Rickie Fowler Wins The Players Championship
- Fowler was five shots out of the lead on the tee at the 13th hole. He played the final six holes at 6 under par to get in a playoff with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner.
- Kisner and Fowler played the three hole aggregate playoff 1 under, both of them birdied 17. Garcia finished even par. Kisner and Fowler went on to sudden death at the 17th hole. Fowler’s third birdie of the day at 17 earned him the victory.
- Earlier in the week, Fowler and Ian Poulter had been tied as the most overrated player on Tour according to an anonymous poll conducted by Sports Illustrated and Golf.com (we link to the poll below).
Rickie said he laughed off the poll results, but his coach Butch Harmon admitted later that not only did it motivate him, but that Harmon himself used it as motivation leading up to the tournament.
It was an instant classic and incredible fun to watch (and re-watch Monday night’s replay on the Golf Channel). Rickie made a stick-this-in-your-pipe-and-smoke-it statement to his critics. Harmon has produced dividends for Fowler and a big win seemed an inevitability if you followed the last 18 months of his career. The timing of the poll and this performance was absolutely perfect.
Speaking of that poll…
Majority of Pros Don’t Believe DJ’s Leave Was Voluntary
- The anonymous SI Golf+ poll also revealed 73% of pros polled do not believe the six months Dustin Johnson spent away from the tour to work on “personal challenges” was his choosing.
- 18% chose “Don’t Know/No Comment”, leaving only 9% voting that the hiatus was his decision.
- Of Champions Tour players, 83% didn’t believe the absence was voluntary.
“Not a chance (it was voluntary). There were rumors about that guy everywhere,” said an unnamed Champions Tour player.
We thought it smelled funny from the start.
Tiger Sends Letter to Bullied Teen
Golf Digest’s Ron Sirak describes a story Sophie Gustafson told him about a teenager named Dillon that has battled a severe stutter and gets bullied in high school because of it. Dillon’s Mom wrote to Sophie about his attempted suicide:
“He yelled downstairs ‘Good bye, I love you.’ Me and my husband immediately ran upstairs, his bedroom door was locked, we busted down the door and he was sitting on the window and was getting ready to jump. We were able to grab him and keep him from going head first onto the concrete below.”
Sirak promised he would make sure Tiger knew Dillon was a fan. Sirak kept his promise and Tiger wrote a Dillon a letter.
Thanks so much @TigerWoods for sending my friend Dillon a letter. He got so happy! It’s being framed and hanged. #class
— Sophie Gustafson (@SophieGustafson) May 10, 2015
Wei’s Credentials Revoked by PGA Tour
- Stephanie Wei, author of the popular Wei Under Par site and one of the most active journalists covering the PGA Tour, had her media credentials revoked for the remainder of the 2015 season after she streamed live video on Periscope of Jordan Spieth’s practice round at last week’s Match Play.
- Accredited media are prohibited from sharing video of Tour players at tournaments under PGA regulations.
- Wei can apply for reinstatement at the end of the season. The PGA has stated a reinstatement request from Wei would be “considered” for next season.
At first glance, it’s easy to feel Wei was victim of unnecessarily strict rule enforcement over an innocent act. However, this is the second time this year the PGA has taken issue with Wei. At the Phoenix Open, Wei posted short video of Tiger Woods to her Instagram account. The Tour warned her and had her remove the video.
Regardless of which side of the argument you lean, we can all agree that it’s the fans that lose out.
“What Does Under Par Smell Like?”
- The PGA Tour is releasing a signature cologne called PGA Tour Pro Sport
- The press release describes it as “inspired by the competitive, innovation, and swift nature of the game.”
- I have no idea what that means in regards to cologne.
Golfer Pulls a Gun on Group Complaining About Slow Play
A group of Connecticut golfers became frustrated with the pace of play. After giving the group in front of them an unsolicited lesson on etiquette and playing through, 22 year-old Alejandro Baeza walked to his cart to retrieve a weapon.
Get the details here.
Next up: the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, NC. J.B. Holmes is the defending champ. The Champions Tour will play the Regions Tradition. The LPGA has the Kingsmill Championship.
Have a good week.
(photo courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)