Jared Jacobs, worked his singular magic on Jean van de Velde’s notorious final-hole collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.

The interlocking plastic brick cinema begins after van de Velde’s approach shot has caromed off a grandstand railing to land on the opposite side of the Barry Burn.

 

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19th Hole

Sung Kang finally responds to cheating allegations

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Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled British Open programming, but Sung Kang stated today he still doesn’t think he didn’t anything wrong. “I followed the rules by the rules official…I think I did the right thing,” he said after his opening round at The Open.

Joel Dahmen, if you recall, accused the 31-year-old pro of taking a bad drop at the 10th hole during the final round of the Quicken Loans National.

The comments were Kang’s first public remarks since a statement co-released with the PGA Tour which said, “He is standing by the ruling that was made by PGA Tour Rules officials on Sunday and will have no further comment.”

While he stopped short of giving his side of the story, Kang did indeed make “further comment.”

Here’s some of what he said.

“I did not want to say anything bad about Joel. Because there can be difference of opinions. But the way he just said it on Twitter was not right. There can be different opinions. And also, it was made a decision by the rules official. So nothing was wrong.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened, but no comment because I’m not going to say anything. I think I made the right decision. … Even when I say something, a few people still kind of think i still did something wrong. And if someone believes in me, they aren’t going to trust what Joel said.”

“No matter what I say, some people are going to trust it, some people are not going to trust it. And then I’m going to be thinking about it more and more. So I’m just focusing on my golf game.”

The British press asked Kang if he wishes he had done anything differently.

“No. Why? I did the right thing,” Kang replied.

Now, I’m not here to argue one way or the other, but the rules official wasn’t in position to do anything other than leave things at the player’s discretion, which he did. So, it’s misleading–if not downright deceptive–for Kang to suggest otherwise.

The official didn’t see the shot. There was no video of it. The only thing he had to rely on was the accounts of those who did see it. In a situation where accounts vary, and with the Rules of Golf relying on player integrity as they do, all he could do was leave the ball in Kang’s court. Thus, the decision as to where to drop was wholly Sung Kang’s.

Again, this isn’t to say the drop was necessarily bad, bad to play the “decision by the rules official” card is, well, a bad drop.

 

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