Weir overcomes odds – and oddities – to win 2003 Masters

By Mercer BaggsApril 4, 2013, 11:45 am

Mike Weir remembers the moment it hit him.

It happened somewhere between the final putt and the presenting of the green jacket. There were no players or officials or patrons around. Just Mike, alone with a sobering realization: I am a Masters champion.

Weir recalls the moment with clarity. He isn’t one to dwell on the past, but he has spent a lot of time recently reflecting on his victory in the 2003 Masters, if only because people keep asking him to do so as the 10-year anniversary nears.

A decade ago, Weir became the first Canadian and the first left-handed player to win at Augusta National. He did so on a 7,290-yard layout, further lengthen by waterlogged conditions. He triumphed over 73 holes contested in three condensed, consuming days.

Weir’s week began the weekend before. He drove from Atlanta, Ga., to Augusta after missing the cut at the BellSouth Classic. The short stint at TPC Sugarloaf was a shock to the system. Weir had won twice in his first four starts of the season and hadn’t finished worse than T-27.

“Missing the cut the week before the Masters was a wakeup call, because I played undisciplined golf,” Weir recalled. “I remember vividly, I was firing at pins that I wouldn’t normally attack – I just got out of my game plan a bit that week.

“When I arrived at Augusta early, it was all about getting back to having a good game plan and sticking to that. That’s when I do well. But my confidence was still there.”

Tiger Woods, Martha Burk and Augusta National

The Preamble

Two-time winners tend to generate a lot of hubbub entering the season’s first major. But in 2003, the Masters was awash in white noise, drowning out any Weir buzz.

There was Tiger Woods.

Woods had three wins in five starts and was the two-time defending champion. He was a 7/5 favorite to become the first player ever to win three consecutive Masters Tournaments.

On Woods, Weir said: “I didn’t let Tiger or anybody affect what I was doing. I was so focused on my game. I’m a pretty one-dimensional player – I keep my ball in the fairway and rely on my short game. I can’t unleash one 320 (yards) – don’t have that shot. My game is not going to change because of anybody else in the field. I have to execute my game better than everybody else does.”

Gray: Mattiace's bittersweet memories of 2003 Masters

There was Martha Burk.

The National Council of Women’s Organizations chair wanted female members at Augusta National. Club chair Hootie Johnson didn’t want to be held “at the point of a bayonet.”

A protest was set. Anticipation was intense. And it came to a head that Saturday in a muddy field segregated one-half mile from the front gate. With roughly 40 protesters. And one Elvis impersonator, one cross-dresser and one Klansman.

It wasn’t the March on Washington St. It was a David Lynch movie.

On Burk, Weir said: “Oh … yeah. She didn’t have much support.”

And then there was the weather.

The inclement conditions arrived around the same time as Weir. Officials would not allow patrons onto the grounds Monday for fear of course damage. Tuesday was open to the public, but still rather unpleasant. Wednesday was good enough to hold the Par 3 Contest. Thursday …. well, they didn’t play golf on Thursday.

Masters Tournament

Day 1: April 10, 2003

Weir was scheduled to tee off in the opening round of the 67th Masters at 10:11 a.m. ET, alongside two-time winner Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington. But it rained and rained, so, instead, he spent the day like this:

“I remember waiting around for a while and reading a book – got one of the old books off the bookshelf at Augusta. Just a lot of sitting around and waiting, eating,” said Weir, who was staying that week in a hotel, but had rented a house for friends and family. “We eventually went to a movie.”

Prior to the first round, during the occasional practice opportunity, Weir had been working on hitting a fade. The significance of this note will be made clear later.

He had also been fine-tuning his short game. Not that it mattered. Augusta National was a beast on dry land, a Kraken in the water. Only the longest hitters had any chance at survival.

“The golf course is going to play 7,600 yards this week,” Ernie Els said that Tuesday.

Els, who won the season’s first two events in Hawaii, was Augusta’s second favorite, behind Woods, at 8/1. Davis Love III, The Players champion, was 12/1. Phil Mickelson, still major-less at that point, was 15/1. Vijay Singh, the 2000 Masters champion, was 18/1. Weir was 20/1.

“I was probably under the radar a little bit, because I’m not a long player. Even as well as I was playing, no one expected me to win there,” Weir said.

Mike Weir

Day 2: April 11, 2003

They played golf Friday. Lots of golf. Thirty holes, for Weir. After the first round concluded, Weir (70) was four back of Darren Clarke, who led outright after a 6-under 66.

Round 1 began at 7 a.m. Round 2 began at 2 p.m. When darkness halted play, Weir was in front of Clarke by two. Beginning his second 18 on the second nine, he birdied Nos. 2 and 3 before the horn to reach 6 under.

Clarke was at 4 under. Mickelson was in third place, at 2 under. Woods, meanwhile, was eight strokes back, 2 over par through 28 holes. His bid for a three-peat unraveling in an opening 76.

Weir’s game plan was working. He didn’t hit it far, but he hit it straight. When he missed greens, he got up and down. He made eight birdies and only two bogeys.

“I was dialed in with my wedge game and my putter,” Weir assessed. “The underrated part of my game that week was my driving. I drove the ball great that week. The course was long, but I was in the fairway a lot.”

Weir was as efficient as possible, but it didn’t make the experience any less exhausting.

“Tiring. Tiring,” Weir said when asked to describe Day 2. “That golf course was long and wet. It was a long day with a quick turnaround. I played right till dark and then (had) to go do media. Had dinner late that night and then was up at 4 in the morning.

“Where it affected me was Saturday.”

Mike Weir

Day 3: April 12, 2003

After wrapping up the final six holes of his second round – with one birdie, one bogey and four pars – Weir led the field by four shots, at 6 under par.

Paired with Clarke in Round 3, Weir felt the effects of Friday. He grew lethargic. His legs began to cramp because of dehydration. His most valuable commodity – his mind – even slipped a little.

“I hit a couple of loose irons shots and put myself on the wrong side of the hole – something you cannot do at Augusta,” Weir said. “The only impatient shot I hit, I went for 13 (a par 5) – I went for the green off of a hanging line. I hit a pretty good shot, but it didn’t carry enough. Went into the creek and made 6.

“Put it on the wrong side of the hole on 15 and 17. A couple of three-putts later and it’s a 75.”

Weir still had a reservation in Sunday’s final round. He stood at 3 under par, two back of leader Jeff Maggert, who shot 66 Saturday afternoon. Singh and David Toms were knotted at 2 under. Woods had played himself back into contention with a 66. He was tied with Mickelson and Jose Maria Olazabal at 1 under.

Len Mattiace sat quietly in a group at even par.

Mike Weir

Day 4: April 13, 2003

Weir didn’t tee off until 2:50 p.m. Sunday. A man waits around that long to play in the final group, in the final round of a major, and he’s bound to go mad. Weir, however, had no problem filling the time and remaining sane.

“Got a full night’s sleep and got fully hydrated. I remember in the morning, just hung out with my family and had breakfast. Think I read a book and got to the course early,” Weir said. “I remember ‘Happy Gilmore’ was on in the locker room. Watched a little of that and had a laugh, and went out to practice.”

Playing alongside Maggert, Weir cut his overnight deficit to one with a birdie on the par-5 second. By the time they walked off the par-4 third, Weir was two ahead.

After hitting 2-iron into a fairway bunker on the short third, Maggert’s second shot, a wedge from 106 yards, ricocheted off the lip and struck him in the chest. Two-stroke penalty. Triple-bogey 7.

Maggert ultimately finished fifth after a 75, which also included an 8 on the par-3 12th. Mickelson (68) was third, Furyk (68) fourth. Woods shot 75 to finish T-15.

Singh wasn’t a factor, nor was Toms. Neither man broke par. In fact, only five players shot in the 60s that day and no one scored better than Mattiace.

Mattiace, a 35-year-old, two-time Tour winner, played his first 12 holes in 4 under to get within one of Weir. When he eagled the par-5 13th, he had the outright lead. For good measure, Mattiace birdied the par-5 15th to reach 7 under, grabbing a two-stroke advantage – and, finally, Weir’s full attention.

“I had heard some noise up ahead, but I hadn’t really watched the scoreboards,” said Weir, who spent most of the day three holes behind Mattiace. “So, at 13 I asked Brennan (Little), my caddie, ‘What’s going on?’ and he told me Len was having a career round up ahead. That made my decision easy, on 13.”

Remember about 900 words ago when we foreshadowed the importance of Weir perfecting a fade. Here’s the payoff.

“I hit my drive in the fairway, on the left side,' Weir said of how he played 13. 'There were trees overhanging so much that I had to start the shot to the right of the water to almost cut it around. It was not the ideal shot for me. At that point, though, I needed to take my chances.”

He was only 193 yards from the hole, but he had made 6 the day before trying to go for the green in two. Faced with a flatter lie than before, and a two-stroke deficit, Weir gave it a-go. His 4-iron shot finished off the back, left of the green, 50 feet from the hole.

Before Weir could attempt his eagle effort, however, Mattiace made another birdie at the par-3 16th. The deficit was three.

“I had to make birdie (on 13),” Weir said. “The first shot (a putt) had to go down a valley and back up, and then quickly to the hole. It went about 15 feet past and I made the come-back.”

The normally reserved Canadian made one, two, three fist pumps after holing the putt. He knew there was little chance to catch Mattiace without that birdie.

“Oh, yes,” he said. “I knew.”

Weir parred 14, making a 5-foot putt, to remain two back. Up ahead, Mattiace bogeyed 18. And when Weir made birdie on the par-5 15th, shortly thereafter, the two were tied.

Mattiace was in the clubhouse at 7 under, following his 65. Weir had three holes remaining. Three pars and he was in a sudden-death playoff.

“That wasn’t my mindset. My mindset was to make a birdie – make a birdie on one of these final three holes and win the Masters,' Weir said. 'Hit a really good shot on 16 and missed that putt. Hit a poor iron shot on 17, but nearly made the (birdie) putt. And then hit two nice shots into 18.

“That shot (the approach on 18) looked like it was going to get up to the back – at least from the fairway. It was a penetrating flight; it just landed a little fat. I thought I was going to have about 15 feet, left of the hole for birdie. I heard the oohs and aahs from the fairways and when I made it up there I was a bit surprised.”

Weir had 45 feet, uphill with a sharp left-to-right break, to win the Masters.

“It was a new pin placement (on 18). It was middle, right. I don’t know if we’ve ever had it there and I don’t think we’ve had it there since,” Weir said. “From the left side it was a difficult putt. I was just looking to two-putt. If it fell in, it fell in. I just didn’t give it quite enough speed to have it start breaking quickly at the top of the hill. Left me about 7, 8 feet short.”

In the aftermath of his victory, and in all the years since, Weir has stated in relationship to his playoff-inducing putt: “I wouldn’t wish that kind of pressure on anybody.”

Except himself. For nearly four rounds, he had 103 putts – despite hitting only 38 of 72 greens in regulation. He had not made a bogey in the final round. One more putt, one more par and the dream was still alive.

“I was putting real well all week and told myself to just hit a good putt and I could live with the results,” Weir said. “I was so focused that I was as calm as I’ve ever been in that situation – trying to win a golf tournament. It’s hard to believe, but that’s as calm as I’ve ever been.”

The putt was dead center.

Mike Weir

The playoff

After signing his scorecard, Weir was whisked to the 10th tee to face Mattiace, who had not struck an official shot in 40 minutes. Both men hit the fairway off the tee, but while Weir found the green with his 7-iron second shot, Mattiace hooked his 6-iron approach.

With a knobby pine impeding his line to the hole, Mattiace hit a bump-and-run that ran 30 feet past the hole. Weir kept Mattiace alive by racing his 45-foot birdie putt 6 feet by – nobody told the pair that they had rolled the green for the playoff – but Mattiace missed his par putt. And his bogey putt.

Weir needed only to two-putt, and so he did. He raised both arms in triumph, shook Mattiace’s hand and hugged his caddie. His wife, Bricia, whom he met at BYU, ran onto the green and leaped into his arms.

They had been through a lot of lean times – mini-tours, exotic tours, multiple trips to PGA Tour-Q-School – to reach this high.

“It was just a feeling of satisfaction that I was able to keep my mind right for 73 holes. It was a lot of hard work. A lot of self-satisfaction, more than anything,” Weir said of the moment that final putt fell.

Mike Weir, 32, of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, was a major champion. A Masters champion.

“I didn’t think my best chance to win (a major) would be there – maybe U.S. Open or British Open,” Weir said. “But I was playing so good that it didn’t matter.”

For the record, Weir ranked 39th for the tournament in driving distance (271.2 yards), but was T-11 in accuracy (42/56 fairways hit) and fourth in total putts (104). He was also T-1 in par-5 scoring (10 under).

That evening was special, and, like the week as a whole, tiring. Weir met his media obligations, ate at the members’ dinner and left the course around 11:30 p.m. He then went to his rented house to celebrate with friends, family and a few caddies.

But along the way there was a moment. It occurred after he left the 10th green and before Woods put the green jacket over his shoulders.

“It hit me when we took the cart ride back to Butler Cabin. I had a chance to go to the restroom and put some water on my face,' Weir said.

'It just kind of hit me that, wow, this really just happened.”

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Monday Scramble: Again and never again

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 3:00 pm

Bubba Watson takes title No. 3, Paul Casey folds, Rory McIlroy's putting struggles continue, Phil Mickelson apologizes, Ho-sung Choi stars and more in this week's edition of Monday Scramble:

Bubba Watson still defers to 2015 as the best year of his career. That’s when he won in Los Angeles, Augusta, Shanghai and the Bahamas. During the PGA Tour wraparound season, however, he won only twice, and it wasn’t nearly enough to top Jordan Spieth for Player of the Year honors.

This season might be different.

There are still two majors and the playoffs left, and voters tend to weigh major victories more heavily, but the 39-year-old Watson has to be considered the current favorite for Player of the Year.

He’s the first three-time winner of the campaign, and his three titles have come on a variety of courses and even formats – at Riviera, at the Match Play, at TPC River Highlands. The common denominator is a strong field, and Watson prevailed again Sunday after a closing 63.

The only issue for Watson’s POY candidacy: He’s entering a portion of the schedule (July-September) in which he’s never won. He has only one top-25 at The Open. He hasn’t contended at the PGA since a playoff loss in 2010. He has stated that he isn’t particularly fond of East Lake, site of the all-important FedExCup finale.

But maybe this is the summer it all changes and Watson becomes the Tour’s top player for the first time in his career.

1. Just 71 yards. Tight lie. Downwind. Tucked pin. Desperately needing birdie.

Of the many spectacular shots that his boss has hit in his career, caddie Ted Scott put his hand on Watson’s shoulder and told him this was the best yet:

2. Watson’s final-round 63 was the lowest closing score by a winner on Tour this season. His round included six birdies and no bogeys over his final 10 holes, as he chased down a sputtering Paul Casey and eventually passed him, erasing a six-shot deficit. 

3. It wasn’t a surprise, of course.

Watson has three wins, six top-10s and eight top-25s at TPC River Highlands. His scoring average there: 67.48. His career earnings are north of $4.7 million.

“I feel like this is my home course,” he said. “I can play golf around here.”

4. Even with a drought-busting victory earlier this year at Innisbrook, Casey on Sunday couldn’t shake his reputation as a talented ball-striker who has trouble closing.

Staked to a five-shot lead after the opening hole, Casey shot 2 over in the final round – including crushing bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 – to finish three shots back of Watson. His was the worst score of anyone inside the top 35.

Casey has 53 top-10s on Tour but only two wins. Odd.

5. Without question, Casey wasn’t as sharp as his third-round 62, but it didn’t help to be in the final group behind J.B. Holmes.

Indeed, one of the Tour’s most notorious slowpokes was at it again at TPC River Highlands.

After icing Alex Noren with a 3-minute standoff with his ball at Torrey Pines, Holmes dropped at least a hole behind on the closing stretch Sunday.

It clearly affected both quick players in the final group, Casey and Russell Henley. Yes, it’s a shame that Holmes can continue to disrupt the competition without repercussions, but Casey needed to be prepared for that situation.

6. Another stellar week of ball-striking was for naught last week for Rory McIlroy. He tied for 12th, but his statistics really told the story at TPC River Highlands:

Strokes gained: tee to green: First

Strokes gained: putting: Last

Since that highly publicized lesson with Brad Faxon resulted in an emphatic victory at Bay Hill, McIlroy has only had negative strokes-gained weeks on the greens.

That’s not a knock on Faxon’s methods. It’s more a reflection that even the poorest putters on Tour can find a spark for a week.

7. Well, it’s official: Jordan Spieth is mired in the worst slump of his young career.

Never before has the 24-year-old gone six consecutive starts without a top-10 finish. But that’s exactly what Spieth has done now, dating to the Masters.

The Travelers may have been his biggest head-scratcher yet. He shared the first-round lead after a 63, then played 3 over the rest of the week and finished outside the top 40.

It wasn’t his suddenly suspect putting that let him down, either. He finished the week ranked 21st in strokes gained: putting; once again, it was his long game (he was 60th in strokes gained: tee to green).

Spieth didn’t sound concerned afterward. He said that his putting is the “best it’s been for a couple of years” – keep in mind he was ranked ninth and second, respectively, in 2015-16 – and now it’s just a matter of sorting out his alignment with his long game.

He didn’t rule out adding another start before his title defense at The Open – the most likely landing spot is the Deere, where he won in 2013 and ’15 – but he also took three weeks off before capturing the claret jug last year at Royal Lytham.

8. U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka said he never thought about pulling out of the Travelers because of fatigue, and he was rewarded with a Sunday 65 to post a top-20 finish. He also wasn’t surprised by the number of “stupid mistakes and mental errors” he made, a product of being wiped out after a long, trying week at Shinnecock.

Last year, remember, Koepka didn’t play another event after his win at Erin Hills and followed it up with a tie for sixth at The Open. This time, at least, he has a few extra reps before heading to Carnoustie.

“I’m shutting it down for a while,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need to play. I feel like my game is in a good spot.”

9. Four days too late, Phil Mickelson finally offered an apology for his actions during the third round of the U.S. Open – and it’s precisely what many thought Mickelson would say after he finished his week at Shinnecock Hills.

Since he was still fired up after his Saturday round, fine, let him blow off steam, continue to be defiant and provide an excuse (albeit a confusing one). But the next day, after some time to reflect? Fall on your sword and show some contrition. That’s on the first page of the PR handbook.

And yet Mickelson didn’t talk at all to reporters after the final round, and he only issued a statement three days later, after “a few days to calm down.”

“My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend,” he said. “I’m embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I’m sorry.”

That’s a step in the right direction, but he’s sorry for what exactly? Sorry that he deliberately broke the spirit of a rule? Sorry that he made a farce out of the competition? Sorry that he didn’t withdraw? Sorry that he told fans and fellow players to “toughen up” if they were offended? Sorry that he offered a lame excuse about wanting to break that rule for years? Sorry that he didn’t just admit that his window to win the U.S. Open is almost closed?

So many questions remain.

10. One question that seemingly WAS answered Monday: Mickelson won’t partner with Tiger Woods again at the Ryder Cup.

It wasn’t that absurd of a consideration, the two aging warriors and rivals whose relationship has thawed in recent years. It’s possible it’s their final Ryder Cup together, and perhaps this time, 14 years later, they’d bring out the best (and not the worst) of each other.

But U.S. captain Jim Furyk laughed off the idea Monday, saying that it’s not a “good idea” and that if the two stars heard it on TV they “just fell off the couch laughing.”

OK, then.

11. If you’re reading this column over lunch, well, sorry, but Greg Norman recently had a photo shoot for ESPN the Magazine’s “Body Issue,” and the results were nothing short of horrifying.

The Shark is still crazy-fit at 63, but he's also a similar age to my parents and at some point this just becomes weird.

Growing up, my favorite player to watch was Tiger Woods.

Over the past few years, it’s been a joy to watch Rory McIlroy up close.

But there’s no one, anywhere, at any time, who is more entertaining to watch than Ho-sung Choi. I’d never heard of him before last week, and perhaps we’ll never hear of him again, but what a thrill it was for him to come into our lives. His WILD body English after shots, his twisting and contorting and pirouetting, was beautiful and mesmerizing.

Playing in the Korea Open, Choi nearly stole one of the two available spots into The Open. Perhaps the powers-that-be can offer him a special exemption into Carnoustie – you know, for the good of the game and all that.

This week's award winners ... 

Another Rules Investigation: Bryson DeChambeau. After photos surfaced of DeChambeau using a compass during the Travelers, Tour officials informed him that they’re looking into whether it’s an allowable device during competition. He uses the compass to check the “true pin locations,” since he says sometimes the Tour-issued sheets are slightly off. Credit him for his response afterward: “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.” He's now up to eighth in the Ryder Cup standings ...

Best This Decade: Stewart Cink. Following up a fourth-place showing in Memphis in his previous start, Cink closed with 62 in Hartford to share second. It’s the first time since 2008 that Cink had consecutive top-5s on Tour.

Awkward: Paul Casey/Peter Kostis dynamic. As his student kicked away a five-shot lead in the final round, we would have loved to watch Kostis’ reaction in the CBS booth.

Must Be a FSU Thing: Chase Seiffert. A former teammate of Koepka’s, Seiffert parlayed a Monday qualifying spot into a top-10 at the Travelers, earning a spot in two weeks at The Greenbrier.  

Making It Look (Big) Easy: Jovan Rebula. The rising junior at Auburn won the British Amateur to earn a spot into the first two majors of 2019, provided he remains amateur. Even more interesting: Rebula will join his uncle, Ernie Els, at Carnoustie.  

Time to Go Low: Thorbjorn Olesen. The best score for the first three rounds of the BMW International Open was 67 … and then Olesen hung an 11-under 61 in the final round to finish one shot out of a playoff. Meanwhile ... 

Home Hurt: Martin Kaymer. Trying to score a victory in his home country, Kaymer bogeyed the 71st hole when he thinned a wedge shot over the green. He finished one stroke shy of Matt Wallace.

Can’t Make This Up: Marc Dull. You might remember the name from the two stories we published about him last month – he’s the Florida amateur whose "inebriated" caddie allegedly sucker-punched his opponent during a rain delay at the State Mid-Am. Well, he found himself in another rain delay, this time in a playoff for the State Amateur. His opponent, Gabriel Lench, emerged unscathed during the rain delay and won on the second extra hole.

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Daniel Berger. Technically, he earned a paycheck (T-67), but the week was a massive disappointment for a player who A) lost in a playoff at the Travelers last year and had a tie for fifth in his other prior appearance, and B) tied for sixth at the U.S. Open after holding the 54-hole lead. Sigh.  

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Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

“It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

“He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”

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Grandma hopes sick JT has some 's***-kicking antibiotics'

By Grill Room TeamJune 25, 2018, 1:08 pm

Justin Thomas tied for 56th at the Travelers Championship, still recovering from a brutal test at the U.S. Open and, apparently, battling an illness.

Thomas is next competing at this week's French Open, along with the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and a host of potential Ryder Cup foes.

Count his grandmother as one who is pulling – really, really pulling – for his physical recovery.

Grandmothers are the best. And as you can make out from the top of the text exchange, she finally figured out what was on JT’s pants in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills.

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What's in the bag: Travelers champion Watson

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:22 pm

Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship for a third time in his career. Here's a look inside his bag:

Driver: Ping G400 LST (7.6 degrees), with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Prototype X shaft

Fairway wood:  Ping G (13.2 degrees), with Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2 X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52 degrees, 55 degrees, 63 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x