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19th Hole

Justin Thomas dines at one of the most exclusive restaurants in the world…with elite company



If you’re invited to a restaurant, that’s a nice thing. If you’re invited to Rao’s, that’s a privilege.

The exclusive 10-table eatery in Harlem has no reservation list – you are ‘it’ or not, and ‘not’ doesn’t get you in.

From film stars to the elite golfer, the only way on to a table is to know someone that owns one.

2022 US PGA champion Justin Thomas may now be in that exclusive grouping, if judged on a recent post on his Insta page.


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A post shared by Justin Thomas (@justinthomas34)

In the photo, JT is pictured inside the legendary eatery alongside Ben Weprin, the founder of real estate powerhouse AJ Capital Partners, country singers Morgan Wallen and Eric Church, and two-time Super Bowl champion and MVP Eli Manning.

According to the country music website Whisky Riff, the two singers often play a round or two together, whilst the entrepreneur is on course to open a Nashville bar and restaurant with Church.

It all fits somewhere and somehow, and it appears JT has had a fine warm-up for the upcoming Match VII, at which he will partner with childhood buddy Jordan Spieth against world number one Rory McIlroy and the GOAT, Tiger Woods.

Those four produce a foursome that golf fans will find top of the tree, but JT might find it hard to top his night out at the corner of 114th Street.

As he posted, “Rao’s lives up to the hype. Epic night with an even better crew.”

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  1. David James

    Dec 13, 2022 at 3:41 am

    Wow, some serious tall poppy syndrome in these comments. Ol green eyes

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  5. Bob

    Dec 11, 2022 at 5:11 pm


    There is nothing fundamentally “elite” about any of these guys. Just oversized children who need attention.

  6. Imafitter

    Dec 11, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    Bet my steak at Texas Roadhouse was much, much better.

  7. Jimbo

    Dec 10, 2022 at 6:31 pm


  8. Wick Wude

    Dec 10, 2022 at 8:07 am

    Little surprised Rao’s let two of these characters in the joint with their history of slurs:
    Wallen – using the N word
    Thomas – homophobic slur at his golf ball

  9. Phil

    Dec 9, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Nice haircut

  10. Denny

    Dec 9, 2022 at 11:52 am

    GolfWRX, now the TMZ of the golf world. And ditto on what Paulo said.

  11. Tom K

    Dec 9, 2022 at 10:37 am

    Did JT get a new toupee?

    • James T

      Dec 9, 2022 at 12:22 pm

      75% of all male golfers wear hats all the time because of a receding hairline. Looks like Rao’s had a no-hat policy.

      • geohogan

        Dec 10, 2022 at 11:08 am

        At least he wore his best Fruit of the Loom white T shirt.

  12. John

    Dec 9, 2022 at 10:14 am


    • James T

      Dec 9, 2022 at 12:16 pm

      Why would a guy go to an Italian red sauce restaurant wearing a white shirt?

      • Mr. Grown Adult

        Dec 9, 2022 at 11:14 pm

        Because some of us aren’t toddlers and we can safely get food in our mouths without spilling it.

  13. paulo

    Dec 9, 2022 at 7:15 am

    Millionaire sportsmen gets to eat at posh place with other millionaires. Meanwhile people , a lot of whom form a majority of your readership, are struggling to pay bills.

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19th Hole

‘That’s what everybody wants me to do’ – Is Anthony Kim about to make a sensational return to pro golf?



Despite having not played in over a decade, the golf world has an obsession with former PGA Tour star, Anthony Kim.

Kim shined at the 2008 Ryder Cup, earning 2.5 points in the event which was tied for the second-best performance on the U.S. side. “AK” played with Phil Mickelson in fourball and was the first man out in Sunday singles matches where he defeated Sergio Garcia 5&4. At the time of the Ryder Cup, Kim was the number 10 ranked player in the world as a Tour rookie. He went on to win three times on Tour from 2008-2010.

After a New York Times piece on the fascinating story of Anthony Kim, he’s found himself back in the headlines.

According to Kim’s former caddie Eric Larson, the now 37-year-old hasn’t ruled out a return to the game. Larson had a recent phone call with Kim and asked if he’d be open to a deal with LIV Golf.

Larson told the New York Times, “He goes, ‘I don’t know. I really don’t know.’” Larson said. “I said, ‘Come on, man, get the old clubs out. Go out there and have some fun.’ And he starts laughing at me. He goes, ‘That’s what everybody wants me to do!’”

Also in the piece was a quote from AK’s longtime swing coach Adam Schriber who said Kim still has “the same swing you remember”, after playing with him twice over the past two years.

The article has caused social media to explode with Anthony Kim rumors once again.

The account “Pro Golf Stuff” tweeted that Kim was rumored to join LIV on a 4 year $110 million deal. However, the account is a “parody account” and there are no legitimate sources who’ve shared the information. But, as we’d expect from the internet, that didn’t stop people from running with the story.

A return to golf by Anthony Kim would set the golf world ablaze. While there’s still a very slim chance of it happening, there’s no denying that outside of Tiger Woods, no one moves the needle more than Anthony Kim.

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19th Hole

Rory Mcilroy delivered a ruthless verdict when asked if he could rekindle friendship with Sergio Garcia



Rory McIlroy has played exceptionally well over the past year and has risen to the number one spot in the world once again. However, he’s found himself in the headlines for what he’s said to the media more often than for his stellar play.

At this week’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic, Rory was once again asked about his former friend, Sergio Garcia.

At the beginning of the week, DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley stated that if Luke Donald chose a LIV golfer for his captains pick at the Ryder Cup, they’d be able to participate. Sergio Garcia, who’s the European team’s all-time leading scorer in the Ryder Cup would typically be a player who’s worthy of consideration for one of those six available spots.

McIlroy, who was an usher at Garcia’s 2017 wedding, has emphatically stated that he doesn’t want Garcia at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

During the media session in Dubai, Rory was asked if his relationship with former good friend Garcia could be rekindled.

McIlroy responded by just saying: “No.”

When asked to elaborate, McIlroy shook his head and said: “No way”.

There have been some dissenting opinions among European golfers on whether member of LIV Golf should be allowed to play in the Ryder Cup.

Jon Rahm said back in July that he wants his friend and fellow Spaniard Garcia on the Ryder Cup team.

“Sergio knows very well that he has dedicated his life to the European Tour in his 25 years as a pro,’’ Rahm said. “That they turn their backs on him that way doesn’t seem right to me. And it is what it is. It is not my decision and that he has to make this decision, it hurts me.

“It’s a shame also because I know that he wanted to play in Spain. And he won’t be able to play either the Spanish Open or at Valderrama. And it bothers me even more that he can’t play the Ryder Cup.’’

Rahm echoes those sentiments once again in October.

“The Ryder Cup is not the PGA Tour and European Tour against LIV – it’s Europe versus the US, period,” Rahm told The Telegraph. “The best of each against the other, and for me the Ryder Cup is above all. I wish they could play, but it doesn’t look good.”

Reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick believes the best players should play, regardless of which Tour they play on.

“I think there definitely are a few personal relationships that have been dented by this,” Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports. “I’m not bothered, I just want to win, and I’m sure those boys do too.”

“Sergio would be the one that would stand out for me, particularly,” Fitzpatrick said. “I don’t know the details of [his relationship with Rory McIlroy]. I’m happy to share a room with him, if that’s going to be the case, I can corner him off for everyone else.”

It will be fascinating to see what European Captain Luke Donald ultimately decides to do with his captains picks with so many differing opinions amongst the European stars.

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19th Hole

Sir Nick Faldo has some interesting thoughts on LIV golfers in the Ryder Cup and Greg Norman



While LIV players look forward to their first event of the year at Mayakoba in just four weeks’ time, the ex-European Tour players have been told by Sir Nick Faldo that as far as this year’s Ryder Cup is concerned, “they’re done.”

My favourite game: Nick Faldo v Greg Norman, 1996 Masters | The Masters | The Guardian

There is very little love lost between the 1996 Masters 1-2 these days.

In a week that has seen reports of reduced offers for new signings, the ‘unofficial’ tour has also witnessed increased momentum behind the TGL tour, with Collin Morikawa joining fellow major champions Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas in the technology-led midweek league in 2024.

Led by the fiercely anti-LIV Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, the two-time major champion may have been having a side-swipe at the Saudi-backed league when stating in his press release that:

“I think the design of TGL to provide sports fans the world’s best in a weekly, primetime golf competition, from start-to-end in only two hours, will appeal to a broader spectrum of casual golf fans and introduce our sport to younger fans.”

Barring injury, McIlroy, Morikawa, JT and Rahm are certain to be facing each other at the Marco Simone club later this year, but whilst Faldo may be uncertain about who will be in the team, he is very clear about who should be missing.

Players that have made a huge impression in recent Ryder Cups — Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell — have all made the decision to join LIV over the past year, something Faldo says makes the result easy:

“They shouldn’t be there because they’ve gone off and you’ve got to move on,” Faldo said when interviewed on Sky Sports News.

The 11-time Ryder Cup player and retired broadcaster admitted that age is certainly against them, but with no official ranking or Ryder Cup points awarded to LIV results, it is also going to be virtually impossible for any of the previous stalwarts to re-appear in Italy.

That is, of course, all subject to the result of an upcoming hearing, challenging any ban by the PGA Tour and restrictions by the DP World Tour.

With LIV player Henrik Stenson — the original European team captain — sacked within three months of being appointed, Luke Donald knows that he needs to choose wisely when it comes to his six free picks, and Faldo suggests this is the time to bank of the rookies:

“They’re [European LIV players] all at the age where Europe needs to find a new breed of 25-year-olds that can play half a dozen or more Ryder Cups, and I think we’re going to have that.”

“They’re done,” he said confidently, before continuing: “It’s a rival tour. If you work for a company for 20 years and you then leave to go to a rival company, I can promise you your picture won’t still be on the wall. You’ve moved on. Fine, off you go.”

“They made that decision and I’m sure they knew it was going to cost them,” Faldo said. “They were playing the maths game. They were getting a huge chunk of money up front, and they knew it was going to lose them sponsors, but they thought ‘I still win’.”

Faldo also commented on the LIV tour in general, offering his thoughts on the organization fronted by Greg Norman, his great rival on the course throughout his career, and against whom he overcame a six-shot deficit to win the 1996 Masters.

“It’s [LIV] a closed shop: 48 guys given loads of money,” Faldo said. “What gripes me is it’s not growing the game of golf. That really gets me when they fly across the world to a country that’s been playing golf for 100 plus years and say, ‘we’re growing the game of golf’.”

Of his great rival, with whom he split eight major titles in a 10 year period from 1986, the 65-year-old said:

“He was a great golfer. He really was a charismatic, exciting golfer and he’s absolutely wrecked all of that.”

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