10 Things you missed last week: Wins, slow players named and shamed, social media criticism, AK spotted and speculation about Tiger


10 Things you missed last week: Wins, slow players named and shamed, social media criticism, AK spotted and speculation about Tiger

Is Molinari flogging a dead horse named slow play? Was Tiger limping? Did Carly and her management not pause to question the morality of a deal with a country like Saudi Arabia? Should we leave AK alone? 

From a rare Anthony Kim sighting and a video which raised questions over Tiger’s fitness to Carly Booth’s highly controversial partnership with Golf Saudi, Edoardo Molinari exposing the European Tour’s slowest players and Lexi Thompson stepping away because of hurtful comments, the world of golf social media was at the forefront of discussion last week. 

And that’s before Andy Sullivan’s exceptional, very bleep-heavy hole-in-one attempt video from the European Tour. 

Elsewhere, Campillo gets his first win after 10 years on Tour, Palmer ends a nine-year wait as he wins the Zurich Classic with Rahm, and Minjee Lee 

Click on the link to jump down the page to the stories
Palmer, Rahm win Zurich Classic
Jorge Campillo ends 10 year wait for victory
Minjee Lee claims four-shot win LA Open
• Nuria Iturrios wins Lalla Meryem Cup for second time
Lexi Thompson taking a break from social media
Edoardo Molinari names, shames slow players – GMac responds
Was Tiger Woods limping? The video evidence
Carly Booth under fire for Saudi Golf deal
Anthony Kim says golf ‘non existant’ in new sighting
Andy Sullivan’s must watch Chase the Ace video

Ryan Palmer ended a nine year wait for victory as he teamed up with Jon Rahm to win the Zurich Classic by three shots

It had been 3,388 days since Ryan Palmer had last hoisted a trophy on the PGA Tour (in 2010), but he was a winner once more as he and Jon Rahm triumphed at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday.

The somewhat unlikely duo fired their fourth round in a row in the 60s with a three-under 69 at TPC Louisiana to beat out Tommy Fleetwod and Sergio Garcia by three strokes, finishing on 26-under-par.

“It’s been an incredible week with RP,” said Rahm, who paired up with Palmer simply because he asked him after both their previous partners (Wesley Bryan and Jordan Spieth) weren’t playing. “He summarized it very well. When Wesley told me he was having shoulder surgery a few months before the event, I was in no man’s land, no partner. I got a text from Ryan, and I was like — last year we were joking around saying, we are going to play together really, really well based on how we played last year, and we saw each other, and it was a clear choice. I’m really happy I said yes. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

“It’s been incredible. To win my third PGA TOUR event with Ryan, obviously very different stories, but to get it done together, the way it happened, he started off playing great, I kind of struggled and then I came through in the middle and then he finished it up. It was amazing

Having contended successfully with weather delays to play early on in the tournament, Rahm and Palmer played their way in to the joint lead with Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax heading in to the final round. 

But as Stallings and Mullinax struggled with the foursomes format to a disappointing 77, their fellow overnight leaders quickly extended their own lead with a tap-in birdie on the par-five second, and kept their hold over the contest for the rest of the day. 

They responded to a dropped shot on six with three birdies on the back nine and an impressive 25-foot par-save on the 15th, parring their way in over the closing stretch for a two shot victory. For Palmer, it was a fourth PGA Tour title, and for Rahm it was a third – making it the third season in a row where he has secured a title.

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Jorge Campillo claimed his maiden European Tour title on his 229th attempt with a two shot win at the Trophée Hassan II

Campillo rallied with late birdies at both the 16th and 17th holes to end his long wait for victory with a final round two-under 71, beating out Sean Crocker, Eric Van Rooyen and Julian Suri by two shots at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.

“It’s been a long road,” he said after his win. “I’m grateful, but it’s been way too long. Way too many hours of work since I was a boy to today. I’m just proud that I can say I’m a winner on the European Tour.

“I just love the game, I love competing. Most people say, maybe I’m not a winner, but I was when I was an amateur. It was a matter of time, I think I proved it today.

“I made so many promises that I have to do after I win that I might have to take a few weeks off!

Until this win the Spaniard had had a total of six runner-up finishes on the European Tour since 2011 – including two back-to-back in Oman and Qatar earlier this year, and looked set to break through for a win.  It came at last on Sunday in Morocco, but it was by no means a straightforward route to his maiden title. 

Starting the day one shot behind Van Rooyen, Campillo gave himself a lot of work to do after making bogeys at both the second and third holes to drop three shots behind by the fifth. But he made up shots at the eighth and 11th holes to join the top, and back-to-back birdies from the 16th gave him a two shot advantage heading to the last. 

“It was tough, I didn’t have my A game,” Campillo said. “I was missing shots off the tee but I putted great. I hit some great shots coming in and I’m proud. I’m proud of the way I finished. I finished today like a champion.”


Minjee Lee wins by four shots at the Hugel-Air Premia L.A. Open

Minjee Lee closed out with a final-hole birdie from 18 feet at the par-3 18th as she eased to her fifth LPGA Tour victory on Sunday at Wiltshire Country Club. 

Lee, 22, fended off challenges throughout the day from the likes of Sei Young Kim, who fired a final round 66 to move up the leaderboard and reach 10-under-par. 

“I wasn’t aware until probably that first par 5 on the back nine,” Lee said of how close her challengers were getting. “I was just going to carry on playing my own game. I had a couple birdie opportunities coming in, so I didn’t get rattled up or anything.”

But Lee remained calm after dropping a shot at the par-four 11th, and went on to make birdie at that first par-five (the 13th) to regain a cushion at the top before holing her putt on the last to extend that to lead to a four shot victory. 

Nuria Iturrios wins Lalla Meryem Cup for second time

Nuria Iturrios earned her maiden victory here three years ago as a rookie, and cruised to a seven shot victory over the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Morocco with a final round three-under-par 70. 

The 23-year-old began the day in a share of the lead with Lina Boqvist, but quickly moved out in front with birdies on the second and third, an advantage she lost and regained over the seventh and eight holes. 

Despite hitting a tree with her drive on the ninth Iturrios managed an impressive par-save, and more mistakes from her partner gave her a comfortable lead as she dropped four shots over the last four holes. 

For Iturrios, a level par back-nine was more than enough to comfortably secure a seven shot victory on 13-under, finishing as the only player to post four sub-par rounds as she moved to the top of the LET order of merit.

“It’s amazing for me to win again here. I’m so happy to be here and I hope to keep it going,” said Iturrios.

“On the last hole, I told my coach, ‘We are getting so close,’ and I was nervous but I think we did a great job. I just want to keep going and enjoy it now,” she added.

Lexi Thompson is ‘taking a break from social media’ after ‘hurtful’ comments

Lexi Thompson is fed up of getting hurtful, negative and unfair comments on her social media pages. 

It’s what has prompted the 24-year-old to step back, taking to Instagram on Saturday to announce her decision to her 413k followers, stating that she is planning to focus on herself rather than getting ‘too involved’ and hurt by trolls targeting her.

“Hey everybody, just want to say I will be taking a break from social media,” Thompson wrote. “If I post it will be from my management team for me. I’m too involved with it, and to read some of the hurtful things being said to me lately isn’t fair and I’m not dealing with it. Thank you to my true fans out there I will be back on but I’m going to be focusing on me right now and my life. Thanks for understanding.”

In 2018, the 10-time LPGA Champion withdrew from the Women’s British Open to ‘recharge’ her ‘mental batteries’ after a difficult year that included the heart-breaking Ana Inspiration loss, her mother being diagnosed with cancer and the death of her grandmother – which prompted her first break from social media towards the end of 2017.

Edoardo Molinari took to twitter to name and shame the players violating slow play on the European Tour, but Graeme McDowell responds: ‘We all hear him. We all wish we could play a little faster to attract more people to the sport. We’re trying’. 

Edoardo Molinari is sick of slow play on the European Tour. 

The slow play debate has been prominant in the world of professional golf for a long time, (and it’s widely noted as being worse on the PGA Tour), but after it took Molinari five and a half hours to play the second round of the Trophee Hassan II, he took to twitter to share his frustrations. 

After the original tweet gained a lot of attention, Molinari decided that if his tweet reached over 1000 retweets he would name and shame those who have been contributing to the slow play problem. He stayed true to his word, and releasing a full list of names who have been timed, how many breaches they have been judged to have made, and how much players have been fined. And some of the names on the list are quite surprising.

Spaniard Adrian Otaegui topped the list, having been timed six times in 10 events, with Henrik Stenson behind him on four and a host of players on three – a list which includes Zurich Classic champ Jon Rahm.

Of course, what’s important to bear in mind is that some players have been timed because of the groups they were in and it’s impossible to see what the contributing factor was to these numbers, but interesting none the less. 

After his tweets, Graeme McDowell responded by speaking about the issue of slow play at the Zurich Classic in the U.S, and he didn’t sound overly optimistic about it improving any time soon.

“I saw his tweet this morning when he came off the course, ‘We need to play faster, blah, blah, blah.’ I get it,” McDowell said on Saturday. “I hear where Edoardo is coming from, but he is, what shall we say, flogging a dead horse?

“It’s not a dead horse, but it’s pretty dead. What do you want to do? We can’t get around there much quicker. Is 20 minutes going to change his life? Listen, I like Edoardo, nice kid, but I think he’s just frustrated.

“Listen, golf courses are long, golf courses are hard, we’re playing for a lot of money, it’s a big business, it is what it is.There’s just no way to speed the game up really. You can try these small percentiles, but at the end of the day it’s very hard to get around a 7,600-yard golf course with tucked pins with a three-ball in less than 4:45, 5 hours. You can’t do it.”

“It should be public, you know, name and shame. I’m willing to admit I’ve been timed five times so far this year, been put on the clock five times, which is halfway to my 10, which is halfway to a $25,000 fine. I’m aware, but you get in the wrong group on the wrong week and you’re gonna get timed. Henrik Stenson is on six times [according to the list]. Is Henrik a slow player? No, it’s just one of those things.

“I hear Edoardo. We all hear him. We all wish we could play a little faster to attract more people to the sport. We’re trying.”

Tiger Woods raises eyebrows after appearing to limp in post-Masters interview

In the immediate aftermath of Tiger Woods’ 15th major title at the Masters a couple of weeks ago he admitted he was tired, but a recent video raised a smattering of doubt over how good his body actually is.

The golf legend has a content deal with Golf TV, and on his way to being interviewed by Henni Zuel, Woods was filmed getting out of his car and making his way to the studio -but he appeared to be struggling to walk properly. Of course, Woods has had four back surgeries and does have a fused spine, but there were plenty of golf fans who voiced their concerns while others gave excuses for what might be troubling him.

Some attributed it playfully to having done ‘leg-day’, while one twitter user asked why they would release of a video of him walking like an 85-year-old man. Below, you can judge for yourself. 

Woods has since announced he will be skipping this week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, meaning his next start could very well be the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black – a place where he won the 2002 U.S. Open.

“He’s still digesting and appreciating what happened two weeks ago. Honestly, he’s just not ready to play right now,” Steinberg told ESPN. “Look back at the transcripts from late last year and early this year, he’s not going to play as much. He’s just going to be smart about it. There’s a huge difference between being hurt and being sore. He’s sore after most tournaments he plays. He requires some downtime and doesn’t feel he has enough time to get ready for next week. And he regrets that he’s not going to be there.”

Carly Booth comes under fire for partnership with Saudi Arabia Golf Federation

It was a surprise, and one that was hugely criticised, when Carly Booth announced on social media last week that she had signed a partnership deal with Golf Saudi, stating that the country ‘acknowledge women in sport is of paramount importance’. 

‘Although culturally they are in a different place to some countries, they are doing everything they can to introduce girls and women into sport and lead healthier lifestyles,’ she wrote. 

The irony of promoting a country that has a long history of human rights issues and repressive attitudes and legality towards women, was not lost on anyone, and it raised a lot of questions over the responsibility of her management to have encouraged the partnership. 

It seemed a strange decision after the heavily criticised European Tour event Saudi International earlier in the year, where organisers and some of the world’s best players were accused of money-grabbing instead of taking a stance against a place where all women are required to have a male guardian, and must seek their permission to travel or have an education. Until June 2018 Saudi Arabian women weren’t allowed to drive, and it was only in January this year that a new law was being introduced to stop men from divorcing their wives without telling them.

With all that in mind, 26-year-old Booth was chastised for the partnership, of which the posts about she has since deleted – replacing instead with a string of cryptic posts including one that says ‘Just because you are right, does not mean I am wrong. You haven’t seen life from my side’. 

At the time of writing, Golf Saudi are still listed as a sponsor on her website.

Anthony Kim resurfaces

The sporadic but ongoing question surrounding Anthony Kim, and what he’s up to, rears its head every now and again on social media when someone posts a swing, or an image, of the exciting former U.S golf star. 

Kim hasn’t played since injury forced him out of the game in 2012, and without a social media presence has disappeared into pure speculation for the past seven years. That speculation includes rumours that former Tour bad-boy Kim is not injured and can play but is reaping the rewards of a PGA Tour insurance policy that pays him a LOT of money.

But last week, a fan – named Benjamin Bujnowski – spotted him while getting breakfast in West Hollywood, Calif, and while the former golfer was happy to oblige for a photo, but crushed hopes of him ever making a miraculous return on the back of an extended medical extension some day. 

When Bujnowski asked him how the golf game was, Kim replied ‘Umm…non-existant’. 

MUST WATCH: Andy Sullivan is the third European Tour player to try to get a hole in one from 500 balls, and it’s the best one yet!

How many balls would it take a professional golfer to make a hole-in-one? 

The odds of an average golfer making an ace are roughly one in 100,000, while stats suggest a European Tour pro’s chances are closer to one in 2,500.

Introducing Andy Sullivan…  

With a day and 500 balls to play with on a 171-yard par three 11th hole of the Heritage Course at London Golf Club, the European Tour challenged the Englishman to defy the odds.

Following on from previous attempts by Edoardo Molinari and Brandon Stone, could Sullivan succeed where they could not and find that one, perfect shot? 

Armed with a 7 iron, here’s what happened…

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