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19th Hole

86-year-old Gary Player shows off remarkable club head and ball speed numbers

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Golf legend Gary Player is never one to shy away from publicity and throughout the years, has often showed how much he can bench-press, how many sit-ups he can perform, and how he can still swing the golf club like no other 70, 75, 80-year-old.

As we approach the first tee-time of the 2022 Masters, the three-time champion is readying himself to hit the ceremonial tee shot alongside fellow long-time honorary Jack Nicklaus and, for the first time, Tom Watson. The three share 11 green jackets, often duelling down the hallowed fairways of Augusta National.

On Sunday evening, the 86-year-old South African posted a video on his Twitter feed highlighting the numbers and, rightly, showing off the data.

‘The Black Knight’, so-called because of his penchant for wearing all black on the course, showed he can still drive the ball like a dream, and revealed that he still keeps aims and personal targets:

“Getting ready for Thursday morning at @TheMasters  I’ve been working hard to score below my age but I’ve been working even harder to keep my swing speed above my age. Pushing for 90mph. Here is the data for this shot …….”

The screenshot then shows a highest club speed of 87.8 mph (86.3 mph average) and ball speed of almost 130mph (127.5 mph average).

@garyplayer

Whilst some way adrift of the Bryson’s of the world, there will not be many players of 80-plus years of age getting anywhere near that figure, let alone the accuracy.

Amongst the many replies was the one that summed it up best:

“I hope I can hit the ball that well when I’m 64.”

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  17. Abe

    May 6, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    I am 88 years old and wondering if Heulio can send me some of the wacky tabacky so I too can swing pro tour speed and dream on. Can This Guy Be Real???????

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  29. geohogan

    Apr 13, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Gary player playing with 65 year old mystic, yogi and golfer
    as well as, leader of “Savesoil” movement, Sadhguru
    #savesoil

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG7vDM35jzs

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  35. I'm not that Michael

    Apr 5, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    Sitting in your trailer like Michael drinking Wild Turkey won’t do it, you have to be physically fit and active.

    • Hulieo Aeglesis

      Apr 11, 2022 at 9:38 pm

      I’m 72 years old, 6′ 2″ and weigh 172 lbs. My club head speed with a driver is 117 MHP and I have no clue what the ball speed is, spin, etc. BUT I can still keep it in the fairway with yardages between 270-280 on PUBLIC course fairways with very little rollout. My weakness? Iron accuracy on my second shots…

  36. Phil

    Apr 5, 2022 at 10:48 am

    Absolute piss missle.

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19th Hole

Charles Barkley names his LIV price and gives breakaway tour timeline ultimatum

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A week ago, we reported on David Feherty’s decision to join the LIV team and mentioned the possibility of a few of the other star commentators jumping from their current employers over to the Greg Norman-led organization.

One obvious candidate is Charles Barkley, and the former 11-time NBA All-Star turned television analyst, appeared on The Dan Patrick Show on Monday night to update viewers on the current negotiations.

Whilst Norman and Barkley have recently been out for dinner and had “really good conversation,” Barkley made it clear on Monday that a contract had not yet been offered to him and that speed was of the essence.

Set to play at the third LIV event in Bedminster this week, the TNT broadcaster clarified that there is a time limit.

“I’m gonna give them a deadline. The deadline is gonna be Thursday. I’m playing at the Pro-Am Thursday,” Barkley told the presenter.

“I’m not gonna keep TNT in limbo. I don’t think it’s fair to them. They’ve gotten plenty of play out of me coming to play out there Thursday. I’m not just gonna be no show pony. Don’t be wasting my time. I’m not gonna waste y’all time. When I leave New Jersey Thursday night, when I leave the golf course, if I don’t have an offer, it’s over.”

Previous reports suggest Barkley’s’ current contact has three years left at around $10 million per year plus endorsements, so how much would it take to get Barkley over to LIV from his current lucrative agreement?

Patrick guessed current total earnings were circa $20 million, and his guest didn’t seem in pains to deny that figure, though he suggested LIV need to come up with a much-increased offer – treble it!

After a previous comment that, “If somebody gave me $200 million, I’d kill a relative.” Barkley’s next move was of little surprise.

“If they triple it, your first question should be, ‘Charles, where we celebrating at tonight?'”

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19th Hole

Sergio Garcia says he now wants to STAY on DP World Tour…just 3 weeks after scathing X-Rated rant

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Just weeks after launching an extraordinary attack on DP World Tour players and resigning from the PGA Tour, Sergio Garcia says that he now wants to stay with the DP World Tour, with his aim to qualify for the 2023 European Ryder Cup team.

The former Masters champion spoke to ESPN just days after finishing 68th at The Open Championship, clearly having had some time between rages.

“When I finished the Open Championship [last] Sunday, I said that I was most likely going to resign my membership from the [DP World] Tour,” Garcia said. “That obviously meant not being eligible for the Ryder Cup because you have to be a member.”

“But thanks to the things that Jon Rahm said, and I had a couple of good conversations with guys on the [DP World] Tour, I’m going to hold off on that. I want to at least see what’s happening when the Ryder Cup qualification starts. See what kind of rules and eligibilities they have in there. If I agree with what they [are], I’ll definitely keep playing whatever I can on the tour and try to qualify for that Ryder Cup team. And if not, then we’ll move on. But it is definitely something that is in my mind.”

The reference to Rahm points to an interview with Spanish reporters in which the 2021 US Open winner claims that, “Because of this nonsense [the feud between the tours and LIV] there are players like (Garcia) who can’t play the Ryder Cup. That already makes me a little more angry.”

Garcia himself suggests that, despite the fines and suspensions, he is still keen on aiming for the showdown in Rome, an event that will hold a particular fascination given the potential clash of world stars that have chosen to LIV or not to LIV.

Whilst US captain Zach Johnson has been firm in his stance that LIV players will form no part of his side in 2023,  Europe has yet to announce a replacement for Henrik Stenson, ironically stripped of his captaincy for joining the Saudi-backed rebel league.

Garcia feels that the punishment of players that have jumped ship has made the episode “a little bit sadder with fines and bans,” whilst of Stenson, he commented, “What they did to Henrik. It’s a little bit sad.”

Both players will tee it up at Bedminster this week for the third LIV event of the series, but Garcia still believes there is hope for his desire to play the Rome event, telling ESPN:

“I told Keith Pelley [CEO of the DP World Tour], ‘I want to keep being a member of the DP World Tour. I want to play my minimum, still support the tour, still have my eligibilities to make Ryder Cup teams.” He said, ‘That’s great, but we got to do what’s best for us. We’ll see what that is.'”

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19th Hole

What happened to the players who played LIV’s opener that are now surplus to requirements

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LIV Golf has slowly but surely been adding notable talent to their player field as the weeks and months have gone on. While recent additions such as Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III likely have already played their best golf, there’s no denying they are notable names in the world of golf.

In Roman Numerals, LIV means 54 and the format for the series features 48 player fields battling it out over 54 holes. Considering the 48-man fields are unlikely to change (this year at least), the more notable golfers that get added to the series, the more golfers that need to be cast aside.

Which begs the question: What happens to the LIV defectors who’ve been replaced in the field by bigger names?

A handful of the players who’ve been replaced after the first event at Centurion Club are still members of the DP World Tour. Unlike the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour hasn’t suspended those who’ve chosen to play in LIV events indefinitely. Instead, they were assessed hefty fines and are still eligible to participate.

Among those who played at Centurion Club and returned to the DP World Tour after they weren’t invited to the LIV Portland event are Oliver Bekker, Oliver Fisher and Pablo Larrazabal.

Other golfers who appeared at LIV London but not LIV Portland include Kevin Yuan and Viraj Madappa who both returned to the Asian Tour, and 15-year-old phenom Ratchanon Chantananuwat who needs much more seasoning on the amateur circuit before he becomes a professional.

Andy Ogletree, who finished last at 24 over par, collected a cool £100,000 for his troubles and doesn’t currently play on any known professional golf tours.

In addition to the golfers left behind after LIV London, there are another handful who played LIV Portland but are not in the field at LIV Bedminster. Those golfers include Itthipat Buranatanyarat (Thailand), Sihwan Kim (USA), Adrian Otaegui (Spain), Ian Snyman (South Africa) and Blake Windred (Australia).

Itthipat Buranatanyarat has three wins on the Asian Development Tour and will likely be returning there.

Sihwan Kim has two wins on the Asian Tour this year, which were the first two victories of his professional career. He will continue to play on both the Asian Tour and DP World Tour in the future.

Adrian Otaegui will return to the DP World Tour and he recently played at the star-studded Genesis Scottish Open after his LIV Portland appearance.

Ian Snyman will continue to play on the Challenge Tour and the developmental tour in South Africa.

Blake Windred won his first professional event in his home of Australia this year and will be playing on the Challenge Tour going forward.

There will undoubtedly be plenty other players ousted from LIV Golf in the coming months as it’s been reported that there will be some more announcements coming after the FedEx Cup playoffs have concluded. Stars such as Cameron Smith and Hideki Matsuyama are among the big names rumored to be in talks with LIV.

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