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The Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson $10 million match is set for Thanksgiving weekend

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Just a day after Tiger Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, told ESPN “we are closer than we have been” to finalizing the $10 million winner-take-all money match between his client and Phil Mickelson, it looks like the deal is done.

According to ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, Tiger and Phil will square off at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas either Friday (Nov. 23) or Saturday (Nov. 24) of Thanksgiving weekend.

Woods and Mickelson played a nine-hole practice round Wednesday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Mickelson floated the idea of the match at The Players in May.

“The excitement that’s been going on around here, it gets me thinking: Why don’t we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head-to-head and just have kind of a high-stakes, winner-take-all match…Now, I don’t know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round.”

Perhaps surprisingly/why the heck not, Woods responded with, “I’m definitely not against that. We’ll play for whatever makes him uncomfortable.”

With respect to just how uncomfortable, the pair will be competing for roughly one quarter of their annual pay. According to Forbes, Woods pocketed $43.3 million in on/off course earnings in 2018. Mickelson banked $41.3 million.

With everything falling into place, the only question now is who’s your money on, WRXers?

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39 Comments

  1. RocketBall

    Sep 17, 2018 at 1:30 am

    FANTASTIC idea. I’ll definitely watch it on PPV. My money is on Tiger. I say he smokes Phil 4 and 3.

  2. Bank

    Aug 21, 2018 at 8:26 am

    this match is about 10 years too late. Lord who cares. a lot less than 10 years ago. I’m a decade older than these guys and I dont even want to see them. these guys dont need 10 million so its borderline aggravating. Theres nothing in this of interest. Make it a carry over skins game at least. An 8 million dollar hole i could watch- for a minute or two. As long as I had about 3 other screens going with actual entertainment. Match play is excruciatingly slow.

    • Speedy

      Aug 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Right on, Bank. I’ll have no problem finding something else to do.

  3. Tom

    Aug 10, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    It would be great if they had a TV channel that just showed and talked about Tiger 24/7….oh, they already do, but they call it the Golf Channel.

  4. Sean

    Aug 8, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    This is the solution to the Tiger vs. Phil match:
    http://www.therivalroast.com

  5. Alan

    Aug 4, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Bunch of bitter people making the negative comments today. Don’t like it don’t watch.
    I’m sure you would rather hang out with drunk Uncle Ed Thanksgiving weekend.

  6. Dixie doc

    Aug 3, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    I hope there’s a football game on that day. At least those teams will be playing for something.

  7. Liberty Apples

    Aug 3, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Does anyone really give a (fill in the blank)?

  8. Dave

    Aug 3, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    ” Really ” you go girls.

  9. Steve M

    Aug 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Not only are they not putting up any of their own money I bet they both ask for an appearance fee, so it won’t even be winner takes all

  10. Tom

    Aug 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Both from California how about donating that 10 million to California Public Golf courses so we will still have a few in 2019….

  11. Jim McPherson

    Aug 3, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    I bet DJ would put up $10M of his own money to join in and make it a $20M winner take all.

    But as the winners prize isn’t coming from either of them, it is meaningless and will suck. There will be no fight in it. My guess is it will be staged so it comes down to the wire, probably back and forth throughout the round and decided on the final hole. Bet on that!

  12. Dtrain

    Aug 3, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    So even if Tiger loses it will be far from the worst Thanksgiving he’s had.

  13. Regis

    Aug 3, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    As I sit here now I can say “No way I’ll watch it”. But I probably will. For how long? This will be hyperhyped like Riggs/King. My problem (if I do watch) is Who to root for (or more properly against). I can’t stand either of them. Like to see a prop bet. Over/under on photos of Tiger with his kids or Phil with lemonade stands

  14. Curt

    Aug 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    It means absolute nothing if its NOT their own money to lose. I could care less about two guys playing for OPM.

    • Bob

      Aug 3, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Totally agree

    • Roy

      Aug 3, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      But a bunch of people playing for OPM is interesting?? Or is the only event you watch all year the US Am??

  15. Keith

    Aug 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I live about 400 yards north of Shadow Creek in LV so I am intrigued. I wonder if it will be open to the public.

  16. Steve Cantwell

    Aug 3, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I’d bet ( but not with my own money, of course) that this event will prove to be an uninspiring flop. Not to mention, horrible television as there will be too many commercials in between shots.

  17. G what

    Aug 3, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Make it $10MM if their own money

  18. MT

    Aug 2, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    All the sticks in the mud complaining about this. Let them play and I for one will be watching. Hope the 10 million goes to a great charity like St Jude’s.

  19. Waaa

    Aug 2, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Most of the proceeds are going to charity.

  20. ComeonPhil

    Aug 2, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Usually when Phil fires off his mouth he misses the cut. It amazes me that Tiger with all his injuries and surgeries and limited playing time will still shoot lower scores than Phil. What amazes me about Phil is how inconsistent he is…..It is also surprising how many times Phil has choked despite having so many victories. I think that if you add just his second place finishes to his number of major victories he would have 15 majors. It is not only amazing that Phil is first in putting on tour this year, but also that he has only one win with that great putting and that when I watch him putt his putting still looks like it sucks.

  21. Jason A

    Aug 2, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    bunch of salty old people in this comment area. i think this is great and is going to create a lot of buzz for golf.

  22. Jamie

    Aug 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    It’s all freshly printed toilet paper backed by nothing but the cannon-fodder military.

  23. Tyler Durden

    Aug 2, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Great, an addict and a cheat playing for other people money. Must see tv.

  24. Tartan Golf Travel

    Aug 2, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    They should have added 2 more players and brought back the old skins game. This sounds boring, May be would have been interesting when they were the best in the world but 2 guys head to head will make for boring golf.

  25. toyzrx

    Aug 2, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Lame. There are kids in many cities who don’t have food to eat and books to read.

    • Erik

      Aug 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      So feed them and house them

    • DANA POINT

      Aug 3, 2018 at 2:28 am

      Good point. We should shut down the entertainment and sports industries entirely until we rectify that situation. No movies, no music, no superbowls and playoffs…just stop it all until no one is hungry, because they’re obviously linked.

  26. Moses

    Aug 2, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Silly Season is back. Can we revive the Skins Game too.

  27. dat

    Aug 2, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Who is bankrolling this?

    • Erik

      Aug 2, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Well with Phil’s love of gambling , I would imagine they are

      • ~j~

        Aug 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm

        Yeah right. Neither is putting up a dime that i know of. Lame. Anyone can wager with other people’s money. Let’s see Phil grip it and rip it with HIS $10mil on the line.

  28. Kevin

    Aug 2, 2018 at 11:23 am

    unless they put their own money on the line, this is just a friendly game with the chance to win a lot of money. its like putting a bunch of money on black at the roulette table without having to actually bet any of your own money

    • PT

      Aug 2, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      No, it isn’t. Clearly.

    • Michael

      Aug 2, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      Agree. When I first heard this idea, I thought that’s what it would be, a high stakes gambling round on TV, and I was very excited. There’s zero drama unless they put up their own money. Bogus. I’m not interested.

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Valentino Dixon on his time in prison, his golf art, gratitude, and hope

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Valentino Dixon, who served 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit — and took up golf course-related artwork as a hobby during that time — joined Michael Williams on the 19th Hole podcast.

While the full interview doubtless represents one of the most important and impactful GolfWRX podcasts to data, we wanted to present a few excerpts for the more textually inclined.

On the events that led to him spending 27 years in prison

Valentino Dixon: “This was Buffalo, New York…I grew up in a bad area, a drug infested area, a lot of violence and stuff like that and these guys pull up, they start shooting, they shoot a friend of mines and another friend of mines return fire, ended up killing the guy. Anyway, long story short, when the shots rang out I was inside the deli across the street and I actually ran out afterwards and ran to my car, I pulled off.

“Shortly thereafter I was pulled over and taken into custody and questioned and ultimately charged with shooting three people.”

“I knew that I was going to be cleared or at least I felt I was going to be cleared because there was 80 witnesses. So I said, there’s no way that they’re not going to straighten this out and I’ll be out the next day, but that didn’t happen. Two days after I was arrested, this friend of mines turned himself into police, told them what happened. Actually the physical evidence matched his story, they found the dead guy’s gun on the scene and they disregarded him, told him that they didn’t believe him. Seven witnesses came forward, they disregarded those witnesses.”

“I found myself going to trial ten months later, my lawyer promised the jury that he was going to call these witnesses and introduce this confession and did not do it, and this is all on public record. I had a public defender and the jury found me guilty. I didn’t know that later on the jury foreman went to the judge and asked the judge, “Hey, why his lawyer didn’t call the witnesses he promised us?” The judge told him not to worry about it, to go home and sleep well and the judge never revealed that this happened.”

“It was our local paper that went to the foreman and said, “Hey, what happened during the deliberations?” He said, “Hey, I went to the judge and told him I didn’t feel right about this, that something was wrong here.” Anyway, the judge denies that that even took place. I was given 39 years.”

On getting started doing golf course art

VD: “Right. Well, I was known as the artist in Attica. I spent, out of the 27 years, I spent 25 of those years in Attica. So over the years I had publicity on my case because the local newspaper had came to believe in my innocence, but there wasn’t a judge in Buffalo that would do anything about it. So the warden and the officers in Attica knew that I was innocent of the crime and would always check in on me and look in and see if I was all right and everything like that, but they knew that I drew also. So the warden came to me one day and asked me could I draw his favorite hole, which was Augusta, the 12th hole at Augusta.”

“I’d never golfed before. I mean, I’m from the inner city. So it was like all right, I guess I can do it. I knew nothing about golf. I drew the Augusta 12th hole. He loved it. Other inmates loved it and one of the inmates encouraged me to draw more golf holes. I said, “What are you talking about? What for? That doesn’t even makes sense.” He says, “I love the golf course, I think you should draw more.” He planted the seed.”

“A week later I went around and I got some old golf magazines, Golf Digest magazines, and I start pulling out the pictures that I loved. The guy gave me some really old ones that he had in his cell. So I start pulling out the ones that I liked, the ones that I thought was pretty and then from there I started drawing them. Whenever I put my mind into something, I just go in and really hard. So for months and months, all I did was draw golf courses. Okay. “

“Eventually I started reading the columns out of the Golf Digest magazine and I came across Max Adler’s, called Golf Saved My Life. I kind of put the two together because it was like golf was saving my life because being there was really, really stressful and hard and every day was a challenge. I have friends that committed suicide. I didn’t know if I was going to be the next person that my mind was going to snap.”

On the positive reception his art got in Attica

VD: “Well let me tell you this. Right. Like I said, there’s so many guys … I mean guys that done killed three, four people were stopping at the cell saying, “Wow, I love that golf course.” These are guys that had never golfed before. So I’m saying if these guys love the golf courses that I’m drawing, I can only imagine how golfers would feel, because I mean these guys never golf. Maybe one out of 10 have golfed. You know what I’m saying?”

“So it really gave me the boost, the determination it gave me and inspired me to keep pushing it. I felt like, wow, this is something that you really like doing now because I got satisfaction out of other people looking at my drawings and loving them. This is what motivates me.”

On how he spent his time in prison

VD: “Well the thing is, is this. God was always with me. I prayed a lot. I prayed every day. Okay. And I just stayed positive. I read hundreds and hundreds of self help books, motivational books, anything to fill my mind with positive things and energy so that I wouldn’t become negative or fall into that whole negative thing that you see. I’ve seen a lot of prisoners fall into where they lose hope, they become bitter, angry, upset with the world and all that other stuff. I was determined not to allow that to happen to me. So I had to push my willpower to the max.”

“At the same time, I was drawing up to 10 hours a day. So I was really like, listen, if I got to become the best artist in the world in order to get my freedom, then that’s what I’ll do. And this is why I mean I pushed myself to the limit. I’ve done some golf drawings that were … these are all drawings now, not paintings. I’ve done some drawings that people have never even seen. I got a 60 by 90 drawing.”

On his artistic style

VD: “…I had to develop my own style over a course of I would say 20 years. Just every day I had to learn from error. I didn’t have no teacher, so I had to learn through trial and error of what to do, what not to do, how to blend colors, what worked, what didn’t work, how to layer everything on top of each other. My goal has always been to make the drawings look like a painting.”

“Take the whole paper out of it. So when you look at it, you’d say, “That ain’t done on no paper.” That’s the whole goal there. So I had to put so many colors on top of each other to get that painting effect and then drawings are so much more strenuous than paintings because I know how to paint also. But drawing is so much more strenuous because there’s no shortcuts. You got to sit there for … I might sit there for two hours and just do one little corner because you got to get all the detail in there. You know what I’m saying? So it’s way more work that goes into what I do in regards if I was painting. I mean if I’d had done this stuff in painting, I would have thousands of golf painting.”

On gratitude and his perspective

VD: “I’m a very grateful person. I don’t want to sound too religious or anything like that, but we should always be grateful to the creator for what the things that he’s given us. So I mean, I was in a bad situation. I’m sitting in the cell and I’m looking at the people around me and the people around me is doing 10 times worse than me and I had to be grateful. So that’s how I look at it. We had these little eight inch TVs that we could buy on commissary for like $149. Okay. So, right. Yeah, they would beat us on every level that they could. So I’m watching this TV when I can and I’m looking at the world. I’m looking at what’s going on with people out in society.”

“I hate to say it. I was in the worst prison and I’m in a six by eight cell and I felt like I was more blessed than a lot of people on the outside, but people are really struggling out there and doing really bad. Here it is, God preserved me, he kept me in shape, he kept my mind sane, he gave me this talent, he gave me a loving family.”

“So I had to count all those blessings and say, “You know what? I could really be twisted up in here and messed up. So you know what, don’t be bitter, don’t be angry, don’t complain, don’t cry, count your blessings, push your willpower to the highest level. Just push, push, push, push and be the best artist that you can be in the world.” That was my goal.”

You can find the full podcast here, or click here to listen on iTunes, or here to listen on Spotify.

All images via Valentino Dixon’s website. His golf art is available for purchase here.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Tiger talks 2019 | Phil’s legacy | Koepka snubbed again

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

December 12, 2018

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Brooks snubbed again
“I get no respect!” Who said it, Rodney Dangerfield or Brooks Koepka?
  • Golf Channel report…”That narrative received a little more fuel to the fire Tuesday when ESPN released its list of the top 20 most dominant athletes of 2018. On a list that included Olympic gymnast Simone Biles (No. 1), NBA superstar LeBron James (No. 13) and LPGA golfer Ariya Jutanugarn (No. 4), Koepka was notably absent.”
  • “Koepka won two majors this year, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, and also captured the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges this fall.”
  • “For a guy who already believes he’s been overlooked during his career, this certainly won’t help change his mind.”
2. Tiger talks 2019
Woods sat down for an exclusive with Golf.com. Here are a few morsels from an interesting conversation.
  • “Let’s shift gears for a moment. If you could steal one part of any player’s game – any player ever – what would you make your own?…Well, I figure if I could hit every fairway for the rest of my life I’d be all right. [Laughs] From there, I can figure out how to get it on the green, I can make my fair share of putts and I can get it up and down. But if I could hit it in the fairway [every time] about 320, maybe 340 yards, I’d be all right.”
  • “So, Greg Norman?…Well, it depends. In that era, 280 was a long drive. Now it’s, “Hey, can you carry it 320 in the air?” The game has evolved and, I was telling some [people in Melbourne], when I came down here to play the Presidents Cup in 1998, some of the guys were transitioning out of persimmon. The game has changed dramatically since then.”
  • “So what does a successful 2019 look like for you?…I had one win this year. It was amazing to have [2018] culminate with the Tour Championship. I’m not going to win every tournament – I never have. But if I can just get myself in contention, I think I’ll win my share.”
3. Mickelson’s legacy
Did 2018 change the way we think about Lefty?
  • Golfworld’s Dave Shedloski...”When Phil Mickelson raced across the 13th green at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in the third round of the 118th U.S. Open and whacked his ball while it was careening down a slope away from the hole, he crossed through the fourth circle of golf hell. Not only did he change the direction of the shot as it was moving, but, it was believed, he had altered the direction of his career narrative. Whatever the artful player did going forward, that unhinged moment when he broke the rules and arrogantly explained that he did so intentionally, all occurring on his 48th birthday, was sure to affix itself permanently to Lefty’s legacy. Or so went the predominant opinion.”
  • “Five months later in Las Vegas, as part of a mega-hyped match against Tiger Woods, Mickelson won $9 million. Never in the lead up to the winner-take-all match or during coverage of it or in the postscript was the U.S. Open or the incident mentioned-except by Woods, who taunted his rival when he ruthlessly pointed out that he had never won the national championship. Neither was the L’Affair Shinny a topic of discussion in September at the Ryder Cup in Paris, not even among the tabloids. Nor in August at the PGA Championship in St. Louis.”
4. Shots o’ the year
Doug Ferguson goes through the bag, highlighting some of the most memorable shots hit with various clubs in ’18.
  • A few…“3-IRON…Just about every tournament brought a moment that indicated Woods was back to being Woods. One of those moments was the opening round of the BMW Championship at rain-softened Aronimink. From 242 yards on the par-5 16th, Woods hit a 3-iron high and straight. It landed 8 feet in front of the hole and stopped 5 feet next to the pin for an eagle on his way to a 62. It was the first time he had at least a share of the lead after any round in five years.”
  • “PUTTER…The most memorable shot with the putter didn’t go in the hole. Phil Mickelson only wanted to make sure it didn’t go off the front of the 13th green on Saturday at the U.S. Open. So he trotted over and slapped at the ball as it was still moving , an egregious rules violation. Mickelson says he knew the penalty (two shots) and liked that better than having to play from off the green. He also knew his U.S. Open was over. He made a 10 and shot 81, matching his worst score in the only major he hasn’t won.”
5. Louisville Golf
Our Peter Schmitt paid a visit to arguably the finest purveyors of persimmon, Louisville Golf.
  • “Jeremy Wright gets it. Taking over at Louisville Golf is not for everybody. This isn’t a multi-billion-dollar revenue generating machine with private research facilities and elaborate corporate complexes. It’s not about money…or fame…or 385-yard drives. Gerard Just, the youngest of the Just brothers who started Louisville Golf might have summed it up best:”
  • “You know, I guess you could say we’re simple people. We don’t really go on vacations. But we work hard and we enjoy what we do. We don’t make a lot of money. I don’t think my kids could afford to work here to be honest, but they hate their jobs. We never really had that problem.”
  • “Louisville Golf was established in 1974 by Elmore Just and Steve Taylor when they left Hillerich & Bradsby (crafters of Louisville Slugger baseball bats and Power-Bilt golf clubs). Elmore ran the business side of the company and Steve oversaw the manufacturing aspect. Back then, in the heyday of persimmon, the club manufacturers were on an allotment. Since persimmon (remarkably well-suited for golf clubs due to its strength and density) is a relatively slow-growing wood, there was only so much material to go around and upstart Louisville Golf had to fight for every block they got. Eventually, they built the business into a major player, making 800 clubs a day for the likes of Hogan, MacGregor, Wilson, Spalding, and others.”
6. Patrick Sullivan
He who putted a ball into the water and missed a four-footer at Q-School, Patrick Sullivan, isn’t letting it get him down.
  • A bit of Brentley Romine’s profile…”Life on the mini-tours was tough. He lost as much as $8,000 when the U.S. Pro Golf Tour, which had promised million-dollar purses, folded. He competed in Q-School, which was then offering PGA Tour cards, every year, but only made it to second stage once. Several times, he was eliminated at first stage by a shot.”
  • “By 2010, he decided to settle down. “I was tapped out,” he said. He married his girlfriend, Talia, and took a job as an assistant pro at the Alotian Club in Roland, Ark., and later moved to Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.”
  • “Working 60-hour weeks, though, eventually grew on Sullivan. One day, Talia asked her husband, “You really want to play golf again, don’t you?”
  • “Sullivan re-committed himself to pro golf in 2015, and that year won the Arkansas Open, for a third time. But he still couldn’t get over the Q-School hump. He finished just shy of advancing at first stage in two straight years, by one shot.”
7. What we learned
Kyle Porter looks in the rearview mirror at what we learned in 2018.
  • “1. Tiger is not human: It still doesn’t seem real. To come from the place he came from to the place he got to — winning the Tour Chamionship over 29 of the best golfers on the planet — was remarkable. If I was floored at the PGA Championship when he shot 64 on Sunday to nearly steal the show, I was flabbergasted that Woods was able to win a month later. I know nothing he does should surprise, but if you’ve been following closely, you know he was completely cooked — and then he wasn’t.”
  • “2. Jordan Spieth is human: After averaging over three wins and 12 top 10s a season in the previous three seasons, Spieth came back down to earth in 2018. I’m still purchasing all of the stock (and will do so if you want to sell some to me), but prolonged success at the two-or three-win level per year might be an impossibility in this era.”
  • “3. Justin Rose is the most consistent top player: He might not have all the wins to back it up, but Rose finished in the top 10 in 15 of 22 events worldwide in 2018, which means he’s finished in the top 10 in 20 of 47 events over the past two years. Thirty of 47 events!”
8. Reed against the world
That’s Scott Michaux’s headline in piece for Golf Digest.
  • A portion…”So now what? In what should have been a triumphant season in the continued development of one of America’s top young talents, Patrick Reed instead faces a different reality. What kind of environment has he created for himself moving forward, not just with fans trying to figure him out but also with his peers?”
  • “Reed’s tarnished relationship with his Ryder Cup teammates follows the same pattern as his collegiate experience. He was persona non grata when he was kicked off the team at Georgia in 2009 after one season, and others on the Augusta State roster tolerated him as a necessary evil in helping deliver the school consecutive NCAA championships in 2010 and 2011.”
  • “They all hate him-any guys that were on the team with him [at Georgia] hate him and that’s the same way at Augusta,” said Kevin Kisner, a Georgia alum who predated Reed’s arrival in Athens and lives 20 minutes from Augusta in Aiken, S.C. “I don’t know that they’d piss on him if he was on fire, to tell you the truth.”
9. Valentino Dixon
Our Michael Williams talked with Valentino Dixon about the Golf Channel documentary detailing his at once inspiring and heartbreaking saga in the latest episode of the 19th Hole.

 

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Brooks Koepka does not appear happy with being left off ESPN’s list of most dominant athletes for 2018

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On Tuesday, ESPN The Magazine released their list of the 20 most dominant athletes of 2018. Amongst that list included household names such as Lebron James, Novak Djokovic and Drew Brees, while the American gymnast, Simone Biles, took the top spot on ESPN’s list.

One man who did not appear amongst the roll of honor of sporting royalty, however, was golf’s Brooks Koepka. The 28-year-old captured two major championships in 2018, but that wasn’t enough for him to feature on ESPN’s list, which included the triple crown winning horse, Justify, in 16th place.

Learning of his exclusion, Koepka took to social media and made this post, which suggested that he was not too pleased with his omission.

The list evaluated athletes against their fellow competitors, and then analysed their performance against the accomplishments of other great athletes within their sport from 1998 to present.

Explaining Simone Biles score of 3.25, the compiler of the list Peter Keating stated “So what does Simone Biles’ dominance score of 3.25 mean? In 2018, she was 3.25 standard deviations better than the typical top-four performer in all-around women’s gymnastics since 1998—rendering her the year’s most dominant pro athlete.”

The LPGA’s Ariya Jutanurgarn was the only golfer to feature on the list, who Keating judged to have been the fourth most dominant athlete of 2018. The Thai player won three times on Tour in 2018, which is the same number of times as Koepka; however, just one of those wins was a major championship title, compared to Koepka’s two major victories this year. Jutanugarn did, though, have a total of 13 top-five finishes in 2018, compared to Koepka’s five, and also won every year-end LPGA award that was possible for her to win.

In the past, Koepka has spoken concerning the lack of respect that he feels that he is given, in particular by the media. The American has previously suggested that certain players get their names written about more than him because they “kiss up”, and this year the current world number one let the press know that he doesn’t forget an insult, stating “Come Sunday, I won’t forget it when everyone wants to talk to me because I just won. I don’t forget things.”

Judging by Koepka’s reaction on social media to ESPN’s list, this will be yet another incident that the 28-year-old is unlikely to forget. The chip that Koepka carries around on his shoulder has fueled him to win three of the last six major championships that he has appeared in, and this latest snub from the media has given him plenty of incentive to once again prove people wrong in 2019.

GolfWRXers, was Koepka’s omission from the list justified, or another show of disrespect towards golf’s current best player?

 

 

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