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19th Hole

Rickie Fowler considers a new drop technique that is a wonder to behold

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Rickie Fowler may have gotten hit with a penalty for an improper drop last week in Mexico, but the 30-year-old wasn’t about to make the same mistake today during his opening round at the Honda Classic.

Though that news may not surprise you, the technique he considered using to execute the drop more than likely will.

Fowler ultimately elected to take a more conventional route to dropping the ball after conferring with a rules official.

You can see the full scene play out in the video below from Skratch.

Following his penalty for his illegal shoulder-height drop at the WGC-Mexico, Fowler called the rule change “terrible,” and one that he believes will “definitely get changed” in the future.

If he felt he didn’t go far enough in those remarks, Fowler has certainly made it clear how he feels about the rule now.

 

 

 

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Glenn

    Mar 7, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Ricky is awesome. A true gent with a good sense of humour. Plays at a great pace. Never whines or loses his cool when things don’t go well. He has been through a ton in his career. One of my favorites to watch. Anybody who wants to take a shot at him for his gesture needs to lighten up. Its OK to have a laugh once in a while. Ricky took his lumps (and dumps) and moved on. You all should too.
    The rule is another debate.

    • Chuck

      Mar 11, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Rickie’s whole point — his whole purpose — was to ridicule the USGA.

      So I abso-freaking-lutley regard Rickie as totally fair game for ridicule himself, since this is the posture that RICKIE has taken.

      And more than anything, if there is a meeting between the USGA, and Fowler, and Justin Thomas and any others, PLEASE let it be broadcast live on Golf Channel, because I really want to watch the two millennials take on the best Rules experts in the USGA.

  2. joro

    Mar 6, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Be careful Ricky, the Ball was a couple of inches above your knees.

  3. Tom

    Mar 6, 2019 at 12:47 am

    USGA pulled these new rules out of their ashes, so Rickey’s drop is perfect response.

  4. Tom

    Mar 4, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Gianni, “World’s Strongest Man” contestant.

  5. Dave

    Mar 3, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Haha! This brought the ninnies out for sure. Gave me a good laugh. A bunch of people will want to turn this into hearings and a penalty… Whatever you do, don’t watch Caddyshack…

  6. Happy Duffer

    Mar 2, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Pointless and childish… failure to launch once again. If he wanted to make a point he has ample opportunity to do so where he would be taken seriously… no one is going to take this nonsense seriously or care that he did it.

  7. Mike

    Mar 2, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Ricky ‘the athlete’ can’t bend at the waist and drop the ball? How does he was his toes in the shower?

  8. Jon G

    Mar 1, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Your sponsors and the 1st Tee thank you Ricky ir growing the game. Now kids will follow you childish behavior. You need to grow up and not be the poster child for stupidity. You dishonor the game.

  9. Rewp

    Mar 1, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Lol, everyone in panic about new drop rule. Same thing happened when changed from over shoulder behind u to drop from shoulder height.
    It’s changed to make it easier for the amateur, but a few immature pros are bitching and complaining. So let’s take away caddies, yardage books, etc, lol, I can hear the pros leaving the tour… Lol

    • JT

      Mar 6, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      I believe your comment is tongue in cheek, but leave the tour? they (the vocal pro’s) play a game for a living. a rather good living at that. no matter how much they dislike the rule changes, whine and moan, at the end of the day, they aren’t leaving the tour.

  10. N D Boondocks

    Mar 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Just adjust the rule to ‘between knee height and shoulder height’. There… fixed.

    No, wait, who’s height are we talking about? Maybe that means Michael Jordan’s knee drop will still be higher than my shoulder drop.

    Only way to relly fix this… tape measures. 18.375 inches ought to make everybody happy. Whew!

  11. Greg

    Mar 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    I feel this rule is an improvement over the shoulder height drop, it will just take a while to set in that’s all. All of us have had to drop from shoulder height before and the results can be disastrous. You drop it and it rolls into a divot or it gets buried in the high rough. The new way ensures you will most likely get a favorable lie since you are basically placing the ball gently down. My issue is that the rule should be that you can take either a shoulder height or knee height drop, whatever you desire.

  12. Mike Cleland

    Mar 1, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Good for Rickie! Someone needs to start making fun of these stupid new rules & the even stupider clowns that keep making them. The blue blazers aren’t happy unless they are on the front page of every golf event & won’t be satisfied until everyone is required to carry a an attorney or two in their group to interpret some rule on every hole.

    • joe

      Mar 2, 2019 at 7:24 am

      a ridiculous comment for sure. how hard is it for these “athletes” to bend at the waste and drop the ball? Really….

      Fowler had a brain fart and he’s trying to blame someone else. It’s just sad.

  13. Chuck

    Mar 1, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Was this a PGA Tour event? Or was it a new season of “Jackass”?

  14. HKO

    Mar 1, 2019 at 2:44 am

    finally the terminology ‘drop’ in the game of golf makes sudden sense. now, #whysoserious ppl ? he shall still stay young and witty even after y’all are dead rotten still loud whiny from the graveyards.

  15. Christopher

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Rickie’s new technique would be legal wouldn’t it? His lower legs where straight and the ball was level with his knees. There’s nothing in the rules that objects to this.

    I think all PGA players should adopt this until they change such a ridiculous rule change. I think players should be able to place the ball on the fairway and drop the ball from shoulder height for everywhere else.

    Surprised he played his shot in Mexico before a player/official told him to drop correctly.

  16. Matthew Schulze

    Feb 28, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    If we can’t mock superfluous rule changes in ridiculous ways, what do we have left?

  17. BJ

    Feb 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

    You guys are funny. Come to work with me for a day….Then youll understand how not serious this is, have some perspective.

    Your b!tching about nothing

  18. John

    Feb 28, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    My take…grow up! I will say that I think that the drop rule should be, “No higher than the waist, no lower than the knee.” But to go through all these machinations just seems childish IMHO.

    • A. Commoner

      Feb 28, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      Absolutely agree! Brainless behavior.

    • La

      Mar 1, 2019 at 1:07 am

      John,
      Again, you misunderstand the new rules.
      Once you drop from the knee height and it only rolls a few inches, there is no re-drop with most situation on flatter lies, so it eliminates the need to drop again and then a placement thereafter if the ball bounces away a few feet.
      With the old shoulder-height drop, too many times it ended up with a placing of the ball, which took the extra minute or so that the new drop rule saves.

      • Jake 2

        Mar 1, 2019 at 1:46 pm

        But I was told by a tour player the reason they like the old rule is that it is much more likely that they will get to place the ball as opposed to the new rule.

    • Jose Pinatas

      Mar 1, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      Jesus H dude. Take a joke. Rickie gonna be Rickie, and if you don’t like it, don’t watch. Deal with him acting how he want’s, he is a grown ass man. If it obides by the current USGA rules and guys wanna drop nuggets like turds between their legs that’s their choice.

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19th Hole

16 LIV Golf pros threaten legal action against DP World Tour; DP World Tour responds

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16 LIV Golf players have threatened the DP World Tour with legal action after being banned from the Scottish Open and fined £100,000.

The 16 players will likely include Europeans such as Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer. In the letter obtained by “The Telegraph”, the players said that the Tour’s actions to ban and fine players “will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour.”

The letter ‘implored’ the DP World Tour to “reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions” and rescind the fines and suspensions by 5pm on Friday. If the Tour doesn’t rescind the bans and fines by that time, the players will be taking immediate legal action. “If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs,” the letter states.

The letter also criticizes the DP World Tour’s decision to partner with the PGA TOUR for the Scottish Open and Barracuda Championship. Due to their alliance, some DP World Tour players have been forced out of the Scottish Open to make room for PGA Tour players. Therefore, some DP World Tour players will have to fly to Kentucky to play for a smaller purse in the week before the 150th Open Championship.

Additionally, the 16 players criticized the DP World Tour’s new deal with the PGA Tour that will see the top 10 players on the Race to Dubai rankings earn PGA Tour cards.

“That the DP World Tour top performers will now earn PGA Tour cards serves only to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and depletes the DP World Tour’s top rising talent even further”.

Full letter here:

“In Mr Pelley’s latest communication, he uses the statement that every action in life comes with a consequence. We agree, and we are concerned that the actions of the Tour against us, LIV Golf, and golf in general will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour, a tour and an organisation that, despite our recent interactions, we care deeply for.

“The intention of this letter is not to further divide us, but to respond to Tour statements and to pose questions that the Tour should answer and we should discuss in detail. Instead of spending our time, energy, financial resources, and focus on appeals, injunctions, and lawsuits, we would implore you, the custodians of the DP World Tour, to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions, and instead focus our energies on forging a path forward that is better for the DP World Tour members and the game of golf.

“To this end, we ask that you rescind your fines and suspensions by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 1, 2022. In addition, we represent over 5 percent of the DP World Tour membership and, under its articles of association, we ask you to convene a meeting of Tour membership to discuss these important matters further. If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs.

“We appreciate that the argument being put forward is that the ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour will provide overall benefit to DP World Tour members – hence the competitive threat to the PGA Tour being treated differently when it comes to releases and other matters.

“To begin with, we do not accept that protecting the PGA Tour through this alliance could in any way justify this disparate treatment. Even if it could, what are these benefits? This a question we have asked for many months.

“Thus far, the option to play the Barracuda Championship instead of the Scottish Open doesn’t appear to be one that benefits the membership at all. Ultimately, approximately 40 DP World Tour members who would have been eligible for the Scottish Open on the DP World tour will now not be eligible, and instead will only have the option to go and play on the PGA Tour in Kentucky the week before The Open, for less money but at a higher cost to participate.

“In addition, PGA Tour players have been encouraged to play the Scottish Open through a stipend to cover travel costs, but the same benefit is not afforded to DP World Tour members?! That the DP World Tour top performers will now earn PGA Tour cards serves only to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and depletes the DP World Tour’s top rising talent even further. And without regard to whether this collaboration is lawful, would this collaboration be happening without LIV Golf entering the market?”

In response, the DP World Tour released this statement on Friday morning:

“There has been a leak to the media of a letter we received on behalf of a number of LIV Golf players which contains so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged.

“Before joining LIV Golf, players knew there would be consequences if they chose money over competition. Many of them at the time understood and accepted that. Indeed, as one player named in the letter said in a media interview earlier this year; ‘If they ban me, they ban me.’ It is not credible that some are now surprised with the actions we have taken.

“The letter claims that these players ‘care deeply’ for the DP World Tour. An analysis of the past participation statistics on our Tour in recent years of several of the leading players named, suggests otherwise.

“One player in particular named in the note has only played six Rolex Series events in the past five years. Another one, only four. I wish many of them had been as keen to play on our Tour then as they seem to be now, based on the fact they have either resigned their membership of the PGA TOUR or, if they are still in membership, have been suspended indefinitely.

“Furthermore, given how deeply these players say they care about the DP World Tour, perhaps some of them could have played in Ireland this week in support of our new title sponsor, in particular one player who gave us a signed commitment to play at Mount Juliet.

“With that player currently in action at Pumpkin Ridge, you can imagine the allegation in the letter that we are in the wrong, is hard to accept.

“We also take great exception to an allegation made near the end of the letter which states we are somehow playing ‘second fiddle’ to the PGA TOUR. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“We held a player meeting in Ireland on Tuesday where we outlined in great detail all the many benefits of our expanded relationship with the PGA TOUR.

“One of those is an unprecedented ten cards on offer to the PGA TOUR, cards that many of the players named in this letter desperately wanted to attain in the early stages of their careers. Why now be critical of those trying to do the same?

“The letter also expresses supposed concern about the future of the DP World Tour. Rest assured no-one should have any worries on that score.

“The DP World Tour is a vibrant, independent and global Tour with increasing and guaranteed prize fund growth over the next five years. We have fantastic tournaments across the year including a host of wonderful national Opens, all played in front of huge crowds, illustrated perfectly by this week’s Horizon Irish Open.

“Finally, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on any potential legal matters.

“I will simply reiterate that our Members’ Regulations which have been in force for more than 30 years, have been accepted by all the players, are there to protect all of our members, and we will use them to take all necessary steps to protect their interests.

“The sanctions for those members who knowingly broke our rules by playing at the Centurion Club without a release are proportionate, fair and, I believe, considered necessary by the majority of our members.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson makes a couple of interesting equipment changes for LIV Golf’s Portland event

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For many years, golf fans watched Phil Mickelson using what may have been one of the shortest putters on tour, but while he won the PGA Championship with his trusty Odyssey Milled Blade “Phil Mickelson” he’s been tinkering with the length for a while.

Last September at the Fortinet Championship, Phil was spotted with a new, extended, grip on the flat stick, allowing him to create an ‘arm-lock’ style that made him feel as if, “I’ll get on a roll and just start making a lot.”

So to this week’s LIV tournament at Pumpkin Ridge, and the six-time major winner is experimenting once again.

Twitter’s ‘Phil Mickelson Tracker’ posted a photo of his extended putter with the one-word exclamation “#Armlock!”

The replies were mostly positive, suggesting it can only help the three-time Masters champion improve past some poor putting stats. Indeed, since a standout gain of over 12 shots putting at Kiawah Island, Lefty has lost strokes to the field in nine of his last 12 recorded starts, with his worst performance being a loss of over ten shots at the BMW Championship last August. No wonder he lobbed on the extra rubber at Napa.

With his Callaway deal on hold, Mickelson has also made a change in his wedges.

Lefty has a Ping Eye2 wedge in the bag this week, with the model being an Eye2 XG (a reproduction of the original Eye 2 but with 2010 conforming grooves) which he has used occasionally since 2014. 

Mickelson sits T30 after the opening day’s action in Portland, after shooting a disappointing round of 3 over par on Thursday.

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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia’s personal relationship has reportedly turned toxic

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In 2014 Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were the so-called ‘dream team’ of the Ryder Cup.

The pair totted up a combined total of 5-and-a-half points of the 16-and-a-half won by the victorious European team, beating the pairing of Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan in the second day foursomes before both winning their singles.

Their relationship was so solid that McIlroy was honored to be an usher at Garcia’s wedding in 2017, but recently it’s all gone sour, with Golf Monthly reporting a “complete deterioration” of the relationship.

A week ago, it was widley reported that the Spaniard had told his Northern Irish friend that they were now “finally getting paid what we deserve,” a comment that received the reply, “Sergio. We’re golfers. We don’t deserve to be paid anything.”

According to Golf Monthly, the relationship has now “turned personal,” with the world number three unhappy that his old friend has dedicated himself to the Saudi-backed tour, putting the selection process for the Ryder Cup into confusion. The rhetoric between the two is reported to be “bitter and personal.”

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, as he was hacking out of the rough after a ruling, Garcia was heard muttering, “I can’t wait to leave this tour,” before being confirmed as one of the initial participants of the LIV Golf Series.

Whilst it is unclear exactly what the sanctions are with regards to the Ryder Cup 2023, the way the PGA and DP Tours are moving, there is a distinct possibility that LIV players will be seriously affected – though Garcia has made clear that he wants to be a part of it.

At a press conference before the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, Garcia stated, “I haven’t resigned from the European Tour because I would like to still be a member. I’m European, I love the European Tour. I played it for 23 years. Obviously we’re going to have to wait and see what the European Tour does. But I definitely would like to keep my membership and get my chance to make the Ryder Cup team because I love that event. But we’ll wait and see what happens over there.”

Whilst recent LIV press conferences on site have caused their own controversy, Garcia has prompted his own backlash.

After reportedly delivering an anti-DP World Tour rant at the BMW International in Germany last week, Golf Monthly reports that one tour player commented:

“They (LIV players) all think they are untouchable, and they all think the tours can’t do anything. I think they’re all about to realize they’re wrong. It is short sighted to think regulations can’t change and that there isn’t a lot of ill-feeling towards them. I think they’ve miscalculated quite dramatically.

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