The Social: What's all the fuss about?

By Jason CrookJuly 11, 2017, 4:20 pm

A rules controversy didn't stop Jon Rahm from celebrating with his girlfriend, Donald Trump shockingly stirs up some controversy at the U.S. Women's Open and Jordan Spieth looks like he's moving on from his traditional vacation crew with some even more famous friends.

All that and more in this edition of The Social.

It wouldn't be a proper golf tournament without a rules controversy. And we got another one during Rahm's win at the Irish Open on Sunday.

Rahm, who eventually won the event by six strokes, sparked some controversy on the sixth green during his final round, when he appeared to mark his ball to the side of his marker and then returned the ball to the front of it, similar to a situation that cost Lexi Thompson a four-stroke penalty and the ANA Inspiration earlier this year.

Rahm, though, was not penalized. Rules official Andy McFee determined there that there was no intent to break a rule and only a “millimeters” difference between the two spots.

Many in the world of golf disagreed with this ruling, most notably, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, who you may have heard a time or two in the past give his opinion on rules infractions.

Chamblee said his piece on "Golf Central" after the tournament was over but then took it a step further, explaining his point on Twitter.

Lets go to a live look at Rahm and ... he seems to be doing just fine.

Check out more images of Rahm and his girlfriend Kelly Cahill by clicking here.

Spieth is part of the original #SB2K16 and follow-up #SB2K17 crew with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman.

Not bad company if you can get it. But c'mon, this is Jordan Spieth we're talking about here. This guy holes out from bunkers for walk-off victories if he wants to. Certainly he can upgrade.

Well upgrade he has, at least temporarily. If you scroll through the pictures he posted to Instagram below, he recently hit up Mexico not only with girlfriend Annie Verret, but also with the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, NFL stars Russell Wilson and Dwight Freeney, World Golf Hall-of-Famer Fred Couples and some guy named Michael Jordan.

Cabo

A post shared by Jordan Spieth (@jordanspieth) on

No official word on what exactly they were doing there but does it even matter?

This week's U.S. Women's Open has been nothing but controversy so far, and no one has hit a shot yet.

That comes with the territory with President Donald Trump, whose name happens to be on the golf course where the tournament is being staged.

Two-time major champ Brittany Lincicome, among the players competing at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., was asked about the president showing up for the event, which he has since hinted that he might do.

Lincicome gave a non-political response, but said that she hoped he wouldn't show up because of the atmosphere his presence creates.

“Hopefully, maybe, he doesn’t show up, and it won’t be a big debacle, and it will be about us and not him,” Lincicome told the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t know him. I have met him probably once. I think it will be fine. We’re going to play an amazing golf course and let our clubs do the talking.”

That led to so much backlash on social media, including from John Daly, an outspoken Trump supporter, that Lincicome decided to get off Twitter for the rest of the week.

Probably a good lesson for all of us. Get off Twitter.

Need to try this (@conndogo) (@drunkpeopledoingthings )

A post shared by Drunk People Doing Things (@drunkpeopledoingthings) on

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

Playing in the Web.com Tour's Lecom Health Challenge on Thursday, Andrew Yun struck a female fan with an errant shot.

He did that cool thing where the pro wanders over and gives the fan a magical signed glove to ease the pain, only to realize moments later that it was the only glove in his bag and ask for it back. Oops.

His playing partner, Kyle Thompson, put him on blast.

After roughly 12 more holes worth of sweat and use, the glove did eventually make its way back to the fan. Lucky her.

Chesson Hadley's journey back to the big leagues after losing his Tour card for 2017 was an emotional one, and don't just take our word for it.

The 2014 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year couldn't help but let out the waterworks after winning the Web.com Tour’s Lecom Health Challenge with a Sunday 65.

The 30-year old was the first to admit it was an ugly display afterwards on Twitter. Though we're willing to bet the sweet taste of those tears was worth the wait.

What's this? A positive comment of the week? It's like finding Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster just casually hanging out at the bottom of a GolfChannel.com article.

Getty Images

Woods on firing shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

“I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

“I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.


Getty Images

Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

“It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

Getty Images

After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

“I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

Let it go.

Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

“I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

“It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

“I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

The only thing left to do?

Let it go.