There were highs. There were lows. There was controversy. There was disappointment. And then there were stories that were just ... bizarre. These are those.
1 / 15
Players readying for the third round of the Sony Open awoke to a concerning message early Saturday when an emergency alert was sent across the island warning of an inbound ballistic missile. The message, which was sent at 8:07 a.m. local time and broadcast via text message, read, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” At 8:20 a.m., the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted, “NO missile threat to Hawaii,” but a cell phone correction was not issued until 8:45 a.m., 38 minutes after the original cell phone warning. According to a statement from the PGA Tour, the circuit confirmed the alarm was a mistake and informed players and staff on site at the Sony Open “less than four minutes from the initial call from Tour staff in Hawaii.” Play at Waialae Country Club was not impacted by the incident, with the first tee time schedule for 11:05 a.m. Hawaiian emergency management officials said the original message was mistakenly sent out. According to the Associated Press, an emergency management official pushed “the wrong button” during testing at a shift change at agency’s headquarters. "We made a mistake," HI-EMA administator Vern Miyagi told the AP.
2 / 15
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Curtis Strange tweeted his displeasure with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter during the playoff, which Rahm eventually won. “Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?” Strange tweeted. He followed up with some sentiments about his lawn and getting off it.
3 / 15
With his wife and four children caddying for him in the Masters Par 3 Contest, Tony Finau’s tee shot at the seventh hole bounced off a bank and raced across the green before dropping into the cup for a hole-in-one. Finau raced off the tee box to celebrate and as he glanced back toward the tee he dislocated his left ankle, which he immediately popped back in place. He then walked four rounds at Augusta on a swollen purple ankle and somehow finished tied for 10th.
4 / 15
John Daly injured his right knee on Friday of Masters week when a car travelling down Washington Road ran off the road and crashed through a line of temporary fencing and into his RV that was parked next to a restaurant. Daly, who sells merchandise from his RV each year during the Masters, was standing in front of his RV with his fiancée, Anna Cladakis, when the accident occurred. “It whaled into the front of the bus,” Cladakis told GolfChannel.com. “John dove out of the way. He tweaked his knee.”
5 / 15
Cristian DiMarco learned an important lesson at his U.S. Open local qualifier. Don’t ever leave early. DiMarco, a senior at South Florida and the son of PGA Tour veteran Chris DiMarco, came out on the wrong side of a coin-flip tiebreaker after both he and fellow competitor Luis Gagne were not available to play off for the fifth and final qualifying spot. Under normal circumstances, both DiMarco and Gagne (who plays at LSU) would have been in a sudden-death playoff for the final spot. But because both had left hours earlier, tournament officials followed USGA protocol and used the coin-flip tiebreaker. Gagne won, and DiMarco became the first alternate. DiMarco did ultimately make it through to sectionals, where he finished second alternate.
6 / 15
In a one-paragraph post on its website, the Florida State Golf Association declared Marc Dull the winner of the 37th Mid-Amateur Championship on May 13 after his opponent – in a tie match with two holes to go – was unable to return because of an “unfortunate injury” sustained during a lengthy weather delay. Left unreported was what allegedly happened. According to a police report obtained by GolfChannel.com, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office received a call that afternoon from Dull’s opponent, Jeff Golden, who claimed that he’d been assaulted in the parking lot at Coral Creek Club, the tournament host site in Placida. In a statement provided to police, Golden said that he was sucker-punched in the face by Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs. With tensions already running high because of what he perceived as breaches of etiquette by his opponents, Golden informed the rules official in the group that he believed Hibbs’ statement constituted advice. The penalty was a loss of hole, giving Golden a 2-up lead at the turn. At that point, Hibbs told police, he recused himself and returned to the clubhouse. Dull and Golden continued their match, heading to the 17th hole all square when they were pulled off the course because of inclement weather. Golden told police that he headed to the parking lot at 2:45 p.m. to retrieve some dry clothes from his car when Hibbs “approached him, apologized, then punched him on the left side of the face,” causing him to fall to the ground. “I had a moment where I was happy to see him, because the first thing he said to me was, ‘I want to apologize,’” Golden said last week in a phone interview. “By the time he finished I was being punched.”
7 / 15
Phil Mickelson’s decision to putt a moving ball during the third round of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills was … one response to the USGA’s Saturday setup. As if he was somehow in on a social-media joke about his motives, Mickelson insisted after the round that his playing the moving ball was actually a strategic use of the rules of golf meant to save him time and strokes. Days later, he apologized. “It wasn’t the right decision,” Mickelson said. “It wasn’t the smart decision.”
8 / 15
Hours after the Quicken Loans National ended, Joel Dahmen took to Twitter to contend that playing partner Sung Kang "cheated" by taking an improper drop on the 10th hole during the final round. Kang pulled his 247-yard approach on the par-5 into a hazard left of the green, and there was a dispute over where the ball had last crossed the line of the hazard – which would be the point from which Kang could take his penalty drop. Kang contended that the ball had crossed back over land near the green, while Dahmen believed the point the ball last crossed was farther back. The dispute eventually included a discussion with rules officials and led to a 25-minute delay according to Dahmen, to the point where the next group of Ben Crane and Ryan Palmer played through on No. 10. With the two players left at an impasse, Kang was eventually allowed to drop near the green and ended up getting up and down to save par. He went on to shoot a bogey-free 64 that moved him into solo third place, earning a check of $482,800 and a spot in The Open Championship.
9 / 15
DeChambeau was spotted by TV cameras at the Travelers Championship using a drawing compass on his yardage book, and he explained that he used the device to more accurately determine pin locations. While the Tour told him that they would review his use of the device, DeChambeau expected that process to be nothing more than a formality. But the USGA officially disallowed the practice, deeming it a violation of Rule 14-3 and considering it "unusual equipment that might assist him in making a stroke or in his play." Speaking to reporters at the John Deere Classic, DeChambeau lamented the loss of what he felt was a straightforward tool. "Look, I'll say one thing on that. I will say it's unfortunate," DeChambeau said. "That was never my intention, to skirt the rules or anything like that. It was just a device I thought had been used for a long time in different fields. It shouldn't be an issue. It's not a distance-measuring device. It's just a referencing tool."
10 / 15
Steven Bowditch gained entry into the John Deere Classic as an alternate thanks to his status as a past champion on Tour. He put out an all-call to his nearly 20,000 Twitter followers in search of a local resident who might be interested in a caddying gig. “Any local kids/college players in the Quad cities area that are interested in caddying in the tournament this week, this thread is for you. The best response/reason gets the job. 2pm Tues start, finish Friday. 1% chance Sunday. Payment: all leftover gloves and balls are yours,” he tweeted. Bowditch eventually selected a 17-year-old local and did go on to miss the cut.
11 / 15
Tommy Fleetwood received a surprise when noticed that a $154,480 check from the European Tour had been deposited into his bank account. Because he wasn’t that Tommy Fleetwood. Turns out the European Tour made a clerical error and sent out the winnings from The Open Championship to the wrong Tommy Fleetwood. Instead of going to the 11th-ranked player in the world, an American club pro at Streamsong Resort in Central Florida instead was shocked to find the six-figure check in his account – sandwiched between a supermarket payment of $14.37 and a service fee of $16.
12 / 15
Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky have been one of golf's most recognizable power couples since their engagement in 2013, but rumors swirled after Gretzky scrubbed any sign of her fiancé from her wildly popular Instagram page in Sepember. Multiple reports suggested the couple was on the verge of a breakup, which the world No. 2 addressed in a statement on Twitter, acknowledging that there had been "ups and downs, but most importantly, we love each other very much and are committed to being a family." Paulina was later alongside Johnson in Paris for the Ryder Cup.
13 / 15
“We are very proud to announce that Mr. David Leadbetter will be joining our team and we all look forward to working with him,” Justine Reed, Patrick’s wife, wrote on Twitter after reaching out to Leadbetter for help with her husband’s golf game.
14 / 15
Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka either definitely did or definitely didn't get in some kind of altercation following the Ryder Cup. Multiple reports indicate that it happened, and U.S. team captain Jim Furyk confirmed himself that there "whatever altercation" there was "was very short" and that "neither one of them really took anything out of it." But Koepka denies anything happened at all. "This Dustin thing I don't get," said Koepka, at a news conference in Scotland ahead of the European Tour's Alfred Dunhill Links. "There is no fight, no argument, he's one of my best friends. I love the kid to death and we talked on the phone Monday and yesterday and he told me how he thought."
15 / 15
Doris Chen was DQ’d from the LPGA Q-Series after the LPGA investigated a complaint that she played a ball that she had hit out of bounds after her mother moved the ball back in bounds. The LPGA said in a statement that Chen was penalized for violating Rule 15-3b even after she was informed that an “outside agency” moved her ball. Chen’s version of events about what she knew and when she knew it, differs from that of her caddie, who plainly told GolfChannel.com that “Doris did the wrong thing.”
The best social media images from players' lives outside the ropes in Social Snapshots.
Images of PGA Tour winners in the 2019-20 season.