Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth went their separate ways while Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson became best buds. Here are the top quotes of the year.
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“I never counted him out. When somebody said, ‘How is your [major] record, Jack?’ I said, ‘If Tiger comes back and plays I still think he's got a shot at breaking my record.” – Jack Nicklaus on whether or not he believes Tiger Woods can still reach 19 major wins
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“I lost that match on the first tee." - Rory McIlroy joking about losing a practice-round match to Augusta National member Jeff Knox after spotting Knox eight shots
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“I would argue [Tiger Woods] got the least out of his talent of any player, maybe in history.” - Brandel Chamblee
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“I have been away from it for so long and they were so young when I was playing well they don’t remember any of it. So this is pretty neat for me to be able to experience this with them.” – Tiger Woods, on getting in the mix with his kids watching.
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"I know he whispered to another Masters champion, two Masters dinners ago, 'I'm done. I won't play golf again.'" - Nick Faldo on a story he heard about Tiger Woods doubting he'd ever play again.
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"For me, it wasn't that bad because they didn't know who I was. They didn't have any dirt on me or anything like that. But for Rory, yeah, it was pretty hostile. They shouted stuff at him that you shouldn't shout at anybody anywhere. Maybe that's because they sell beer at 7 a.m. and Americans can't drink." – Thomas Pieters, talking about fan behavior in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine
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''I think I'm going to do exactly the same thing I did (Friday) night. I'm going to have a margarita as an aperitif, and then I'm going to have a nice bottle of Rioja (wine) and smoke a big fat cigar.'' – Miguel Angel Jimenez on refusing to change his routine the night before the final round even with a three-shot lead (p.s. It worked.)
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“I went through a rollercoaster of emotions for about five minutes. I was kinda freaking out, but I had to get it together.” – Cody Blick, after having his clubs stolen before the final round of Web.com Tour Q-School, but rebounded to shoot 63 and secure some Web.com starts in 2019 with a makeshift set of clubs.
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“They are nervous. They should be, you know, rightfully so, because in time, I will mess up. I always kind of ride the line somewhere. Sometimes I cross it. Sometimes not.” – Phil Mickelson on his children’s response to their father joining Twitter.
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"Yeah, it was worth it. As long as people got a kick out of it, it was worth it." – WMPO streaker Adam Stalmach, after spending five days in jail and losing his job.
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''I can confirm he's back. The roars are back." - Brandt Snedeker on Tiger Woods, his playing partner in the third round of the Valspar Championship
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“I walked past Tiger on the range and said, `I never thought I’d see the day.’” – Rory McIlroy on seeing supposed antagonists Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson preparing to play a Masters practice round together.
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"Look, it'll happen. I truly believe it'll happen. I play that golf course well enough. I have five top-10s in a row, I've given myself a chance. It didn't quite work out. But just, the more I keep putting myself in those positions, sooner or later it's going to happen for me." – Rory McIlroy, on his future chances at winning a green jacket and completing the career grand slam.
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''To have to par the last hole to win my first major, it definitely felt right.” – Patrick Reed, on breaking through at the Masters for his first major title.
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“Everybody has something – some sort of handshake, a fist bump, a tap on the hiney. I figured this was a good opportunity for me to slap Bubba in the face. Everybody wants to do that, and I talked him into it.” - Matt Kuchar on his, um, unusual celebration with teammate Bubba Watson.
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"Nope … He has my number." – Patrick Reed, on whether or not he’s spoken to Jordan Spieth after the Ryder Cup.
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“They've lost the golf course. When you have a championship that comes down to sheer luck, that's not right.” – Zach Johnson, referring to the USGA’s course setup during the third round of the U.S. Open.
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“It was meant to take advantage of the rules as best you can. … I know the rules. I’ve had multiple times where I’ve wanted to do that, I just finally did ... I don’t mean any disrespect. If you’re taking it that way, that’s not on me ... If somebody is offended by that, I apologize to them, but toughen up, because this is not meant that way.” – Phil Mickelson, on his controversial tactic of putting a moving ball to prevent it from rolling off the green during the third round of the U.S. Open.
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“Yelling, ‘get in the bunker,’ that’s part of what our players have to accept. In any sport, you go to an away game, in any other sport, and people aren’t rooting for you. Sometimes out here you’re going to have fans that aren’t rooting for you, but they can’t interfere with what you’re trying to do competitively.” – PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, on an incident involving Justin Thomas and a fan at the Honda Classic.
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''To know what you're trying to do and step up and have a 20-footer (on the final hole) and know what it means, I was very aware of what was going on, and to knock that putt in was really special ... To know I'm a part of a small club on Tour and not very many people have done this, really cool feeling right now.'' - Brandt Snedeker on shooting 59 in Round 1 of the Wyndham Championship.
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“I ended up staying up late enough to where I waited to refresh it and saw it. And it was pretty cool. Seeing every other golfer in the world behind my name was a pretty fun thing.” – Justin Thomas, on staying up late and taking a screenshot of his name atop the Official World Golf Ranking.
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“I don’t know - I guess they just think it’s funny. It might be funny to them, and obviously people think of it differently and I could just be overreacting. But when people are now starting to time it wrong and get in people’s swings, is just completely unacceptable really.” – Justin Thomas on fans yelling different things during golf tournaments.
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“We legitimately want to see him do well, 100 percent. Why wouldn’t you? It’s such a unique experience that we never got to get. We want that challenge. We want to see how great his mental game actually is.” – Bryson DeChambeau speaking for most of his PGA Tour family about Tiger Woods' return to competition.
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"I can't believe I pulled this off ... I’ve been sitting on 79 for about five years now, and to get 80 is a pretty damned good feeling." - Tiger Woods, after his 80th career PGA Tour win at the Tour Championship.
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“I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field. Like, it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around.” – Rory McIlroy, on the crowd chaos that follows Tiger Woods around every golf tournament.
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“Every relationship goes through its ups and downs, but most importantly, we love each other very much and are committed to being a family. Thank you for your love and support.” – Dustin Johnson, via Twitter, addressing rumors that he and fiancée Paulina Gretzky were on the verge of breaking up.
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“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play. I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.” - Patrick Reed, after the U.S. lost the Ryder Cup, on the decision to split up the Reed-Spieth pairing that was successful in the past.
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"Sunday night was messy. I got back into my room at 4 in the morning. And then always a sign of a good night is when you fall asleep next to the toilet." – Tyrrell Hatton, on the European celebration after winning the Ryder Cup.
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"I actually, I was too lazy. I didn't vote. I don't know, I would never vote for myself. I just couldn't do it." - Brooks Koepka, the winner of the PGA Tour's Player of the Year award, on being asked who received his vote.
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"Yeah. I mean, I've dislocated my wrist twice in the last two months. You know, different spots, but, I mean, it's fun. I'll be all right." – Brooks Koepka, describing ongoing issues with his wrist before he returned from an injury layoff and won two major championships.
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"I need to take some time to work on myself. The events of the past year and a half (on and off the golf course) have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally. I have not truly felt like myself for quite some time. I am therefore taking this time to recharge my mental batteries …” – Lexi Thompson, on Instagram, announcing that she was withdrawing from the Ricoh Women's British Open and taking a brief hiatus from the game.
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“[Tiger is the] greatest of all time. That’s an easy one for me. I’ve seen him do things with a golf ball that’s never been done; the performance at the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach is the single-greatest performance in the history of the game of golf, and possibly all of sports, and he continued to play that way for a number of years.” – Phil Mickelson, talking Tiger Woods before ‘The Match.’
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"I’ve been in Phil’s head for 20-some-odd years." – Tiger Woods, talking trash to Phil Mickelson in the run-up to ‘The Match.’
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7. “It's very possible that that's the case, and it's also possible that he [Tiger Woods] brought out the best in me, and forced me to work harder and focus, to ultimately achieve the success I've had. And it's hard to determine, looking back, which one it is ... Nobody respects and appreciates what Tiger has done for the game more, because nobody has benefited from what he's done for the game of golf more than I have.” – Phil Mickelson, reflecting on his relationship with Tiger Woods before 'The Match.'
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“I think Nike is trying to get out ahead of it and trying to do something special and I think they've done that. It's a beautiful spot and pretty powerful people in the spot.” – Tiger Woods on Nike’s controversial ad featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
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"They all hate him — any guys that were on the team with him (at Georgia) hate him and that’s the same way at Augusta. I don’t know that they’d piss on him if he was on fire, to tell you the truth." - Kevin Kisner, on Patrick Reed's relationship with his old college teammates.
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“I was looking at him like I was about to light the room up like Phil in ’14 ... For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice.” – Patrick Reed, after the U.S. Lost the Ryder Cup, not holding back with his criticism of captain Jim Furyk.
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“I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys.” - Patrick Reed, after being told he couldn't get a free drop because TV tower cables obstructing his stance at the at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
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