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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Golf

Watch: Henrik Stenson snaps club over leg after horrible shank

Henrik Stenson was one of a number of golfers who struggled in the tough conditions during the final round of The Open Championship on Sunday, and his emotions got the best of him late in the day.

Stenson’s second shot at the par-4 17th hole was a shank in every sense of the word. After positioning himself perfectly off the tee, he hit the ball off the end of his club and straight into a collection of fans. He then snapped his iron over his leg in frustration.

Stenson, who won The Open back in 2016, rarely shows that much emotion. He’s actually the second player we have seen snap a club over his leg during a major championship this year.

Tiger Woods injury watch starts early at British Open

Tiger Woods has battled back from a number of significant injuries over the past several years to regain his spot as one of the top golfers in the world, and the concern that he might be hurt again began immediately at The Open Championship on Thursday.

Woods appeared to grimace on his first tee shot at Portrush. The shot was pulled and ended up in the tall fescue, so it’s possible he was just unhappy with the swing. Still, Golf Channel broadcaster Nick Faldo and others saw it as a cause for concern.

For what it’s worth, Tiger ended up making an excellent par after his second shot ended up in a bunker.

Tiger has chosen not to play much since he won the Masters back in April, and that has led to speculation that he could be hurting and trying to allow himself as much recovery time as possible. When you consider what he said about his injuries a while back, it’s possible experiencing some pain from time to time is simply the norm for him at this point.

David Duval cards a 13 on disastrous hole at British Open

The Open Championship has always been one of the most difficult tournaments in golf, and David Duval showed us a prime example on Thursday of the way it can break a player’s spirits.

Duval, who won the Open back in 2001, had one of the most disastrous first rounds of a major tournament in recent memory. He got off to a great start and was 2-under through the first four holes, but it was all downhill from there. Duval made a quadruple-bogey on the 5th hole and a double on the 6th, and that wasn’t even close to the worst of it.

Duval hit three tee shots on the par-5 7th, thinking there was a chance that his first two were lost. He initially ended up with a 15 on the hole, but it was later changed to a 13. Duval apparently thought he had been playing his third provisional for a few shots before realizing it was actually his second. When the mess was sorted out, he ended up with a 13.

Duval, 47, lost his PGA Tour card in 2011. He was allowed entry into the 2019 Open because he won the major back in 2001, but he might wish he declined the invite after the way things unfolded on Thursday.

Gary Woodland and wife Gabby expecting twins two years after tragedy

Gary Woodland wife Gabby

Gary Woodland’s win at the US Open on Father’s Day Sunday comes with very special meaning.

The 35-year-old golfer and his wife Gabby were expecting twins two years ago — a boy and a girl. They lost the girl in a miscarriage, and the boy, Jaxson, was born 10 weeks premature.

Jaxson has continued to grow since then and is doing well. He’ll soon be joined by siblings.

The Woodlands are expecting twins again as Gabby is due in August.

Winning the US Open marked Woodland’s first career major. He has been coming on strong lately, as he finished tied for sixth at the PGA Championship last year and tied for eighth at the PGA Championship this year and now has his first major. It’s a big one, especially coming after the family tragedy.

Gary Woodland rides fearless approach on 14th hole to US Open victory

Gary Woodland

Gary Woodland took a fearless approach on the 14th hole in the final round of the US Open on Sunday to help extend his lead, setting the tone for a strong close en route to his first major.

Woodland was only leading by a shot over Brooks Koepka but was able to increase the lead to two with an improbable birdie on 14. For his second shot on the par-5 hole, Woodland used a 3-wood and launched his ball over the massive bunker in front of the green to set himself up for birdie. It was a huge risk as he could have gotten stuck in the bunker. Many conservative golfers would view laying up as the safe play, but Woodland went for glory instead.

By getting near the green in two, Woodland put himself in position to chip and putt for a birdie and was able to shave a stroke to move to -12, pushing his lead over Koepka back to two. The decision to go big on the hole and having it pay off helped him win the tournament, along with his big chip on 17.

This is Woodland’s first career major win.

Brooks Koepka gets kiss from girlfriend Jena Sims before US Open

Brooks Koepka girlfriend

Brooks Koepka was once again in contention at a major championship entering the final round of the US Open on Sunday, and there will be no talk about him snubbing his better half whether he wins or loses.

Prior to the PGA Championship last month, a moment between Koepka and his girlfriend Jena Sims went viral when the four-time major champion ignored Sims’ smooch attempt.

Sims must have seen all of the comments on Twitter, because she was sure to get a kiss from Koepka after he won. Then at Pebble Beach on Sunday, the two did not misfire.

Koepka entered the final round four shots back of the lead.

Watch: Patrick Reed breaks club over his leg on 18th hole

Patrick Reed breaks club

Patrick Reed went Bo Jackson and snapped a club over his leg during a brutal 18th hole at the US Open on Friday at Pebble Beach.

Reed was on the par-5 18th and drove into the right rough to start the hole off on a bad note. He was able to get out of the rough but overshot the green on his fourth shot and wound up back in the rough. He tried to chip it out from there but muffed it, got stuck in the rough again, and immediately snapped his wedge.

Reed finally got close to the pin on his sixth shot and was able to putt his next shot in for a seven, finishing the hole with a double bogey.

Reed finished with a 2-over 73 for the round, a day after shooting an even par 71. He was on the cut line at +2, which is why his eventual save was so important.