2012 Open prodigy Hossler now nation's top collegian

By Ryan LavnerMarch 15, 2016, 12:00 pm

Do you remember Beau?

It’s been nearly four years since he lumbered down the 18th fairway at the Olympic Club, since his future college coach got chills looking at the U.S. Open leaderboard, since the crowd on the hillside rose to its feet and serenaded him with cheers of “HOSS-LER! HOSS-LER!”

But Beau Hossler is not just an answer to a trivia question, some one-week sensation who faded from relevance. Having filled out his 6-foot-2 frame to 205 pounds, he is now a 21-year-old junior at Texas, the country’s No. 1-ranked college player and a can’t-miss kid who has weathered enormous expectations to become the most polished amateur since, well, another Longhorns legend.  

“He has that Jordan Spieth mind,” said Hossler’s swing coach, Adam Porzak, “in addition to incredible physical ability.”

And so now, with his résumé overflowing with major appearances, international team competitions and elite amateur titles, Hossler has done the unthinkable in four short years: He has turned that historic Open performance into a mere footnote.

HOSSLER’S JOURNEY TO THE TOP of the college ranks didn’t begin in San Francisco. It actually started about seven hours south, in Carlsbad – that’s where legendary swing coach Jim Flick moved in 2006, to work for TaylorMade.

As a kid in Mission Viejo, Calif., Hossler was a standout baseball player. But at age 10 he began to focus on golf, quitting every other sport. His father, Beau Sr., researched the best instructors in Southern California. Flick’s name popped up, and the Hosslers set up a lesson and headed 45 minutes south on Interstate 5. It marked the beginning of a six-year relationship, until Flick passed away in 2012 at age 82.

Flick improved Hossler’s fundamentals, but that was only part of the equation. In an atmosphere where he was surrounded by Flick’s professional clients, Hossler learned how to score, how to play under pressure and how to act like a pro. Flick helped turn Hossler into an independent self-fixer. Hossler would travel to an AJGA event, return to Carlsbad a few days later and tell Flick what he thought they needed to work on. The only event where Flick ever watched his pupil in person was the U.S. Open at Olympic.  

“I was never a guy who was trying to have the picture-perfect swing,” Hossler said. “I was trying to understand what my swing does, the things I do well, and how I can try to make those better.”

Hossler was 13 when he took his first unofficial visit to Texas. A year later, he caught the eye of former Longhorns assistant Ryan Murphy at the 2009 U.S. Amateur. Murphy told head coach John Fields that they should take this 5-foot-nothin’ kid more seriously – Hossler had just shot a pair of 77s in qualifying while hitting driver-4-iron-wedge into par 4s at Southern Hills.

Three days after getting his driver’s license, Hossler advanced through a sectional qualifier for the 2011 U.S. Open. Then the third-youngest to play in an Open, he missed the cut that week at waterlogged Congressional, but a month later he won the prestigious Junior World Championship. By the time he committed to Texas, in March 2012, he was the second-ranked player in a stacked class, with other offers from UCLA, Arizona State and Southern Cal, his father’s alma mater.

It seems the only person fully prepared for what happened next was Hossler. That June, he earned one of the six spots in a 130-man sectional qualifier, becoming the first high schooler since Mason Rudolph in 1951 to earn a spot in consecutive Opens.

The Olympic Open was memorable for a few reasons – Tiger Woods shared the halfway lead and tanked, Jim Furyk snap-hooked a drive off the 70th tee and Jungle Bird crashed the trophy presentation. But for the better part of two days, Hossler was the main attraction, operating with a resolve and poise that belied his braces, zits and chubby physique.

After opening with an even-par 70, Hossler went out in 1 under on Friday before rolling in a 12-footer for birdie on the first hole, his 10th of the day.

“I can still remember the moment that I saw Beau Hossler’s name pop up on the leaderboard in first place,” Fields said. “I got chills. I got goosebumps on my arms and body. That was a surreal moment in golf, a 17-year-old leading the U.S. Open. It was an amazing moment in time.”

Hossler celebrated with caddie Bill Schellenberg in Round 4 of the 2012 U.S. Open. (Getty)

Amazing to those outside the ropes, perhaps, because Hossler’s godfather, Bill Schellenberg, who was on the bag that week, recalled that he and Hossler were “laughing and joking around,” oblivious to the moment or the pressure. “But as we walked to the next tee,” he said, “we were bombarded by cameras and microphones. All of a sudden, Dottie Pepper was in my back pocket.”

Hossler was only four shots back heading into the weekend. He maintained that position through 54 holes, and on the eve of the final round, he was asked by reporters whether he thought he could win. “Absolutely,” he said.  

Like nearly all of the contenders, Hossler retreated on the final day, but as he trudged up to the eighth green, the crowd swelled and chanted his name: “HOSS-LER! HOSS-LER!” Kevin Chappell, playing in the group behind, said it was one of the few times in his life that the hair on his arms stood up.  

“It sounded like a concert,” Schellenberg said, “getting louder and louder.”

Hossler signed for a closing 76 and dropped into a tie for 29th, allowing Spieth, then a rising sophomore at Texas, to steal low-amateur honors. But the publicity and the experience proved more valuable than the gold medal.

“You can’t emulate that kind of pressure and moment anywhere else,” Hossler said, “and the fact that I could handle it at 17, I knew I could do this for a living.”

Hossler got a hug from his mother, Amy Balsz, after Round 3 of the 2012 U.S. Open. (AP)

AGAINST THAT BACKDROP, Hossler enrolled early at Texas in January 2013, less than six months after his star-making performance at Olympic.

Those were high times in Austin. The Longhorns had captured their first NCAA title in 40 years the previous season behind the sterling play of Spieth, who then turned professional. Their lineup featured a new phenom, South African Brandon Stone, who would earn Freshman of the Year honors before bolting for the pros. Coveted recruits from California to New York were lining up to sign. Add in a rising star like Hossler, and Fields’ main job was de-stressing the environment.

“I always thought we were a victim of our own success,” Fields said. “When you win a national championship and have a player come through like Jordan Spieth, the amount of pressure these kids assumed when they first came in, it was ridiculously significant.”

Hossler sat out that spring season to get acclimated to college life, but he still had a rough first semester with the team the following fall. Carrying the load with leader Kramer Hickok out because of a wrist injury, Hossler carded only two rounds in the 60s and failed to record a top-10 in his first semester.

Recently, Spieth, Justin Thomas (Alabama) and Patrick Cantlay (UCLA) have shifted expectations for what was possible in Year 1, but for most college freshmen, there remains a noticeable adjustment to living alone, practicing alone and being surrounded by other elite players with similar ambitions. Given his high profile, Hossler was a target for some of the outside criticism.

“Most people don’t know who the top junior players are until they have a great week on Tour,” he said. “I have that one week and the expectations externally are off the charts.

“The people who know golf don’t have that mindset. But the people who are fans and are not in tune with how golf works at the high level think that just because you have a really good week it means you’re going to win every tournament going forward. You’re going to struggle at times. That’s just how it works.

“We see it all the time with top-ranked freshmen who come in and struggle, and you hear, ‘These guys are washed up!’ No, you have no idea what you’re talking about. College is a whole new deal. There are very few guys who come in and dominate right away.”

Hossler found his groove late in the spring and eventually earned the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year award, even if his freshman season failed to live up to his own lofty standards. “Beau’s adversity,” Schellenberg said with a laugh, “was not all that bad.”

And besides, Hossler had braced himself for the challenge. One of the main reasons he chose Texas was because he knew that to play on Tour someday, he needed to learn how to control his ball flight in the wind, putt well on Bermudagrass and regularly test himself against the best competition. Not only do the Longhorns annually play one of the nation’s most difficult schedules, but the current lineup features three players who were on the 2012 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team. It’s a battle just to crack the starting five for an event.

“I needed to test myself,” Hossler said. “I needed to see my game evolve to a level that I could play anywhere.”

Fitting, then, that Hossler’s first college title came last February, at the John Hayt Collegiate in Florida, when it was 40 degrees, raining sideways and blowing 25 mph. He shot 66 in the second round on Bermuda greens.

Hossler’s victory at the Hayt was part of a remarkable run in which he won the Western Amateur, represented the U.S. at the Pan-Am Games, World Amateur Team Championship and Walker Cup (where he posted a team-best 3-1 record), became the fourth player in history to qualify for three U.S. Opens as an amateur and, most recently, routed the field at the Jones Cup.

Hossler, Hunter Stewart and captain 'Spider' Miller at a Walker Cup news conference. (Getty)

“My expectations,” he said, “have gone from looking to contend to expecting myself to win. That’s a big change mentally.”

This season at Texas, he has won an NCAA-best four events to rise to No. 1 in Golfstat’s rankings, even though, he says, “to be completely honest, I haven’t really played my best. Which is a great thing.”

Hossler prides himself on his consistency, and his average finish over the past 4 ½ semesters is 9.5; only Alabama’s Robby Shelton (7.9) has been better over that span.

“Beau doesn’t have an opportunity to hang up his sticks and mosey into a top-10,” said Porzak, his swing coach. “He has to play good golf every week. That’s where Beau separates himself from everybody else – his poor golf still gets top-10s.”

IT ALSO HELPS to have a mentor – and a motivator – like Spieth.

In this era of rocket launchers, the world No. 1 doesn’t hit it the farthest or the straightest, but he has changed the game by placing an added importance on short game, wedge play and strategy. Hossler is cut from the same mold, favoring precision and process over power and pizzazz. They were grouped together last month at the Northern Trust Collegiate Showcase, and afterward Spieth gushed about his friend’s growth, preparation and attitude.

“Beau has very, very little fear and I think that’s going to propel him,” Spieth said. “I think that he’s got a great sense of confidence in his golf game and his ability to be out here without expressing it in a cocky kind of manner. He just goes about his business.”

When told later about Spieth’s comments, about how much he admired his fearlessness, Hossler chuckled.

“That’s a big compliment,” he said, “because when you look at really great players, guys who aren’t afraid to succeed, you think of Jordan Spieth. That’s what makes him so impressive. He plays without fear, when it matters most, with all of his lifelong goals in front of his face.”

Like Spieth, Hossler unlocks his potential mostly through positive self-talk, but he also has been emboldened by his occasional chats with Dr. Jay Brunza, a former Navy clinical psychologist who once worked with Woods and taught him how to emotionally detach himself from pressure situations while still being emotionally invested in the moment.

“That’s why tension just leaves Beau all the time,” Porzak said, “because he always believes that the best possible outcome is going to happen.”

That’s the only reasonable explanation for what happened in two of the biggest events of Hossler’s young career.

During the first round of his 2014 Western Amateur victory, Hossler built a 3-up lead with four holes to play against Cheng-Tsung Pan, then one of the top-ranked players in the world. On the 15th hole, Pan faced about a 20-footer after Hossler hit his approach to 5 feet. Pan raced his birdie try about 12 feet past and appeared to be on the verge of losing the match, but Hossler picked up Pan’s ball. “I’m speechless,” said Porzak, who was on the bag that week. “About to throw up.” With a chance to close out the match, Hossler’s 5-footer horseshoed out. Onward.

“I wanted to grab him and say, ‘Dude, what the heck are you thinking?!’” Porzak said. “’This guy is good and we need to put an end to this match.’”

But Porzak kept quiet, and on the next hole, Hossler smoked a drive and stuck his gap wedge to a foot. He won the match, 3 and 2.

Afterward, Porzak asked Hossler about the concession. “I’m not just going to let him lose on a three-putt,” Hossler replied. “If I’m going to win this match, I’m going to make the putt to win.”

Hossler hits a shot alongside Texas coach John Fields.

Said Gavin Hall, Hossler’s teammate at Texas: “After that title, I sensed a different Beau. He was really motivated and saying that all he wanted to do was win. I started hearing that word a lot more.”

A similar situation played out at last year’s Walker Cup. The Americans were trailing on Day 1 of the biennial matches, but Hossler had achance to earn a valuable point late in his singles match at Royal Lytham. He was 1 up with two to play against Jack Hume, with a 10-foot birdie putt upcoming and his opponent facing a 50-foot chip. Hume pitched to about 6 feet, but his par putt broke sharply from left to right. Hossler’s birdie try hung on the lip, then he inexplicably conceded Hume’s putt to push the match to 18. His team already down two points, U.S. captain Spider Miller went ballistic.

But just like at the Western, Hossler split the 18th fairway, hit his approach to 15 feet and won the match, 1 up, in front of the big crowd and his relieved skipper.

“He wanted to go out with a bang, in Beau style,” said Georgia senior Lee McCoy, one of Hossler’s Walker Cup teammates. “Losing never even crossed his mind. He’s one of those guys you don’t want to go head to head against down the stretch because he’s so good under pressure. Some guys are scared of that and don’t want to be the one who hits the winning putt. Beau loves being in that spotlight.”

ANYONE WHO KNOWS BEAU HOSSLER isn’t surprised by what has transpired over the last two years, the ascendance of a player who is mature, tenacious and brimming with confidence.

Schellenberg knew Hossler was destined for greatness at the 2009 U.S. Amateur, when the kid bunted his way around an Open venue and made par from everywhere; the mother of one of their fellow playing competitors even told him as much.

Fields knew at the 2012 U.S. Open. Burned out, a few weeks removed from the school’s long-awaited national title and having just witnessed the emergence of a once-in-a-generation talent like Spieth, Fields stood next to his wife, Pearl, and stared at the leaderboard.

“I’m scratching my head thinking, ‘Oh my God, it’s happening again,’” Fields said. “I was pinching myself more than being perplexed. I had waited my entire career for these types of players, these types of blessings, and now they’re coming in abundance.”

And Porzak knew at last year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. It was his first major as an instructor, and the 29-year-old was a nervous wreck, overthinking everything from where to stand to how to secure his credentials.  

“Then I look at Beau,” Porzak said, “and he is more at ease and having more fun than I’ve ever seen him in my entire life. That’s when I said that we might not be witnessing just another great player. I think we have the potential to witness one of the best players who has ever played the game.

“And it’s not just the talent. Look at the perfect storm of attributes: The head on his shoulders. The calmness about him. The self-belief and confidence. He looks like he’s meant to be out there.”

And Hossler will be soon enough. Though he declined to discuss his future, he is likely to turn pro after the NCAAs in June. Perhaps it’ll be Hossler – not amateur sensation Bryson DeChambeau, not top-ranked Jon Rahm – who enjoys the most success as a professional this summer.

If nothing else, don’t expect Hossler to get rattled by the pressure to perform. After all, it’s nothing new – he hasn’t competed anonymously since the beginning of high school. He is the rare amateur golfer who already has some semblance of celebrity.

“I love it,” he said. “I don’t have anything to shy away from. I prefer to have all eyes on me.”

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Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings and Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy

Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.

“We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”

“The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”

The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.

(All Times Local)

Monday, June 18                    Austin, Texas              (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, June 19                    Houston                      (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)

Wednesday, June 20               Jacksonville, Fla.        (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Monday, June 25                    Orlando, Fla.               (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Wednesday, July 4                 Washington D.C.        (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)

Monday, July 9                       Edison, N.J.                (Topgolf, Time TBA)

Wednesday, July 11               Lake Tahoe, Nev.       American Century Championship (On Course)

Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.

NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.

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USGA-player relationship at a breaking point?

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 8:00 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – For seven days each year, the American game’s preeminent governing body welcomes the best players in the world with open arms. They set up shop at one of the premier courses in the country, and line it with grandstands and white hospitality tents as far as the eye can see.

The players arrive, first at a slow trickle and then at a steady pace. And once they’ve registered and clipped their player medallions over their belts, they’re told how this year is going to be different.

How this time around, be it in a Washington gravel pit or on a time-tested piece of land on the tip of Long Island, the USGA will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That the process of identifying the best players in the world will not veer into the territory of embarrassing them.

Like a college sweetheart in search of reconciliation, the powers-that-be preach a changed attitude and a more even-handed approach. Then, inevitably, they commit the same cardinal sins they promised to avoid.

So year in and year out, the scar tissue builds. Charlie Brown keeps trying to kick the football and, for most of the players not named Brooks Koepka, he ends up on his butt in a cloud of dust and fescue.

After letting Shinnecock Hills plunge into avoidable yet all-too-familiar territory over the weekend – before being doused back to life – one thing is clear: in the eyes of many players, the USGA can’t be trusted.

“When are they going to get it right? I just feel like they disrespect these historic golf courses,” said Scott Piercy, a runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open who got swept away this week during a crispy third round en route to a T-45 finish. “I think they disrespect the players, I think they disrespect the game of golf. And they’re supposed to be, like, the top body in the game of golf. And they disrespect it, every aspect of it.”

Piercy, like several players in this week’s field, had a few specific gripes about how Shinnecock was set up, especially during the third round when USGA CEO Mike Davis admitted his organization lost control in a display that echoed the mistakes of 2004. But this was not an isolated case.

Players went with skepticism to Chambers Bay three years ago, only to encounter greens that were largely dirt and got compared to produce. Mismatched grass strains, they were told. Whoops.

The next year the USGA threw a dark cloud over a classic venue by allowing much of the final round at Oakmont to play without knowing the leader’s actual score as a rules fiasco reached a furious boil. Last year’s Erin Hills experiment was met with malaise.

At this point, the schism runs much deeper than a single error in setup. It threatens the core competency of the organization in the eyes of several of the players it looks to serve.

“They do what they want, and they don’t do it very well. As far as I’m concerned, there is no relationship (between players and the USGA),” said Marc Leishman. “They try and do it. They do it on purpose. They say they want to test us mentally, and they do that by doing dumb stuff.”

By and large, players who took issue with the USGA’s tactics had a simple solution: put more of the setup choices in the hands of those who oversee PGA Tour and European Tour venues on a regular basis. While some of those personnel already moonlight in USGA sweater-vests for the week, there is a strong sentiment that their collective knowledge could be more heavily relied upon.

“I know (the USGA) takes great pride in doing all this stuff they do to these golf courses, but they see it once a year,” Brandt Snedeker said. “Let those guys say, ‘Hey, we see this every week. We know what the edge is. We know where it is.’ We can’t be out there playing silly golf.”

That’s not to say that a major should masquerade as the Travelers Championship. But the U.S. Open is the only one of the four that struggles to keep setup shortfalls from becoming a dominant storyline.

It all adds up to a largely adversarial relationship, one that continues to fray after this weekend’s dramatics and which isn’t helped by the USGA’s insistence that they should rarely shoulder the blame.

“They’re not going to listen, for one. Mike Davis thinks he’s got all the answers, that’s No. 2,” said Pat Perez after a T-36 finish. “And when he is wrong, there’s no apologies. It’s just, ‘Yeah, you know, we kind of let it get out of hand.’ Well, no kidding. Look at the scores. That’s the problem. It’s so preventable. You don’t have to let it get to that point.”

But this wound festers from more than just slick greens and thick rough. There is a perception among some players that the USGA gets overly zealous in crafting complicated rules with complex decisions, a collection of amateur golfers doling out the fine print that lords over the professional game on a weekly basis – with the curious handling of whatever Phil Mickelson did on the 13th green Saturday serving as just the latest example.

The gripes over setup each year at the USGA’s biggest event, when it’s perceived that same group swoops in to take the reins for a single week before heading for the hills, simply serve as icing on the cake. And there was plenty of icing this week after players were implored to trust that the miscues of 2004 would not be repeated.

“To say that the players and the USGA have had a close relationship would be a false statement,” Snedeker said. “They keep saying all the right things, and they’re trying to do all the right things, I think. But it’s just not coming through when it matters.”

It’s worth noting that the USGA has made efforts recently to ramp up its communication with the top pros. Officials from the organization have regularly attended the Tour’s player meetings in recent months, and Snedeker believes that some strides have been made.

So, too, does Zach Johnson, who was one of the first to come out after the third round and declare that the USGA had once again lost the golf course.

“I think they’ve really started to over the last few years, last couple years in particular, tried to increase veins of communication,” Johnson said. “When you’re talking about a week that is held in the highest regards, I’m assuming within the organization and certainly within my peer group as one of the four majors and my nation’s major, communication is paramount.”

But the exact size of the credibility gap the USGA has to bridge with some top pros remains unclear. It’s likely not a sting that one good week of tournament setup can assuage, even going to one of the more straightforward options in the rotation next year at Pebble Beach.

After all, Snedeker was quick to recall that players struggled mightily to hit the par-3 17th green back in 2010, with eventual champ Graeme McDowell calling the hole “borderline unfair” ahead of the third round.

“It’s one of the greatest holes in world golf, but I don’t really know how I can hit the back left portion of the green,” McDowell said at the time. “It’s nearly impossible.”

Surely this time next year, Davis will explain how the USGA has expanded its arsenal in the last decade, and that subsequent changes to the 17th green structure will make it more playable. His organization will then push the course to the brink, like a climber who insists on scaling Mount Everest without oxygen, and they’ll tell 156 players that this time, finally, the desired balance between difficult and fair has been achieved.

Whether they’ll be believed remains to be seen.

@bubbawatson on Instagram

Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 5:40 pm

Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.

Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.

Got autographed by defending @usopengolf Champ @bkoepka!! #NeverShoweringAgain

A post shared by Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) on

And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.

Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.

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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).