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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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Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

"I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

 Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

 Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May   28

Individual   National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29

Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday,   May 29

Semifinals,   Team Match Play

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Wednesday, May   30

Team Match   Play National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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Country singer Owen shoots 86 in debut

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.

Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: