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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Golf

Watch: Ian Poulter cards disastrous quad-bogey at US Open

Pebble Beach is the type of golf course where you can ruin your entire weekend with one tough hole, but Ian Poulter can’t really blame the challenging layout for his embarrassing quadruple-bogey during the second round of the US Open on Friday.

Poulter got into some trouble on the 3rd hole when his ball ended up in an impossible spot near the green. That’s when he briefly turned into a casual weekend golfer and simply could not chip the ball out of the rough. His first attempt went literally nowhere, and the second went about two feet.

Poulter entered No. 3 with a score of 2-over for the tournament, and he ended up carding an 8. That could be the difference between him making and missing the cut. We have seen Poulter hit some incredibly lucky shots at major championships in the past, but that was not his finest moment.

Watch: Jordan Spieth catches bad break with bunker shot that hits rake

Jordan Spieth get that

Jordan Spieth caught a tough break during the second round of the US Open at Pebble Beach on Friday, and it was one we are not accustomed to seeing on the PGA Tour.

Spieth put his tee shot on No. 2 into a fairway bunker, and he was trying to hit a long approach out of the sand with his second. His shot looked like it was going to get through the tall grass on the edge of the bunker, but his ball hit a rake and stopped dead in its path. You could hear on the TV broadcast how shocked Spieth was with the result.

To his credit, Spieth managed to punch his third shot out into the middle of the fairway and then get up and down for bogey, so the damage was minimal. Still, that isn’t the type of obstacle you want to have to overcome at the second round of the US Open.

Rory McIlroy holds up Kyle Lowry jersey after winning RBC Canadian Open

Rory McIlroy blew the field away to win the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday, and he knew just how to celebrate with fans following his big day.

After he fired a 9-under 61 to finish an impressive 22-under for the tournament, McIlroy walked off the course holding up a Kyle Lowry jersey. There were undoubtedly some Toronto Raptors fans in attendance, and they loved the move.

The RBC Canadian Open is held at Hamilton Golf and Country Club, which is about one hour south of the city of Toronto. McIlroy has clearly been following the NBA Finals and knows the Raptors are one win away from capturing their first ever title, so it was pretty cool to see him plan ahead.

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.