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19th Hole

A brief cart ride (by his caddie) has big implications for Akshay Bhatia at the U.S. Amateur

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16-year-old Akshay Bhatia may be looking for a new caddie for his next event. The rising star of amateur golf was penalized when his caddie accepted a ride on a golf cart at the 14th hole during the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur.

Bhatia would go on to lose to Bradford Tilley.

The match was all square at the 14th. Chris Darnell, Bhatia’s caddie, made a pit stop at the bathroom after Bhatia hit his approach. While the player walked to the green, Darnell was approached by what he believed was a USGA official driving a golf cart.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell said afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Of course, neither players nor caddies can ride on any form of transportation during the round unless authorized, per the Rules of Golf. Bhatia was penalized accordingly and lost the hole after a (real) official spotted the infraction.

Particularly frustrating for the golfer was the fact that he had birdied the par-5 and believed he was going 1 up on his opponent, only to find out they were all square.

As mentioned, Bhatia would go on to lose in 19 holes.

Adding another layer to this drama, Darnell said Tilley’s caddie had done the same thing earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

What are the chances Tilley or his caddie admit to the infraction now? And who is this mystery idiot who loves the USGA enough to drape himself in their garb but is daft enough to blatantly break a straightforward rule of competition?

Dumb rule? Certainly in this sense. But so many situations exist in amateur play that you can understand why the USGA would level a prohibition on transportation. Still, shouldn’t there be some room for interpretation? It’s difficult to argue Bhatia himself gained any advantage…

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Nack Jicklaus

    Aug 21, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    The rulemeister strikes again with silly and pointless rules.

  2. Steve R

    Aug 17, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Tilley should step up and DQ himself for an incorrect scorecard

  3. Matt

    Aug 17, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Something wrong here, looking at the score card he didn’t lose the hole, even though he beat him on the hole they are marked as the hold being halved. Either way something is messed up about this and its very unfortunate. The rules need to be changed so include some sort of waive of a penalty for common sense if no one is gaining an advantage. Agree its in the rules that they can’t ride but if someone with a USGA pullover on says yes, then something else should have been done.

  4. NoTanks

    Aug 16, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Dumb, tired rules.

  5. Hawkeye77

    Aug 16, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Gaining advantage has nothing to do with application of the rule and you should know better than to invoke that.

    It’s match play, whatever hole the other player’s caddy had done it was over so too late to worry about it. So clearly Bhatia was clueless on the rule when it happened the first time and that’s on him. Having a hard time blaming the caddie without knowing his level of experience.

  6. David

    Aug 16, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    i agree Dan. if the other player’s caddie had done the same thing he should have spoken up at the time of the second incident. if i was the other player i would have just let it be and asked for no penalty. that’s what this game is about.

  7. Dan

    Aug 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    If the other competitors caddy did the same thing he should admit it. Very unfair

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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka claims Bryson started feud and ‘went back on his word’

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Both Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are in action at this week’s Travelers Championship, with the two seemingly further away than ever from burying the hatchet.

The two have been openly quarrelling for the last couple of months in an ongoing rivalry that has captured the attention of more than just golf fans.

Ahead of this week’s event, Brooks Koepka spoke to media where he shared his version of the genesis of their feud, claiming that Bryson “went back on his word”.

“I thought it was just interesting when he walked up to my caddie and told Ricky that if I had something to say, to say it to his face. I thought that was kind of odd. Don’t walk up to my face, say it to my caddie.

When we had that conversation we agreed on something and he went back on it. So, you know, if you’re going to go back on your word I don’t have much respect for that.”

The 31-year-old has also been speaking to ESPN Sports Center host Matt Barrie ahead of this week’s event, where he said that he has “definitely got the better” of Bryson and that it’s unlikely the two will be settling their issues over a few drinks.

“There’s not much to talk about. Everything that’s gone on, it’s been one of those things. This whole thing started basically because of him so you know, I’ll leave it at that. I don’t see us having dinner or drinks or Michelob Ultra just to settle it.”

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19th Hole

Tokyo Olympic Men’s Golf field revealed

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This summer will see some of the best golfers in the world representing their country at the Tokyo Olympics, with the final field now set.

The withdrawal of Dustin Johnson means that Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau are the four men who will play for the U.S., with Patrick Cantlay being first alternate.

As for Team GB, Tyrrell Hatton is the latest man who has withdrawn, citing issues related to Covid-19, international travel and schedule. Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey are the two men who will represent Team GB in Tokyo this summer, while Sergio Garcia is a late withdrawal for Team Spain.

Check out the full list of competitors below:

Justin Thomas (USA)

Collin Morikawa (USA)

Xander Schauffele (USA)

Bryson DeChambeau (USA)

Rory McIlroy (IRL)

Shane Lowry (IRL)

Viktor Hovland (NOR)

Kristian Krogh Johannessen (NOR)

Hideki Matsuyama (JPN)

Rikuya Hoshino (JPN)

Paul Casey (GBR)

Tommy Fleetwood (GBR)

Abraham Ancer (MEX)

Carlos Ortiz (MEX)

Sungjae Im (KOR)

Cameron Smith (AUS)

Marc Leishman (AUS)

Joaquin Niemann (CHI)

Guillermo Mito Pereira (CHI)

Corey Conners (CAN)

Mackenzie Hughes (CAN)

Victor Perez (FRA)

Antoine Rozner (FRA)

Garrick Higgo (RSA)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA)

Siwoo Kim (KOR)

Sebastian Munoz (COL)

Emiliano Grillo (ARG)

Thomas Detry (BEL)

Alex Noren (SWE)

Thomas Pieters (BEL)

Kalle Samooja (FIN)

Sami Valimaki (FIN)

Matthias Schwab (AUT)

Sepp Straka (AUT)

Rasmus Hojgaard (DEN)

Jazz Janewattananond (THA)

Jhonattan Vegas (VEN)

Francesco Molinari (ITA)

Guido Migliozzi (ITA)

Henrik Norlander (SWE)

Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP)

Jon Rahm (ESP)

Joachim Hansen (DEN)

Rory Sabbatini (SVK)

Ryan Fox (NZL)

C.T. Pan (TPE)

Adrian Meronk (POL)

Maximilian Kieffer (GER)

Hurly Long (GER)

Juvic Pagunsan (PHI)

Ondrej Lieser (CZE)

Scott Vincent (ZIM)

Gunn Charoenkul (THA)

Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR)

Rafael Campos (PUR)

Gavin Green (MAS)

Carl Yuan (CHN)

Wu Ashun (CHN)

Anirban Lahiri (IND)

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19th Hole

Butch Harmon offers club-throwing advice in funny video

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The influx of club-throwing on tour isn’t to everyone’s taste, but in a fun video Butch Harmon has offered up his advice for those who plan to partake in the act in the future.

“OK, for those of you who are temperamental and like to throw clubs; not saying I agree with it or don’t agree with it because I’ve thrown a few. But there’s an art to it.” began Harmon.

The art? Location and convenience for the retrieval.

“Number one, never throw the club sideways or backward because you have to go get it. Always throw it on the line you’re going to walk on.”

Harmon then broke down the technique, which includes his top-tip of always throwing underhand,

“But then the technique is important; you want to have a nice windup and a nice load through the club. The madder you are, the more adrenaline you have, the further you’ll throw it. This one will probably only go about 50 yards, but here’s the technique. Good wind up, move into it, and always underhand.”

Check out Harmon’s advice, plus his perfect club throw in the video below!

 

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A post shared by Danielle Kang (@daniellekang)

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