The Social: It's a mad, mad, mad world

By Jason CrookJune 20, 2017, 6:50 pm

Johnny Miller is mad about a 63, Jason Dufner is mad anyone is mad about a 63, and Jon Rahm is just mad. But the WAGs are happy! All that and more in this edition of The Social.

After apparently spending Father’s Day with his kids at the movies, Tiger Woods announced Monday: “I’m currently receiving professional help to manage my medications and the ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder. I want to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support and understanding especially fans and players on tour.”

The news comes three weeks after Woods was charged with DUI in South Florida. While the police have not yet released the toxicology report, Tiger told arresting officers that he was on multiple prescription meds.

Naturally, in the year 2017, such an important announcement comes from Twitter via a screenshot of Big Cat's iPhone Notes app.

Everyone who is anyone shows up to major weeks.

That includes all the wives and girlfriends, officially standing by their men.

There was Rickie Fowler with Allison Stokke and the champion Brooks Koepka with Jena Sims.

It's par-tee time!

A post shared by Jena Sims (@jenamsims) on

But they weren't just there to support their favorite golfers. They also were there to support one another, throwing Sergio Garcia's fiancée, Angela Akins, an impromptu bridal shower.

There are worse ways to spend major weeks.

It wouldn’t be a major week, particularly a U.S. Open, without a little bit of controversy. At Erin Hills, it came in the form of record-low scores, highlighted by Justin Thomas’ 9-under 63 on Saturday.

Thomas said afterward that he wished NBC golf analyst and previous U.S. Open record holder Johnny Miller (8-under 63) had been calling the action, just to see what he said.

Turns out, even on an off-day, Miller was happy to give his opinion, and it was everything you imagined it would be:

“Taking nothing away from 9 under par – 9 under is incredible with U.S. Open pressure. But it isn’t a U.S. Open course that I’m familiar with the way it was set up … a 63 for a par 72 is a heck of a score, even if it was the Milwaukee Open.”

Those comments and the general debate over the quality of 63s didn’t sit well with Jason Dufner, who fired up his Twitter fingers.

Hard to argue with a #getoffmylawn defense from Duf Daddy.

Not to be outdone, Rory McIlroy and Steve Elkington got into a bit of a tiff after Elkington called out the four-time major winner for missing the cut at Erin Hills.

McIlroy responded with a screenshot of his accomplishments from his Wikipedia page. A pretty great clap back to have in your holster, provided, you know, that you have a Wikipedia page.

Of course, this didn't stop Elkington from digging his hole a little deeper, something the former PGA champ has been known to do.

McIlroy was happy to bury him. But if we know anything about Elkington, much like the Terminator, he'll be back.

Tim Tebow just launched his bat into the stands(via @DarenStoltzfus)

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Tebowmania at an all-time high.

Sportsmanship, shmortsmanship ... watching Jon Rahm play angry golf is highly entertaining.

Rahm wasn't exactly pleased with his play at the U.S. Open, and the 22-year-old let everyone know it.

Check out this sequence of events from Day 2 at Erin Hills, where Rahm carded a 1-over 73 and missed the cut.

Imagine if he hadn't made that birdie.

A wild scene unfolded Thursday at the U.S. Open when an advertising blimp crashed just outside Erin Hills, exploding on impact.

The only person on board, the pilot, is expected to recover after suffering serious burns, but the incident had social media buzzing for most of the day, as amateur photographers flooded Twitter with videos and photos of the wreck.


The U.S. Open brought us a smattering of shouts from fans as players teed off. There was the usual, "Get in the hole!" and “Baba Booey!”

But a couple of fans deserve a little recognition for thinking outside the box.

While almost all shouts from the crowd are obnoxious, these two at least made people chuckle.

DMX and Mark Wahlberg, growing the game one shout out at a time.

Leased Nissan Altima, but close.

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."