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19th Hole

“Old Man Golf Media”? Barstool Sports and some of golf’s leading journalists involved in bitter online feud

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Over the weekend, Patrick Reed’s caddie altercation ironically led to another dispute, this time on Twitter between Barstool Sports and some of the sport’s leading writers – with the former branding the established journalists as being part of “old man golf media”.

The feud began when Barstool, home to one of the most popular golf podcasts “Fore Play” which boasts over 140k followers on Twitter, took issue that ESPN’s Bob Harig hadn’t credited the outlet for a statement obtained from Reed’s caddie in the wake of his exclusion from the Presidents Cup.

ESPN writers, Harig and Michael Collins, hit back at Barstool’s Sam “Riggs” Bozoian, claiming that they had obtained the statement first.

Ultimately it appears that Kessler Kerain gave similar (if not the exact same) statement to both outlets, but the conflict was far from being finished.

A feisty battle between new-school Barstool and the older guard of golf journalism was brewing, and it was a strangely innocuous video of Tiger Woods fist-bumping Riggs down in Royal Melbourne which would instigate the row.

After Barstool shared the video with their followers and rejoiced in the experience, Harig branded Riggs a “fan boy” as well as an embarrassment, claiming his behavior was unbefitting of someone with a media credential at the event.

Harig’s reaction prompted Riggs to tell the ESPN writer, in his opinion, exactly how the two men do things differently.

Things then escalated when another Barstool member, Frankie Borelli, tweeted that he wanted “Ancer to quit the game of golf when Tiger is done with him today.” during Sunday’s singles action.

Golf Digest’s John Huggan blasted the take…

…before Borelli hit back at the journalist for being a part of “old man golf media”.

Also chiming in was Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella, who launched this stinging attack on Huggan, claiming that he “epitomizes the bitterness and negative attitude that gives the game a bad name.”

Before all settled down, Geoff Shackelford, senior writer at GolfWeek, echoed Harig’s original sentiment, cryptically describing the guys over at Barstool as “fanboys granted a media pass” in his Presidents Cup article on his website. Shackelford expanded on that view on social media late Sunday night in a series of tweets, once again referring to the video of the fist-bump with Woods.

This particular exchange ended in the invitation and acceptance of Shackelford to appear on Barstool’s podcast to discuss the difference of opinion.

The war of words has subsided for now, but it would appear to portray the seismic gap between those on the side of a new form of golf media content and those on the side of a more classical approach.

Can the two co-exist?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the dispute and see where you stand WRXers!

 

 

 

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

19th Hole

Tour pro calls Anthony Kim a ‘f*****g idiot’ following Instagram comeback post

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In what’s become a staple of his social media game over the past few seasons, DP World Tour player Eddie Pepperell took to X to call a few LIV golfers “f*****g idiots.”

The Englishman was referring to Talor Gooch’s comments regarding a Rory McIlroy potential Masters victory having an asterisk due to certain LIV players not being in the field.

“If Rory McIlroy completes his Grand Slam without some of the best players in the world, there’s just going to be an asterisk,” Gooch said to Australian Golf Digest.

In terms of Pepperell’s “haters” comment, he was referring to Anthony Kim’s Instagram post, where at the end AK says, “Hello Haters. I’m Back”.

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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy gave a very surprising answer when asked about the potential of a future LIV Golf move

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On Wednesday, Rory McIlroy appeared to tease a potential move to LIV Golf while speaking to the media.

Last week, Rory’s former agent Chubby Chandler told Bunkered that he wouldn’t be surprised to see McIlroy go to LIV for somewhere in the $950 million neighborhood.

“If you were being cynical, you might say he’s going to sign for about £750 million [around $950 million] in a month’s time with LIV because he’s paving the way that LIV’s okay now, whereas it wasn’t,” Chandler had said. “Who knows? He doesn’t need £750 million but it’s odd what he’s done and I’m sure it’s a possibility. If he does it or not, I don’t know, but if [Jon] Rahm can do it, most guys can do it.”

When asked what he thought of Chandler’s comments, the Northern Irishman played along.

“I think he’s writing a book, so there is that. I spoke to Chubby, I might have seen him in the Middle East at the start of the year.

“Never know. He might know a few things. Who knows?”

It’s likely that Rory was having a bit of fun with the media allowing the rumor to continue to swirl, but LIV fans on X certainly took the comments as a clear sign that a move to LIV could one day be on the cards for McIlroy.

The 34-year-old will tee it up on Thursday at PGA National for the Cognizant Classic at the Palm Beaches.

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19th Hole

Rickie Fowler’s offers straightforward solution to creating more of a demand for golf fans

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While speaking with the media in his pre-tournament press conference for the Cognizant Classic, Rickie Fowler speculated that there may currently be too much golf on television, with the product needing to improve.

“We’ve got to figure out a better way to entertain our fans and it come across better on TV”.

The former PLAYERS champion wondered aloud whether fans need a longer off-season for golf to get excited for it to start back up again the following season.

“If the season is kind of where it’s at with the January to August, is there ways to do different things in the fall,” Fowler said.

“We kind of have to create the want for golf. Right now, you can basically watch golf every week of the year for the most part. There’s not really an off-season.

“I feel like with other sports, people can’t wait for football preseason to start up, and that’s just preseason. The games don’t really matter a whole lot.

“Something along those lines to create a little bit more of a demand for golf because depending on how you want to talk about it, is the product potentially diluted with how much golf is available?”

When asked if he thinks there needs to be format changes, Fowler said he still thinks the events should be 72 holes with a cut.

“I think within reason [there could be format changes], but at the same time, it’s also a very traditional sport with traditional tournaments, 72 holes, cut going into the weekend.”

Rickie said he trusts that the Strategic Sports Group (SSG) will figure out a way to improve the product for fans going forward.

“I feel like ultimately we’re in the entertainment business, and we’ve got to figure out a better way to entertain our fans and it come across better on TV.

“How we do that, I don’t exactly know, but like I said, I feel like with the people that are involved, I definitely trust the guys.

“I feel like the guys – especially since they’re not just golf guys, I think they have enormous respect for the game of golf, but also they come from a lot of different avenues in sports and business, and I feel like they can help us kind of give direction on where we can or need to go.”

Fowler will tee it up in the Cognizant Classic on Thursday at PGA National.

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