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USGA says Justin Thomas did not, in fact, avoid or cancel any meetings with the organization

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On Tuesday afternoon, the USGA issued a statement in which the organization admitted that, contrary to its previous claim, Justin Thomas had not cancelled or avoided any discussions with the governing body in the past.

As well as conceding that the 25-year-old had not avoided talking to them, the USGA also echoed Tour chief Jay Monahan’s sentiment in the memo he issued to all Tour players this week, stating

“We value his and all players’ opinions and are committed to a productive dialogue as the golf world adjusts to the modernized rules.”

The statement comes after the organization had claimed over the weekend that Thomas had “cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you.” It was a charge which caught Thomas by surprise on Sunday evening, who while speaking following his final round of the Honda Classic, said the claims were inaccurate and that he was “hurt” by the accusation.

Thomas retweeted yesterday’s statement from the USGA without further comment, while fellow professional Lee Westwood responded to the USGA’s tweet, calling it “one of the worst apologies I’ve ever seen.”

 

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

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Tom

    Mar 7, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    PGA Tour conducts play at the highest level on earth. The PGA Tour in conjunction with the R&A should establish their own ruling body and split from the ‘ship of fools’ better known as the USGA.

  2. geohogan

    Mar 7, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    USGA and pga should have respect for golf and growth of the game ahead of ego and
    grandstanding. Leave governing by tweet to POTUS.

  3. Eddie

    Mar 7, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Lie to create a discrediting narrative. Get caught lying. CYA statement. Yep, the status quo is corrupt throughout. That’s what happens to overpayed armwaving BSers who produce nothing.

  4. Tom

    Mar 6, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    USGA’s John Boneheader got it wrong about Thomas cancelling…..what a tool!

  5. Tom

    Mar 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    USGA is incompetent….that says it all!

  6. Lee W

    Mar 6, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    The USGA has blown it yet again! How stupid can a large organization’s people be and still be respected? Answer: Very STUPID!!!

    • joro

      Mar 6, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      It is like I told a USGA guy one day when Callaway had a meeting with the USGA and R&A about the CER “illegal” Driver because it hit the ball 3 yds farther than the Big Berths by tests done by the R&A. He said I don”t agree with the rule on the Driver. I said why should I expect to believe a group that is composed of a bunch of Bozos that wear white shirts and Black armbands at their Championship in 100 degree temps and Thunder storms and lightning that have killed people. Booooo USGA, get real.

  7. Hildebrandt

    Mar 6, 2019 at 10:08 am

    The players need to fire the USGA.

  8. CrashTestDummy

    Mar 6, 2019 at 9:32 am

    So their previous comment that Thomas avoided and cancelled meetings was fake news. Lol. USGA is losing their respect even more now.

  9. youraway

    Mar 6, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Now the USGA is losing all integrity and credibility.

    But the players, if they really care, will provide constructive comments to their players board and the USGA, that’s the way to make changes, not whinny on social media or making an unprofessional picture of a drop technique.

    • JD

      Mar 6, 2019 at 9:58 am

      Na I’m good with the public shaming. This stuff is ridiculous. USGA should use Twitter as well, just don’t lie lol… not sure why that isn’t understood…

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News

Morning 9: Patron-less Masters | U.S. Am updates | Koepka talks DJ | ANGC sand thief

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1. It’s official…
Our Gianni Magliocco…“The long-standing rumors have proved correct, as on Wednesday Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley confirmed that this year’s Masters would go ahead without any patrons or guests on-site.”
“In a statement released on Masters.com, Ridley said”
“Since our initial announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have remained committed to a rescheduled Tournament in November while continually examining how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic. As we have considered the issues facing us, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Masters always has been our first and most important priority.”
  • “Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome.”
  • “Even in the current circumstances, staging the Masters without patrons is deeply disappointing. The guests who come to Augusta each spring from around the world are a key component to making the Tournament so special. Augusta National has the responsibility, however, to understand and accept the challenges associated with this virus and take the necessary precautions to conduct all aspects of the Tournament in a safe manner. We look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our patrons back, hopefully in April 2021…”
  • …”Those who had tickets for the 2020 Masters will now be eligible to attend the 2021 Masters next April.”
2. U.S. Am update
David Shefter for the USGA…”Cameron Sisk, Evan Katz and Aaron Du earned the final three spots in the match-play draw in an 18-for-3 playoff Wednesday morning at Bandon Dunes. Sisk, a semifinalist in the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur, and Katz birdied the par-4 10th hole and Du sealed the last spot with a birdie on No. 11. One notable who failed to qualify was 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion Garrett Barber. Sisk, a standout at Arizona State, was the lone player of the three to post a Round-of-64 win, defeating No. 3 seed Benjamin Shipp, 5 and 4.”
  • “Six schools have multiple players in the Round of 32: Arkansas (Julian Perico, Segundo Oliva Pinto), Georgia Tech (Noah Norton, Tyler Strafaci), Louisiana State (Philip Barbaree, Trey Winstead), Notre Dame (Davis Chatfield, Davis Lamb), Pepperdine (Clay Feagler, William Mouw) and Southern Methodist (McClure Meissner, Charles Osborne).”
  • “Argentina led the international group with four players making match play. That group included 2020 Latin America Amateur champion Abel Gallegos, along with two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinalist Andres Schonbaum, Oliva Pinto and Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira. Pinto was the lone player to advance.”
3. Stewart Hagestad moving on
Shefter again…”Stewart Hagestad came into this week’s U.S. Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort with two main goals: make a deep enough run to lower his World Amateur Golf Ranking® to gain a U.S. Open exemption, and continue his push toward making a third consecutive USA Walker Cup Team next spring.”
  • “On Tuesday, the lanky Southern Californian was in a tenuous position to fulfill those aspirations, sitting at 2 over par through 26 holes of stroke play. But he played his last 10 holes in 6 under to complete a 6-under 66 at Bandon Dunes and put himself comfortably into the match-play draw. That set up a Round-of-64 matchup with 2020 Latin America Amateur champion Abel Gallegos, of Argentina.”
  • “And just as in stroke play, the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion had to find some intestinal fortitude to avoid a premature exit. Down one hole with two to play, Hagestad, 29, of Newport Beach, rallied with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to pull out a 1-up victory over the talented 18-year-old.”
4. A Masters unlike any other
ESPN’s Bob Harig, amid a larger reflection on a patron-free Masters, writes this…”But no fans? The Lords of Augusta National must be furious that it has come to this, four months after they announced the rescheduled Masters dates for November and three months before it is to be played.”
  • “Surely they believed we’d be in a position by now to have moved beyond many of the restrictions associated with the pandemic. They bought themselves the most time. And to no one’s surprise, they have the ability to buy themselves nearly anything they want as it relates to putting on a safe event.”
  • “Rapid testing? Social distancing? Wearing masks? Sanitary protocols? This is a place that doesn’t like having a piece of grass out of place…”
  • “You think they couldn’t have bought 100,000 COVID-19 tests if they were so inclined? Or figured out a way to space those allowed in around the hallowed grounds, masks required?”
  • “The fact they are shutting those ideas down now suggests the difficulty of pulling it off and the ominous reports they are getting from medical and government officials in dealing with the pandemic. As powerful as the folks are at Augusta National, they’ve never been able to control the weather, when the azaleas bloom. Apparently, they can’t squash a pandemic, either.”
5. 3 in a row will be tough for links-shy Kang
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”While Kang’s confident in the protocols, she has never been as confident as she would like on links courses.”
  • “This two-week Scottish sojourn begins at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick.
  • “I’m actually having a lot of thoughts on the golf course,” Kang said. “It’s not something that I’m used to, at all. So, it’s bringing a lot of difficult parts of my game into play. So, I’m a little bit uncomfortable, to be quite honest, but always got to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • “So, yeah, the golf course, it’s tough for me. It’s going to be definitely a test in every aspect of my game, and I think that will be interesting.”
  • “Kang, 27, has missed the cut in her last two starts on links courses in Great Britain…”
6. Koepka on DJ comments
Via Eamon Lynch at Golfweek…“Golfweek spoke with Koepka Wednesday about the fallout from his remarks, if he has any regrets, and whether he has reached out to Johnson.”
“Eamon Lynch: What was the intent of the comment?”
“Brooks Koepka: I honestly was struggling coming down the end of the third round. I was well back and I saw DJ was at minus-9. I birdied to get to minus-7. I was focused on Dustin. I had no idea who was at 8 or with me at 7. To be honest, when I’m looking at a leaderboard I’m never looking at who is behind me or tied with me, I only look ahead. I view myself as going forward no matter what. So I regret that part of it. That’s what I was trying to say – that I didn’t know who was on the leaderboard at that point because I hadn’t looked. I just genuinely didn’t know the guys at 8 and 7. That part I regret and I wish I had used different words because I didn’t pay enough attention to who was under Dustin because he was my main focus. When someone asks if I can win, I’m always going to say yes, that’s the competitor in me. I’m not there to finish second. I think that’s where some of the cocky stuff comes from because I always think I can win and truly believe it.”
7. Steve Stricker: Fortnite fanatic 
Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal…“I got into Fortnite. Stupid game,” Stricker revealed Wednesday. “I don’t know where that came from, but it’s kind of consumed some of my time, even lately. I bring it with me out on the road and pass the time. But I’m trying to wean myself off that game.”
  • “At first, Stricker’s wife Nicki and their daughters Bobbi, 21, and Isabella, 14, played with him at their home in Madison, Wisconsin.”
  • “During the quarantine, when it first happened, I was playing quite a bit. I had nothing else to do, right? We play golf and then I play Fortnite,” he said. “The kids started playing with me, too. Nicki tried to, but she got frustrated with it and ended that pretty quickly.”
8. Augusta National’s sand thief 
Pages deep on a Masters-related Google search and well adrift of my intended task (putting this newsletter together), I happened upon this heretofore-unknown-to-me story from 2019 regarding the bunker burglar of Augusta National.
  • “If you’re unfamiliar, allow Steve Politi of NJ.com to tell the tale of one Clayton Baker…”
  • “He was slammed facedown to the ground, handcuffed like the worst kind of felon and thrown onto the back of a golf cart.”
  • “Clayton Baker had come to Augusta National Golf Club to cross one item off his bucket list, but after a perfect day watching the final round of the Masters from a collapsible chair at Amen Corner, his trip had gone horribly wrong.”
  • “You dirty piece of s—,” one of his arresting officers spat at him. “You disrespected this national monument in Augusta.”
  • “I hope you know you’re going to jail for this,” another cop sneered before moving him to the back of an unmarked police car.”
9. Shackelford’s only complaint: Harding Park’s bunkers

“There is one issue that needs to be resolved for both functional and spiritual reasons: the bunker sand.”
  • “At an old San Francisco muni with ancient Monterey Cypress, Harding just needs some old fashioned beige pits with steep faces and thick lips. Good news, they have the example they need on property in the form of The Fleming Course.”
  • “The par-3 course used to house TV, the range and the fifth tee, also has much better looking bunkers than “TPC” Harding Park. They also looked to have actual sand in them, unlike on the big course. No one enjoys having the flange of wedges hit pricey liners installed to keep the white stuff clean. Tiger Woods was 0 for 7 until getting up and down 2 of 4 times Sunday. Tiger Woods is no junior varsity bunker player.”
  • “So Harding Park, I know another pricey redo to give the bunkers worthy character is not in the budget, nor should it be. But lose the country club sand and we look forward to seeing you ever September starting next year.”
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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2020 Albertsons Boise Open

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GolfWRX is live at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Albertsons Boise Open!

Par-71, 6,880-yard Hillcrest CC is one of only two courses to host a KFT event all 31 seasons.

The Boise Open is the second event of four in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series, which replaces the traditional Korn Ferry Tour Finals.

We have four general galleries from the course, as well as looks at Ping, Odyssey/Toulon, and Scotty Cameron putters—and a closer examination of Callaway’s PGA Championship putter cover.

General Galleries

Special Galleries

 

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It’s official: No fans at the 2020 Masters

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The long-standing rumors have proved correct, as on Wednesday Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley confirmed that this year’s Masters would go ahead without any patrons or guests on-site.

In a statement released on Masters.com, Ridley said

“Since our initial announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have remained committed to a rescheduled Tournament in November while continually examining how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic. As we have considered the issues facing us, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Masters always has been our first and most important priority.

Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome.

Even in the current circumstances, staging the Masters without patrons is deeply disappointing. The guests who come to Augusta each spring from around the world are a key component to making the Tournament so special. Augusta National has the responsibility, however, to understand and accept the challenges associated with this virus and take the necessary precautions to conduct all aspects of the Tournament in a safe manner. We look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our patrons back, hopefully in April 2021.

We appreciate the support and patience of all those we serve – including the Augusta community, our corporate and broadcast partners and our friends in golf – as we continue to plan for this historic event.”

Those who had tickets for the 2020 Masters will now be eligible to attend the 2021 Masters next April.

The 2020 Masters will take place from November 9-15.

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