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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Golf

Turner offers Mickelson-Woods stream for free after technical problems

Phil Mickelson

Technical difficulties meant Turner ended up giving away its pay-per-view broadcast of “The Match” for free.

Turner had been offering the exclusive live stream of the Friday charity match between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods for $19.99 through their “B/R Live” service, and it was expected to be a big draw for the fledgling streaming platform. However, the service apparently suffered a myriad of technical difficulties, and users quickly found they could watch the match for free.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the platform had a hard time handling purchase requests, and those who had bought access to the match were struggling to get in and see it. In light of that, Turner opted to simply make the stream free.

It’s unclear if those who had paid the fee would be refunded. No problems for those who purchased the match through their cable provider appeared to be reported.

What was expected to be a big spectacle with two of the world’s most famous golfers has been upstaged by a skywriter, and now the fact that the paid stream ended up turning into a disaster for the provider. We’ll see what comes of that in the days ahead.

Skywriter talks trash during Tiger Woods vs Phil Mickelson match

Tiger Woods

The greatest trash talking of “The Match” between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson on Friday may have come from a skywriter.

According to Golf Channel’s “Tiger Tracker,” an overhead skywriter wrote a series of questions that took shots at the pay-per-view match between the two golfers. The questions poked fun at them over a lack of crowd, over how late after the peak of their rivalry the match is taking place, and the absence of another top golfer — Jordan Spieth.

A big draw for the match was supposed to be the in-match betting and trash talk between the players. While there was some betting, the trash talk was lacking … until the skywriter made an appearance.

Dustin Johnson congratulates Brooks Koepka in painfully awkward video

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson have done their best to downplay reports about them nearly getting into a physical altercation at the Ryder Cup, and we would rather take their word for it than be treated to another horrifically uncomfortable video like they one they put out on Tuesday.

After Koepka was voted the 2018 PGA Tour Player of the Year by his peers, the Tour shared a video on social media that featured Johnson congratulating Koepka. It began with Koepka telling Johnson, “Hey man, I don’t ever want anything to come between us.”

For those of you who don’t know the story, a report claimed Johnson and Koepka — who are considered close friends — got into an argument at a Team Europe afterparty after losing the Ryder Cup and nearly came to blows. Koepka has since denied that any such incident took place, but even Team USA captain Jim Furyk acknowledged that there was some sort of issue.

That video was likely a way for Johnson and Koepka to downplay all the drama, but boy was it awkward.

Brooks Koepka shoots down report of fight with Dustin Johnson

Brooks Koepka

The reports of drama between members of the Team USA Ryder Cup team have continued to roll in over the past several days, and the most noteworthy was that Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka nearly got into a physical altercation on Sunday night. According to Koepka, that report was 100 percent fabricated.

While speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Koepka said he and Johnson did not have an argument before, during or after the Ryder Cup — let alone a near fist-fight at a Team Europe afterparty.

Koepka added that people like making up stories and running with them and said this is “not the first time there’s been a news story that isn’t true that’s gone out.”

Word of the alleged confrontation first popped up in The Telegraph and was later confirmed by the Golf Channel, so multiple outlets are claiming there was some sort of altercation. Johnson and Koepka are considered close friends who work out together in Florida, which made it surprising that they were not paired together in foursomes on Friday afternoon.

From the way it sounds, the drama between Johnson and Koepka was only part of what went wrong during a “devastating” week for Team USA.

Report: Jim Furyk was ‘devastated’ over in-fighting with Ryder Cup team

Brooks Koepka

The 2018 US Ryder Cup team was arguably the most talented in the history of the event, but they were embarrassed by a European team that had better chemistry and seemed more interested in competing. The more we hear, the more it sounds like the trouble for Team USA started well before Friday afternoon’s foursomes sweep.

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka reportedly got into a heated argument and nearly came to blows hours after the Ryder Cup ended, but a new report from French publication L’Equipe claims the issues between the two former U.S. Open champions began on the team plane from Atlanta to Paris prior to the event.

According to a translation of the story, US captain Jim Furyk asked Johnson and Koepka — who are said to be good friends — to put their differences aside for the better of the team. The two were originally supposed to play together in Friday afternoon foursomes, but Furyk ended up having to change his pairings because of the feud.

“The atmosphere was horrible, Jim Furyk was devastated,” a source told L’Equipe.

Johnson and Koepka ended up playing together in the Saturday afternoon foursomes, but they apparently had not smoothed things over at that point. That became evident when they nearly got into a physical altercation at a Team Europe afterparty.

In addition to the Johnson-Koepka drama, Patrick Reed called out both Furyk and Jordan Spieth after the Ryder Cup, criticizing Spieth for not wanting to be paired with him and Furyk for benching Reed in the second event on Friday.

The US falling to Europe in the Ryder Cup is nothing new, especially when they event takes place overseas. Still, the stuff that went on off the course this year is pretty embarrassing for the team. We saw how Twitter reacted when the Europeans turned things around, and we can only imagine what people would have said if they knew about all the drama.

Report: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka almost fist-fought after Ryder Cup

Emotions have been running high since Team USA was defeated in convincing fashion by Team Europe at the Ryder Cup over the weekend, but it sounds like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka may have been more worked up than anyone.

James Corrigan of The Telegraph reported on Tuesday that Johnson and Koepka nearly came to blows and had to be separated while they were visiting the European team room after the Ryder Cup ended on Sunday. While the exact reason for the altercation is unknown, Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte confirmed on Tuesday that it did, in fact, take place.

Johnson and Koepka, two former U.S. Open champions, played together in the Saturday afternoon foursomes, losing to Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. The two are considered close friends and often work out together in Florida, which is part of what made the altercation so surprising. Johnson’s fiancee Paulina Gretzky was nearby when the incident took place, and a source told The Telegraph that the wife of a European golfer who witnessed it was “clearly shocked and upset by the nastiness, which was very threatening.”

Team USA has not exactly handled its loss in France with class, as Patrick Reed also ripped into Jordan Spieth for not wanting to pair with him and criticized Team USA captain Jim Furyk for benching him in the afternoon on the first day. Reed has an excellent record at the Ryder Cup and felt like he was put in a position to fail this year.

Between the Ryder Cup altercation and some of the rumors that have been swirling about his relationship with Gretzky, Johnson seems to be making headlines for a lot more than just his golf swing lately.

Twitter reacts to Europe flipping script on US early in Ryder Cup

Team USA dominated Team Europe at the 2016 Ryder Cup, and for a while on Friday it looked like history may repeat itself in 2018. That was until the European team came out and steamrolled the US in the afternoon foursomes.

In the morning fourballs, Team USA looked like it was going to be tough to beat when it took three of the four possible points. By the time the day was over, Europe had a 5-3 lead and had become the first European Ryder Cup team to ever sweep a foursome session. None of the matches were close.

Twitter was left stunned by how quickly things turned:

There is still plenty of golf left to play, but Team USA may have a difficult time bouncing back after such an abysmal showing.