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19th Hole

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

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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.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Don

    Aug 8, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    Sergio the Underachiever…he finds something to whine about incessantly.

    • Jimmy

      Aug 8, 2022 at 5:36 pm

      He is a major championship winner you dripping sack of rancid excrement

    • Jimmy

      Aug 8, 2022 at 5:38 pm

      Youre a loser yourself.
      So i guess you’d know

  2. snowman

    Aug 8, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    I cannot understand how the PGA tour can be forced to allow LIV players to continue to play in PGA Tour events…. These LIV players have violated the terms of their PGATour membership, so good bye and good luck.

    • Jimmy

      Aug 8, 2022 at 5:39 pm

      But the court can force women to compete with men and men can use womens restrooms….you got no issue with that lunacy do ya?
      Of course you can sue the PGA tour …duh

  3. joe

    Aug 8, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    I had no interest in this league. None of my friends did either. I have even less interest knowing where a couple of the events are being held.

    • Jimmy

      Aug 8, 2022 at 5:36 pm

      Youre an idiot.
      Zero critical thinking ability.
      Total sheep

    • freeze

      Aug 11, 2022 at 8:27 am

      Why? you’re feelings were hurt? Grow a set….we are is such a great place now

  4. Greg McNeill

    Aug 8, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Would have expected that Norman would know better. The commissioner of the PGA Tour, like those of the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc, have vast powers of discretion when it comes to their respective views as to what is in the best interest of their sports. Unless Congress decides to quash the anti-trust exemption these leagues enjoy, good luck convincing a court to take action.

    • dr. bloor

      Aug 8, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      Norman does know better, it’s just not in his personal interest to give players a balanced view of the risks their taking or their chances in court. This is all about him sticking it to the Tour.

      • Jim

        Aug 8, 2022 at 5:43 pm

        Whats wrong with sti king it to the monopolistic PGA tour that unpays its players.
        Uses and abuses their image rights.
        You know Tiger can’t show anything from his career with paying millions?
        Nike paid 20 million for 15 seconds of tiger holing out ar the masters.
        No money went to tiger.
        PGA hold 100% of image rights.
        Duh duh duh.
        Not fair.
        They deserve their boat turned over.

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19th Hole

‘What’s going on?’ – Justin Thomas left frustrated with two officials over ruling at Hero

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During Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge, Justin Thomas called for a rules official and subsequently, a second opinion, on the par-5 9th at Albany Golf Club.

The players were playing lift-clean-and-place, and Thomas’ ball came to rest about 5o yards short of the green in an area where it was difficult to identify if the ball was sitting in the fairway or the rough. The ball had gathered some mud, so if the rules official had decided that his ball was in fact in the rough, he would have to hit a pretty difficult shot given the condition on his golf ball.

“Basically, what’s going on?” Thomas asked the official.

The official told Thomas that the change of color in the grass was indicative of the change of fairway to rough, and therefore he would have to hit his ball as it lied. Thomas argued that the grass was cut to the same length in both spots, therefore the color didn’t matter.

“But you see, what I’m saying, this is also beat down from the carts, but look at how much longer this is than this,” he said before walking over to the thicker grass. “Like see, this is the same height [where his ball was and the apparent fairway.] I totally see it’s down grain and it’s a totally different color, but … the change of the length of grass is just what kind of confused me.”

After relief was denied by the official, “JT” called for a second opinion. While waiting for another official to show up, Thomas was heard saying to his caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay, ““It’s the same exact length, this is not rough.”

When the second rules official came over, he said: “I can see the cutline right here,” and pointed to the different shades of grass that the other official mentioned.

Thomas accepted the decision.

Interestingly, announcer Paul Azinger shared his opinion that the second rules official almost never will disagree with the first rules official’s ruling.

“That second opinion almost never works,” Azinger said to Dan Hicks during the broadcast.

“Really?” Hicks asked.

“Never,” Azinger said. “Very rarely will an official go against another official.”

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19th Hole

Data shows how much more difficult green become as the day progresses

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For many a golf bettor, betting on the first round leader of any tournament revolves around the early starters.

Even a cursory look at this week’s Australian Open shows the morning wave averaging 1.73 shots better than the afternoon players, resulting in 18 early starters finishing in the top-10 by the end of the day, including current leader David Micheluzzi.

However, over on the South African Open, the roles are reversed, with current leader Thirston Lawrence taking up one of 15 places on the front page of leaderboard for the late starters, who shot around half-a-shot less than the morning groups.

Naturally, there are many factors – wind, temperature, dew, grass-types and, potentially, overall quality of the groupings, but these are variables that can change from day to day.

Step in Lou Stagner, data lead of Arccos Golf and all-round numbers guru.

Stagner does not deal in emotion or factors that cannot be measured. It’s facts, figures and that’s your lot!

He will tell you that from the fairway, 80-yards from the pin, professionals simply don’t get as close as many believe:

On Wednesday, the man who once built a Lego model of Augusta #12, tweeted a table showing the variance in putts made by PGA Tour members under morning and afternoon conditions.

Taking stats over 17 years, the table shows an advantage to the early starters, not by much, but enough to consider.

There are plenty of places to take the stats, with a few respondents asking for a table on grass types through the day – Bent v Bermuda v POA – and that will probably turn up on Stanger’s twitter feed soon.

Of course, on a Sunday, later starters have the pressure of trying to win a tournament, which is why we tend to see flashy rounds from those a few off the pace on Payday, but it is enough to consider when trying to get that illusive three-figure first (or second) round leader.

Either way, two-time major champion, and regular tweeter Justin Thomas, decided this was his chance to get in an early excuse when he’s off late in the day.

Make of what you will. Perhaps the stats will one day include how many of these are for par saves against birdie putts, or is that too much?

Either way, Stagner continues to bombard us with stats that delight and entertain, and that can be no bad thing. Unless you are a buddy of Lou’s…

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19th Hole

Cam Smith fumes at ‘pretty s****y’ opening round at Australian Open

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After an incredible week at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Cameron Smith is off to a rough start at the Australian Open. The Champion Golfer of the Year struggled to hit fairways all day long and finished his round at +1 which is eight shots back of first-round leader David Micheluzzi (-7).

Smith, who received a massive ovation from the crowd, was extremely displeased, calling his play “pretty shitty” as he went from his post-round press conference to the practice range. The 29-year-old also said it was “as bad as I’ve played in a long time”.

“I don’t think it was a mixed bag, I think it was all rubbish to be honest,”

“Maybe some delayed tiredness, maybe. I did feel a little bit foggy out there at times, but it’s not really an excuse, it’s my job to do all that stuff.”

Despite the uninspiring round, the world number three still feels as if he can get back into the event and contend.

“It’s not like I don’t know how to play golf, it was just a bit of a bad day.”

“I’ve just got a few things to clean up, I think. Like I said last week [at the Australian PGA Championship], I felt as though the golf got better every day.”

The Aussie is incredible at recovery shots and finding his way out of trouble. But if he wants to be the first player to win the Australian PGA and Australian Open in the same season since 2011, he needs to start putting the ball in the fairway.

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