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19th Hole

‘He’s lied maliciously about me’ – Alan Shipnuck hits back at Phil Mickelson and brings receipts

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The ongoing feud between Phil Mickelson and the author of the book Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar, Alan Shipnuck, continued on Monday.

Previously, Shipnuck shared on X that shared that he’d been told Phil Mickelson was telling people that Rahm to LIV was a “done deal.”

Phil retorted by slamming Shipnuck, calling the author “the worst liar and a pathetic human.”

Mickelson also responded directly in a (now deleted) tweet.

This week, Shipnuck fired back at Phil, and he brought receipts.

“When I was working on the Mickelson biography “Phil,” he called me because he wanted me to know what was really happening behind the scenes with LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. During that call Phil famously said, “They’re scary motherfuckers to get involved with. We know they killed [Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it?”

“During that riff he cited a specific gay person he is close with to help make his point. It didn’t feel right in the moment but he just kept talking and I let it go. I subsequently sent Phil a fact-checking email about the most sensitive material in the book (screenshots below). I wanted to give Phil a chance to reconsider his comment about this person’s sexuality. Throughout the entire process of writing the book, I tried to be transparent and fair to Mickelson; it’s clear from my fact-checking email that I am using his comments about the Saudis in my book. Phil never responded to my email but his lawyer Pat Swan did and we spoke by phone on Jan. 1, 2022. (While putting the book together I had conversations with two other lawyers employed by Mickelson.) Swan said Phil appreciated my sensitivity and would like me to remove the comment about the person’s sexuality, which I was happy to do. Neither Mickelson or Swan ever raised any concerns about me using the other contents of my phone call with Phil in the book.

“After his comments were published in an excerpt on http://FirePitCollective.com, creating an intense controversy, Mickelson claimed our conversation had been off-the-record. I had previously asked him three times face-to-face to sit for interviews; we both knew this phone call was for the book and everything he told me was going in its pages. He never asked to go off-the-record. If he had, I would have pushed back hard because this was my one chance to interview him for the book. In October ’22, Mickelson made another confounding statement: “So I will reiterate, I never did an interview with Alan Shipnuck.”

Phil can say whatever he wants but that doesn’t make it true. He has lied maliciously about me and I think his current comments should be seen through that lens.”

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19th Hole

TaylorMade files lawsuit against Costco over new Kirkland irons

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TaylorMade is suing Costco over its Kirkland irons, which the company alleges is false advertising and a copyright infringement.

According to Golf.com, TaylorMade alleges “the iron’s design infringes on several patents tied to the company’s popular P790 iron that has a similar hollow-cavity design.”

The Kirkland irons sold out shortly after being released on the Costco website, with an affordable $499 price tag attracting buyers who were looking for quality irons without breaking the bank.

The complaint states: “The accused products copy many features and technologies from TaylorMade’s P790 irons and the asserted patents. Costco’s website notes that the accused products are ‘are built for distance and forgiveness with a stainless steel body, injected urethane insert, and an internal tungsten weight for optimal launch, forgiveness, and playability.’”

“The statement by Defendants that the accused products contain an ‘injected urethane insert’ is literally false, or in the alternative, is misleading and, on information and belief, has actually deceived or has a tendency to deceive consumers in a way that influences purchasing decisions,” the complaint states. “Defendants’ false statements are material to purchasing decisions because they falsely or misleadingly suggest that the accused products have features found on premium clubs such as the Taylor Made P790. Defendants’ false advertising has misled golf journalists and customers to believe the accused products are similar to or equivalent to the TaylorMade P790.”

The complaint was filed in the Southern District of California with a jury trial being demanded.

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19th Hole

Report: Tour pros believe Anthony Kim will be making his return to professional golf at this event

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According to multiple reports including a post on X from Barstool Sports’ Daniel Rapaport, former PGA Tour star Anthony Kim will be making a comeback to professional golf.

Rumors of a Kim return have been swirling for a while now, but it wasn’t clear whether he’d be using past champion exemptions on the PGA Tour or if he’d join LIV Golf. It appears he’s opted for the latter with plans to make his debut at LIV Jeddah in early February.

Kim would be playing as an individual and not on a team for whichever LIV events he plays in 2024.

It’s been twelve years since fans have seen “AK” tee it up, with many believing a return for the star was out of the realm of possibility.

Kim had a quick rise in the golf rankings and was the 6th ranked player in the world at just 23-years-old. He had three PGA Tour wins from 2008-2010 and played a pivotal role in the United States 2008 Ryder Cup victory, beating Sergio Garcia 5&4 in the first Sunday singles match at Valhalla. He also went 3-1 in the 2009 Presidents Cup.

Kim is now 38 and it’s unclear how well he will be able to play after so much time away from the game, but there’s little doubt that fans will be tuning in to see for themselves.

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19th Hole

You’d never guess who featured on the 1989 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am program cover

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In 1989, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am had an interesting cover star.

According to the PGA Tour Communications account, the Peanuts creator, Charles Schultz, was a huge fan of golf and even played in the event.

Things have certainly changed recently with the format but plenty of celebrities will still tee it up in the event on Thursday and Friday.

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