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19th Hole

‘She just has that fire’ – Tiger compares Nelly Korda to Serena Williams in glowing appraisal

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Hopefully most have seen the wonderfully warming video showing the current world number one ranked ladies player, Nelly Korda, asking The Greatest for a photo at the parent/sibling shindig, and leaving the scene with a huge fan’s grin and an “Ah, so cool!”

It is the most wonderfully warming snippet of social media and Nelly’s reaction as Tiger agrees to the shot is a delight, as is that of her brother and father, Petr, the former an ex-Australian Open tennis champ.

But what did Tiger make of it?

Having inquired after her group’s round and score, Tiger was later asked how much he knew of the Olympic gold medalist and five-time overall winner in 2021.

Reeling off her accomplishments, he noted he had watched much of her play – no doubt in between episodes of The Unit – and spoke glowingly about the Olympic champ.

“She just has that fire, that inner drive…It’s just fun to see someone at that age succeed as fast as she has and earned it. Her golf swing, how fluid it is… her temperament on the golf course… Some players will dog it here and there. But not Nelly.”

Tiger also discussed the dynamic between the 23-year-old and her older sister, Jessica, who has also had a brilliant year on Tour, comparing the sisters to Serena and Venus Williams. A comparison that the siblings will no doubt appreciate given the deep tennis roots in their family.

Check out Tiger’s full praise of Nelly and all of her success at 7:00 in the video below.

Tiger has come out of the past weekend with as high a status in golf as he ever had, and no doubt it hasn’t done Nelly any harm either.

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  1. Pingback: Lexi Thompson’s actions following Women’s PGA defeat spark fierce debate – GolfWRX

  2. El Tiger esta Loco

    Apr 1, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    I don’t think so Tiger. The Williams are always playing the race card and embarrassing our country overseas.

  3. Pingback: ‘Made the cut last week and didn’t break even’ – Danielle Kang on financial realities of life on LPGA Tour – GolfWRX

  4. Pingback: Close friend of Tiger says he doesn’t think Woods will tee it up on Tour in 2022 – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

Lexi Thompson’s actions following Women’s PGA defeat spark 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 women 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 incorrect signing of 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 play-off 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 at 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 play-off 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 26th June will surely not be  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 life her over-due 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, a result of the officials initially putting the final group on the clock.

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 improving 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!”

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 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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19th Hole

Freak incident leads LPGA pro to finish round putting with her wedge

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Golf viewers have seen plenty of tantrums on the golf course.

Go back to the likes of John Daly and Jon Rahm for not exactly hiding their frustrations with a bad shot, whilst the list of players throwing or damaging clubs is manifold. Indeed, just five days ago, recordings showed Grayson Murray snapping a club over his knee after a wayward approach at the US Open in Brookline.

It’s a bit more unusual on the womens’ tours, although Brooke Henderson put up a show at the 2018 KPMG PGA Championship when throwing her club on to her bag and snapping it, rendering it impossible to play with.

LPGA player Emma Talley isn’t in that league and usually takes it out on her putter by rapping it against her left foot. On Thursday, however, she damaged her flat stick on the 6th green at Congressional, scene of this season’s KPMG event, some four years after Henderson’s misdemeanour.

The former US Women’s Amateur champion admitted it surprised her, as she hadn’t rapped the club with that much force:

“I hit my putter on my toe, but it wasn’t even that hard. That’s why I’m so upset because I wish I would have broken it out of madness, but it wasn’t even that hard. That’s what sucked.”

TV coverage showed viewers the 28-year-old putting with a wedge from that moment on whilst Todd Garry of the PGA of America explained:

“So, Emma, on the 6th green, missed a short putt and kind of hit her foot with her putter, and she loosened the clubhead. She could continue to use it throughout her round but she decided to use her wedge, so she must replace….she has to get that fixed before starting her round tomorrow, but she could have kept using her putter.”

Coverage then showed Talley in tears after missing a gettable putt on the 8th, her 17th of the day, and finished 6-over, some four shots off the cut line.

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