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19th Hole

‘You f—–g clown’ – The hilarious story of when Tiger’s caddie dropped his 9-iron in the water at the Ryder Cup

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When it comes to best ever years on tour for Tiger Woods, 2006 is right up there.

Woods won eight times that season, including two major championships, resulting in a better than 50% win average in what is the greatest strokes-gained season in recorded history (since 2004).

One blemish for the year came at the 2006 Ryder Cup when Woods was part of the U.S. side that got annihilated 18.5 to 9.5 by the Europeans at the K Club in Ireland.

Tiger did, however, record three points out of five himself, but perhaps the main takeaway for Team Woods that week was the hilarious story of the missing 9-iron.

Speaking on the podcast ‘Chasing Majors’ alongside golf journalist and host Evin Priest, Steve Williams described what exactly went down that day:

“So it’s a par 3, a green that has all water to the front of it and to the right of it. And I’m leaning on Tiger’s club, he’s up there putting, and I’m leaning on this club, and I slip, and I’ve either got to let me go in the water or the club, so I let the club go.”

With a couple of holes left in the round, Williams decided not to tell Tiger what had happened, hoping that he could get to the house without Woods realising.

Tempted to ask Jim Furyk to hit another club off the tee to ensure that Tiger wouldn’t have a 9-iron yardage in their foursomes pairing, the Kiwi decided to ride his luck.

Unfortunately for Williams, that gamble did not pay off:

“We go to the next hole, I believe he was playing with Jim Furyk, Tiger’s going to hit his second shot, and it’s the bloody 9-iron. And I’m thinking, ‘I just can’t give him the yardage for an 8 or a wedge; it’s a 9, I can’t deviate this one.’

And he goes to pull the 9-iron out, and he says ‘Where’s the 9-iron?’ and I said ‘You know that lake back there?’ (laughing)”

Williams described on the podcast that the incident was something he’ll never forget and revealed Tiger’s classic reaction to him: “You f—–g clown. Only you.”

It was all good-natured, with Williams saying it’s his only memory of the event and that Woods and himself laughed about the incident for ages afterwards.

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Patrick Reed linked Twitter account accuses Tiger of getting ’embarrassing’ preferential treatment – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: Ex-caddie reveals Tiger’s greatest rival…and it’s not Phil Mickelson – GolfWRX

  3. Chuck

    Apr 22, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    It’s a kind of a hilarious story. But is it true? At a Ryder Cup, there are only about 10,000 people who would jump into a water hazard to retrieve a Tiger Woods golf club.

    And in fact, I just finished reading a story that R&A Rules official Charles Dernie, the head professional at Blairgowrie (a respected Scottish course) was officiating on-course at the K Club in 2006; and that Tiger Woods asked him to retrieve the 9-iron. Dernie confirmed that Tiger played holes 7 through 15 without the club, but Dernie’s recollection was that Tiger asked him to retrieve the club as soon as the crowd noise/commotion occurred as people saw Steve Williams slip as he was trying to wet his towel. It’s hard to imagine a Ryder Cup crowd, watching Tiger and Stevie, and not doing anything (and Tiger not noticing) if Stevie dropped a club in the water and came back up without it. I’m a bit surprised if there isn’t some searchable video of what happened.

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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia’s personal relationship has reportedly turned toxic

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In 2014 Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were the so-called ‘dream team’ of the Ryder Cup.

The pair totted up a combined total of 5-and-a-half points of the 16-and-a-half won by the victorious European team, beating the pairing of Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan in the second day foursomes before both winning their singles.

Their relationship was so solid that McIlroy was honored to be an usher at Garcia’s wedding in 2017, but recently it’s all gone sour, with Golf Monthly reporting a “complete deterioration” of the relationship.

A week ago, it was widley reported that the Spaniard had told his Northern Irish friend that they were now “finally getting paid what we deserve,” a comment that received the reply, “Sergio. We’re golfers. We don’t deserve to be paid anything.”

According to Golf Monthly, the relationship has now “turned personal,” with the world number three unhappy that his old friend has dedicated himself to the Saudi-backed tour, putting the selection process for the Ryder Cup into confusion. The rhetoric between the two is reported to be “bitter and personal.”

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, as he was hacking out of the rough after a ruling, Garcia was heard muttering, “I can’t wait to leave this tour,” before being confirmed as one of the initial participants of the LIV Golf Series.

Whilst it is unclear exactly what the sanctions are with regards to the Ryder Cup 2023, the way the PGA and DP Tours are moving, there is a distinct possibility that LIV players will be seriously affected – though Garcia has made clear that he wants to be a part of it.

At a press conference before the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, Garcia stated, “I haven’t resigned from the European Tour because I would like to still be a member. I’m European, I love the European Tour. I played it for 23 years. Obviously we’re going to have to wait and see what the European Tour does. But I definitely would like to keep my membership and get my chance to make the Ryder Cup team because I love that event. But we’ll wait and see what happens over there.”

Whilst recent LIV press conferences on site have caused their own controversy, Garcia has prompted his own backlash.

After reportedly delivering an anti-DP World Tour rant at the BMW International in Germany last week, Golf Monthly reports that one tour player commented:

“They (LIV players) all think they are untouchable, and they all think the tours can’t do anything. I think they’re all about to realize they’re wrong. It is short sighted to think regulations can’t change and that there isn’t a lot of ill-feeling towards them. I think they’ve miscalculated quite dramatically.

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19th Hole

‘You like apples?’ – Greg Norman takes bullish shot at PGA Tour over LIV poll numbers

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CEO of LIV Golf and former superstar Greg Norman took a shot at the PGA Tour via social media on Wednesday.

Sports Illustrated “Morning Read” shared a Harris Poll that indicated younger U.S. golf fans are open to the LIV Golf series despite its controversial source of funding.

Norman commented on social media with a link to the poll while tagging the PGA Tour’s official accounts, saying, “@pgatour you like apples??”

The line is, of course, in reference to a scene in the 1997 classic film Good Will Hunting, and Norman then doubled down on his bullish aim at the tour with a gif of one of follow up lines from Matt Damon’s character:

The results of the Harris Poll were extremely interesting.

According to Sports Illustrated, “Younger Americans are more aware of, more interested in and more open to the LIV tour, according to our polling — and the split is sharp. So while 40% of those 45 years old and younger are familiar with LIV, as opposed to 35% of the overall population, that figure falls to 27% among those aged 55 and over. And while 55% of U.S. adults familiar with the league plan to watch an LIV event, that number rises to more than 7 in 10 (71%) among those aged 18-34.”

The source of the funding for LIV has generated vigorous debate in recent months. The poll results indicated that younger golf fans aren’t as concerned with the Saudi money as the older generation. Among those aware that LIV Golf is funded by foreign government investments, a majority (52%) of those 45 and younger have no issues the arrangement, while those aged 55 and older report far more often that they disapprove.

There were plenty of other interesting results from the polling.

  • Those aware of LIV Golf’s funding sources are nearly evenly split about it (35% oppose the relationship while 36% support it).
  • By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans say that professional sports funders’ identities have no bearing on whether or not they watch. “In much the same way that sports fans are able to keep rooting for their team even if individual players have personal issues, it seems that they are willing to suspend judgment about a league even if its sponsors have poor reputations. This leaves open the question, however, of how potent attempts at “sportswashing” could be: If consumers are able to separate sporting events from their sponsors, it could run the other way, with leagues not transferring their positive reputations back to their funders.”
  • Among golf fans aware of the PGA Tour’s suspensions, 45% support the decision.

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19th Hole

‘Bye Bye Cheat!’ – Tour pro blocked on Twitter by Patrick Reed after shovel jibe

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@PReedGolf – probably the cause of more ‘blocks’ on Twitter golf than any other is at it again.

As one of the more recent recruits to the LIV Golf Series, Reed has once again opened himself up to criticism, a factor of his career for many years.

On this occasion, Reed tweeted an offer for tickets to this week’s second LIV event in Portland, an offer that was re-tweeted by DP World Tour pro Mike Lorenzo-Vera with the comment, “Does this code works if I want to buy a shovel ???”

The comment refers to an incident at the 2019 Hero World Challenge when Reed was accused of brushing away sand from behind his ball in a bunker, and didn’t go down well with those that run the former Masters champion’s Twitter – they blocked him.

The move didn’t bother Lorenzo-Vera. He went straight back with, “Well… that was fast! Bye bye cheat!”

Support was there. Popular on-line commentator group ByTheMinute (Non LIV) Golf said, “Love this MLV but everyone else is blocked already,” but one respondent took the opportunity to cast doubt on the new PGA/DP Tour alliance by accusing, ” Have some self respect instead rather than praising a decision to iron out the fact the Euro Tour will be now on par with the Korn Ferry.” Ouch.

Most recently, a press conference held at Pumpkin Ridge saw Reed, Brooks Koepka and Pat Perez face a barrage of awkward questions from reporters, and the answers given certainly have received little approval. The irony, of course, being that Koepka was quite happy to accuse his fellow LIV player of cheating at that event in 2019.

The LIV Golf Invitational Portland starts tomorrow and Reed plays with Perez, Talor Gooch and Dustin Johnson as the ‘4 Aces GC’ team, whilst Koepka captains ‘Smash GC’, comprising his brother Chase and DP World Tour winners Richard Bland and Adrian Otaegui.

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