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#pounditTuesday, January 18, 2022

Golf

Johnny Manziel made big blunder at Texas State Open golf tournament

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel said earlier this year that he wants to work toward becoming a professional golfer, and his quest is not off to the best start. The former Heisman Trophy winner struggled at a tournament in his home state of Texas this week with everything from his iron game to the dress code.

Manziel accepted a sponsor exemption to the Texas State Open at The Cascades Golf & Country Club in Tyler this week. With his father Paul caddying, Manziel finished dead last of 156 golfers. He shot a 79 in Round 1 and a 75 in Round 2. You have to wonder if his rough play in the first round had anything to do with him not being able to warm up.

As Golf Channel’s Max Schreiber noted, Manziel initially did not know he had to wear pants for the tournament. He arrived in shorts and had to quickly change. Manziel strolled up to the first tee without hitting any balls on the driving range.

Manziel told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that it was “great being on the home track” even though he didn’t shoot as well as he hoped he would.

“I had it going for a while and just struggled on the front nine and didn’t play the way I wanted to,” the former Texas A&M star said. “It’s a good first experience for me and had to start somewhere and this is a great place to do it back home.”

Manziel said during an appearance on the “Green Light with Chris Long” podcast back in February that he has set a specific goal for when he wants to become a professional golfer. The 28-year-old still has plenty of time, but he’s going to have to drastically improve his game. It would also help if he familiarized himself with the dress code ahead of time.

Golfer Justin Thomas sends great tweet about Olympic village

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas sent a great tweet about the Olympics on Tuesday in Japan.

Thomas is among the golfers representing the US at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. The 28-year-old shared some perspective about the Olympics, while poking fun at himself. He joked that he went to the Olympic Village for a workout on Monday night and that nobody was fighting him for the 20-pound weights.

Yep, when you’re competing at the Olympics, you’re going to encounter a number of physically-fit specimens. Those 50-pound dumbbells were probably much tougher to come by.

Thomas won the PGA Championship in 2017, has won 16 professional events, and is a former World No. 1 golfer. He may not be the strongest athlete at the Olympics, but he certainly is no slouch.

Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed are also set to represent the US in golf at the Olympics.

Bryson DeChambeau replaced by Patrick Reed at Olympics after positive COVID test

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau will not be able to compete for Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo due to a positive COVID-19 test.

DeChambeau’s positive test was announced by USA Golf on Saturday. They shared that Patrick Reed will replace him.

According to USA Golf, DeChambeau tested positive in the final testing protocol before he left for Japan. Reed will now undergo testing on Saturday, Sunday and Monday before being cleared to travel to Tokyo. The first golf competition at the Olympics will take place on Thursday.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent our country and be a part of Team USA in Tokyo,” Reed said in a statement, via USA Golf. “I wish Bryson nothing but the best, and I know how disappointed he is to not be able to compete, and I will do my best to play my best and represent our country.”

“I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA,” said DeChambeau. “Representing my country means the world to me and it was a tremendous honor to make this team. I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo. I will now focus on getting healthy, and I look forward to returning to competition once I am cleared to do so.”

The US men’s Olympic golf team will now include Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Reed.

Rory McIlroy shares reason for competing in Olympics

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy says patriotism is not a driving factor in him competing for Ireland in the Olympics. So what is his reason for competing in Japan?

The 32-year-old says he wants to represent the sport as a whole.

“I’m not a very patriotic guy; I’m doing it because I think it is the right thing to do,” McIlroy said Sunday.

“I missed it last time [in Rio]. And for golf to be an Olympic sport, you need your best players there, and I feel I want to represent the game of golf more than anything else.”

McIlroy was asked what he is looking forward to at the Olympics. The golfer said that given the restrictions due to COVID-19, there isn’t as much to look forward to as there would be in typical Olympics. However, this will give him a chance to work on his game more.

McIlroy has won four majors and achieved a No. 1 world ranking during his career. Adding a gold medal to his list of achievements would be nice for his career resume.

Collin Morikawa has great responses to congratulatory tweets

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa joined Tiger Woods on Sunday as the only two golfers to win both the PGA Championship and The Open Championship before age 25. Needless to say, the future is bright for Morikawa, and the sports world has taken notice.

Several current and former golfers congratulated Morikawa on social media after he won The Open Championship with a total score of 15-under. The 24-year-old took to the time to respond to many of the tweets on Monday morning.

Morikawa also had some great exchanges with media personalities and athletes from other sports.

Morikawa sandwiched a 4th-place finish at the US Open between his wins at the PGA Championship and The Open Championship. He began his PGA career by making 22 consecutive cuts, which was only three short of Tiger’s record of 25.

If anyone thought Morikawa was a flash in the pan, his performance over the weekend proved he is anything but.

Louis Oosthuizen sends classy note after blowing lead at Open Championship

Louis Oosthuizen

Louis Oosthuizen was the leader at The Open Championship after the first round, second round, and third round. But he couldn’t hold the lead after 54 holes and wound up finishing tied for third, four shots behind the winner, Collin Morikawa.

Even though he blew the lead and lost, Oosthuizen still sent a classy note after the event at Royal St. George’s. Oosthuizen thanked the fans for their support. He also congratulated Morikawa for playing with “class” and “grit.”

The 38-year-old probably can be classy because he has won The Open Championship in the past. Oosthuizen won it in 2010. He has had runner-up finishes at every other major, and has finished in the top three in three straight majors this season.

Collin Morikawa joins exclusive company with second major win

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa on Sunday won The Open Championship and joined exclusive company with his victory.

Morikawa, 24, became just the sixth golfer to win two majors before the age of 25 (since (1934). The other golfers to accomplish the feat include Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.

Amazingly, Morikawa has won two of his first eight major starts. He has five PGA Tour wins and three European Tour victories, all since turning pro in just 2019.

At The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, Morikawa shot 15 under and finished in first by two strokes over Jordan Spieth. Louis Oosthuizen, who led entering the final round, finished tied for third at four back. Morikawa’s 4-under in the final round helped him make up ground and get the major win.

Video: Dustin Johnson drilled a spectator with a bad shot

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson got a little bit wild on the fourth hole of the third round of The Open Championship on Saturday.

After a poor tee shot, Johnson decided to make an ambitious bid for the flag out of the rough with his second shot. To do so, Johnson hit it hard — and not particularly accurately. The errant shot ended up drilling a spectator on the fly.

Johnson really drilled that thing. That person is probably going to have a bruise.

Johnson ended up having to settle for a bogey on the hole. He was three-over through eight holes in what was shaping up to be a rough round for him.

You don’t want to get in the way of one of Johnson’s shots. The guy can really drill them, sometimes a bit too much.

Brooks Koepka keeps trolling Bryson DeChambeau over driver remarks

Brooks Koepka

Bryson DeChambeau’s faux pas about his driver has clearly been a gift to rival Brooks Koepka.

On Thursday, DeChambeau vented frustration after a poor first round at The Open Championship, saying in a post-round interview that his driver “sucks.” That prompted a rebuke from Cobra, the sponsor and maker of DeChambeau’s clubs, and led to DeChambeau offering an apology after the remarks went viral.

That wasn’t going to stop Koepka. The two golfers are in a long-standing feud, and there was no chance Koepka was going to let DeChambeau’s remarks go without getting some shots in himself. The first came in an interview Friday, when Koepka, unprompted, mentioned just how much he loved his own driver.

There was no doubt this wasn’t coincidence, but if there were any questions, a tweet Koepka sent later Friday cleared those up.

It’s just the latest chapter in a longstanding rivalry between the two golfers. At the moment, Koepka is definitely the one in a better mood: he’s tied for 12th at The Open Championship through two rounds at 5-under, while DeChambeau is one-over for the tournament and tied for 65th.

Video: Tyrrell Hatton snaps club, curses during British Open

Tyrrell Hatton club snap

The Open Championship is one of the most challenging golf tournaments of the year, and it got the best of Tyrrell Hatton at Royal St. George’s on Friday.

After shooting a 2-over 72 in the first round, Hatton clawed his way to an even-par 70 in the second. He had some extremely frustrating moments, including one bad iron shot that angered him so much he snapped his club.

Hatton was also caught by a hot mic cursing after he made a double-bogey. You can see that clip below, but be aware that it contains inappropriate language:

Hatton is from England, so you can understand why he wanted to play well. He isn’t the first golfer to snap a club after a bad shot at The Open, as we also saw Henrik Stenson do it two years ago. You can see that video here.