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The Social: Is the WMPO out of control? It's all relative

By Jason CrookFebruary 6, 2018, 7:00 pm

The party known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open rages on (but not quite as much as Philadelphia's Super Bowl party), Super Bowl reaction on the PGA Tour and Jordan Spieth could teach Tom Brady a thing or two about catching a football.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

Explaining the atmosphere of the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to someone who’s never been is tricky.

It is something you have to experience to fully appreciate. (Side note: If cramming into a makeshift stadium with 20,000 inebriated golf fans people isn’t your thing, you’re never going to appreciate it.)

But for better or worse, it really is a sight to behold. And nothing tells the tale of "The Biggest Party on the PGA Tour" better than these photos/videos of people showing up to the gates of TPC Scottsdale on Saturday starting at 4 a.m. and then racing to 16 to get a seat a full four hours before a golf shot is hit.

Like all nice things, though, someone will find a way to ruin it. Between the Wednesday streaker and some players beginning to complain about the crowd getting too abusive, it's anyone's guess as to how long authorities let the debauchery continue down this path. The crazies seem to take it up a notch every year.

But for now, it's just one of those events where you can hang out and have an awesome time. And if you want to let the whole golf course know you had an awesome time like this guy in the video below, well that's your prerogative.

The golf world’s reaction to the Philadelphia Eagles beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII was relatively muted, but there was one exchange that stood out after the game.

Noted Patriots fan Keegan Bradley had a lot less to say Sunday than he did a year ago – funny how that works – but luckily for him, he has some buddies who were nice enough to check in on him and make sure everything was alright.

One of those friends, fellow Tour pro Colt Knost, was so concerned the 2011 PGA champ wasn’t answering his FaceTime calls that he doubled down, and posted a screenshot of his attempt to get in touch on Twitter.

Hey, what are friends for?

Bradley did eventually respond with a simple sad face emoji.

Straight and to the point. The Patriot way.

Spieth missed the cut and never really got much going last week in Phoenix, but he did get to catch a pass from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and that’s got to count for something, right? Not everyday you get to play catch with a future first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Spieth and Rodgers played the Wednesday pro-am together and they hooked up for a beauty on the 16th hole.

As if there was any doubt, Rodgers delivered an absolute dime:

@AaronRodgers12 to @JordanSpieth ... TOUCHDOWN!

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

Perhaps he could give some tips on catching the ball to his friend Tom Brady the next time they tee it up together.

To keep things in perspective, Philadelphia Eagles fans out celebrating the team's historic Super Bowl win makes the scene at the Waste Management Phoenix Open look like a Wiggles concert.

Here's one of their milder antics, destroying the awning at a downtown Ritz-Carlton:

The night also featured fans looting local gas stations, uprooting telephone polls and eating horse manure. Fly, Eagles Fly.

The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale gets all the hype, but the 17th hole provided the real highlights this week.

A couple of things that you rarely see on a golf course happened on back-to-back days on the driveable par-4 17th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

On Thursday, Ollie Schniederjans found the green with his drive and had a 74-foot look at eagle. He proceeded to putt his ball well past the hole, off the green and into the water.

That's right, he lost a ball ... on a putt.

The very next day in the second round, Robert Garrigus took a little more direct approach, nearly holing his drive for what would've should've been the second ace on a par-4 in PGA Tour history.

Take notes, Ollie. Hitting your ball in the hole in one shot is much easier than putting.

Justin Thomas had an up-and-down week in Phoenix that saw him briefly flirt with a chance to win the tournament … only to watch the whole thing blow up in his face over a three-hole stretch on the back nine on Saturday.

Last year's Player of the Year shot a third-round 71 that started with six straight birdies and ended with a bogey-triple-double stretch on Nos. 14-16.

But credit to him for keeping his head on straight.

The 24-year-old told reporters afterward the round that he was "shocked" and "speechless." And he was telling the truth. Shortly afterward, he followed up those quotes on Twitter with a popular meme.

Because when all else fails and you don't necessarily have the right words for the moment, you can always count on the internet to be there to sum up your feelings.

Tom just absolutely nailing this analysis of that Schniederjans putt.

Poor Ollie.

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.