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The Social: Kids these days

By Jason CrookFebruary 13, 2018, 7:30 pm

An up-and-coming pro deletes his Twitter account after forgetting the first rule of the social media website – don't tweet, Billy Hurley provides us with one of the funniest moments of the year so far – at Jordan Spieth's expense, and the best shot of the week comes from Jim Nantz's backyard – twice.

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

You may think you know it all in your mid-20s, but you most certainly do not. Almost everyone learns this lesson at some point around that age range. On Sunday, it was Lee McCoy’s turn.

McCoy, the 24-year-old who flashed his potential by finishing fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur in 2016, had a rough ending to the Tour's Club Colombia Championship, falling from inside the top 10 to a T-20 finish after bogeying two of his final three holes.

The University of Georgia product took his frustrations out on Twitter after the round, complaining about the kids in the galleries that were there “only to try and get free stuff from us” and said he taught one kid a “life lesson” by refusing to give him anything as he walked off the 18th green.

He also fired off a tweet comparing President Donald Trump’s United States to countries in South America before deleting his account because of the backlash.

Who knows the real story? Perhaps McCoy is right that the children who showed up to the Club Colombia Championship had no real interest in the golf tournament and were only there for some free souvenirs. Perhaps they were even rude about how they went about asking.

But … waging war on little kids seems like a public relations battle you simply aren’t going to win. Unless they’re the sisters from “The Shining,” you're going to have a hard time getting people on your side, a fact not lost on McCoy’s peers, who didn’t hesitate to let him have it.

On Tuesday, McCoy offered an apology for his words and actions in an interview with Golf Digest. Lets all just agree to chalk this up as a learning experience and move on. After all, he is just a kid, and kids make mistakes.

Jordan Spieth may be one of the most popular players with fans of the PGA Tour, but he’s going to need some help to win the popular vote amongst his peers after the stunt Billy Hurley pulled on Monday.

Spieth and Hurley are running against each other for Player Advisory Council chairman, and from the looks of the campaign ad Hurley dropped on Twitter, the Navy veteran knows how to play politics.

The 2016 Quicken Loans National winner has to be considered the frontrunner for the seat after everyone saw the hilarious video in which he used Spieth’s own words out of context to make the case that he’s a “dictator,” “pathetic” and a “thief.”

But don’t worry, there’s no hard feelings. In fact, Hurley’s ad even flipped the vote of Spieth himself:

As Spieth points out – hard to argue with facts.

In honor of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, here's Swiss professional skier Fabian Bösch winning all of the gold medals.

As the old saying goes, it’s all fun and games at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am until the world No. 3 almost gets his head taken off by a ‘90s sitcom star ... then it makes for a pretty good viral video.

That was the situation that went down over the weekend, when Jordan Spieth was nearly beaned in the head by a skulled shot from Ray Romano as he was about to tee off on the fifth hole:

Sure, some people may tire of the celebrity component at Pebble Beach year after year, but if they all decide to use the top players in the world as target practice going forward, this event may just have found have a new identity.

We follow up one of the worst shots of the week with two of the absolute best.

These from the (replica) seventh hole at Pebble Beach (in Jim Nantz' backyard), holes-in-one by Sir Nick Faldo and Billy Horschel:

Nantz seems like a pretty connected dude. Wouldn't put it past him to have Bugs Bunny and a giant magnet brought in for these big-time weeks to spruce things up a bit.

There's not many people in this world who enjoy life more than Andrew “Beef” Johnston, so when he proclaims a week the best ever, it’s worth taking some time to reminisce.

While he may be cutting down on drinking in his off time, Beef, who was in Australia for the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth, hasn’t cut out modeling on the beach with Lee Westwood, snorkeling, riding Segways or hanging with koalas. And for that, we thank him.

And bonus ... if you've ever secretly wanted to watch someone fall off a Segway, check out Min Woo Lee at the 43 second mark of the second video. After you stop laughing, feel free to check it out again.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 11:00 am

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)

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Alabama faces 'buzzsaw' Arizona for NCAA title

By Ryan LavnerMay 23, 2018, 2:00 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – There was no way Laura Ianello could sleep Monday night, not after that dramatic ending at the NCAA Women’s Championship. So at 12:15 a.m., the Arizona coach held court in the laundry room at the Holiday Inn, washing uniforms and munching on mozzarella sticks and fried chicken strips from Sonic, her heart still racing.

Ianello got only three hours of sleep, and who could blame her?

The Wildcats had plummeted down the team standings during the final round of stroke-play qualifying, and were 19 over par for the day, when junior transfer Bianca Pagdanganan arrived on the 17th hole.

“Play the best two holes of your life,” Ianello told her, and so Pagdanganan did, making a solid par on 17 and then ripping a 6-iron from 185 yards out of a divot to 30 feet. There was a massive leaderboard positioned to the right of the par-5 18th green, but Pagdanganan never peeked. The only way for Arizona to force a play-five, count-four playoff with Baylor and reach match play was to sink the putt, and when it dropped, the Wildcats lost their minds, shrieking and jumping over the ropes and hugging anyone in sight.

Watching the action atop the hill, Alabama coach Mic Potter shook his head.

“I was really glad we didn’t win the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed,” he said, “because they’re a buzzsaw with a lot of momentum.”

Given new life, Arizona dispatched Baylor by three strokes in the playoff, then turned its attention to top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Facing two first-team All-Americans, the Wildcats beat them, too, continuing the curse of the medalist. In the afternoon, worried that the adrenaline would wear off, Ianello watched her squad make quick work of Stanford, 4-1.

“They’ve got a lot of great momentum, a lot of great team energy,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “They thought they were going home, and now they’ve got a chip on their shoulder. They’re playing with an edge.”

After a marathon doubleheader Tuesday at Karsten Creek, Arizona now has a date with Alabama in the final match of this NCAA Championship.

And the Wildcats better rest up.

Alabama looks unstoppable.

“They’re rolling off a lot of momentum right now,” Ianello said. “We know Alabama is a good team. But they’re super excited and pumped. It’s not the high of making it [Monday]; now they’ve got a chance to win. They know they have to bring it.”

Even fully rested, Arizona will be a significant underdog against top-ranked Alabama.

After failing to reach match play each of the past two years, despite being the top overall seed, the Tide wouldn’t be stopped from steamrolling their competition this time.

They roughed up Kent State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then frontloaded their lineup with three first-team All-Americans – Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight – in their semifinal tilt against Southern Cal.

Potter said that he was just trying to play the matchups, but the move sent a clear signal.

“It gets pretty tedious when you never miss fairways and hole a lot of putts and your opponent knows that you’re not going to spray it,” Potter said. “That’s tough to match up against.”

They breezed to the first three points, draining any drama out of the semifinals. Of the 99 holes that Bama’s Big 3 played Tuesday, they trailed after only two.

“We’re always consistent,” Stephenson said, “and that’s exactly what you need in match play. Someone has to go really low to beat us.”

That Arizona even has that chance to dethrone the Tide seemed inconceivable a few months ago.

The Wildcats had a miserable fall and were ranked 39th at the halfway point of the season. On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, sent a text to Ianello that she was turning pro. Once she relayed the news, the team felt abandoned, but it also had a newfound motivation.

“They wanted to prove that they’re a great team, even without her,” Ianello said.

It also was a case of addition by subtraction: Out went the individual-minded Quihuis and in came Yu-Sang Ho, an incoming freshman whom Ianello described as a “bright, shining light.”

Because incorporating a top-tier junior at the midway point can be intimidating, Ianello organized a lively team retreat at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, where they made vision boards and played games blindfolded.

They laughed that weekend and all throughout the spring – or at least until Pagnanganan made that last-ditch eagle putt Monday. Then tears streamed down Ianello’s face.

Folding uniforms after midnight, she regaled Alabama assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel with stories from their emotional day on the cut line, not even considering that they might face each other two days later for a national title. She was too delirious to ponder that.

“I feel like a new mother with a newborn baby,” Ianello said. “But we’re going off of adrenaline. This team has all the momentum they need to get it done.”

Yes, somehow, the last team into the match-play field might soon be the last team standing.

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Pairings, tee times set for championship match

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 1:02 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.

“We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”

Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.

Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.

Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.

Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)

3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)

3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)

3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)

3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)

4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)

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Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”