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19th Hole

US Amateur winner explains reasons for slow play following stinging criticism



When Sam Bennett won last weekend’s U.S. Amateur, he did it the hard way.

Website report that “Bennett could have joined the play-for-pay ranks in June after finishing 10th in the NCAA Championships, thanks to a final-round 64, and tying for 49th in the U.S. Open. But this past spring, he removed his name from PGA Tour University, a ranking system that awards the top five collegiate seniors spots on the Korn Ferry Tour.

He wanted to come back for a COVID year at Texas A&M and have one final crack at hoisting the Havemeyer Trophy. Instead of entering a lot of top summer amateur events, he chose to stay in Texas and play recreationally with his buddies.”

Taking out a few of the world’s top 30 amateurs along the way, he nominated himself as “the dog in this race” at the quarter-final stage, a big claim he was able to live up to, finally holding the Havemeyer Trophy aloft.

His journey to the top has not been without its problems.

Last Summer, Bennett lost his father, Mark, after a long battle with illness, resulting in a tattoo reading, “Don’t wait to do something,” whilst he feels he is always battling against critics of his pre-shot routine, reminiscent of Sergio Garcia’s constant re-gripping back in the early 2000s.

Bennett joined ‘The Loop’ podcast within days of winning his biggest title yet, to recap the win and discuss the future.

Referring to his detractors, Bennett said:

“I just want to tell those people. I already have anxiety. It’s pretty bad. Having anxiety and then getting over a golf ball with all these thoughts in your head, put me in that moment at the U.S. Am with the whole golf world watching. I mean, what can you expect?”

“It’s always been like that,” Bennett added. “I don’t pull the trigger until I’m ready. It’s not a certain amount of looks, it’s just when I’m ready.”

There were, of course, positive points from his victory, his targets for the new season, and the ‘staggering’ amount of weight he lost during the competition at Ridgewood.

Top-50 in this year’s U.S Open at Brookline, Bennett will look forward to his fifth-year senior at Texas A&M, a college with a golf alumni including PGA Tour players Ryan Palmer, Bronson Burgoon, Jeff Maggert and Cameron Champ, as well as a trio of current DP World Tour players.

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  3. Glue sniffer

    Aug 28, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    This guy is a turd.

  4. chip75

    Aug 26, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    Slow play is getting brutal, we need a 30 second shot clock on players and penalties for going over (give player’s a couple of time outs for tricky situations). We don’t need players walking 75 yards up to the green either (but the time out would make that okay) and then spending five minutes with their green books back at the ball.

    It’s tough watching guys going though it over the ball, hopefully they can work through it, but if they’re in time, they’re in time.

  5. But Mommy says I'm guud

    Aug 25, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Stop making excuses for anxiety in sports. This is part of what separates people and enabling it is just ruining it…

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  8. Mike

    Aug 24, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    That would drive me crazy. Had an acquaintance at my course who’s a great guy but I NEVER wanted to play with him because he would stand over EVERY shot for 40+ seconds (I timed him). Actually play with him recently. He said he took lessons & I could see he substantially reduced the time he stood over the ball. And he admitted he was playing much better now.

    Regarding this story, what’s this guy’s pace in the round? If he’s regripping 10 times on each shot but walks briskly to his ball, putts out quickly & in the end doesn’t hold anyone up at all, can’t hate on that.

  9. PK

    Aug 24, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    It’s not just this guy. Golf is essentially unwatchable because of slow play. They give ridiculous penalties for “rules violations” that have literally no impact on the outcome of a tournament, such as Ian Woosnam being penalized two strokes for his caddy accidentally leaving one of his practice drivers in the bag after he teed off on the first hole. Why is golf so purest about penalizing stupid things like that and not penalizing slow play, which does negatively affect playing partners play as well as everyone behind. Golf is so totally idiotic.

  10. God! Sparks

    Aug 24, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    If I took that long, I’d forget what I was doing. Forever and a day. My god!

  11. Frank

    Aug 24, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    I cant even finish watching this. Give penalty strokes and this will stop right away. NOBODY needs to play slow like this ams or pros.

  12. Stewart G

    Aug 24, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    If they start fining and giving penalty strokes to the players for taking longer than 30 seconds to play a shot then that would soon stop them.

  13. Doug

    Aug 24, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    12 looks for a 95 yard wedge shot is needless and excruciating. Don’t care who you are.

    His tattoo says “Don’t wait to do something”. Well isn’t that ironic given his pre-shot routine.

    Also don’t see how one can proclaim to be the “dog in the race” but suffer from crippling anxiety.

    He’ll need to clean this up soon.

  14. Logan

    Aug 24, 2022 at 11:41 am

    He doesn’t have to apologize to anyone. He is the United States Amateur Champion. He had 40 seconds and was within the time limit. The broadcasters started this crap (because as usual they are perfect) and then every club golfer jumped on the bandwagon. Get off his back…

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19th Hole

Ian Poulter takes swipe at Justin Thomas over short putt complaints at Presidents Cup



Over the weekend, Justin Thomas was involved in a dramatic Sunday singles battle with Si-Woo Kim, with the Korean eventually prevailing on the final hole of the day.

During that match, Thomas expressed his frustration at Kim not giving him a 3-foot putt on the ninth hole, with Thomas motioning that the putt may have been in ‘gimme’ range

Some found JT’s complaints hypocritical after a video had previously shown the 29-year-old shut down Jordan Spieth, who appeared to suggest giving Adam Scott a short putt earlier in the week.

Ian Poulter, known for his pedigree in match play singles, weighed in with his view on JT’s complaints, and unsurprisingly the Englishman had no sympathy for the two-time major champ, saying:

Poulter’s view appears to be the popular take on the matter, with plenty of golf fans frustrated with Thomas, who also admitted he had been ‘p*****d off’ with Si-Woo Kim for deciding to shush the crowd during their tense encounter on Sunday.

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19th Hole

Hotel issue forces Patrick Reed to withdraw from latest DP World Tour event



Patrick Reed has dealt with some criticism over the past few months for choosing to play in DP World Tour events after making the controversial move to join LIV Golf.

When the former Masters champion made his decision, he made comments about wanting to spend more time with his kids.

“It wears on you as an athlete, wears on you as a person, as a father, and this is for me, I feel like this is the best decision ever,” Reed said at the time. “Now I can compete at the highest level, but also prepare and get ready for every single event and be able to be home, and even though I’ll be grinding at home getting ready, I’ll be able to spend time with the kids.”

Since the move, Reed has played in four events in September and was scheduled to play his fifth consecutive event this week at the DP World Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links.

However, Reed withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to back pain.

According to the 32-year-old, his mattress at the Versailles hotel during the Open de France was too soft and it caused an injury.

“The mattress was just too soft for me,” Reed said in an interview with Bernie McGuire from the Irish Golfer.

“I played well in the pro-am but the pain in my back was getting worse.

“It’s disappointing as I was looking forward to coming back to France after being there for the Ryder Cup.”

Reed added: “I first played the Dunhill Links back in 2011. It was my first European Tour event, so that’s another event I was looking forward to playing.”

He’s scheduled to tee it up once again at LIV Bangkok beginning on October 7th.

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19th Hole

Hideki Matsuyama’s caddie just cemented his legacy with wild act at the Presidents Cup



Hideki Matsuyama might be the most recognisable player in Japanese golf. He may have also turned down the biggest offer from LIV to date:

However, in terms of showmanship, the 2021 Masters champion can’t hold a candle to his caddie.

Shota Hayafuji has bits and pieces of form on the China Tour, but since joining Matsuyama on a full-time basis at the Sony Open in 2019, he’s seen that arrangement celebrated at the 2022 running of the Waialae event and, of course, at Augusta.

After the one-shot victory, Shota went viral after bowing his head in respect, commenting that,” I bowed to the course mainly because I was thankful. I wasn’t thinking about doing it and it just happened — like an instinct.”

This time, though, he has stepped things up a level.

Yesterday, Golf Digest reposted a photo from Shoto’s Instagram in which he shows off the autograph of every one of the victorious U.S team members. Written on his body.

Nobody quite knows what is going on, or whether the winning side invited the International team to what looks like a raucous after- tournament celebration drink, but Shoto may well have to explain this as another ‘instinct’.

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