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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Golf

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.

Report: Tiger Woods’ girlfriend Erica Herman in massive debt

Tiger Woods red

Tiger Woods has seen his net worth creep toward $1 billion since he went through one of the most expensive divorces in history back in 2010, but his new girlfriend has apparently experienced anything but financial stability in recent years.

Erica Herman, whom Woods has been dating for about a year, was recently ordered to pay back a debt of nearly $250,000 that she owes to an investor in her failed businesses. According to the Daily Mail, Herman’s former business partner Tom Morris won a judgment of $240,233.08 against her, and Herman has been ordered to send Morris $295.60 a week to pay back the debt.

Court records show that Herman and her ex-boyfriend and former business partner Ricky McIntosh received a $200,000 investment from Morris several years ago before they opened restaurants and nightclubs in the Orlando area. The businesses failed, and Morris sued Herman after he was never paid back. It wasn’t until Herman was hired as the director of management operations at Tiger’s restaurant, The Woods Jupiter, in 2015 that she began paying back the debt.

Herman reportedly makes $1,586.54 a week at Tiger’s restaurant, and her wages are being garnished. At the current rate, she will have paid off the debt by 2085.

The Daily Mail also learned that Herman has a long history of financial issues, as she had a car repossessed in 2012 and was nearly evicted from her apartment numerous times that same year for not paying her $1,300 monthly rent.

We’ve seen some indications in recent months that Woods and Herman have become very close, but apparently their relationship has not progressed to the point where Tiger is willing to cut a $250,000 check for her.

H/T Black Sports Online

Paulina Gretzky, Dustin Johnson together for Ryder Cup event

Paulina Gretzky and Dustin Johnson appear to have put their relationship issues aside for the week.

The two are in Paris for the Ryder Cup and were spotted ahead of the Ryder Cup Gala at the Palace of Versailles. Johnson was playing the role of photographer for his fiancee.

Johnson is part of the US team that will look to repeat as Ryder Cup champs after their triumph in Minnesota in 2016. He and Gretzky have been engaged for over five years but are going through some relationship issues.

A report said Johnson was cheating on Gretzky with a woman from their exclusive golf club in Southern California, but the woman denied that charge. The rumors popped up shortly after Gretzky scrubbed Johnson from her Instagram page.

The couple, who have two children together, are said to still be together and are getting along for at least this week.

Rick Reilly has painfully awkward exchange with Justin Thomas

Rick Reilly has a long and distinguished history of striking out with some of his attempts at humor, and things were no different for the renowned sportswriter at the Ryder Cup on Wednesday.

Reilly decided to crack what he clearly felt would be a funny joke when Justin Thomas was answering questions, and he asked the 25-year-old how much “shame” he feels with having his father be a sportswriter. Thomas clearly didn’t get it.

Thomas comes from a long line of fantastic golfers, as his grandfather played professionally and his father, Mike, has been the head pro at Harmony Landing Country Club in Kentucky for nearly 30 years. What Reilly was likely referring to is Mike Thomas serving as a guest writer for the Courier Journal during the Ryder Cup, but the joke flew over Justin’s and everyone else’s head.

Coming from a guy who has been known to steal jokes in the past, we’re not surprised Reilly heard crickets.

Insane TV rating numbers show how much Tiger Woods means to golf

Tiger Woods red

Tiger Woods brought more fans into the game of golf than any other player in the sport’s history, and the 14-time major champion finally ended a long drought by winning a PGA Tour event on Sunday for the first time since 2013. Did people tune in even though Tiger won the Tour Championship right in the middle of Week 3 NFL action?

Yes, yes they did.

On Monday, NBC revealed that their ratings for the final round of the Tour Championship were up more than 200 percent from a year ago. The telecast from the final round was the highest-rated one of any PGA Tour event in 2018.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell gave the numbers a bit more context:

We hear about “The Tiger Effect” with golf all the time, and this is further proof that it is very real. If the shots of the absurd swarm of people following Woods at East Lake weren’t evidence enough, NBC would be glad to tell you how important Tiger still is to the game.

Twitter reacts to Tiger Woods being ‘back’

Tiger Woods red

Tiger Woods could not have asked for a much better finish to the 2018 PGA season, and golf fans absolutely loved it.

Woods led all weekend at the TOUR Championship in Georgia and ended up winning the tournament with a score of 11-under. The first-place finish was enough to secure Tiger the second spot in the FexEx Cup standings and a $3 million bonus. It was also his first win on the PGA Tour since August of 2013 and the 80th of his career.

It goes without saying that Woods was overcome with emotion after tapping in his final putt:

As we have seen so many times before when Tiger plays well or shows flashes of his old self, Twitter could not wait to declare that he’s “BACK.”