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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka’s coach rips media and calls Tiger ‘the ultimate guy who got all the money up front’



At the 105th PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka was able to win the Wanamaker for a third time, securing his 5th major championship.

Throughout the week, Koepka’s swing coach Claude Harmon III blasted the media continuously in multiple interviews obtained by Golfweek’s Adam Schupak. Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee and Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch took much of the criticism from Harmon.

“Brandel is a paid actor by NBC and Golf Channel. All he’s trying to do is get his lines and shows for the Golf Channel. He’s just trying to get lines for Brandel … And I mean, I love him, I think Eamon is a fantastic writer, but for Eamon Lynch and Brandel Chamblee, who worked for NBC Golf Channel to utter the words ‘sports washing’ when the company they work for televised the last two Winter Olympics in Russia and China with the same leaders that they’ve had. It’s not like they were good leaders back then. It’s not like Putin was a good guy, right?”

Harmon also spoke about his thoughts on LIV and explained that he is pro-LIV because he is “pro-professional athlete.”

“I want LIV to succeed, and I want LIV to work because I am pro-professional athlete,” he said. “I don’t think Rory McIlroy should go anywhere in the world without somebody paying him, including Memphis and Memorial. That’s how good he is. Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, if you’re in that category, you shouldn’t be going anywhere without being paid because it’s how good you are.”

He continued to pile on the media.

“You guys all think LIVs, maybe you’ve changed your tune, but initially, it was all just bullshit, a bunch of guys playing who didn’t care, who got the money, who got the bag, and it’s 54 holes and there’s no competition and all that. So it was easy for you guys to just pretend like these guys just weren’t good players anymore. And I think you guys largely did that because you drank the Kool-Aid of everybody else. But how you guys all thought that these guys just weren’t going to show up and be great players is beyond me. I think it is an interesting Jedi mind trick that they played on you guys and you guys fell for it. Because you guys were all, ‘These guys were all washed up. They took the bag. They’re insignificant. They play against no competition.’ And that’s just not the case.

“If I’m critical of you guys in the media, you guys portrayed this as (Brooks) took the money and then Tiger came out with his comment, you know, Tiger, the ultimate guy who got all the money up front. I mean, I was around then. He flew to his first professional golf tournament on Nike’s private jet, and he wasn’t paying for it. So you guys pushed this narrative and pretended like LIV was an exhibition, nobody watched it, you guys didn’t report on it, none of you guys came to the tournaments. I mean the golf that I saw Cam (Smith) play last year, the golf that I saw DJ play last year, the golf that I saw Brooks play at the end of the year is the same golf that is being played on the PGA Tour. You guys just tried to pretend that it wasn’t.”

Harmon was working with Brooks for all five of his major championships. You can hear more of his thoughts on his weekly podcast, “Son of a Butch”.

Check out more from the interviews obtained by Golfweek here.

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19th Hole

‘I had to do it’ – Collin Morikawa explains decision to split with coach of 18 years



Collin Morikawa has parted ways with his longtime coach. Rick Sessinghaus, who he had worked with for over 18 years.

The 26-year-old revealed the news on Tuesday at the Hero World Challenge, sharing with reporters that the split took place just before this year’s Ryder Cup in Rome.

“Right before the Ryder Cup, I let go of my long-time coach, Rick Sessinghaus for — we’ve been working for just over 18 years, which wasn’t easy,” Morikawa shared for the first time publicly on Tuesday during a press conference ahead of the Hero World Challenge, a 20-man unofficial event held at the Albany Club. “He’s more than just a coach, he’s one of my really good friends. He’s someone I’ve always looked up to, someone that’s been there for every step of my life essentially, not just in golf but just kind of living life, right?

“It wasn’t easy, and sometimes things happen like that. But 18 years is a long time. Not many relationships that I can say with a lot of people that I’ve had relationships for 18 years, and real relationships where I’m talking to them every week, right? So that wasn’t easy at all.”

As for the reasoning behind the decision, Morikawa stated that “what I saw kind of over the past two years wasn’t to my expectations.”

“I had to do it, I just felt like it was time to make a change at some point. What I saw kind of over the past two years wasn’t to my expectations and standards and goals what I wanted,” 

Morikawa is now working with swing coach Mark Blackburn, who also coaches Max Homa and Justin Rose. In his first event working with Blackburn, Morikawa won the Zozo Championship.

“Obviously, there’s no better way to start, but this is just the tip of the iceberg for us to kind of dig in and really know what we’re going to do,” said Morikawa.

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19th Hole

Jordan Spieth reveals how he reaggravated wrist injury in the most unusual fashion



Last season, Jordan Spieth struggled with a wrist injury for most of the year. The three-time major champion failed to earn a victory and finished 27th in the FedEx Cup standings.

While speaking with the media prior to the Hero World Challenge, Spieth shared how he reaggravated the injury after he finally started to feel better over the summer months.

“I was reaching for a toaster to make my son breakfast. The toast wasn’t even in the toaster.”

The injury stems from overuse, so the 30-year-old has been cautious about too much practice.

“It’s not anything to mess with, so I’ve been trying to take it very, very carefully.”

“It’s not really a rest or ice thing,” he said. “It’s not an inflammation thing, which is how I treated it in May thinking it was an acute injury to the wrist.”

“It’s more use it, but don’t overuse it. Listen to it. But I’ve been at full practice for weeks now and here or there when I feel like it gets close to being overdone, gym, practice, combination of a day, then I stay off it.”

Spieth is satisfied with the progress he’s made, and feels ready to play at a high level as 2024 approaches.

“I have no reservations on my abilities to just do what I need to do going forward given the progress that’s been made over the last month and a half.”

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods weighs in with his thoughts on the ‘Hatgate’ controversy at Ryder Cup



Tiger Woods returns to action this week as he’s set to tee it up for the Hero World Challenge on Thursday. The 47-year-old held a press conference on Tuesday, touching on his health, season outlook and the PGA Tour’s potential deal with the PIF.

Woods was also asked about one of the bigger stories of the summer, “Hatgate”.

The incident stemmed from a report that indicated Patrick Cantlay was not wearing a hat during play as a protest for not getting paid during the Ryder Cup. After he drilled a clutch putt in the match against Rory McIlroy, the United States team all waved their hat in support of Cantlay. Tiger Woods’ former caddie, Joe LaCava, joined in while on the green which resulted in the two sides exchanging words.

Woods downplayed the incident, saying the European side was just trying to “get in [the U.S. team’s] head.”

“You’re not on home soil, so they’re going to try to get in your head and that’s what they tried to do. I totally get it. Emotions. We all want to win.

You have a home side and opposing side, you’re going to get heat and that’s what happened.”

Earlier this month, McIlroy shared that Woods had texted him after the incident.

“I went back to my room and there was a text from Joe LaCava: ‘Hey Rory, would love to meet up in the morning to clear the air.’ But I was tired and didn’t get back to him.”

“There was also three texts and two missed calls from Tiger, because they’re obviously still close. I sent him a quick message: ‘It will be fine … long day … just want to go to bed.’”

After the European team’s dominating victory at Marco Simone, speculation ramped up that Tiger Woods may be the captain for the United States team in 2025, but Woods is currently focused on more important matters in the golf landscape.

“Right now there’s too much at stake with our tour to think about a Ryder Cup.

“We have to get this done and we have to be focused on this right now. The players and everyone involved understands that this is an issue we need to focus on.”

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