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19th Hole

‘Heartbreaking’ – Matt Wolff responds after being blasted by LIV teammate Brooks Koepka

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Yesterday, Smash GC captain Brooks Koepka publicly blasted his teammate Matthew Wolff in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

“I mean, when you quit on your round, you give up and stuff like that, that’s not competing,” said Koepka. “I’m not a big fan of that. You don’t work hard. It’s very tough. It’s very tough to have even like a team dynamic when you’ve got one guy that won’t work, one guy is not going to give any effort, he’s going to quit on the course, break clubs, gets down, bad body language, it’s very tough. I’ve basically given up on him—a lot of talent, but I mean the talent’s wasted.”

On Friday morning, Wolff issued his response to Koepka via Sports Illustrated.

The 24-year-old said it was “beyond disappointing” to read Koepka’s comments.

“I read the SI interview with our Captain Brooks Koepka and it was beyond disappointing to me. When I chose to join his Team in 2023, I did so with much optimism about my new home as part of Team Smash and equally as important the chance to be around and learn from a player of Brooks’s stature. Like everyone who has ever played the game at the highest level, I have had competitive moments in the past that I feel I have let myself down and even others in our new team environment. This has been quite difficult for me. My challenges on and off the golf course with my mental health has been well documented. I deal with those challenges every day.

“However, while my 2023 season has not been all I had hoped for to this point, I have made positive strides in managing my life and feel Ike my game is turning for the positive. To hear through the media that our team leader has given up on me is heartbreaking. It’s not what a team member looks to hear from its leader, and I think we all know these comments should have been handled much differently. But I’m moving forward and won’t ever give up on myself. While on course results may not appear now to be positive indicators, I’m trying to win an even BIGGER game with my life.

“Finally, I trust Brooks wants what is best for our team. But it’s hard to imagine his comments in his recent SI interview in any way line up with those priorities. This will be my last comment on this matter. I’m heading out today to the Centurion Club trying to help our team win this week. I appreciate everyone’s continued support and your respect for my privacy.”

Both Koepka and Wolff will be teeing it up at Centurion Club on Friday. Koepka will be playing with Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, while Wolff will play alongside his fellow Smash GC teammates (minus the captain) Chase Koepka and Jason Kokrak.

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19th Hole

‘If Steve Williams was Rory’s caddie…’ – Tiger Woods’ ex-coach highlights key moment in Rory McIlroy’s U.S. Open collapse

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With Rory McIlroy coming up short in yet another major championship, there have been plenty of opinions shared on social media about what the superstar needs to do to win another.

Hank Haney, who was once the coach of Tiger Woods, shared his opinion on X on Tuesday.

“I will say this, if Steve Williams was Rory’s caddie I can promise you he would have never hit a perfect flighted 7 iron that rolled over the green on 15 into a terrible lie because he would have hit an 8 iron and sent it straight up in the air and held the green.”

Haney also added: “Wrong club, wrong shot, bad plan.”

Harry Diamond has been McIlroy’s caddie since 2017 and is one of the Northern Irishman’s closest friends.

McIlroy will take a few weeks off before teeing it up at the Genesis Scottish Open a week before the Open Championship at Royal Troon.

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Brandel Chamblee says this area of Rory McIlroy’s game costs him in the biggest moments

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It’s been over a decade since Rory McIlroy last won a major. At last week’s U.S. Open, the Northern Irishman had his best chance in recent memory to finally got over the hump, but missed two putts inside five feet, including a 2’6? putt, which cost him the tournament.

While speaking on Golf Channel, Brandel Chamblee shared his opinion on what he believes has held McIlroy back in the biggest moments.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love Rory’s golf swing, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. But he’s now finished in the top-ten in the last six US Opens and he’s averaging in those six US Opens – because I just looked here in strokes gained approach – about 30th. Guess what they do not do? Win US Opens.

“The guys who win US Opens finish first, second, third, fourth. Brooks Koepka in US Opens – first, second, most greens and best iron shots, strokes gained approach.

“Rory consistently underperforms in his iron play – and that is the most important statistic.”

The stats back up Chamblee’s opinion. On Sunday, Rory ranked 69th of 74 players in Strokes Gained: Approach.

McIlroy will take a few weeks off before teeing it up at the Genesis Scottish Open followed by the last major of the year at Royal Troon.

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19th Hole

Tour pro says Rory McIIroy needs to replace caddie Harry Diamond following U.S. Open collapse

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It’s no secret that Rory McIlroy hasn’t won a major in a decade. On Sunday, the Northern Irishman had his best chance in recent memory to finally got over the hump, but missed two putts inside five feet, including a 2’6″ putt, which cost him the U.S. Open.

While speaking on The Chipping Forecast podcast, DP World Tour player Eddie Pepperell said he believes McIlroy needs a new caddie.

“He looked so comfortable and in control and he just needed to hit it to the front part of that green on 15. And I really think he would have walked away with that trophy. That was an inexplicable club decision on 15 and possibly the last too.”

Harry Diamond, a longtime McIlroy friend, has been on his bag since 2017.

Pepperell said that McIlroy’s former caddie, JP Fitzgerald, would be a wise choice to replace Diamond.

“I just think Rory needs somebody who’s capable, like JP (Fitzgerald) probably used to be able to do and help him get across that line.”

Eddie added that if Rory were to win at Pinehurst, a change wouldn’t have been necessary.

“I wouldn’t have said this If he had won but I think he needs a new caddie. I hate saying that about Harry because I’m sure he’s a lovely guy. And I’m sure he’s a good caddie.

“But today, I felt Rory needed somebody that could pull him through the finish line. Rory should never have lost that golf tournament today.

“And I’m adamant about that. I’m sure if he had a super experienced, strong caddie, he would have just pulled him through.

“And I think that that’s the thing that’s holding him back in majors. I could be wrong, but that’s what I think and a bogey on 15 was just emblematic.”

On Monday, McIlroy put out a statement saying he’s going to take the next few weeks off and will skip this week’s Travelers Championship, which is a Signature Event.

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