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!

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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.

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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.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.