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Kevin Chappell cleverly uses rules to his advantage at Sony Open

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Golf rules can be incredibly tedious.

However, an intense knowledge of the rules, sub-rules and decisions can often pay dividends, especially if a player doesn’t entirely agree with an on-course official.

Kevin Chappell, currently on a medical exemption and with potentially only a handful of events away from retirement, showed at the Sony Open that there is nothing like an experienced head to get the best out of a round.

After opening with a 63, the 35-year-old wasn’t able to keep pace with the low scoring that occurred for the next three days but showed during the third round that he will never leave a shot out there because of the rule book.

On the 9th hole, the two-time winner had already taken relief from a cart path after an errant tee shot and asked for a similar ruling as he approached the destination of his approach – an almost bare patch in chipping distance from the hole.

After the rules official, Ken Tackett, had refused the initial plea for ground-under-repair, Chappell then asked, ”What about the cart tracks?” and received the same shake of the head.

In went Chappell again. He took another stance and asked, ”That’s not casual water?” Tackett viewed the stance from behind and for the third time refused relief.

”Can you look on the side here?” requested the player, and the official moved just in front of the player, this time allowing not only relief from casual water but also allowing Chappell to lift and clean his ball.

Of course, he then chipped to under seven feet and holed the birdie putt.

If at first you don’t succeed, know your rules and keep going.

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19th Hole

Multiple PGA champ says ‘Phil was not missed’ at Champions Dinner

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The PGA Championship’s past champions’ dinner on Tuesday was a bit different than usual. Phil Mickelson, the tournament’s defending champion was nowhere to be found.

At a typical PGA Championship, Mickelson would have hosted the past champions’ dinner. The duties would include picking the menu and giving gifts to those in attendance. This year, those duties fell to the PGA of America due to Phil’s absence.

According to former champion Dave Stockton, Mickelson was “not missed”.

“It was a fun evening. Phil was not missed,” said Dave Stockton, who won the 1970 and ’76 PGA Championships. “I think Phil would have been a big distraction. The story here this week is the PGA.”

Stockton is partly responsible for having the champions’ dinner at the PGA Championship include only past winners, which is something that started last year at Kiawah Island.

“At Kiawah last year we had I think six or seven people in the room besides just players, and like we did last night, we sat around and they can’t separate us out because there’s so many players, former champions, that it was unbelievable,” Stockton said. “We ended the night, and everybody stayed. I think it blew the PGA officers away.”

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19th Hole

Major champ calls for audio release of bombshell Mickelson interview

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On Wednesday, GolfWRX reported on an excerpt of 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem’s interview with Golf Magic and Boylesports Latest Golf Betting, in which he doesn’t hold back his view on Alan Shipnuck, author of the recently published biography of Phil Mickelson.

Put simply, Beem said, “I don’t trust Alan. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t trust what he writes,” and the theme has continued today with more details of the interview that he had with the bookmaker’s blog.

Whilst accepting the subject of the book, Phil Mickelson, has made errors and will need to ask for a deal of forgiveness to be allowed back on the PGA Tour, Beem has doubts about the context of the controversial comments that have turned the golf world upside down over the last couple of months.

Mickelson has become a (self?) exiled player since calling LIV Golf’s Saudi backers “scary…to deal with” and advising that they were a way of leveraging with the PGA Tour and their “obnoxious greed.”

Having been unhappy with the way Shipnuck handled the coverage of his rookie year in his 2003 publication, ‘Bud, Sweat & Tees’ – “I think that he tries to sensationalist everything,” – Beem wants some clearance on the circumstances of the controversial comments that appeared in the latest tome.

“What was printed by Alan Shipnuk, I want to be clear on this, I want to hear the audio,” Beem told the bookmaker site. “I want to hear exactly what Phil said and I want to hear the context of what he said because the written word is so different than the spoken word that you can take it in any context you want.”

“If you write me a letter, I can read that letter in so many different ways trying to figure out the way you wrote it. I want to hear what he said and how he said it before I really determine how I feel because I look at the source with a little disdain – I’m not a fan. ”

“Once I hear the context, I could probably make a better determination, but it’s hard for me to comment much more on Phil. He’s always been a unique character on the PGA Tour, and there’s a thousand stories out there as we all probably know.”

With nobody knowing for sure where we will see Mickelson next tee it up, Beemer has some advice for the 2021 PGA Champion should he wish to come back to the main tour.

“To go out and to try and redeem yourself, then what you need to do is become a model citizen. You need to come back, hat in hand at the PGA Tour if that’s where your allegiance is, and you need to apologise to every single player on the range.”

“You know, ‘Hey, listen, sorry for having this controversy, didn’t mean it to distract from you and this great tour that we’re part of’, because there are a lot more things to the PGA Tour that, besides the money they play for, are funnelled in.”

“You can give me a cheque for $5 million for winning a tournament, but the things that I get from the PGA Tour are so much more valuable in some respects. And there’s a laundry list of them.”

The current PGA champion is the first non-injured player of the modern era to miss the defence of his title, and with just three weeks to go before the first LIV event in London, we are still in the dark  as to where he next tees it up.

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19th Hole

‘This is why some people hate golf’ – Golfer suffers incredibly cruel disqualification

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A golfer has been disqualified from the USGA 4-ball this morning after having two grips on his putter that were a quarter of an inch too close together.

Popular Twitter account “Monday Q Info” shared the news of the equipment violation today with the following tweet:

“If you have two grips on the putter, they have to be a minimum of 1.5 inches apart. His were 1.25 inches apart…One of the USGA officials saw it yesterday afternoon…Went back to the hotel to confirm the rule…Measured this AM in parking lot and DQ’d him.”

Former professional golfer, Will Strickler weighed in on the disqualification.

It’s been a year that continues to throw up the unlikeliest of rules violations, but this one may just be about the harshest so far of 2022.

One golf fan on Twitter probably summed up the feelings of many frustrated people reacting to the reason for the DQ, saying: “And this is why some people hate golf.”

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