The Social: So on, and so Fourth

By Jason CrookJuly 4, 2017, 5:15 pm

Pros celebrate the holiday in different ways, Ms. Gulbis goes to Washington, and Tiger Woods executes another perfectly-timed news dump. All that and more in this Fourth of July edition of The Social.

Tiger Woods has his own personal struggles just like the rest of us. Nobody's perfect. And good for him for getting whatever help he thought was necessary. A lot of people never have the courage to do that.

But one thing he has perfected is the art of the news dump. He's turned it into an art form.

The latest example came on Monday at 5:09 p.m., a.k.a July 3rd, a.k.a. a day a lot of people had off of work on the eve of a national holiday.

Blink (or be doing anything fun and holiday related) and you would've missed it, but Woods tweeted that he "recently completed an out of state private intensive program" and "will continue to tackle this going forward with my doctors, family and friends."

For some context, here are some of his past tweets announcing not-so-great news for the 14-time major champ.

Note the time stamps. All Fridays. All after work hours.

We're not saying that he didn't complete treatment at exactly 5:09 p.m. on Monday; he very well may have. We're just saying that's a heck of a coincidence.

It wouldn't be a Fourth of July edition of The Social without a look at what your favorite pros are doing to celebrate.

Since it's a holiday that falls in the middle of the summer that often involves boating and bathing suits, it's only natural to start with a quick look at Paulina Gretzky's Instagram account ... and it looks like she bounced back from that baby just fine.

Happy 4th of July #Merica

A post shared by Paulina Gretzky (@paulinagretzky) on

But Paulina and DJ weren't the only ones in the spirit.

Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas had themselves quite the bro-down.

If you can't tell, we like America

A post shared by Justin Thomas (@justinthomas34) on

Like most days, the Fourth of July looks like a good 24 hours to be a pro golfer.

Brandel Chamblee is never one to hold back an opinion, much like those who watch him on TV aren't shy about letting him know what they think of said opinions.

But he made some valid points during his latest Twitter rant.

While he didn't mention Bernhard Langer by name, the debate over anchoring - in particular, the enforcement of the anchor ban - popped up over the weekend at the U.S. Senior Open when video clips like these started making the rounds.

Chamblee said that while he was never in favor of the anchor ban to begin with, now that it is in effect, the non-application of the rule was "appalling" and "in gross disregard for the spirit of the game."

Coming from a guy who analyzes golf on television, those words are strong ... to quite strong.

Live look at me trying to achieve my dreams

A post shared by I Can't Even (@icanteven) on

We've all been this dog.

Danielle Kang's breakthrough major win at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship brought with it congratulatory texts and tweets from all of her famous friends, the most surprising of which came from ... Jon Lovitz(?!).

Yeah, this guy.

Well, a ladies night is exactly what Kang had after her major victory, with her good friend Michelle Wie documenting the celebration that included eating noodles out of the trophy.

Noodles ... Fireball ... corn. Hey, to each their own.

Natalie Gulbis was in Washington D.C. last week, and it wasn't just to do some sightseeing.

According to a report in the Nevada Independent, Gulbis met with Republicans to discuss a possible Congressional run, as she eyes the seat of Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) in Nevada’s third Congressional district, which is up for grabs in 2018.

The idea comes out of left field and seems like a long shot for someone with no political experience. Then again ... [insert your own joke here].

A post shared by Natalie Gulbis (@nataliegulbis) on

A post shared by Natalie Gulbis (@nataliegulbis) on

Who knows. We live in a crazy world and anything is possible. Perhaps if she wins she could teach the president some golf etiquette.

Kids these days.

While a little extra fun on the golf course is usually a good thing, I'm willing to stick my neck out at the risk of sounding like an old fart to condemn this latest trend.

A disturbing amount of videos like these have popped up on social media lately and while they may be (arguably) the slightest bit funny for those watching, the guy getting run over could end up seriously injured.

Wait for it

A post shared by TFM (@totalfratmove) on

CHOO CHOOOOO (@win.spencer)

A post shared by TFM (@totalfratmove) on

So PSA, please stop running other over unsuspecting friends with golf carts.

End rant.

Hope no one introduces these poor souls to hockey.

American Junior Golf Association

Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 11:03 pm

While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.

There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.

According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)

Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.

Getty Images

McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

12/1: Tony Finau

14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

20/1: Francesco Molinari

25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

“I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

“I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

“I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.

“Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

“Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

“I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

“It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

“Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

“She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

“I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

Her overall assessment of her day?

“It was a great experience,” she said.

Getty Images

Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.