Debate: Is it a good idea for athletes to tweet?

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2012, 3:21 pm

Brittany Lincicome and Christina Kim got into a tweeting argument this past week. If you were advising athletes, would you recommend that they go ahead and tweet or steer clear of it? Our writers chime in with their thoughts.


Pros, keep tweeting until you develop carpal tunnel.

Just learn from your more reckless peers.

Last month, Luke Donald called architect Gil Hanse an unprintable word on Twitter and had to issue an apology, and then, over the weekend, Christina Kim and Brittany Lincicome engaged in a squabble that never should have gone public.

The takeaway from those blunders is obvious: Take five seconds to review the tweet before you click send. Double-check. That could have saved Donald, in particular – his message was intended to be private.

As for the LPGAers? Well, that was just embarrassing – for the players themselves. They came off as catty and childish. The back-and-forth was reminiscent of a schoolyard scuffle, each clique growing in numbers, the name-calling becoming more and more vicious … until the teacher breaks it up, and everyone is sent into timeout, humiliated. If I’m LPGA commish Mike Whan, I fine them not just for conduct unbecoming of a professional, but for conduct unbecoming of an adult.

Instead of reaching their combined 70,000-follower audience, why could they not settle their beef through a text message, or an email? Remember those other methods of communication? I know, I know. So 2010. But every thought doesn’t need to be 140 characters or less. Sometimes, ideas need to be expanded upon. Crazy, I know.

So, young tweeters, when in doubt, dust off the ol’ laptop, fire off an email. Close Twitter, use that message icon.

You’ll spare yourself the embarrassment.


Seriously? Are we really asking this? This is 2012, isn’t it? OK, I thought so.

Yes, of course athletes should tweet. Depending on their personality, these 140-character bursts can be anything from revealing studies of the inner machinations of their personalities to free advertising for corporate sponsors through supportive shoutouts. Either way, tweets bring the athlete closer to his or her fans and the fans closer to their favorite athletes. It’s a win-win scenario on so many different levels.

If I were offering advice to an athlete on how, what, when and why to make their thoughts public, it would probably mirror the advice my dad gave me on prom night: Don’t be an idiot.

More than ever, it’s easy for an athlete – or anyone else, for that matter – to get himself into hot water on a 24/7 basis. No longer must any of them be summoned to a podium in the interview room or stationed in front of awaiting microphones to have their words travel around the world. It can now happen right from the confines of the living room couch, a simple screen tap of the thumbs causing major headlines.

The advantages of tweeting – and other social media adventures – far outweigh the negatives. Like everything in life, though, tweets must be accompanied by a measure of intelligence and caution to avoid those negative situations.


Twitter feels like a more intimate way to communicate directly with your audience, but there’s nothing intimate about it.

Tweets are public property.

Ultimately, there’s no difference between what you tweet and what you say into a microphone in a TV or radio interview or to a reporter holding a digital recorder. In fact, if you’re going to tweet, treat it just like you would a live interview. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to a reporter, because Twitter is actually less protected than talking to a reporter. Nothing is off the record on Twitter. There is no such thing as `deep background.' What you tweet today can be a headline in newspapers across the world tomorrow.

Twitter is a terrific tool, an effective way to help build rapport and relationships with your audience, but it’s not much different than calling a news conference.

So if you’re going to tweet beyond the game you play, if you’re going to take stands on politics and religion, don’t feign surprise if it becomes a big deal. You are, after all, practically calling a news conference every time you tweet. You might argue differently, but good luck with that.


In the emerging world of new media the rule of thumb suggests that as a journalist you should never tweet anything you wouldn’t write either in a news story or column, an apropos guide considering this weekend’s public dustup between Christina Kim and Brittany Lincicome.

The LPGA duo went toe-to-toe in 140 characters or less with a healthy portion of tweet-dom watching, and as much as officials would have preferred the two keep their row private neither player tweeted anything that they wouldn’t have said in front of a camera or open microphone.

Therein lies the appeal of Twitter – an unfiltered glimpse (at least in theory) into an athlete’s persona free from media bias and the inherent limitations of our sound-bite society.

Why Kim and Lincicome were sideways really doesn’t matter so much as how they settled their differences, with nothing lost in translation or taken out of context. It was social media at its most enlightening, if not entertaining.

Twitter has facilitated a better understanding of players like Ian Poulter, Stewart Cink and, yes, Kim, that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. You may not always like the message, but you can’t criticize the medium.

Let them tweet.

Getty Images

Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 6:35 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

(Note: Group winners are highlighted; * equals won in playoff)

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0 (2) J. Thomas: 2-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-2-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 1-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 2-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 3-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-2-0 (43) C. Reavie: 1-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-1-0
(60) L. List: 0-2-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-1-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-1-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 1-2-0 (7) S. Garcia: 2-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-1-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 1-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 2-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 2-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-1-0
(46) C. Smith: 2-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-2-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-2-0 (42) J. Dufner: 1-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-2-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 2-1-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-2-0 (56) J. Hahn: 1-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 2-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-2-1 (12) T. Hatton: 2-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-2-0 (23) B. Grace: 1-1-1 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-2-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-1-0 (35) B. Watson: 2-0-1 (36) B. Steele: 1-1-0
(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 1-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-1-1 (55) A. Levy: 1-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 1-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-1-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-1-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-1-1 (27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-2-0 (37) W. Simpson: 1-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0
(61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 2-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 1-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1
Getty Images

Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 3

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 5:44 pm

Here is how things played out on Day 3 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 2 match results:

Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Kevin Kisner (32)

Group 1: Adam Hadwin (38) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)

Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) vs. Francesco Molinari (2)

Group 2: Patton Kizzire (48) vs. Luke List (60)

Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) def. Jon Rahm, 4 and 3: Unbeaten through two days, Aphibarnrat put the hammer down on Rahm, last year’s finalist. Barnrat needed only three birdies to secure the group win, while Rahm dropped to 0-2-1 for the week.

Group 3: Chez Reavie (43) vs. Keegan Bradley (63)

Group winner: Kiradech Aphibarnrat

Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Patrick Reed (19)

Group 4: Haotong Li (34) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)

Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Patrick Cantlay (30)

Group 5: Cameron Smith (46) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)

Group 6: Brian Harman (18) def. Rory McIlroy (6), 5 and 3: Harman took advantage of McIlroy’s missed putts and uncharacteristic mistakes to build a 3-up advantage on the front nine, then cruised to a lopsided victory. At 2-0-1, Harman wins the group, while McIlroy can begin his prep for Augusta.

Group 6: Jhonattan Vegas (44) vs. Peter Uihlein (57) def. Jhonattan Vegas (44), 4 and 3: Even though Uihlein won the first two holes on his way to routing Vegas, it wasn’t enough for the former U.S. Amateur champion to advance. He finished the week 2-1.

Group winner: Brian Harman

Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) vs. Xander Schauffele (20)

Group 7: Dylan Frittelli (41) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)

Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (25)

Group 8: Jason Dufner (42) vs. James Hahn (56)

Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) vs. Daniel Berger (26)

Group 9: Kevin Chappell (33) vs. Ian Poulter (58)

Group 10: Paul Casey (10) vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick (31)

Group 10: Kyle Stanley (45) vs. Russell Henley (51)

Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Branden Grace (23), halved: Already eliminated, Leishman kept Grace from reaching the pool-play playoff by never trailing in the match. Though the South African holed a 25-footer on 17 to extend it, both players halved the 18th hole with birdies, including a 6-footer from Leishman, to earn a half-point.

Group 11: Bubba Watson (35) vs. Julian Suri (64), halved: Needing just a half-point to advance, but two down with two to go, Bubba stuffed his tee shot on 17, then hit his driver pin-high on the home hole. After Suri couldn’t get up-and-down for birdie, Watson sank his 8-footer for the halve. It's the second consecutive year in which Watson has won his group.

Group winner: Bubba Watson

Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Charley Hoffman (22)

Group 12: Brendan Steele (36) vs. Alexander Levy (55)

Group 13: Alex Noren (13) vs. Tony Finau (29)

Group 13: Thomas Pieters (39) vs. Kevin Na (61)

Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) vs. Rafa Cabrera Bello (17)

Group 14: Satoshi Kodaira (40) vs. Charles Howell III (59)

Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Gary Woodland (24)

Group 15: Webb Simpson (37) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)

Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Ross Fisher (27)

Group 16: Yuta Ikeda (47) vs. Zach Johnson (54)

Getty Images

Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 4:33 pm

Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.

McIlroy lost the third, fifth and ninth holes at Austin Country Club. Harman led, 3 up, at the turn.

Getty Images

Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.

However, he never saw it go in.

Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.

A Golf Channel cameraman finally gave him the news and Stefani responded with an enthusiastic thumbs up.