Justin Thomas wins the Honda Classic despite one fan very loudly wishing he didn't, an NFL player signs an unusual golf contract with his fiancée and Kevin Na doesn't hesitate, no matter what casual golf observers may claim.
All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.
Well, we’ve officially reached Peak 2018. And it's not even March!
After a week in which a 24-year-old picked up his the eighth win on the PGA Tour and Tiger Woods recorded his best finish in three years, the main takeaway from the week in golf was obviously ... the hoopla surrounding a fan getting booted from the gallery late in the final round.
Justin Thomas was able to win the Honda Classic in a playoff, overcoming an incredibly tough PGA National golf course, a world-class field and one fan who was (gasp!) rooting loudly against him.
JT got the fan ejected from the tournament as they were coming down the stretch on Sunday for yelling – after Thomas had swung – for his shots to find hazards.
The social media backlash to the incident was so fierce, with many saying the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year needed some thicker skin, that Thomas ended up issuing an apology on Monday:
Getting a lot of comments on the fan incident yesterday.. sorry to any and all offended by it. There was more said as we walked to the tee wishing bad things on the course for myself or Luke. Then the get in the bunker comment over and over again I felt...— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 26, 2018
...it was very understandable to have him escorted out. I never want to lose fans, or have people root against me. I just didn’t see a place for that particular person to be yelling at us things that weren’t necessary over and over again. I over reacted...— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 26, 2018
..and should not have had him kicked out. I feel bad for it, but was more doing so because again I felt the stuff he was saying was completely unnecessary. I love all my fans and to hear that I’ve lost quite a few bc of that, isn’t fun. So I’m sorry to all!— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 26, 2018
Hard to argue that the fan wasn't being unsportsmanlike, but should he have been thrown out? Should Thomas have gotten directly involved? Was an apology necessary? That's all debatable.
But it's a slippery slope. One minute you're disagreeing with certain fan behaviors and the next you're losing a fight to Bob Barker on national television. (As you can see in the video title, there's a little bit of profanity in the below clip.)
Happens to the best of them.
Some significant others love the golf ... some loathe it. And some tolerate it as long as it comes with a caveat or two.
NFL player Jeff Heuerman's fiancée, Hannah, falls into the latter category, as evidenced by this photo that popped up on Instagram recently.
It appears to be a contract that Heuerman signed, guaranteeing that he will not buy another driver in the next five years because buying new clubs "has not, and will not, make me a better golfer" and because he "loves [his fiancée] more than golf."
To each their own. Every love story is different.
But if Heuerman, a tight end for the Denver Broncos, can't sneak a club purchase past the Missus every now and again, what chance do the rest of us have?
Shred the gnar, brah.
Slow and steady gets you ... second place.
At least that's the moral of the modern day telling of "The Tortoise and the Hare" that played out on the PGA Tour over the last week.
Retired English cricketer Kevin Pietersen called out Kevin Na for what he perceived as slow play during the final round of the Genesis Open, and it was still weighing on his mind so heavily THREE DAYS LATER, that he took it upon himself to teach Na the proper way to make a tap-in.
What a nice guy.
SERIOUSLY, Kevin Na?!?!— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) February 18, 2018
That Is A Tap In, MATE! pic.twitter.com/YMmNT6m5H7
Na, who has dealt with slow play criticism for much of his career, fired right back – to his credit, quickly, albeit on a totally different social media platform – and basically told Pietersen to shove it. The putt that Na was being criticized for taking his time with was worth an extra $300,000 and got him into a T-2 finish behind Bubba Watson.
@kp24 lets get some facts straight. Shot tracker shows what u call “tap in” 3ft 4in. Since when is 3’4’’ on green speed 12 a “tap in.” FYI 1 shot for me on Sunday was 300k. Difference between T2 and T4. Yes, I did back off because the line didn’t feel right. So what! BTW that was the only putt I backed off all day. Also our group was on pace all day! We waited if anything. @pgatour @golfdigest @golf_com @golfchannel #getyourfactstraight #sticktoyourownsport #everyshotcounts
It's not about what you see, it's about what Kevin Na sees. And Kevin Na sees pride, power and don't take no crap off of nobody. All you fans out there with your stopwatches have been warned.
Speaking of Bubba, anyone doubting his thoughts of retirement before his return to the winner’s circle at Riviera needs to look no further than how he spent his off-week to know he was dead serious.
Watson spent the time with his family, showing off his son Caleb’s fantastic baseball swing and basketball trophy (and he didn't yell "You're welcome!" at the end of a video).
After a fun week... it's back to the real job of coaching Tee-ball! pic.twitter.com/cNI73dux1Z— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) February 21, 2018
Sure, Watson's attitude on the course may occasionally rub some the wrong way, but he looks plenty happy at home. If he decides to hang it up earlier than later, it shouldn't come as a shock.
Have to respect this guy's style.