Connect with us

19th Hole

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

Published

on

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

More from the 19th Hole

Your Reaction?
  • 267
  • LEGIT78
  • WOW38
  • LOL29
  • IDHT26
  • FLOP36
  • OB24
  • SHANK387

19th Hole

Caddie forced to wade through nettles after bizarre blunder at Women’s Open

Published

on

In just her second professional start, 22-year-old Louise Duncan finished inside the top-20 of the AIG Women’s Open, but the Duncan team experienced far more than just her first proper paycheck.

In 2021, the Scot won the Women’s Amateur Championship by a record margin (9&8) before nabbing a top-10 at the Women’s Open at Carnoustie, the low amateur winning the traditional Smyth Salver.

It’s a big leap to the paid ranks, but the £73,000 prize is early justification for the move, an amount that might well have just upgraded her future wedding to fiance Jordan Hughes.

After her second round 73, Duncan admitted it was, “a bit of a grind” but having been assured of making the cut, said that, “If it’s a nice cheque we’ll probably just go abroad and get it over with. That sounds bad – sorry Jordan. What I mean is we’ll be able to go abroad and have a good one.”

The round wasn’t without its humor either, with caddie Dean Robertson playing his part.

As reported in The Telegraph, former European Tour winner Robertson has been a large part of Duncan’s success, his experience as player and coach providing mentor-ship to the darling of the Scottish crowd.

However, during the second round when Sophia Schubert handed him a ball, he thought the American had just found it and wanted him to get rid. So he threw it over his left shoulder.

Schubert was actually wanting her ball cleaned and, because of Robertson’s actions, was now facing a stroke-and-distance penalty. So, despite wearing shorts, he did his valiant duty, scaled the wall and went searching in the scrub and nettles for the ball. To Schubert’s relief, it was a successful forage.

Duncan was pleased to see the closest member of her team having the tables turned on himself.

“I was like, ‘oh, no, Dean, tell me you haven’t just done that?’,” Duncan said “But it was an honest mistake and quite funny. He is always telling me to stop being an idiot and to calm down, so maybe he deserved that one.”

More from the 19th Hole

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Sergio Garcia and Greg Norman’s WhatsApp messages reveal talk over ‘shallow threat’ from PGA Tour

Published

on

There would never be much pleasantry surrounding the lawsuit filed by 11 players suspended by the PGA Tour for jumping ship to the LIV series.

Evidence given by both sides is going to be under intense scrutiny by lawyers and the media alike, and it started last Friday when Golf Magazine’s Dylan Dethier tweeted a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between Sergio Garcia and LIV CEO Greg Norman.

The exchange, ‘Exhibit 6’, is part of the upcoming lawsuit, and dates from 11th and 12th of February 2022, some four months prior to the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, England.

The conversation starts with Garcia, seemingly nervous about the upcoming series, asking, “how things are going with the League cause it seams (sic) like a lot of those guys that were loving it and excited about it last week, now are shiting in their pants.”

Norman doesn’t seem bothered by the “white noise” and assures the Spaniard that he will “reach out” if Garcia has names.

He then comments that, “if the Tour was going to ban players they would have already,” before telling Garcia that it would be “fantastic,” if he can “get them or any player threatened to get it in writing.”

When Garcia goes back to Norman, he tells him, “it’s official,” and that the Tour are banning players for life. Again Norman is unfussed, replying that it is a “shallow threat.”

Sadly, this looks like being a very long-running saga, with much dirty laundry, and the domination of headlines where others would surely be preferred.

More from the 19th Hole

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Will Zalatoris explains decision to fire longtime caddie mid-tournament

Published

on

Players spend an awfully long time with their team.

Whether coach, club manufacturer, agent or caddie, all are working towards one goal – the best result for their man each week.

Some players have a closer relationship with their bag-man than others but, given the time spent together on the range and course, it has to work and continue to keep working.

For Will Zalatoris, this week was the end of the road for his working relationship with his caddie, Ryan Goble. Strangely, though, it came in the middle of a tournament.

The world number 14 remains the highest ranked player yet to win on the PGA Tour, his high status coming via six top-10 finishes in majors over the last couple of seasons, and a host of similar results as a temporary and full member of the tour.

However, after finishing runner up at the PGA and US Open, and posting yet another top-five, this time at the Memorial, results haven’t quite gone to plan – a missed-cut in Scotland followed by 28th at St. Andrews and 20th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

For Willy Z, things had to change. After opening with a 71 and 66 at the Wyndham Championship, Goble was gone, to be replaced temporarily by his short game and putting coach Josh Gregory, until getting the services of Joel Stock for the FedEx playoffs and beyond.

It was a tough decision for the 25-year-old, who said:

“Yeah, it was the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my golf career. Ryan’s a brother for life. We’ve kind of had a rough month together, and it was starting to affect our relationship. I know guys say that when they split, but it really was.

We were guys that we would love to have dinner together and hang out, and it started — what was going on on the course was starting to bleed off the course, and that’s not what you want.”

Confirming just how hard it is to ‘sack’ one of the closest members of your team, Zalatoris continued:

“He’s an incredible friend. I love him to death, and I told him I had to do what’s best for me. Like I said, he’s just an amazing friend.

You know, obviously you can tell how hard this decision was on me, especially the timing of it, but I think it was just getting a little unhealthy for both of us, and it was — obviously it hurts.”

Zalatoris did not reveal exactly why he made the move halfway through the tournament, but it appears to have been on the cards for a while.

“We both kind of sensed it for a little bit,” Zalatoris said. “And, you know, nothing’s permanent. It’s just something that, like I said, he’s a brother. I love him to death.”

“And obviously it was on my mind. I mean, the finish that I had obviously made the day [Friday] a little bit better, but the frustration between the two of us had just kind of carried over the last month. Like I said, first and foremost, I love him to death and, you know, he’s one of the funniest guys I know and obviously I’ll miss his humor over this next bit, but as I said, nothing’s permanent.”

The ‘finish’ he talked about was the two-eagle, one-birdie finish through the last five holes of the second round, resulting in a 66 and a weekend’s play. But with Gregory by his side, Zalatoris had his best putting figures of the week, on route to a second successive four-under round.

Gregory talked fondly of the previous looper.

“I feel awful, but Ryan Goble was first class the way he handled it,” he said. “He’s been there with Will when Will was ranked over 1,000 in the world and now, he’s a top-15 player in the world and going to trend upwards.”

“So, (Ryan) will be very successful in the future, and he will land a great job and things are going to be good. And it’s going to be a win-win for both of them.”

Zalatoris started the final round just six off the lead, and in with yet another chance of yet another top-10.

More from the 19th Hole

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending