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19th Hole

Shane Lowry roasts rules officials for PGA Championship debacle



Shane Lowry isn’t exactly thrilled with the ruling–or lack thereof–he got at the PGA Championship.

Viewers joined the drama in medias res late in the Sunday telecast, Justin Thomas waiting to play his pitch shot from beside the par-3 16th green. Lowry was 10 under at the time, four strokes behind Brooks Koepka (Thomas was 11 under). The Irishman’s tee shot missed the green, settling next to a camera tower.

It was unclear during the telecast what was keeping Lowry from playing as he argued with officials, and the commentators seemed to suggest Lowry ought to go ahead and play and stop obstructing Thomas. JT eventually played, hitting a poor shot and bogeying the hole. Lowry, after a near 10-minute delay played from his original position and bogeyed the hole. Running hot, he bogeyed the 17th hole as well to fall outside the top 10.

Now, Lowry is speaking on what happened, telling the Irish Times

“I think the referee didn’t have the balls to make a decision there, and if he did I would have had an easier shot…If you put (European Tour official) John Paramor or any of the good referees out there, and he would have given me full relief. But he wasn’t giving me full relief, he was telling me to drop it in a tree basically.”

“The camera tower was the issue. I took my drop there was another camera tower in my way, straight away I felt I should get dropped on other side and they were getting me to drop it in the middle of the tree. I can’t, so where do I drop it? They’re saying drop it here, I have a club length (to drop the ball) and it is still my way. He wouldn’t make a decision. The other referee said, ‘it is your decision’. I said, ‘Do you know what? I’m just going to play’. I didn’t want to wait around any longer.”

Thomas, for his part, didn’t blame Lowry.

“It had nothing to do with Shane. The rules officials were having a hard time coming up with a ruling,” Thomas said. “They were kind of looking at each other and saying, ‘Well, what do we do?’ And Shane’s like, ‘Look, just tell me if I get a drop or not.’ And I’m a quick player, and that’s why I went.”

You can see Lowry’s eventual shot and the position he was in here.

Look, we all know the Rules of Golf can be complicated in their application. We also know that if an official gives a player bad advice, the player isn’t protected if he violates the Rules by the mere fact that he was doing what the official directed.

Thus, in situations where officials aren’t sure, they have little incentive to offer firm guidance, which brings up a more important point: The Lowry situation wasn’t some outrageous and unforeseen development. With the tower in play, all officials should have been well aware of the players’ options. In general, you want all officials to be able to apply the rules, yes, but particularly in expected situations.

More than mere doofery, the debacle speaks to a lack of preparation that is utterly unacceptable. Equally unacceptable–and likely final scoreboard altering–is the amount of time it took to come to the (lack of) decision.

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  1. Howard Meditz

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Decision 34-2/2 tells us that this quote from this article is factually incorrect:

    “We also know that if an official gives a player bad advice, the player isn’t protected if he violates the Rules by the mere fact that he was doing what the official directed.”

    34-2/2 Referee Authorizes Player to Infringe a Rule
    Q.In error, a referee authorized a player to infringe a Rule of Golf. Is the player absolved from penalty in such a case?

    A.Yes. Under Rule 34-2, a referee’s decision is final, whether or not the decision is correct.

  2. Stuart F

    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Maybe he was hoping for “nicest” point of relief instead of nearest point of relief.

  3. Chris

    Aug 14, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    He hit it there not the rules official…suck it up…take your medicine…hit it again…it isn’t the rules officials job to bail you out

  4. tim

    Aug 14, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I think the officials were stumped that Lowry was asking for advice. There was nothing impeding his swing or the path of the ball, play it where it lies.

  5. Andy

    Aug 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Based on Lowry’s own description, the officials told him where the nearest point of relief was and what his options were. They can’t tell him where to play it from. That is his decision.

    If John Paramor would have given Lowry free relief from a tree, then he should be fired immediately. If not, then I think he is owed an apology.

  6. jgpl001

    Aug 14, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Unbelievable that you could have 2 officials who basically hadn’t a clue at the PGA, a Major???

    After the debacle at the US Open and now this the USGA need to snap out of it and move with the times

    Wake Up boys, wake up

  7. jason

    Aug 14, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    the point is they have officials on course for a reason and the fact they didn’t know what to do in one of the most common occurrences on tour is bothersome. Damn straight if that were koepka or woods they would have got it correct. im surprised we didn’t here more on the issue

  8. Rev G

    Aug 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    didn’t seem like the shot he ended up taking was all that unreasonable. he had a full swing and a decent lie, with no rough. he probably had to keep it low because of branches – but wouldn’t you expect that anyway when you hit it in the trees?

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19th Hole

Terrible hats are proof Koepka not human, likely an alien robot from the future



For all this talk about Brooks Koepka not receiving the credit he deserves, it’s time we put the focus on the important things — like hats. And the overwhelming evidence that Koepka is, in fact, a high-functioning alien robot. From the future.

Case in point: everyone who appreciates a classic aliens-hide-among-humans-disguised-as-humans movie knows the most important scene — the first reveal of the aliens! Think back to that first time you watched Men in Black, and that cold open where Tommy Lee Jones confronts “Mikey,” who turns out to be a flippered blue alien, and then (sadly) has to shoot Mikey when he attempts to attack a police officer with all seven of his limbs. A beautiful piece of filmmaking, no doubt.

Well, inadvertently, during the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Nike pulled a Mikey, but without having Tommy Lee Jones’ famous memory-wiping technology. They weren’t quite ready to tell the world their poster boy of dominance wasn’t a real human, but the cat’s out of the bag, folks.

After all, if Koepka wasn’t a robot, how could we explain his willingness to wear that hat in public, let alone wear it on television, during one of the sports biggest stages, at one of the world’s best courses? And we all know exactly which hat we’re talking about — the one that looks exactly like your grandmother’s shower curtain in her spare bathroom. If we can all agree there’s no feasible way all the designers at Nike thought the hat in question actually looked good, we’re forced to consider…something mysterious is afoot. What is Nike trying to hide from us? They’re clearly trying to divert our attention away from something, but — what is it?!

The answer is clear. There’s a murderous blue alien robot underneath that hat. He just happens to be really damn good at golf.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware of Koepka’s dominance over the past 24 months. The dude has done nothing but win majors, winning with an aura of unflappability we haven’t seen since the original robot said “Hello, World” back when Koepka was learning how to read. (Or, more likely, Koepka never actually learned to read, just programmed to read).

Would it be that much of a surprise to learn Koepka is the world’s first successful application of Artificial Intelligence? A robot designed not for war, but a delightful piece of technology designed for smashing drives, pushing weights, and holing an obscene amount of pressure-packed putts.

Here’s where this gets tricky – what do we do next, golf fans? Do we call our suspicions into the USGA, the same way some dude at home on his couch somehow called a penalty(-ish) on Dustin Johnson a couple years ago? Probably not. We know with certainy the USGA would completely screw that up. They might not even rule on an appropriate penalty for Koepka’s non-humanness until the event is over, keeping us all in the dark all evening Sunday.

Here’s my thoughts: maybe we just accept it. Act like it’s n.b.d. Brooks Koepka is just an alien robot, most likely from some time in the future, sent here to entertain us with some of the most unbelievable golf we’ll ever see on this planet or the next.

But please, Nike, let’s all wink at each other with knowing smiles, and at least pretend he’s just your run of the mill (non-alien) professional golfer. Give him one of your clean looking white swoosh hats Rory wears. They look great! Or, hell, let him just take off the hat altogether and let the alien hang out. We don’t care. Just don’t make us look at grandma’s shower curtain over the weekend. It’s an insult to spare bathrooms everywhere.


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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (6.14.19)



In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Dormie Workshop with limited edition covers using real flags from Pebble Beach.

 ”Banksy Gilmore” U.S. Open – Pebble Beach Headcover from American Flatsticks.

How about this custom Scotty from Embrace Putters?

Andrew Halford sharing his cool video of Tiger Woods on the practice green at Pebble Beach.

View this post on Instagram

Just @tigerwoods practicing putting.

A post shared by Andrew Halford (@andrew.halford) on

Immaculate work from those in charge at Pebble.

Swag’s King putter cover in action.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Jordan Spieth blasts caddie, Michael Greller, during round one of the U.S. Open after back-to-back errors



Jordan Spieth began his U.S. Open campaign with a one-over round of 72, and on the eight hole at Pebble Beach, the Texan let his frustration spill over as he laid into his caddie, Michael Greller, after back-to-back mistakes.

The 25-year-old was even par at the time, but on the treacherous eight hole he hit his tee shot through the fairway and off the cliff, before taking a drop and hitting his third shot over the green.

Fox Sports microphones picked up Spieth’s frustration at this moment, as he appeared to blast his caddie.

“Two perfect shots, Michael. You got me in the water on one and over the green on the other.”

After his round, Spieth clarified that the comment was made due to his frustration that as a team, the two couldn’t figure out how to get things right on the hole.

“When you hit a couple of shots exactly where you want and one’s in the water and the next one’s dead over the green, I’m going to be frustrated that as a team we didn’t figure out how to make sure that didn’t happen.

I may have looked like the bad guy, but my intentions were that we should be in play if the ball is hit solidly.”

Spieth tees off on day two alongside Tiger Woods and Justin Rose at 11:24 AM ET.


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19th Hole