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19th Hole

‘Hey Cypress, we took your best shot!’ – Golfer plays Cypress Point in 70mph howling wind

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“I do not expect anyone will ever have the opportunity of constructing another course like Cypress Point as I do not suppose anywhere in the world is there such a glorious combination of rocky coast, sand dunes pine woods and cypress trees.”

So said Alistair Mackenzie, original designer of the course at Pebble Beach, California.

But whilst we’ve seen some difficult weather conditions at the main course during the AT&T, nothing compares to the conditions faced by Greg Brunner when playing Cypress Point.

Posting as @brunner44, Greg tweeted a video showing him being almost blown away by 70+ winds and driving rain, but when you have traveled from Iowa and get a tee time at one of the highest-rated courses in America, you offer to take Mother Nature’s best shot!

Watch his slightly crazy video below.

The Golden state? Nah, it’s golf!

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19th Hole

Justin Thomas hits out at rules officials at Women’s PGA Championship

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With two holes remaining in the final round of the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club outside of Washington, D.C., the final group of Lexi Thompson, In Gee Chun and Hye-Jin Choi were put on the clock.

The women’s PGA has caused the hot topic of slow play in golf to resurface. The pace was also sluggish on Saturday, with the last group Saturday played in 5 hours and 45 minutes, causing the last half hour of coverage to be bumped off of NBC.

The reigning men’s PGA Champion, Justin Thomas took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the golfers being put on the clock while chasing a major championship.

Thomas did say he was “all for helping slow play”, but it would appear he believes pace should be maintained in some circumstances but not in others.

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19th Hole

Lexi Thompson’s behavior following Women’s PGA defeat sparks fierce debate

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Lexi Thompson has had one hell of a golf career.

At 12 years old, she became the youngest ever woman to take part in the US Women’s Open, and at 16 she became the then youngest ever winner of an LPGA tournament.

With the golfing world at her feet, the star junior player won six events by the end of 2016, including her first major – the Kraft Nabisco in 2014 – and looked set for superstardom.

It hasn’t all gone to plan, though, with the pain continuing into last night’s final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship when, after leading by two shots, she finished with two bogeys and a par to lose by a shot to In Gee Chun, another who had let a lead slip through Sunday’s tense final 18.

Majors have proven a tough gig for 27-year-old Thompson.

Lexi led the 2017 running of the first major of the season, the ANA Inspiration, into the back nine, before being notified of a four-shot penalty for misplacing her ball on the 17th hole of her third round – two shots for putting the ball back in the wrong place, and two for incorrectly signing her scorecard – all via notification from a television viewer.

In tears, the former World Number One fought back to birdie the final hole, finally losing a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the only time Lexi has found things conspire against her at the wrong time.

During the 2021 season, she blew a five-shot lead the down the stretch of the US Women’s Open with a series of errors, whilst in November of the same year, she lost her third playoff of the year when failing to capitalize on yet another lead, this time at the Women’s Pelican Championship.

Shrugging that off by saying she is working on all aspects of the game and feels good, Sunday the 26th of June will surely not be a day she will want to keep in the memory banks.

As mentioned, after In Gee had played nervously throughout the opening holes, Lexi found herself in front going down the stretch and hot favorite to finally lift her overdue second major.

Winning is hard, golf is hard, and it just didn’t happen. Again.

If losing (yes, that’s sadly the right word) wasn’t enough, Lexi was then fined $2000 for slow play after her round.

Lexi, perhaps unsurprisingly, refused to talk to the media after coming off the course and, naturally, social media has had a field day with both instances.

Justin Thomas took to Twitter to plead: “I’m all for helping slow play, but putting those ladies on the clock with 2 holes left trying to win a major seems like a good read the room situation and don’t put them on the clock.”

Zephyr Melton of Golf.com was tweeting the main twists and turns of last night’s final round and noted Lexi’s refusal to speak to the media as “not a good look.”

Whilst he admitted that she did come out and sign hundreds of autographs after, the replies to the initial tweet were many and varied.

The majority called for the media to “give her space”, whilst a good few gave the comparison to Naomi Osaka, the number one tennis player who refused to speak to the media at the French Open before being told she would face expulsion if not doing so.

Back then, Osaka said she had witnessed players breaking down after questioning by the press, and called for prioritizing the player’s mental health.

The question must be, is a player obligated to talk to the media covering an event?

According to one respondent:

It’s called being a professional and facing the music when you choked away a major championship (again, I might add). You owe it to the people who supported you & the entire country! Osaka and her have a lot to be ashamed of. You would never see this happen w/ Billy Jean King!”

While another countered, saying:

“The media overestimates how much people really want to hear what athletes have to say following devastating losses. I’d rather give them their privacy and let them talk after they’ve had time to process.”

Did she choke? Unquestionably.

Does she need to be questioned about it just minutes after doing so, not that long after throwing away a couple of similar chances and answering it all back then?

Leave that to you, GolfWRX readers.

*Photo courtesy of @TheAmyRodgers

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19th Hole

2 big European names reportedly in talks with LIV Golf

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Over the past few days, it’s been revealed that Matthew Wolff and the world’s number two ranked amateur Eugenio Chacarra have signed with LIV Golf.

Although Wolff has struggled this season, the 23-year-old already has a PGA Tour win and was once thought to be a rising star in the golf world.

Now, we have more speculation on two more notable names who will seemingly make the jump to LIV Golf in the coming days.

The Times is reporting that “there is speculation around Tommy Fleetwood, whose wife and manager, Clare Craig, was at the Centurion Club. There is also speculation that Henrik Stenson’s management team has been in talks with LIV.”

Stenson’s case is an interesting one. The Swede is set to be the European Ryder Cup Team’s captain next year in Italy. It’s been previously stated that any golfer who joins LIV Golf will not be able to compete in or captain for the Ryder Cup. It appears that Stenson will be giving that up.

One DP World Tour official stated, “should Henrik cross to the other side, he will not be captain at next year’s Ryder Cup.”

Fleetwood’s reported departure is another major blow for golf. Although he’s famously come up short thus far on the PGA Tour, he has a decorated DP World Tour record with five victories including two Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships. The Englishman has also been a massive fan favorite on both tours.

According to a tweet by Telegraph reporter, James Corrigan, “there were loads and loads of golfers’ agents at Centurion for the first LIV event”.

It appears likely that more names will continue to surface each week as the PGA Tour season begins to wind down.

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