The Social: Double the fun after the PGA

By Jason CrookAugust 15, 2017, 10:40 pm

Justin Thomas breaks through for his first major victory and celebrates it in style, Rory McIlroy gets an outstanding application from a guy eager to be his new caddie, Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky head out on vacation and in case you weren't sure it was Solheim Cup week, Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang are here to remind you. All that and more in this edition of The Social.

It would be hard to start anywhere but Justin Thomas' victory at the PGA Championship, as the golf world hasn't stopped buzzing about it since he lifted the Wanamaker Trophy.

Social media lit up with congratulatory messages for one of the most well-liked guys on the PGA Tour, and one of his first orders of business when he got home to Jupiter, Fla., was dinner with Tiger Woods at the 14-time major champion's nearby restaurant, The Woods.

This photo of Woods, Thomas and the Wanamaker began circulating around the Internet, but perhaps the best version came from the Snapchat account of Rickie Fowler - who was also in attendance - with the caption "14-1-0 ... 0 not pictured," referencing the trio's major haul.

Say what you will about Fowler, he's got a great sense of humor about this whole third-wheeling thing.

The Rory McIlroy caddie opening is currently one of the most sought-after jobs in the golf world - he confirmed there's been plenty of interest ahead of last week's PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

Now that he's considering shutting it down until next year with an injury, he'll have plenty of time to consider all of his possible options, including PGA Tour pro Joel Dahmen’s caddie, Geno Bonnalie, who tweeted out his de facto résumé which was equal parts hilarious and informative.

There's a lot there to read (in very small print), so here are some of the highlights:

- Please don’t think I’m sneaking around behind Joel’s back trying to get another job. I think Joel himself may also be applying for the position.

- If you hire me it wouldn’t be awkward at all because we already know each other. We played in front of you on Saturday at the Travelers and during the wait on 4 tee box I asked you if you wanted a water (which you politely declined). So we’re pretty much best friends already.

- Once upon a time I was one of the best Archers in the world (as a youth). so I have a weird ability to know exactly how far you are from the pin just by looking at it (inside 70 yards). So if I don’t step anything off, and tell you it’s 58 yards … it’s 58 yards.

- If we agree on a club, then you chunk the sh** out of it and yell at me for “giving you a bad club” I’ll probably eat it and say “sorry pro”, but please know that in my head I will be thinking something about how you should hit a better shot.

- If you make me keep our playing partners score, I sometimes lose track of what they made on a hole because I’m so focused on what we’re doing (see what I did there? Turned a negative in to a positive)

Click here to read Bonnalie's full qualifications, which may or may not exactly line up with what McIlroy is looking for, according to this incredible voice-over impersonation from Golf Central Daily.

It's been a long season for Dustin Johnson.

Three wins - including two WGCs, that slip and fall down the stairs before the start of the Masters that led to his withdrawal, the weight of the world No. 1 ranking as he searched for his second major title, becoming a new father for the second time.

Add it all up, and the end of the major season seems like the perfect time for a vacation. What a coincidence that he and his fiancée, Paulina Gretzky, are two of the best vacationers on earth.

So it wasn't a shock to see the two of them lounging in a pool at Baker's Bay in the Bahamas shortly after the PGA Championship wrapped up.

my one & only

A post shared by Paulina Gretzky (@paulinagretzky) on

A post shared by Paulina Gretzky (@paulinagretzky) on

Also, apparently in some crazy little scheme to actually turn a profit, Baker's Bay is open more than once a year during spring break when the #SB2K boys come to town. Who knew?

Virtual Reality isn't for everyone

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Just when you thought video games were safe.

Picking winners at a 75 percent success rate is unheard of in the gambling world, especially when it comes to golf. Unfortunately for one man who picked three of the four major winners this year, that accomplishment led to a payout of $0.

Jordan Baker's dream of a $2.5 million payout for a parlay of all four major champs officially died at The Open, where he picked Rickie Fowler instead of Jordan Spieth. But his heart was ripped out once again on Sunday at the PGA Championship while watching Justin Thomas outlast the field and hoist his first major championship trophy.

Baker tried to make light of the situation on Sunday, telling Fowler he could make it up to him with a round at Augusta National, but take a look at his Twitter timeline. That there is a broken man.

Something about the PGA Championship that inspires everyone to get a little slap happy.

Obviously it's going to be hard to top the GOAT - Jason Dufner after his win at Oak Hill in 2013, who became a viral sensation for this "celebration" with then-wife, Amanda.

But Jordan Spieth gave it a try after his good friend Justin Thomas won the PGA on Sunday. The three-time major winner welcomed his buddy to the club with a big old pat on the rear end.

Attaboy JT, you earned it.

It's not how you play, it's how you look while you're playing ... or something like that.

Well the USA Solheim Cup squad is looking rather red, white and blue early this week, especially Michelle Wie.

Wie has gone full USA braids and Swarovski crystal shoes, as well as matching American flag onesies with BFF Danielle Kang.

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Not sure what this means for U.S. team, but it's a strategy so crazy, it might just work.

It's a tough call, but have to go with Robert on this one.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."