Now Brooks Koepka Feels Slighted By A FOX Promo Omission...

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The Brooks Koepka-needs-motivation parade has moved to Pebble Beach where the two-time defending champion was understandably annoyed by a Fox omission of his likeness in a U.S. Open promo. Still, calling for a firing seems a bit much.

From Steve DiMeglio’s Golfweek report after Koepka’s pre-tournament press conference:

“There’s been a couple of times where it’s just mind boggling. It’s like, really? Like, how do you forget that?” Koepka said Tuesday at Pebble Beach. “Just kind of shocked. They’ve had over a year to kind of put it out. So I don’t know. Somebody probably got fired over it or should.”

The promo-make joins a graphics coordinator and Brandel Chamblee on the list of snubbers who also deserve credit for helping fuel Koepka’s four-major run.

But What About Those Wyndham Rewards Points, Brooks? Koepka Says Canadian Result Doesn't Matter

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Well, doesn’t REALLY matter, if that makes the folks ponying up millions for the FedExCup and Wyndham Rewards chases. (I’d tell you the leaders, but I know you’ve been studying the races and it would be redundant).

Either, the point is, majors are really that all that matter to the stars. Good for the majors, good for the game, not so great for points chases. From Ryan Lavner’s story from the RBC Canadian where Brooks Koepka is tuning up for Pebble Beach’s U.S. Open.

“I could care less what happens,” he said. “I just want to feel good going into next week. As long as I can leave feeling confident, striking the ball very well, starting it where I want to, finishing where I want to, hitting some good putts ... it doesn’t matter if they do go in or not. I just want to feel confident leaving.”

Koepka has played the week before all four of his major victories, and he pointed to the fact that he’s won back-to-back U.S. Opens despite finishing 30th or worse in each of his tune-up starts at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

“The result doesn’t really matter this week,” he said. “It’s just how I feel I’ve played. Am I hitting enough good shots and really finding a rhythm?”

But think of the points Brooks! For the children. And the VP’s whose bonuses depend on them.

LaCava On Tiger's Memorial Prep: "An Absolute Clinic"

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Tiger Woods appeared to calm those concerned after his PGA missed cut at Bethpage with birdies on 7 of the first 12 at Muirfield Village en route to a 2019 Memorial final round 67 and T9.

From Steve DiMeglio’s story for Golfweek and from Woods bagman Joe LaCava.

“First 12 holes were an absolute clinic,” said Joe LaCava, Woods’ caddie. He still hit some decent shots coming in. It wasn’t like he played poorly, he just didn’t get anything out of it the last five or six holes.

“He’s certainly going in the right direction with good momentum. I thought the iron play was top-notch today. Definitely some good momentum and positive vibes from both (weekend) days. The quality of shots on a scale of one to 10, I would say were a nine.”

Driving was a strength for the week, reports Bob Harig in his assessment for

Woods hit 12 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens Sunday, needing just 26 putts. For the week, he ranked ninth in strokes gained, approach to the green and 10th in strokes gained tee to green. For the week, he hit 75 percent of the fairways.

Behaving Under Par: Nicklaus-Like Sportsmanship Values Fail To Show Up In Memorial Opening Round

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Where to begin?

Phil Mickelson said the USGA only gets setup right when it rains at the U.S. Open.

Matt Kuchar tries to claim multiple things in hoping to get relief from an old fairway pitch mark, asks for a second and third ruling, and in general, reminds you why it took El Tucan to get paid what he deserved.

Bryson DeChambeau whines about being put on the clock and seems to believe you are entitled to more time when deciding to go for a green in two, or not.

Most fascinating of all: the bratty behavior took place at the prestigious Memorial tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus.

Funny how players refrain from the nonsense one week at year at the Masters—no whining about lies, no backstopping, no rudeness to the field—and used to take their behavior up a notch or two when Jack and Arnold were on the grounds.

Not any more.

In Kuchar’s case, he appeared to walk back the long effort to get relief from a pitch mark that was not his, reports’s Dylan Dethier.

Kuchar’s behavior was seen by many and called out by just as many, including European Tour player Eddie Pepperell. Mercifully, officials Robby Ware and Stephen Cox handled themselves well and with quiet confidence and authority.

The PGA Tour took down a video it posted on Twitter of the exchange. #liveunderpar

Mickelson, who made a fool of himself during Saturday’s third round of the 2018 U.S. Open, is back on the offensive and not exactly buttoning down the karma heading to Pebble Beach in two weeks. Alex Myers with Mickelson’s remarks and some of the backstory, including this:

“I’ve played, what, 29 U.S. Opens,” Mickelson told reporters at Muirfield Village. “One hundred percent of the time they have messed it up if it doesn’t rain. Rain is the governor. That’s the only governor they have. If they don’t have a governor, they don’t know how to control themselves.”

Says the guy who couldn’t put a governor on his emotions last year. Got it.

Not that it excuses bad course setup or the mistakes made, but you’d think someone who loves to pass on questions would have passed on this one.

As for Bryson DeChambeau,’s Will Gray spoke to him about being put on the clock. His rationale to official Brad Fabel for taking his sweet time was fascinating.

“He came up to me and told me I had a bad time. And I was like, do you realize I was deciding between laying up and going for it?” DeChambeau said. “And we’ve had struggles the past three holes in a row, hazards and making bogeys and all that. Was that not factored in? ‘Well, it’s just 40 seconds, it is what it is.’ Well, I don’t agree with that.”

Remember: the players largely believe they should break from the governing bodies and make their own rules. It’s almost tempting to encourage such a scenario just to watch that boondoggle unfold!

Chuck May Want To Talk To Chuck After Somber Colonial Kickoff

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All longtime golf fans are grateful to Charles Schwab for rescuing the Colonial, even if it meant wiping the club’s name off the iconic title in favor of the forgettable Charles Schwab Challenge. Then again, had they left Colonial in the title, we’d all still just call it the Colonial. And may still.

But the longtime supporter of golf might be scratching his head a bit after year one of a four year deal even after a perfectly normal PGA Tour event. A fascinating mix of leaders were extinguished by Kevin Na’s closing 66 only to have Na immediately give away quite possibly the most clever winner gift in some time: a restored Dodge Challenger. Mike McAllister reports for

Granted, Na did pledge before the tournament started to gift the car to Harms, who deserves more than an iconic American sports car for carrying Na’s bag(gage):

But the keys handoff did lead to that gloriously awkward winner’s photo with the car, Harms, Schwab and Na, along with a tournament official in the back left expressing only minor agony.

Adding to the awkwardness of the day: a subdued CBS telecast marked by multiple shots from the clouds (aka blimp), the dreaded bereavement track, and tributes to legends lost like Dan Jenkins, Bart Starr, etc. Still, the general somberness became more apparent when Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo were shown at the 18th before a tribute to “retiring” CBS workers was shown.

The tribute was quite touching, with Nantz refusing to sugarcoat the situation while Faldo’s eyes watered and turned red as they discussed the role of the many talented craftspeople losing their jobs. Excuse me, retiring. In mass. All in the same week.

As they introduced the primary crew members and some of the great moments covered or lengthy tenures, it was obviously a huge blow to the CBS Sports team.

While words like retirement and voluntary were bandied about, we all know what this is about, as telegraphed a couple of months ago:

Cost cutting moves: CBS is looking for about $100 million in cost savings in the next three years from belt-tightening and restructuring in search of greater efficiencies. That process could lead to streamlining of redundant operations and voluntary employee buyouts. “We reorganizing and thinking about functions that go across multiple divisions,” Ianniello said.

If it were any other corporate leader than Schwab—who has seen just about everything in golf—I’m guessing phone calls would be made, inquiries made and questions asked about so many layoffs in the midst of the golf season—with a mid-telecast tribute—and at a time the CBS schedule is at full force.

So Chuck probably won’t have to talk to Chuck. But if he were miffed at how year one played out, no one would blame him.

Colonial--AKA Charles Schwab Challenge--Set Up For A Doozy Of A Finish

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Kevin Na’s not walking putts in—at least intentionally so far this week Mike McAllister reports—but he did make a mess of a hole Saturday and Nick Menta reports that Na’s caddie Kenny Harms channeled full rage toward a Live Under Par Ambassador (aka fan with a cell phone). Charming.

The mess of a hole, minus the confrontation:

A ‘73 Dodge Challenger is on the line and maybe even the Colonial jacket, though the Colonial name and Ben Hogan have been scrubbed from the signage and messaging this week.

Mac Engel wrote earlier in the week that this may have been of Fort Worth’s effort to not become Houston.

Two back, Jordan Spieth could set a Shotlink era record for feet of putts made. He’s already had his best putting week through 54 in that respect and needs about 115 feet of putts to drop for the new high water mark.

15/15 Inside 15: Jordan Spieth Has His Best (Strokes Gained) Putting Day

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You can’t keep the great putters down for long and it’s fun to see Strokes Gained putting a figure on his Colonial, err…Charles Schwab round one performance. Spieth is one back of Tony Finau after the opening round. He must have dreams of that restored Dodge Challenger going to the winner. Really!

From’s Sean Martin:

A PGA Tour round-up and highlight real from Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

The putter was on 🔥 today. #LiveUnderPar

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AT&T At Trinity Forest Draws Decent Enough Field

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The PGA Championship’s move to May and lush inland golf, when combined with Trinity Forest’s eccentric Coore and Crenshaw links-style design, would seem to make it an easy stop to pass up.

Bill Nichols reports that while the field is not at the level it was when last played in Irving, the field is better than last year (5 of world top 50), headlined by Brooks Koepka, who liked what he saw on television last year.

"He told me he really liked how the course played on TV," said Nelson tournament director Jon Drago. "He said it looked like a lot of fun."

Word of mouth and the PGA Tour's schedule change, with the Nelson immediately preceding the PGA Championship, has strengthened the field. An influx of Europeans created the largest spike.

The Nelson field will feature 14 of the top 50 players in the World Golf Ranking: No. 3 Koepka, No. 19 Patrick Reed, No. 22 Marc Leishman, No. 28 Hideki Matsuyama, No. 31 Rafa Cabrera Bello, No. 33 Alex Noren, No. 36 Jordan Spieth, No. 40 Henrik Stenson, No. 42 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, No. 43 Lucas Bjerregaard, No. 45 Justin Harding, No. 46 Branden Grace, No. 48 Charles Howell III, and No. 50 Thorbjorn Olesen.

The normally firm and fast course was slowed down last year to ensure players were not turned off by the bold design features. Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch wasn’t a fan of that move and pleads with the PGA Tour to not dumb down the setup. However, this spring the weather has made it nearly impossible to present such a course, with more potentially violent storms expected Wednesday.

The course, while maybe not television friendly, is sensational. If you didn’t see it, Geoff Ogilvy filed a fantastic video tour last year that should remind you of its merits.

Homa Goes From Hitting Seven Provisionals A Week To PGA Tour Victory At Quail Hollow

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What a journey it’s been for the 2013 Pac-12 and NCAA individual champion from Cal, Max Homa, who, like so many, was on a can’t-miss trajectory before losing his game.

After making just two cuts in 2017 and returning this year to miss his first six, he won the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship in convincing fashion.

As Sean Martin notes for, the win was a victory for persistence and over an impressive roster of names.

The reigning FedExCup champion, Justin Rose, finished four back. Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey and Jason Dufner all tied for fourth. Rory McIlroy was two shots back at the start of the day, but faded to eighth place with a 73 on Sunday.

“I told (caddie Joe Greiner) on one of the holes that I felt like I was going to throw up, but my hands felt unbelievable on the club,” Homa said.

He couldn’t say the same in 2017, when he shot a cumulative 61-over-par in 17 starts on the PGA TOUR. But ‘resilient’ is a word that multiple people used to describe Homa. He has a similar word, ‘RELENTLESS’ tattooed on his wrist.

From Bob Harig’s ESPN story that does a great job chronicling Homa’s return to great play and life-changing win.

Even after returning to the PGA Tour this season, he missed his first six cuts, then slowly began to find some success -- although he never contended until this weekend. He began 2019 ranked 836th in the world and was 417th at the start of the week.

Improved driving has been a big part of the turnaround, leading to confidence.

"Whenever I drive it well, I feel great,'' Homa said. "I went through some real lows with my driver a couple years ago out here. I don't remember what my worst one was, but it was embarrassing. I was hitting like seven provisionals a tournament.”

A big Dodger fan, Homa received a congratulatory call from Tommy Lasorda, reports’s Rex Hoggard.

The win gets Homa into the PGA Championship next week and the 2020 Masters.

The final round highlights:

Wells Fargo Extends For Five Years Except When Quail Hollow Hosts The Presidents Cup, Reminding Us Of News We'd Tried To Forget

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Congrats to all for extending Wells Fargo’s sponsorship of the Charlotte stop at Quail Hollow, the oft-remodeled and over-extended design that was probably once very charming.

In 2021, when Quail lulls us to sleep during the Presidents Cup, the Wells Fargo will go north to the TPC Potomac outside Washington D.C. where players will experience “Scottish style bunkering”.

Also note this extension takes Quail Hollow through 2024 as host of the Wells Fargo. Remarkably, the club is believed to be a candidate for the 2026 PGA Championship as well. Currently that date is open, which is saying something given that almost all PGA dates have been filled or penciled in until 2031.

Wells Fargo Extends Sponsorship of Wells Fargo Championship by Five Years
Quail Hollow Club remains host site of prestigious event in Charlotte 

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – April 30, 2019 – Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), the PGA TOUR and tournament host organization Champions for Education announced today that Wells Fargo has extended its sponsorship of the Wells Fargo Championship through 2024 after signing a five-year extension. The announcement was made today by leaders from Wells Fargo, the PGA TOUR and Champions for Education.

Quail Hollow Club, home to the Wells Fargo Championship since its PGA TOUR debut in 2003, will continue to host the event.

“Since 2003, the Wells Fargo Championship has established itself as a premier event in the sports-rich city of Charlotte, with a supportive fan base, outstanding host venue and highly engaged title sponsor,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “It also continues to impact the community through the charitable efforts of Champions for Education, for which Wells Fargo has played a major role. The Wells Fargo Championship is a favorite stop among our players, and we are excited to announce that this relationship will continue for an additional five years.”

The 2018 Wells Fargo Championship generated more than $1.5 million for Charlotte-area charitable organizations, raising the tournament’s all-time total to $22 million.

“The Wells Fargo Championship is one of the most engaging expressions of our brand, and we’re thrilled to continue to delight golf fans, Wells Fargo team members, PGA TOUR players and the greater Charlotte community with our sponsorship of this event,” said Jamie Moldafsky, Chief Marketing Officer of Wells Fargo. “We’re especially proud of the positive impact we are able to generate in the greater Charlotte community in support of organizations including the Championship’s three primary beneficiaries: The First Tee of Greater CharlotteLevine Children’s Hospital and Teach for America.”

Jason Day returns as defending champion, winning last year by two strokes over Aaron Wise and Nick Watney. It was his 12th career PGA TOUR victory.

“The Wells Fargo Championship is an important part of the fabric of the community and today’s announcement allows us to continue to support our charitable efforts,” said Wells Fargo Championship Tournament Director Gary Sobba. “It is also an exciting time for our 2,300 volunteers—many of whom are Wells Fargo team members. We are fortunate that our tournament has become a popular spring tradition for PGA TOUR players, our partners and fans throughout the Carolinas.”

Quail Hollow Club President Johnny Harris said, “Today’s announcement is special for Quail Hollow Club members and staff. From the beginning, our goal was to create an exciting environment for the players, patrons, and partners as we gather to celebrate the game of golf and incorporate the tremendous support of the community. We are so honored by the success of this annual event and are grateful for all who have helped us along the way. We have been fortunate to host the best players in the world and are looking forward to welcoming them back for years to come.”

Because of the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club in 2021, the event will move for one year to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Washington, D.C. Known for its natural rolling terrain and Scottish-style bunkering, this well-regarded venue has played host to past PGA TOUR events.

Jason Day's Ball Speed Drops 13 MPH Using The Original Taylor Made Metal Wood

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Nice bit of data posted here by’s Luke Kerr-Dineen of Jason Day on the Quail Hollow range after the Aussie hit the original Taylor Made driver.

Day’s current 2019 PGA Tour ball speed average is 177.2. His clubhead speed average is 118 mph, but in a follow up Tweet posted a screen shot showing a 111 clubhead speed with the much smaller head (275cc?).

No word on how Athleticism and Agronomy are feeling right now after a simple change in driver head size ate into the huge advantages they’ve given today’s players.

Spring Ratings: 2019 Heritage Down, Zurich Final Round Draws A 1.1

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Paulsen at Sports Media Watch has this full report on last week’s Heritage Classic ratings, down 16% and 12% over 2018 but up over 2017. He also includes Golf Channel lead-in numbers which were pretty impressive given the erosion of cable numbers in most other sports.

And the SBD overnights from the Zurich Classic put the ratings at a 1.1. for Sunday’s final round, a .9 for Saturday play. Not thrilling but not awful either.

At least the golf outdrew rounds 4-7 of the NFL draft in prime time on ABC. Why anyone beyond family and friends are watching that is beyond me.

Walk-Up Music And Presidents Cup Testing Grounds Are Not Enough: Zurich Classic Format Needs Tweaking

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While I certainly agree with my colleague Dan Kilbridge’s view that the two-man team format for the Zurich Classic remains a welcomed addition to the schedule and must be protected, the alternate-shot golf is pretty deadly stuff. Particularly on a Sunday when fans want excitement.

He writes:

Watching the teammate dominos fall is a huge part of the Zurich Classic’s appeal in the days and weeks leading up. Dissecting the pairings and eventually their chosen walk-up music might be more intriguing than the actual golf.

International Presidents Cup team captain Ernie Els even introduced the idea of treating it as a chance to prep for the December matches at Royal Melbourne, with international players staying at the same hotel and bonding after-hours. Jason Day and Adam Scott played together for the first time, but that experiment ended early in a missed cut.

When you need excruciatingly painful exercises like walk-up music—executed better this year, slightly—and December Presidents Cup testing grounds, something is amiss.

I’d start by making the foursomes play modified, with each player hitting a tee shot. Or, if the purity is just that important to someone, then back to Thursday-Saturday rounds. To finish on a Sunday with a format that is about making the fewest mistakes instead of what is the most fun to watch, once again announces to fans that the PGA Tour was not thinking of you. Or if they were, they believed you like watching hard-earned pars being made.

And this…

There Is Life After 30 In Golf: Even With C.T. Pan's Win, 2019 PGA Tour Winner Average Age Holds Steady At 33

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C.T. Pan’s win at the RBC Heritage yesterday capped off a slow-developing career considering he came from the vaunted Class of 2011, won eight times at Washington and has been lumped with a group of golfers who have performed incredibly well at a young age.

But 2019 continues to serve as a reminder that this class might be an anomaly. Pan actually developed into a winner at a more traditional age—27.

Nonetheless, we see college golfers increasingly encouraged to leave school early because they have multiple entities looking to cash in on some fleeting signing bonuses. Many talented but not fully developed players are convinced they are good enough to earn money in seven starts, gain a PGA Tour card and be on their merry way.

Other forces convince younger players they are better prepared to win and cope with the difficult career of playing golf than any generation before them. You know the narratives, they’ve never been smarter, more athletic or surrounded by more knowledgable people. That may be the case. But often that messaging is rooted in a desire by executives to cut into the older viewership averages or is fueled by golf’s overall sense of desperation that without people under 35, the whole thing may crater at any minute.

Careers are derailed or extreme pressures are inflicted simply to push players who might attract a more favorable advertising demographic. Yet the names are piling up of talented players given bad advice, while the average age for PGA Tour winners this year reminds us that golf—at least the winning variety for males—is often best produced in your thirties, not your twenties.

Following Pan’s win, the 2018-19 PGA Tour average age of winners is 33.08.

If you take the schedule since Kapalua, when the field quality and course difficulty ratcheted up several notches, the average age of winners is 34.1.

Dell Match Play Sunday Ratings Plummet Without Tiger; How About A Monday Finish?

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Austin Karp reports on Saturday’s 2.4 rating for the 2019 Dell Match Play featuring Tiger Woods in the round of 8.

Sunday’s final day on NBC featuring the Kevin Kisner-Matt Kuchar final saw it’s lowest last day rating since 2010 Karp reports, a 1.6. However, that all time low was against the Vancouver Olympic Games. This year’s 1.6 was only slightly down from the 1.8 Sunday drew the last two years.

Still, there is a sense that Sunday is anti-climactic, whether due to player fatigue (and so-so-golf) or just the limits of only have two matches.

I proposed on Morning Drive a Thursday start, with Saturday’s broadcast bringing us elimination day while Sunday shows us the round of 16 and round of 8. This would get the final match away from the NCAA Regional Finals and let golf get some limelight with a Monday finish, perhaps late in the day on Golf Channel. The current sponsor is said to not be pleased with the small crowds and small field on Sunday’s.

My chat on this with Morning Drive’s Damon Hack:

Kuchar, Sergio Film PSA: Stop Obsessing About Our Match Play Dust-Up

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I’m all for any kind of match play drama and the Matt Kuchar-Sergio Garcia negotiation over a short miss by Sergio before Kuchar could concede was fun. But it was not the stuff of the attention it’s getting since Garcia acknowledged mistake, took full responsibility and Kuchar wisely held his ground.

Well the two combatants put the whole thing to rest (maybe) with this PSA filmed Monday at Austin Golf Club, with Kuchar doing all the talking.

Got To Gram Before Wheels Up: Rory McIlroy Apologizes For Storming Out Of Match Play

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Nice of Rory McIlroy to realize the error of his ways in blowing off the assembled scribblers after his fun—except for the 16th hole—battle with Tiger Woods in the 2019 WGC Dell Match Play.

His almost unimaginably long drive followed by six shots at the par-5 16th might have had something to do with it, as Steve DiMeglio notes for Golfweek.

Moochgate 2 Never Hits Theaters: Sergio Takes The Blame For Raking Ball Before Kuchar Can Concede

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We were so close to having a fabulous squabble on our hands, but Sergio Garcia eventually came to his senses after some mid-round tension in the WGC Dell Match Play. Our dreams of Moochgate 2 were dashed when it went straight to video (long story, under 20 year olds).

Bob Harig of on the negotiation between the green vandal and the mooch.

It was after that hole where Garcia suggested to Kuchar that he concede a hole to make up for what happened on the seventh.

"I thought about it and said I don't like that idea, either," Kuchar said.

"Typically there's an acknowledgement," he added of a conceded putt. "I understand how the concession needs to be vocal and I try to do a really good job. I hate it when guys sort of mumble something. I always try to be very clear, very vocal. This is one where I was on the back of the green. It happened so fast. I knew I hadn't conceded it. But it was never a tactic or anything."

Despite the apparent tension within the match, Garcia backed away from any controversy after it.

"It's quite simple: I screwed it up, it's as simple as that," he said. "Obviously I missed my putt and I kind of tapped it with the back of my putter before he said anything. It's a loss of hole. I understand that.

"There are many options that you can do if you don't want to take the hole, even though I've already lost that hole. But obviously he didn't like any of the options that were there. It's fine. At the end of the day, I'm the one who made the mistake."


The mistake by Garcia that likely cost him his match in Saturday’s round of 8:

Tiger Hits A Stellar Lefty Shot From The Bushes, Loses To Snedeker

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Tiger may have lost to Brandt Snedeker, setting up a likely elimination unless he beats Patrick Cantlay and Aaron Wise takes out Snedeker (or Snedeker ties, Tiger wins).

Anyway, he only briefly stopped to talk to a PGA Tour staff member so we didn’t get to ask him about this spectacular recovery shot:

Golf Gods At Work, Files: Poulter And Mitchell Face Off After Sharing Flight, Discussing The Art Of Match Play

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Ian Poulter might want to wheel out some gamesmanship against Keith Mitchell in Thursday’s WGC Dell Match Play contest—maybe a Kevin Mitchell for kicks—except that his opponent might see through it.

The two played Augusta National recently, decided to share a flight to the match play and as Ben Everill reports for, discussed the art of match play. To some extent anyway.