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Stenson and Spieth asked if they could cut round short after wrong tee penalties

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When things go wrong, they start going very wrong.

It’s not as if both Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth were playing well. In fact, as the first pairing out for Sunday’s final round of the Hero World Challenge they probably both wanted to go home anyway and then the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back occurred.

Having both teed off at the par-five ninth hole and making their way down the fairway, they were chased by a rules official who questioned whether they had hit their opening drives off the correct tee.

2019 Hero winner Stenson described their reaction to Golf Channel. “We went down to our balls and the rules official said, did you hit off the right tee box? We looked back and we saw that there was another one forward and left.”

Despite apparently being posted in the locker room and mentioned all week, both players had seemingly been unaware that officials had decided to use their option and switch the tee with that of the par-three 17th, some 20-odd yards front and left of where they had actually struck their openers.

Interestingly, playing partner Spieth commented, “I actually didn’t think we were going to get penalized because it’s a charity event, but then I realized there’s world ranking involved and all that…… the frustrating part for us now is that every other group they’re making sure to tell them, but for us they didn’t. It obviously didn’t matter for us, which is fortunate I think for those guys.”

To be fair, it probably didn’t matter at all given both were miles off the pace and well behind even the 15th ranked player, but the confusion meant they were forced to go back to the correct tee, eventually recording a double and triple-bogey between them.

To demonstrate just how bizarre the situation was, they contributed a sadly humorous ending to the story.

“My question [to the rules official] was if we could just finish 19th and 20th and leave after 9, but that wasn’t an option, either,” Stenson said.

“Yeah, he did,” Spieth confirmed. “He asked them if we could just go to the airport and I said I’m down.

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  1. BILL

    Dec 7, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    I love Stenson….Great sense of humor.

  2. Carloyn

    Dec 7, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Paying these guys a minimum of $100,000 for just showing up and they have the nerve to think they could just cut their round short and go home??? Tiger those two guys are out next year right????

    • James Kendzior

      Dec 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm

      You realize they were joking, right? Guess not.

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19th Hole

‘You drink enough, you’ll be fine’ – Brooks Koepka defends PGA Championship beer prices

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Earlier in the week, a picture of the menu from Southern Hills was released. Many fans were outraged about the exorbitant price of beer and water, although some defended it.

Via @codymcbridenlu

A few PGA Tour players have now weighed in on the high prices, and it seems they too have differing opinions.

Justin Thomas said via Twitter that he disagreed with the prices and that you “Gotta treat the fans better than that”.

Brooks Koepka, on the other hand, defended the prices of the beer.

“Yeah. Michelob Ultra is 18 bucks, but it’s a tall boy,” he said, referring to the fact that the cans of beer at Southern Hills are 25 oz. “It’s bigger than the normal 12 ounces, 16 ounces. It’s bigger than the normal ones, so you’ll be all right. You drink enough, you’ll be fine.”

It’s worth noting that Michelob is one of Koepka’s sponsors.

The tournament officials also defended the menu prices.

“We do have a new concession area, but we also have a new ticketing pricing offering for all the spectators this year, which includes basically as much food and non-alcoholic beverage as they want included in the price of the ticket,” Kerry Haigh, Chief Championships Officer of the PGA of America, said. “Starting Thursday, spectators will be able to drink non-alcoholic beverages and as much food as they want for the price of their ticket. For those on the practice days, all spectators can bring in bottled water, and starting Thursday we’ll have refills on water.

“The pricing of the product is sort of comparable to stadium events. We’re comfortable with where we are, and we hope spectators will come out and have a great time and a great experience.”

Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, said these prices may be re-evaluated in the future though.

“It’s a new model for us, right, so at the end of it we’ll go back and, like we always do, try to figure out if it worked or didn’t work and what we can do better and raise the bar.”

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19th Hole

How Mickelson gambled during tournaments with announcer who was throwing ‘wadded-up twenties out of tower’

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We will not see defending PGA champion Phil Mickelson at Southern Hills this week but his name is still creating headlines just a day before the first tee time.

It cannot be a coincidence that the release of Alan Shipnuck’s no-holds-barred biography was timed for this very week, but it is the nature of the content, plus previously reported excerpts from the book, that make PGA Championship week more than the names on the entry list.

Just a few days ago, we reported on a part of the bio that concentrates on a story told by golf scribe John Hawkins.

In the short piece, Hawkins alleges Mickelson made large numbers bets on college basketball games in a brief space of time, so many that he felt the now-maligned player to be “showing off”.

The book makes many further allegations, including a segment involving outspoken former professional and announcer Gary McCord.

In that section of the book, McCord alleges gambling took place on the putting green during tournaments, and in the most bizarre fashion.

“When I was in the TV tower, every time Phil got to my hole, Bones (caddie Jim Mackay) would look up at me and I would flash the odds,” McCord said. “If Phil had a 15-footer, I’d flash three fingers, which meant the odds were 3-1. If he was 60 feet, I’d give him 2-1 on a two-putt. Bones would go down and whisper in his ear and Phil would look up at me and shake his head, yes or no.”

“I can’t tell you how many wadded-up twenties I threw out of the tower until the Tour found out about it and I got word through CBS I was no longer allowed to gamble with Phil while up in the tower.”

Previous to these allegations, Mickelson’s gambling habits were the stuff of hearsay, but this is perhaps the wildest Phil related gambling story of them all.

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19th Hole

‘I don’t trust Shipnuck’ – Former PGA champ hits out at author of new Mickelson biography

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He may not be teeing it up at Southern Hills this week to defend his title, but Phil Mickelson is still creating plenty of buzz ahead of the second major of the year.

This week, the 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem has revealed that he wants nothing to do with Alan Shipnuck, author of the just-released unauthorised biography of Phil Mickelson.

In an interview with BoyleSports Golf Betting and GolfMagic, the now Sky Sports analyst revealed he had “enough of the sensationalism” of how the writer approached his work on the 2021 book, ‘Bud, Sweat & Tees’, a publication featuring ‘Rich Beem’s Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour’.

In the book, Shipnuck covered Beem’s rookie year alongside caddie Steve Duplantis, but the 51-year-old says that, “Even though he wrote that book, just so you know, you and I got paid the same amount for that book. After he wrote the book, we remained fairly friendly and then it got to the point where I’d had enough of the sensationalism of how he wrote it.”

Explaining why he is “not a fan,” of the author, Beem said, “I don’t trust him and if I don’t trust you, then I don’t really want to have anything to do with you. I think the one thing I base my friendships on and on who I want to talk to is ‘do I trust them?’ I don’t trust Alan. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t trust what he writes.”

“I think that he tries to sensationalist everything, but that’s just my personal opinion. Some folks love what he has to say, so it’s all good.”

In previously released excerpts from Shipnuck’s latest publication, ‘Phil. The Rip-roaring (unauthorized) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar’, the 2021 PGA winner created huge controversy as he revealed his thoughts on Saudi Arabia, the planned golf league and the effect on the PGA Tour. Since then, Mickelson has been in exile, entering this week’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills, before pulling out just a few days ago.

In the interview, Beem expressed his surprise that Mickelson took so long to withdraw from the second major of the year and hopes that he doesn’t commit to the first LIV event at the Centurion Club in two weeks’ time.

“I was surprised he (Mickelson) was even on the list. I was surprised it got as close as it did. If you look at everything surrounding Phil, and especially with that book coming out, I think that’s a pretty damning book and I think that anybody wouldn’t want to be around.” Beem said.

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