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Monday, August 19, 2019

Golf

Michelle Wie marries Warriors executive Jonnie West

Michelle Wie Jonnie West

Michelle Wie tied the knot on Saturday with her boyfriend Jonnie West.

The golfer and Golden State Warriors executive got married in Beverly Hills, Calif. Some guests in attendance shared photos of the wedding on social media.

Wie, 29, and West, 31, first went public about their relationship in January.

West, whose father is Hall of Famer Jerry West, serves as the Warriors’ director of basketball operations. He began working with the Warriors’ G League team in 2012 and has worked with the Warriors since 2015. He has said in the past that his goal is to become a general manager.

Wie has been in the spotlight since her pre-teen years due to her status as a youth golf prodigy. She received attention when she turned pro at 16, something she does not regret. Wie has won five LPGA Tour events, including the US Women’s Open in 2014. She announced in June that she was taking the rest of the year off from golfing.

Bryson DeChambeau on slow play critics: I already ‘play fast enough’

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau has been irritated by all the criticism he’s received over his pace of play and is defending himself.

DeChambeau’s slow play became an issue this week after video circulated of him taking two minutes to hit an 8-foot putt at The Northern Trust in Jersey City, New Jersey on Friday. Justin Thomas, who was paired with DeChambeau for the first two rounds of the event, called DeChambeau a “slow golfer” and said he needs to be faster.

“I should have just said something to him in person. I didn’t say anything on social media,” Thomas said, via Golf Channel. “I like Bryson as a person but he’s a slow golfer. A lot of people I like that are just slow. They need to play faster.”

DeChambeau’s slow play has been a topic all year. In January, Brooks Koepka said he didn’t understand why DeChambeau takes so long on some of his shots. DeChambeau and Koepka ended up talking Sunday morning to sort things out:

Golf Digest posted a photo and quote on Instagram Sunday about the talk between DeChambeau and Koepka. A fan asked DeChambeau in the comments section of the post whether he was “going to play faster or not?”

DeChambeau wrote back, saying “already play fast enough. Some situations take longer than others. That putt on 8 was way too long I agree!”

Well, that is some progress. He acknowledged he took too long on that particular putt, though he doesn’t believe he poses a problem otherwise. Several golfers feel differently.

Tiger Woods has oblique injury, withdraws from first round of FedEx playoffs

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has enjoyed a great season in which he finally broke through and won another major, but his health is once again creating issues for him.

Woods withdrew from The Northern Trust — the first round of the FedExCup Playoffs — on Friday. The official reason listed is a “mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness,” which could help explain why he struggled so much at the tournament on Thursday.

Woods shot a 4-over 75 at Liberty National on Thursday. While he did not appear to show any signs of discomfort, he hinted that he was not feeling his best while speaking with reporters after the round.

“It just feels frustrating to shoot anything high no matter how I feel,” Woods said. “We had the perfect greens and had to go out there and shoot something under-par and get it going. Had to be 4-, 5-, 6-under par today. I went the other way with it.”

Tiger entered The Northern Trust 28th in the FedExCup Standings, and he is secure for the BMW Championship next week even after withdrawing. It remains to be seen if his health will cooperate enough, however.

Woods has had numerous back surgeries and dealt with several injuries in recent years, and there was some speculation that he was in pain at The Open Championship last month. He admitted more than two years ago that he will never be back to 100 percent health, so playing through injuries is something he has grown accustomed to at age 43.

Rory McIlroy: Legalized sports betting could increase hecklers in golf

Rory McIlroy

Sports betting is expected to be legalized across more US states in the coming years, and that presents a multitude of issues that professional sports organizations will have to keep an eye on. Rory McIlroy is anticipating at least one significant one for the PGA Tour.

During a recent episode of The Golf Channel’s “Rory & Carson Podcast,” McIlroy spoke about the issue Ian Poulter had at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis last month when a fan Poulter described as an “idiot” openly rooted for his approach shot on the 18th hole to find its way into a bunker. McIlroy said that is an unfortunate part of the sport, and he thinks it could become more prevalent with the legalization of sports gambling.

“I think that’s going to be one of the big things about golf and legalizing sports betting in this country. What is going to happen is you will see more of this (heckling) stuff occurring because there are going to be those who have bet against you, and the guy you are playing with,” McIlroy said, as transcribed by Tony Leen of the Irish Examiner. “Whether it’s the fantasy (golf game) or just sports betting, they’re going to want to try and alter the result because they will potentially either make or lose money from it.”

McIlroy may have a point, but that has been going on at sporting events for a very, very long time. Sports betting has been legal in Nevada for many years, and there is no shortage of bookies, online gambling sites, or other avenues for fans to place bets. Could it make the problem worse? Sure, but that’s not a new concept.

Golf has become increasingly popular among younger fans (think college age) in recent years, and that has led to more unruly behavior during tournaments. Poulter also gets heckled more than the average golfer because he has always been very outspoken and loves playing the role of heel at the Ryder Cup. While McIlroy’s prediction about sports gambling may prove to be accurate, there are plenty of other factors that lead to fans behaving inappropriately. Poulter’s flamboyant personality is one of them, and he brought a lot of that on himself.

Shane Lowry, dad Brendan share awesome moment after Open victory

Shane Lowry put the finishing touches on a magical week at The Open Championship on Sunday, and no one was more excited about the victory than his old man.

Lowry’s father, Brendan, was probably the most animated person at the 18th green as Shane closed out his final round at Royal Portrush. The two shared an awesome moment as Lowry walked off the green.

What made the win so special is that the Open was held in Northern Ireland this year. Lowry and his family are from neighboring Ireland, but he had plenty of support from the 200,000-plus fans who attended the event throughout the week and weekend.

Brendan Lowry is actually famous in his own right, as he was a popular Gaelic football player in the 1980s. Watching him and Shane celebrate together was one of the best moments of the 2019 Open Championship.

Watch: Henrik Stenson snaps club over leg after horrible shank

Henrik Stenson was one of a number of golfers who struggled in the tough conditions during the final round of The Open Championship on Sunday, and his emotions got the best of him late in the day.

Stenson’s second shot at the par-4 17th hole was a shank in every sense of the word. After positioning himself perfectly off the tee, he hit the ball off the end of his club and straight into a collection of fans. He then snapped his iron over his leg in frustration.

Stenson, who won The Open back in 2016, rarely shows that much emotion. He’s actually the second player we have seen snap a club over his leg during a major championship this year.

Tiger Woods injury watch starts early at British Open

Tiger Woods has battled back from a number of significant injuries over the past several years to regain his spot as one of the top golfers in the world, and the concern that he might be hurt again began immediately at The Open Championship on Thursday.

Woods appeared to grimace on his first tee shot at Portrush. The shot was pulled and ended up in the tall fescue, so it’s possible he was just unhappy with the swing. Still, Golf Channel broadcaster Nick Faldo and others saw it as a cause for concern.

For what it’s worth, Tiger ended up making an excellent par after his second shot ended up in a bunker.

Tiger has chosen not to play much since he won the Masters back in April, and that has led to speculation that he could be hurting and trying to allow himself as much recovery time as possible. When you consider what he said about his injuries a while back, it’s possible experiencing some pain from time to time is simply the norm for him at this point.