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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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  1. Bob

    May 24, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    Nepobaby, Claude Harmon III. Go find your own path instead of the one carved out by daddy.

    • Dundundun

      May 24, 2023 at 8:26 pm

      By that statement you don’t want Charlie Woods to succeed then huh lol

  2. greg

    May 24, 2023 at 11:12 am

    You know what they say about opinions…

    I get why Harmon is going to bat for Koepka. But he doesn’t need to resort to mischaracterizing the other side’s position in order to argue for LIV. Nobody worth listening to every claimed that all LIV golfers were washed up Tour guys looking for a final payday. Sure, guys like McDowell, Poulter and Westwood are well past their prime but DJ, Brooks and Cam are all still elite golfers. And his analogy to Tiger is laughable- sure, Tiger has made more money as a golfer than anyone in history but that’s what happens when you’re the GOAT and literally changed the public’s perception of the sport. The only reason LIV exists is because Tiger changed the sport and brought millions of people to the game, whether as players or spectators or just casual fans. There’s a reason that LIV reportedly offered him $700 million, even though his playing future is murky at best. If it weren’t for Tiger, LIV might be a tennis league. So spare me the nonsense about what Tiger got from NIKE.

    • cdnski12

      May 24, 2023 at 12:58 pm

      Not to mention Tiger’s abuse of women. He was shagging women left right & center. I recall Jesper Parnavick saying on TV, after Tiger & Elin Nordegren had their big blowup, that women threw themselves at the top 20 PGA Golfers at every tournament. That’s reality.

    • N

      May 24, 2023 at 1:29 pm

      No, you’re completely wrong on this.
      They, as in the Tours, both European and PGA, had been thinking of a World Super League of Golf since the 90’s.
      It’s always been the PGA Tour issue, because it has never wanted its stranglehold on the lead it has had of the “best” Tour in the world, because America became the place for golf since its inception and since the shuffle to make 3 “majors” exist because America wanted to own golf, and looking at the history of the World in the 20th century, everybody knows the world’s nations’ trajectories and development then, and therefore the idea why the belief MAGA exists.

  3. Paul C

    May 24, 2023 at 10:53 am

    The corrupt OWGR board is another area where the US golf media ‘look the other way’ or promote the tour’s propaganda…its clear to see what Monahan’s plan is for OWGR not to be given to LIV….A legal suit discovery would highlight the collusion and corruption to try and maim LIV players..they certainly have suffered damages due to the collusion and should sue the board members personally…Mark McCormack would be horrified what has happened with with his OWGR.

    • Bob

      May 24, 2023 at 3:31 pm

      LIV Tour is a closed tour that nobody can qualify for on pure playing ability. It is by selection only. No WGR points are allowed for any closed events.

      • Dundundun

        May 24, 2023 at 8:28 pm

        Actually they can qualify if they want, but they have to play those qualifying events lol

  4. Paulo

    May 24, 2023 at 7:15 am

    I thought Pete Cowen was brooks coach in another article up the page ?

  5. CH

    May 23, 2023 at 8:31 pm

    A drop the mic take.

    The arguments are over – just get the best players in the biggest tournaments and put this pissing match behind the golf world.

  6. Patrick

    May 23, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    What a refreshing take on LIV. I asked my head pro the other day if he was offered 10 million to join LIV, would you take it? At first he emphatically said no. I laughed at him and said,”of course you would. He laughed and shook his head knowing I was right.

    • C

      May 23, 2023 at 11:30 pm

      The “take” needed to swung to the NBC side. Who owns NBC? Who finances it? Take a look yourself who’s involved and Claude’s point is clear

  7. Greg

    May 23, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    Rory was the ultimate guy to leave his home tour to go overseas specifically to make more money. He’s also operating on the clearest example of a conflict of interest in sports business history when he argues PGA over LIV. It’s just money to him.

    And the Saudi argument? Please, Rory built a foundation for his career during the time he was sponsored by Jumeirah. Just look up owns them.

    • R

      May 23, 2023 at 11:33 pm

      It’s even worse with McIlroy. He’s Northern Irish. Is he Catholic? Why did he not play for GB then? He’s such a hypocrite , through and through. The only reason why he’s standing up for the PGA Tour is because he lives in the US, and is a member, and he married a stupid Yankee woman. He’s totally lost and confused on his concept of “allegiance.” He might as well denounce his European citizenship and play for the US if the US would allow him, the pathetic runt

  8. Stephen

    May 23, 2023 at 5:17 pm

    He is exactly right and not afraid to say so.

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19th Hole

LPGA star blocks fan account that follows her every shot on the course



Social media in golf has changed the game in many ways.

For instance, “tracker” accounts on twitter typically follow a player and provide real time shot tracking for fans so they can keep an eye on what their favorite players are doing. The biggest example of this is “Tiger Tracker” (@GCTigerTracker) who has about 414,000 followers. Many have tried to duplicate these types of accounts with other players to varying degrees of success.

A recent example of one of these accounts is one dedicated to tracking LPGA star, Leona Maguire. In an odd turn of events, Maguire blocked the “Leona Maguire tracker” account for reasons unknown.

The tracker stated they were “hurt and confused” by the blocking.

It seems as if the block was caused by negative reporting on the shots Leona was hitting on the course. One Twitter user brought that to the attention of the tracker, who vowed to do better in the future.

At the end of the day, these “tracker” accounts are just a player’s fan accounts. Therefore, it can’t be a major shock if the player doesn’t appreciate the negative comments when they don’t have their best stuff.

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19th Hole

College golfer suffers gruesome on-course injury during NCAA Championship



Over the weekend, a scary injury took place at the NCAA National Championship at Greyhawk Country Club.

According to Golfweek, a sophomore from Oregon, Greg Solhaug stepped on a tee during the event. The tee went all the way through his shoe and his foot, forcing him to withdraw.

After Solhaug withdrew, Oregon only had four players remaining to compete. The Ducks head coach, Casey Martin, told he’s never seen that type of injury before.

“I’ve been in golf nearly 50 years and have never seen anything like that. He was in a lot of pain.”

The NCAA’s Associate Director Rick Nixon released a statement on the incident.

“Oregon student-athlete, Gregory Solhaug, suffered a foot injury during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships and was forced to withdraw from competition. Oregon, which completed Saturday’s second round with four players, will have the option to substitute another player into their team lineup for subsequent competition rounds, as they deem appropriate.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson reveals why he won’t accept Brandel Chamblee’s offer to debate with him on Golf Channel



A couple of weeks ago, Phil Mickelson admitted he had been a “bit chippy” on Twitter recently. That hasn’t stopped him though, and last week he escalated the war of words between confirmed anti-LIV analyst Brandel Chamblee and himself, with support led by Brooks Koepka’s coach.

2022 saw much of LIV derided for having players now incapable of competing in major championships. Now, after many placings at Augusta, and Koepka’s win at the PGA Championship, the tide is beginning to turn, summed up by Lefty’s comment on his favourite social media site:

Soon after the victory, Koepka’s coach Claude Harmon gave his view of the ‘pay-to-play’ model, saying, “I want LIV to succeed and I want LIV to work because I am pro-professional athlete,” confirming his belief that the top golfers should be paid whatever the result.

He then took a swipe at Golf Channel’s Chamblee and golf journalist Eamon Lynch for their constant jabbing at the source of income for the rebel tour.

“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?”

Where Chamblee was happy to argue on television about the LIV/Ryder Cup debate, he is as happy as Mickelson to state his case on-line, most notably concentrating again in ‘sports-washing, ‘ denying he is a “proxy for the opinion of my employer, ” amidst a 500-plus word post that included a swipe at Harmon.

“Especially, as in the case of the person who called me a paid actor, if they can somehow profit from the evil. This is where the debate crashes headfirst into the nexus of politics, sports and narcissistic greed. Where those who want to escape it most often cloy at whataboutisms, to stop the discussion with a pejorative accusation because they don’t want their motives to be discovered.”

“So while Brooks Koepka’s win at the PGA Championship was impressive, it should not distract us from the simple fact that LIV players are being used for the benefit of some very bad people and to the detriment of a great many more good people. That LIV Golf, with its inability to develop stars and seeking to buy them like high performance cars, is undermining the dignity intrinsic in golf.”

That’s when Mickelson steps in and, after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, starts the fire by posting,

“Poor Brandel. He can rip apart me and countless others, but as soon as someone shows his ignorance, he can’t handle it. He’s softer now than he was as a player.”

That was enough (again) for Chamblee, who got even more personal, highlighting the imminent release of the book by convicted insider trader Billy Walters, and his relationship with the six-time major champion. 


As NUCLR Golf tried to sum up the entire episode, Mickelson then revealed another twist – his fierce rival had blocked him!

On Saturday, midway through LIV Golf DC, Phil was back, seemingly notifying all that he would be even more vocal in future.

Asked if he would go on-screen to debate, Mickelson was clear that he wouldn’t be going to Chamblee’s ‘house’:

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