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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Golf

Rory McIlroy shows off Raptors jersey after winning Canadian Open

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is getting caught up in the Toronto Raptors hype while finishing things off at the Canadian Open.

McIlroy posted a dominant final round 61, good for a score of nine-under and a seven-stroke victory on Sunday. As he walked off the 18th green, he produced a Toronto Raptors jersey in front of the crowd.

McIlroy was actually in attendance for Game 2 of the NBA Finals and seemed to enjoy the atmosphere.

McIlroy is definitely a basketball fan, though he has no obvious ties to the Raptors. If you’re in town and took in a recent game, though, you might as well show some love to the home team, especially with Canada in the midst of basketball fever.

Hank Haney under fire for comments about women’s golf, Korean players

Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’ former swing coach, is under fire for comments he made on his Sirius XM radio show on Wednesday.

Haney’s co-host, Steve Johnson, brough up that the U.S. Women’s Open was starting on Thursday, and Haney dismissed knowing it was taking place. He then reveled in his ignorance by predicting that a Korean would win, and throwing out the last name “Lee.”

Golfchannel.com has audio of his comments and a transcript of what Haney said.

“I’m gonna predict a Korean (will win),” Haney told Johnson, who laughed.

Johnson responded, “okay, that’s a pretty safe bet.”

“I couldn’t name you six players on the LPGA tour. Maybe I could. Well … I’d go with ‘Lee,’ if I didn’t have to name a first name. I’d get a bunch of them right,” Haney said.

“We’ve got six ‘Lee’s (on the LPGA tour),’” Johnson said.

Hank continued: “Honestly, Michelle Wie is hurt. I don’t know anybody. Where are they playing by the way?”

Michelle Wie, mentioned by Haney in his comments, was not amused.

Sean Zak, golf.com writer, tweeted out this additional segment where Haney and Johnson discuss the building outcry over his comments, with a very half-hearted “if I said something that offended anyone” apology.

Haney will likely have to address his stereotyping and dismissive comments a little better than that soon. Two of the last six LPGA majors have been won by a Korean player. No player with the last name “Lee” has ever won a major on the women’s tour.

Jim Harbaugh jumps into Brandel Chamblee versus Brooks Koepka feud

Jim Harbaugh headset

Brooks Koepka rolled to his second consecutive PGA Championship and fourth major win in the last two years. He also got a chance to go “scoreboard” against professional golf commentating provocateur Brandel Chamblee. Koepka acknowledged that Chamblee’s criticism after the Masters, questioning his toughness, made him angry. Koepka posted a picture of Chamblee in a clown nose earlier in May. Chamblee spent the week trying to walk back and qualify his earlier comments, and said Koepka “is in elite company now.”

Koepka has an unusual ally in his feud with Chamblee–Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh weighed in on Chamblee’s previous comments on Monday.

Jim Harbaugh brought up Chamblee going 0-for-4 in making a cut at the PGA Championship. This, though, just sets up Chamblee for the perfect comeback given that Harbaugh is 0-4 against Ohio State since returning to Michigan as head coach. Let’s hope it goes there.

Brooks Koepka was not surprised by ‘DJ’ chants in final round

Brooks Koepka

It’s fair to say that Brooks Koepka was not the crowd favorite down the stretch at the PGA Championship as he struggled through his final round, opening the door for a Dustin Johnson comeback.

Koepka shot four straight bogeys from holes 11-14, making what had previously looked like a procession quite tense, with Johnson closing the gap on him. That got the crowd at Bethpage Black into it on Johnson’s side, and Koepka was serenaded with “DJ” chants down the stretch.

Koepka ultimately won despite shooting +4 on Sunday, and didn’t seem terribly offended by the crowd’s response to his struggles.

If Koepka was as laser-focused all day as he was when he denied his girlfriend on a kiss attempt, then the chants probably didn’t register much with him. It certainly didn’t bother him enough to cost him the championship, as he managed to close things out by a two-stroke margin.

Brooks Koepka’s girlfriend Jena Sims gets big kiss to make up for snub

Jena Sims

Brooks Koepka’s girlfriend Jena Sims got a big makeup kiss that she do deserved after getting snubbed earlier in the day.

Koepka shot a four-over 74 on Sunday, which was enough to win his second consecutive PGA Championship thanks to the huge lead he built up with a record first two rounds.

Prior to his tee time on Sunday, Koepka denied Sims on a kiss attempt:

Maybe Koepka was all business at the time, because once he completed the major win, he was ready for the smooches.

The 29-year-old golfer is in the middle of building his legacy. He won consecutive US Opens in 2017 and 2018 and has now won two PGA Championships in a row. He’ll have a chance to make it three US Opens in a row next month.

Tiger Woods sent Mike Trout box of golf clubs

Tiger Woods

One of the greatest golfers of all time sent a gift to one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

According to media members covering the Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout had a long box by his locker inside Angel Stadium on Thursday. The Los Angeles Daily News says the box contained two TaylorMade golf clubs.

Trout has never met Woods and was unsure how he got on the golfer’s mailing list, but he appreciated the clubs. He also told reporter JP Hoornstra that he’s a “big fan” of the golfer.

Tiger is coming off a win at the Masters last month, marking his 15th career major win and first since 2008. His huge achievement was recognized by athletes and teams across sports, with one squad even delaying things to watch him play.

Trout, a two-time AL MVP, is regarded as the best player in baseball and signed a $426 million contract extension that showed his value.

Woods, who is from Orange County (where the Angels play) is actually a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. But that probably won’t bother Trout, who has to feel good about getting a gift from the famous golfer.

Sean Payton has hilarious spoof of Phil Mickelson’s famous Masters video

Sean Payton

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is taking part in the Zurich Classic pro-am at TPC Louisiana this week, and he seems just as excited about it as Phil Mickelson was before Round 3 of the Masters a couple weeks ago.

On his way to the course on Wednesday, Payton recorded himself discussing his plan for the day in a similar fashion to when Mickelson said he was going to be “hitting bombs” at Augusta National. The big difference for Payton is that he stressed the importance of not “hitting patrons,” rather than worrying about how far his drives travel.

You can compare that with Mickelson’s video from the Masters, which was a massive hit among golf fans.

Payton impersonating Mickelson with the video is one thing, but we can only hope he doesn’t try to pull off some of the tricks we have seen Phil execute on the golf course in the past. That would not end well for anyone.