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Justin Thomas “hurt” after “unfortunate” Twitter spat with the USGA over the rules of golf; meeting pending

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Justin Thomas has not been shy this year when it comes to criticizing the new rules of golf and how the USGA has implemented those rules, and over the weekend while Thomas was in action at the Honda Classic, the relationship between the two appeared to come to breaking point.

Before the event at PGA National began, Thomas described the rule changes made from the USGA and R&A which came into effect on January 1st as “terrible” in a pre-tournament presser. While after he was unable to replace a club mid-round on Thursday which he bent after playing a shot from behind a tree, the 25-year-old stated that “You can just add that one to the list of rules that don’t make any sense.”

Thomas’ mood didn’t improve after finding out that fellow pro Adam Schenk was assessed a two-stroke penalty on Friday for violation of Rule 10.2b after Schenk’s caddie was judged to have been standing directly behind Schenk as he took his stance on the par-3 17th hole.

Clearly dismayed with the ruling, Thomas took to Twitter to re-ignite his feud with the USGA with a series of tweets criticizing the decision.

What happened next is unprecedented, with the USGA’s Twitter PR account directly tweeting Thomas and asserting that the two need to talk, while claiming that Thomas had “cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you.”

It’s unknown who exactly was behind the USGA’s tweet to Thomas, but after Sunday’s round at PGA National, Thomas described the incident as “unfortunate” and how he felt hurt, particularly with the organizations claim that he had cancelled every meeting with them, a claim which he stated was false, per Golf Channel.

“It really hurt me; it was upsetting to me because the information they put out there wasn’t accurate in terms of me cancelling meetings and that doesn’t make me look good.

That’s just when I got a little upset and we had communication with them (the USGA) because I know those guys, I’ve talked to them about the rules this year. We’re trying to communicate and get better relationships with them. All we’re looking (to do) is better the sport.”

A follow-up tweet from the USGA PR account confirmed that Thomas had been in contact offline and that a meeting between the two is in the offing. According to Thomas, however, no date has yet been set.

“We’ve tried to get on a couple calls, and I was in the middle of this three-week stretch, so I was like, look, I’m sorry, this time isn’t very good. But we’re definitely going to talk at some point, but we’ve had conversations this year multiple times with a couple different people.

“It’s not like it hasn’t happened. It’s just, it hasn’t the last three weeks because I’ve been at a tournament, and that’s my main focus.”

 

 

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Tiger Noods

    Mar 4, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    OK, so let’s say JT didn’t make some meetings. Does that change anything? No, it doesn’t. The rule is still ambiguous.

    If the USGA says, “We are still ready to meet with you; just find a time and we’re there,” Ok, no big deal. What was tweeted was a call out. It was “the boss” embarrassing that crap-talking employee. And under what circumstance now does anyone think this will be in good faith?

    The USGA was wrong. They continue to be wrong. They have botched the rollout monumentally. And now they are tired of hearing how badly they’ve screwed this up. Of course, it’s not going to stop, and this needs to cost people their jobs at the USGA.

  2. Im A Unicorn

    Mar 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    seems like he can dish out the smack… but can’t take it when it comes back round his way

  3. Early Extender

    Mar 4, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I don’t know many fans or players, if any, who would argue that the new rules are an improvement. And I’m a JT fan. That being said, saying you were “hurt” after being confronted by a body you’ve repeatedly criticized lately is a total millennial snowflake move. Man up, set them straight if need be. But don’t act like a victim, even if what they said wasn’t accurate.

    • James

      Mar 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Agreed that “hurt” was a pretty b*tchy word to use. However, it doesn’t mean his argument is unfounded. Personally, I like RF’s approach: mock the insanity.

    • Belacyrf

      Mar 5, 2019 at 7:38 am

      I say the rules are an improvement and think these PGA children need to learn to adapt to CHANGE like the rest of us do in the real world. Stop whining and taking to the internet like spoiled children and reach out to have an adult conversation with adults who are trying to do what they can to make the rules simpler.

      I’ve found most of the people out in social media don’t even know the reasoning behind the rules. It’s insane to think that brand new rules might not need some tweaking, but to cry as if their lives are wreck because they need to adapt to change… typical spoiled brat behavior.

  4. Dennis

    Mar 4, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    I don’t care. Which shirt is he wearing in the picture?

  5. Mower

    Mar 4, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Just like in the movies when you’re not expected to show up in a closed meeting. “Sir! You’re not allowed in here!” Exclaims the secretary.

    Justin swings open the door to the great room. “I’m here bi**hes!”

  6. Travis

    Mar 4, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Don’t poke the dog and get upset when it bites you. The USGA rules have been controversial, but JT’s conduct in addressing the USGA has been confrontational and childish.

    • James

      Mar 4, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Calling a spade a spade is not confrontational, except to parasites. Brutal honesty is necessary in a free and just society and the USGA is nothing. Who appointed these armwaving children as the gods of golf?

    • Tiger Noods

      Mar 4, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      Has it? Before you reconsider, think presidentially…

  7. Terry Dixon

    Mar 4, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    What we need is USGA-A, United States Golf Association for Amateurs and our own set of simple rules

  8. Jack

    Mar 4, 2019 at 11:50 am

    The USGA is hurting themselves once (how ’bout many dozen times) again. The USGA needs a lesson in communications themselves. It is the USGA that will be damaged by their tactics, not the tour pros.

  9. EA

    Mar 4, 2019 at 11:40 am

    JT – if your schedule was so busy and your main focus was on golf, why setup multiple meetings or calls in the first place? You state that golf is your main focus but you have no problem with scheduling and then cancelling calls due to “golf tourney just popped up” had to cancel. You have plenty of time to tweet and bitch but when someone says let’s talk, all of the sudden you’re busy.

  10. dat

    Mar 4, 2019 at 10:41 am

    More corporate decision making to keep those fat cats in a job when it actually harms the game. Pathetic.

  11. James

    Mar 4, 2019 at 10:33 am

    CYA USGA! Nice ring. There were no meetings scheduled and you lied about them to discredit Justin. “Call us” does not mean a meeting is scheduled. Just because you write them down doesn’t mean they are mutually agreed to. Now get a job instead of being a bunch of overpaid blueblood talkers and armwavers.

  12. Brian McGranahan

    Mar 4, 2019 at 10:24 am

    What a snowflake. Boooohoooo, I don’t like a rule and want it changed.

  13. Dave

    Mar 4, 2019 at 10:14 am

    I’m tired of the USGA always being the story. Some of these changes have missed the mark. Why is an Ob ball penalized different from a ball hit into a water hazard? Isn’t the water hazard ball by definition ob? The drop rule is bad. Why penalize a player if he/she drops from higher than knee height? I get what the USGA is trying to do, but I think some if these changes have missed.

  14. Eastpointe CC

    Mar 4, 2019 at 9:36 am

    All of the rule changes this year and ridiculous FOR THE PROS. For us hacks they are beneficial. There needs to be 2 sets of rules. Also if they really want to speed up play all they need to do is allow range finders. There is so much guess work that it doesn’t really change anything except speed up play.

    I may be i the minority but I LOVE the fact that the USGA called him out. AND I fully believe that he canceled these meetings with them.

  15. iutodd

    Mar 4, 2019 at 8:20 am

    What BS from the USGA. Calling a professional golfer out on Twitter like that makes your PR department look like they don’t know what they’re doing and that the USGA has a bad relationship with the players.

    And it’s hugely unprofessional on the part of whoever runs that Twitter account. Grow the game?

  16. JD

    Mar 4, 2019 at 8:13 am

    This is turning into the NFL, ambiguous rules that make no sense. All it is going to take to ascend into full chaos is someone with a one stroke lead in a major being assessed a two stroke penalty that costs him a trophy.

    Like NFL refs, they are going to put these rules officials in the position of making judgement calls dependent on the circumstance. Imagine having to give Tiger a penalty after failing to drop the ball correctly after hitting one in the water on 12 at Augusta. That guy would be clubbed in the parking lot.

    • scooter

      Mar 4, 2019 at 3:17 pm

      Funny you mention Tiger and Augusta … but the incorrect drop after hitting the flagstick and going in the water already happened years ago and the hole was #15 … and he was penalized without any bloodshed (although a lot of hand wringing about dis-qualification). Lets face it, guys have lost majors for rules infractions … see DJ.

  17. Ryan Barry

    Mar 4, 2019 at 7:58 am

    He’s a child and has acted like one for years. If the average golfer breaks a club he doesn’t leave his buddies and go home to get a replacement, etc. Play without it, you’re a pro. If the rule is your Caddie can’t be behind you in stance, then make sure your Caddie isn’t there. What’s the big deal? If they warn him and two guys make less money for his strokes, how is that fair to those players losing purse?

  18. Erik Morden

    Mar 4, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Why do they want to talk to him are they upset that he is actually calling them out for being stupid. I also want to know why the USGA is so focused on this one rule. Why dont they talk to players that are playing slow instead of having what seems like solo focus on the caddy issue.

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Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take

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1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
  • “The core of the PGA Tour’s plan to return was always about testing, but it’s a fine line to walk. In two weeks, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll find out if it will be enough.”
  • “Players are allowed to stay in individual RVs or rental homes but they are being encouraged to assure the health and safety of their accommodations if they choose to stay outside the bubble.”
  • “Players were also informed where COVID-19 testing will occur when they arrive in Fort Worth as well as meal options at Colonial, which will be limited to grab-and-go lunches in order to follow safety protocols.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick 
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
  • “I think a lot of guys have re-watched the 1991 PGA tournament,” Daly II said. “I watched it every night before the tournament. (Watching him) walk down the 18th with all of the fans everywhere was pretty cool. He started as the ninth alternate and didn’t expect to play. For him to win, it was a ridiculous story. He loves it.”
  • “Daly II put together a remarkable tournament in his own right, finishing a three-way tie for second place behind winner John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Kentucky. Daly II was 4 over for the two-day, 54-hole event, which featured 33 of the top high school boys players in the country and 33 of the same on the girls’ side.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
  • “I would be open to the idea because of how it’s being received, and some of the insight and so forth,” Mickelson said. “But you don’t have the play between individuals. I had a partner, and Tom and I could talk back and forth. And maybe you could get some of that with the caddie, but having a partner is much more intimate and you have much better conversation.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
  • “I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities,” Mickelson told the Los Angeles Times in a column published Wednesday. “Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
  • “About 30% of The Match’s audience landed in the 18-49 demo despite the 44.5 average age of the participants…The numbers for TaylorMade Driving Relief with a foursome averaging 29.5 years”
  • “That’s 25% of the almighty buyers for a younger, supposedly more millennial-friendly group of golfers. And a grand total of (at least) 860,000 fewer viewers 18-49.  While not a huge difference in the percentage department, The Match did rout Driving Relief in overall audience and even took chipped away at NASCAR’s ratings.”

Full piece.

6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
  • “Generally, players taking small breaks of two weeks or less are marginally better than expected, while longer breaks result in an average drop in performance of between 0.1 and 0.2 strokes per round. For context, a drop of 0.2 strokes per round is about the gap between 100th- and 135th-ranked players in the world. It’s a significant change, but not enormous.”
  • “Additionally, the drop in performance after a 10-20 week gap is quite consistent across different levels of players. Top-50 players in the world are affected by a similar amount to those outside the top 50.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
  • “Yes – yes,” he said. His voice was sober. “Probably pilot error and pressure from the back,” Norman said. Norman could imagine the legendary basketball player saying, “‘Get me through this; get me there. I’ve got to get my daughter to this game.’
  • …”My instructor and I had a saying, ‘If you can’t see through it don’t fly through it.’ If I was flying to Doral or Orlando or Naples and there was fog, we just put it down and waited it out.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
  • “While the top 125 will not double as the cutoff for TOUR cards next season in this reduced schedule, it will remain the mark to get into THE NORTHERN TRUST, the first of three Playoffs events in the chase for the FedExCup.”
  • “Gone is the luxury of extended rest between starts for those sitting way back on the list, such as Koepka, who was just starting to find his feet again on a return from injury when the pandemic halted play in March.”

 

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Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?

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1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
  • …”Mic’d up players and caddies…In exhibitions past, we’ve witnessed players with live microphones, but the purpose behind it is dreaded “banter,” which typically comes across as hollow, forced and not very funny. But if players and caddies wore mics during a round, producers could find riveting audio that captures natural conversation or impromptu strategy sessions. Phil serving as a mentor for Tom Brady was riveting and hopefully stokes our appetite for similar mid-round insight…”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot” 
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  • “So was it the ultra-fine margin? The stakes? The absurdly improbable physics of the shot itself?”
  • “Yes. Yes. And yes. All of these things compelled Scott Verplank, among others, to call it “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Woods’ 218-yard masterstroke from the wet sand at the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey. Woods’ caddie Steve Williams would return to the bunker once the commotion had died down, still struggling to get his head around what he’d seen. Others have made the same pilgrimage and tried to visualize what Woods had, tried to feel what Woods felt, for this was magic.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive? 
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
  • “Well, that didn’t happen, but golf has been given this new-found seal of approval highlighting its healthy aspects and its ability to provide safe recreation. As courses across the country re-open there is pent up demand among golfers to get out and play. Tee sheets are mostly filled and former golfers and those trying out the sport for the first time are emerging out of the woodwork desperate to be in the sunshine and doing something, anything that has been deemed “COVID OK.” There is renewed belief that golf can grab a bigger piece of the pie among recreational and entertainment options.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
  • “Well, there is no a downside, but it could’ve been more. As LPGA player Mel Reid tweeted during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge, the broadcasts could’ve represented all of golf.”
  • “They could’ve included women.”
  • “…It would’ve been great to see an LPGA player and her sponsorship partners get in on the action in a similar fashion.”
  • “The TaylorMade event could’ve been a mixed-team format. Maria Fassi and Paula Creamer are both in Florida. Some of TaylorMade’s female stars could’ve also called in during the broadcast as Jon Rahm did. Staffers who could’ve called in include Natalie Gulbis, Muni He and Charley Hull. Sung Hyun Park, who speaks limited English, was involved in a charity exhibition in South Korea with current No. 1 Jin Young Ko. Women’s golf frequently takes center stage in that part of the world.”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
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  • “Meanwhile, approximately 79% of off-course golf retail stores were open (in terms of total square footage) through May 25. This is up from 73% last week and 59% two weeks ago. In early April, only about 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space was open to in-store traffic. Roughly 81% of all off-course retail stores are now open to customers.”
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GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (05/27/20): Adams, Mizuno, Ping

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Gator5 – Adams CMB Irons

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To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams CMB Irons

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Did someone say brand new Mizunos??? What else could you really want from a forged blade beside being meticulously crafted and forged in Japan – as well as being priced lower than retail.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link hereMP 20 Irons

Member 1hellaofashot – Ping G410 7 Wood

Speaking from experience let me just say this “stop denying the inevitable and embrace the 7 Wood” It’s endlessly versatile, more forgiving than a hybrid, and because this one for sale is a Ping G410 it is adjustable. Here’s your chance to dial in your own par 5 killer.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 7 Wood

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds 

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