Golf Archive

Brittany Lincicome’s Twitter spat with John Daly kicks off U.S. Women’s Open week

Brittany Lincicome takes a Twitter break after John Daly ripped her for her Trump comments.

Let the circus begin!

Brittany Lincicome’s Twitter account became the first casualty of what promises to be a Donald Trump-inspired sideshow to the actual competition at this week’s U.S. Women’s Open. The two-time major winner said she hoped Trump would stay away from the event at his Trump National course in Bedminster, N.J. After POTUS-supporter John Daly tweeted an attack on her, she responded by saying she would take a break from social media during the major championship.

Lincicome, who recently suggested to the Chicago Tribune that Trump’s appearance at the women’s third major of the season could distract from play on the course, said on Sunday she would maintain Twitter silence during the week of the event.

“Hopefully, maybe, he doesn’t show up, and it won’t be a big debacle, and it will be about us and not him,” Lincicome said after the first round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. “I don’t know him. I have met him probably once. I think it will be fine. We’re going to play an amazing golf course and let our clubs do the talking.”

Cue Daly, who tweeted a defense of his “great friend” while recommending that critics of The Donald keep their mouths shut.

Tough to do things when ppl down 1 of my grt friends? Sorry-Some things shouldn’t be said He has as a grt heart & has America 1st always! https://t.co/JqPofKdld8

— John Daly (@PGA_JohnDaly) July 8, 2017

UltraViolet, a group whose mission it is to fight sexism, has been protesting the USGA’s decision to hold the Women’s Open at a Trump track and will likely redouble its efforts this week. It seems, though, that Daly’s post was the spark that fueled Lincicome’s temporary withdrawal from social media.

#sad pic.twitter.com/zSnCCBF80I

— Brittany Lincicome (@Brittany1golf) July 9, 2017

Lincicome, who proclaimed herself apolitical, “with nothing against the president,” also accused her critics of misinterpreting her comments.

OMG people are spinning my words. I have nothing against the president. I never said anything bad about him.

— Brittany Lincicome (@Brittany1golf) July 9, 2017

I just wanted our open to be about the golf and not politics. Of all people another pro golfer should understand that.

— Brittany Lincicome (@Brittany1golf) July 9, 2017

Who knocked the president. I have nothing against our president hahaha. Do you people not read! I just want it to be about golf

— Brittany Lincicome (@Brittany1golf) July 9, 2017

All I said was I hope it’s about golf NOT politics.

— Brittany Lincicome (@Brittany1golf) July 9, 2017

Buckle up, golf fans. POTUS promises to make the U.S. Women’s Open a rocky ride.

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Bernhard Langer refutes claims that he cheats by anchoring his putter

The USGA backed Langer and Scott McCarron’s responses to drumbeats that Champions Tour players anchor their putters despite golf’s governing bodies banning the practice more than two years ago.

Brandel Chamblee has been on something of a crusade of late to get the USGA to crack down on anchored-putter scofflaws, most specifically Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron.

“I cannot believe what I am seeing on PGA Tour Champions, with regard to the putting strokes of Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron,” Chamblee wrote on GolfChannel.com on July 5.

The GC analyst was following up on previous comments he made during the recent U.S. Senior Open that essentially accused Langer, the winner of the first two Champions Tour majors of 2017 who holds his sternum putter very close to his chest, with cheating.

With regard to the anchoring ban on the PGA Tour Champions,it’s appalling,I have never seen such gross disregard for the spirit of the game.

— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) July 2, 2017

“Anybody who sees what Langer and Scott McCarron and Ian Woosnam are doing knows it’s questionable,” Chamblee told GC colleague Tim Rosaforte following the Senior Open at Salem Country Club. “The whispers are out there. All of the players look askance whether they say it openly or not. I’ve talked to enough of them to know — and many have contacted me — they all look askance at what’s going on out there.”

I’ve watched both Langer & McCarron demonstrate what they are intending to do, not anchor. Those are top 2. In competition bottom 2 .Same? pic.twitter.com/NPbbJ5JHTk

— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) July 7, 2017

Friday evening, in quintessential timing for news revelations the announcers would prefer you not notice, Langer and McCarron, with the blessing of the USGA, denied Chamblee’s assertions. So in case you were on the course, at the beach, or otherwise enjoying a glorious summer weekend and not giving anchored putting a second thought, you may have missed the curious rebuttal to Chamblee’s accusation.

Friday news dump doozy (6:40 pm ET!!) from @PGATOUR PR with “I don’t anchor” statements by Langer and McCarron, with USGA corroboration too: pic.twitter.com/vfGEwr5F7e

— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) July 7, 2017

“During my 45-year career as a professional golfer, I have called penalties on myself. I believe in honesty and integrity, and I could not live with myself if I broke a rule and did not incur the penalty,” Langer said in a joint statement with McCarron and the rules overlords. “I’m certain that I am not anchoring the putter and that my putting stroke is not violating the Rules of Golf.”

McCarron “emphatically” denied anchoring his hand, arm, or club against his body while navigating his putter. Both senior players said USGA and Champions Tour officials had exonerated them on several occasions.

“I will remain open and honest with rules officials and the governing bodies,” Langer concluded, “and I will continue to play with the same integrity that I’ve displayed throughout my career.”

The USGA, in the same statement in which the organization backed the two, proclaimed itself “confident” that players on all professional tours abide by Rule 14-1b, which bans anchored putting and which sparked much controversy before its adoption in 2016. The association also said that players whose clubs brush their shirts are not breaking the rule.

“We … have seen no evidence of a player breaching the Rule, which does not prohibit a hand or club to touch a player’s clothing in making a stroke,” said the USGA.

In addition to calling out competitors for what he considered playing fast and loose with the regulation, Chamblee called on the USGA to close the loophole that provides golfers and rules officials with a “get-out-of-jail card” by exonerating would-be rules-breakers if there were no “intent” to clutch the clubs against their bodies.

Chamblee won’t be holding his breath for such a clarification.

“I’ll assume none of that will happen, and that the rule will stand as written, which does provide a loophole for those — and there is no way to gild this lily — that have the lack of character to take advantage of it,” Chamblee wrote.

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Bernhard Langer refutes challenges that he’s anchoring his putter

The USGA backed Langer and Scott McCarron’s responses to drumbeats that Champions Tour players anchor their putters despite golf’s governing bodies banning the practice more than two years ago.

Brandel Chamblee has been on something of a crusade of late to get the USGA to crack down on anchored-putter scofflaws, most specifically Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron.

“I cannot believe what I am seeing on PGA Tour Champions, with regard to the putting strokes of Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron,” Chamblee wrote on GolfChannel.com on July 5.

The GC analyst was following up on previous comments he made during the recent U.S. Senior Open that essentially accused Langer, the winner of the first two Champions Tour majors of 2017 who holds his sternum putter very close to his chest, with not abiding by the rules.

With regard to the anchoring ban on the PGA Tour Champions,it’s appalling,I have never seen such gross disregard for the spirit of the game.

— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) July 2, 2017

“Anybody who sees what Langer and Scott McCarron and Ian Woosnam are doing knows it’s questionable,” Chamblee told GC colleague Tim Rosaforte following the Senior Open at Salem Country Club. “The whispers are out there. All of the players look askance whether they say it openly or not. I’ve talked to enough of them to know — and many have contacted me — they all look askance at what’s going on out there.”

I’ve watched both Langer & McCarron demonstrate what they are intending to do, not anchor. Those are top 2. In competition bottom 2 .Same? pic.twitter.com/NPbbJ5JHTk

— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) July 7, 2017

Friday evening, in quintessential timing for news revelations the announcers would prefer you not notice, Langer and McCarron, with the blessing of the USGA, denied Chamblee’s assertions. So in case you were on the course, at the beach, or otherwise enjoying a glorious summer weekend and not giving anchored putting a second thought, you may have missed the curious rebuttal to Chamblee’s accusation.

Friday news dump doozy (6:40 pm ET!!) from @PGATOUR PR with “I don’t anchor” statements by Langer and McCarron, with USGA corroboration too: pic.twitter.com/vfGEwr5F7e

— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) July 7, 2017

“During my 45-year career as a professional golfer, I have called penalties on myself. I believe in honesty and integrity, and I could not live with myself if I broke a rule and did not incur the penalty,” Langer said in a joint statement with McCarron and the rules overlords. “I’m certain that I am not anchoring the putter and that my putting stroke is not violating the Rules of Golf.”

McCarron “emphatically” denied anchoring his hand, arm, or club against his body while navigating his putter. Both senior players said USGA and Champions Tour officials had exonerated them on several occasions.

“I will remain open and honest with rules officials and the governing bodies,” Langer concluded, “and I will continue to play with the same integrity that I’ve displayed throughout my career.”

The USGA, in the same statement in which the organization backed the two, proclaimed itself “confident” that players on all professional tours abide by Rule 14-1b, which bans anchored putting and which sparked much controversy before its adoption in 2016. The association also said that players whose clubs brush their shirts are not breaking the rule.

“We … have seen no evidence of a player breaching the Rule, which does not prohibit a hand or club to touch a player’s clothing in making a stroke,” said the USGA.

In addition to calling out competitors for what he considered playing fast and loose with the regulation, Chamblee called on the USGA to close the loophole that provides golfers and rules officials with a “get-out-of-jail card” by exonerating would-be rules-breakers if there were no “intent” to clutch the clubs against their bodies.

Chamblee won’t be holding his breath for such a clarification.

“I’ll assume none of that will happen, and that the rule will stand as written, which does provide a loophole for those — and there is no way to gild this lily — that have the lack of character to take advantage of it,” Chamblee wrote.

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Jon Rahm escapes Lexi Thompson-like penalty in Irish Open win

Brandel Chamblee thinks the “integrity” of the Irish Open was diminished because of a rules controversy.

Jon Rahm would likely have won the Irish Open on Sunday in a walk anyway, but the Spaniard escaped at least a one-stroke penalty when he replaced his ball on the sixth green in the wrong place and got away with it.

Certainly, that’s the way Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee saw it, when he pointed a finger at Rahm for the poor placement and longtime rules official Andy McFee for botching the call in a scenario reminiscent of, but with an outcome vastly different from, Lexi Thompson’s four-stroke miscue at the ANA Inspiration.

To allow Daniel Im an unimpeded line to the cup on No. 6 at Portstewart in Northern Ireland, Rahm marked his ball to the side and moved it. After his playing partner putted, Rahm put his mark down correctly and then set his ball in front of it, a placement that seemed to get it closer to the hole. McFee spoke with Rahm and decided the golfer may have given himself a more favorable lie by “millimeters,” but that he had not intended to breach the rule:

Simple, look at the front of the balls , it’s certainly not millimeters closer to inches. pic.twitter.com/YMGhDNBlgQ

— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) July 9, 2017

“The integrity of the competition was certainly at risk, and the dynamic of the competition completely changed from what it should have been to one person’s interpretation, and in my opinion, a wrong interpretation of it,” Chamblee said later on Golf Channel:

“Andy McFee certainly has a great reputation administering the rules in a fair manner, but I believe he got this one wrong,”

Chamblee added. “It wasn’t millimeters. It was inches; probably two to three inches this ball was misplaced.”

Because Rahm violated the rule, in Chamblee’s view, he should have incurred a one-shot penalty and instead of playing from the sixth hole with a five-shot lead, his advantage would have been just three strokes.

“And all of a sudden, what looks to be something easy and a walk in the park becomes very stressful,” Chamblee opined. “The dynamic certainly changed there, and I don’t believe it changed for the right reason.”

Rahm, for his part, was chagrined by the situation but believes it was a big to-do about not much at all.

“It really makes me feel bad that my first win on the European Tour is always going to have that little mark on it,” he told BBC.com. “I thought I put it back exactly where it was, but they came to me and told me it was such a slight difference.”

While the rules do not make allowances for such things, Rahm said the kerfuffle was “silly” because he was putting from such a short distance.

“I mean, when we’re talking about putts that are a foot from the hole, it just seems so silly, because it’s a putt that’s going to go in a hundred times out of a hundred,” he told reporters following his victory. “I mean, Lexi was leading that major championship and I was playing the way that I was playing. It’s not like it’s a putt from six feet to win the tournament and you’re moving it three feet in front of you, right. It’s such a small difference.”

Though he came out unscathed, Rahm essentially shrugged his shoulders and chose to move on.

“I do believe that the Rules of Golf should leave a little bit to the interpretation, because it can’t be exact every single time,” he said. “Every situation is different and every moment is different, and the camera angle can always be something that might fool the eye. In my case today, I was aware of what I did, and I thought I put it back in the same spot.

“It’s just golf,” Rahm concluded.

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Greenbrier Classic 2017 purse: Winner’s payout is $1.3 million in prize money

The Greenbrier Classic boasts a strong $7.1 million purse this year.

The Greenbrier Classic is back in 2017 and it comes with a hefty $7.1 million purse. It’s an impressive feat for the Greenbrier just to be hosting an event on the top golf tour in the world just a year after devastating floods wrecked the course. There were, of course, much more important and consequential damages from the historic floods that hit West Virginia just over a year ago. The entire state was affected by the disaster, and the Greenbrier served a key role in the relief efforts and then as a rallying impetus for the recovery.

Jim Justice, the absurdly wealthy coal magnate and governor of West Virginia, is the driving force behind the re-emergence of this resort and for bringing the PGA Tour to the hills of West Virginia. The Greenbrier has drawn some big names in its short time back on the schedule, some of which are “ambassadors” of the facility with homes on the property, such as Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson. It was a resort that was once in a bit of trouble and waning, but is now pretty mint with a completely renovated and pure Old White TPC course.

Those renovations, of course, were forced by the flooding, which “rolled up” entire greens and shredded the course last summer. This is the first big reveal of the updated track and it has looked beautiful and held up all week. This may not have the best spot on the PGA Tour schedule, and its field can be a little meh outside some of those ambassadors, but its purse can compete with just about any on the PGA Tour. Anything in the $7 million-plus club is on the richer side for PGA Tour purses, which continue to grow each year. This year’s winner will take home almost $1.3 million in prize money, while second place can bank more than $750k.

Here’s the full payout table — these totals will obviously be affected by ties and we’ll update when results go final:

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Jon Rahm makes a statement with dominant Sunday win at Irish Open

At Rory’s revived home-nation event, the young Spanish star gave us a Sunday show complete with spectacular golf in a brilliant setting. Such is becoming standard fare for a thriving European Tour not afraid to step outside the box.

You can stop worrying about the tantrums, or his form, or his ability. You can stop calling him a sleeper. After turning in perhaps the season’s most dominant Sunday finish anywhere in the world, Jon Rahm should be one of your favorites at Royal Birkdale at the Open Championship in two weeks time.

On a wild and wet Sunday at Rory McIlroy’s Irish Open, Rahm fired an 8-under-par 64 to race away from overnight co-leader & American underdog Daniel Im and pick up his second professional win in his short pro career. It was a spectacular showing from Rahm, who’s quickly becoming one of the best bets in the sport for compelling TV golf. Amid the rain and winds at Portstewart, Rahm hit it all over off the tee, but managed shot after shot, recovery after recovery to put himself in position to fire the low number on the wet seaside links. The highlight of the round came early, with this eagle hole-out on the fourth acting as the catalyst for a day of dominance.

Wow! @JonRahmpga holes out from 150 yards! pic.twitter.com/9swulmsVBK

— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 9, 2017

But of course, this is golf, and we can’t have a good and awesome Sunday without some mild rules controversy. Early in Rahm’s round on the sixth hole, rumbles began to flare up that the Spaniard would be assessed a two-stroke penalty for improperly replacing his ball on the green after moving his mark out of the line of Im.

When reviewing the video, it’s clear that Rahm marked his ball to the side before moving his marker, but replaced the ball in front of the mark when ahead of holing his putt on the sixth green. That means the ball, although perhaps by millimeters, hasn’t been replaced in the same spot as where it was marked. That, when strictly interpreted, is a violation that should result in a two-shot penalty. However, the European Tour elected not to assess Rahm the penalty, since he didn’t demonstrate any intent to replace his ball improperly. Some people will holler about protecting the field, and sure, manipulating the placement of the ball by dishonest players is something that happens at every level of golf, including the professional ranks. This wasn’t that. It was an honest mistake. It wasn’t penalized. That’s fine.

Imperfect science here, but laid the first two images on top of each other. Ball appears to be directly where it was before it was marked. pic.twitter.com/5FKiTm2QvS

— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) July 9, 2017

With the win, Rahm’s set to jump to 8th in the world, according to Golf Channel’s Justin Ray. Here’s a couple other quick observations from Portstewart.

Jon Rahm has been a professional for 384 days.

Considering his ominpresence on leaderboards, perhaps we’re already taking Rahm for granted. He’s won at Torrey Pines in dramatic fashion already, contended at two WGCs, vaulted into the world’s top-10, and now has won a Rolex Series event in Europe. He’s done all of this in just over one year’s time.

But on the heels of Rahm’s rise, it’s worth considering by what measure we define a star in golf.

Is it by youth, potential, the impact they have on the game as a whole? A purist would tell you it’s about performance, winning, of course. Perhaps, in a sport so obsessed with traditionalism, a star is birthed when the collective golf community commences hand-wringing about something. Tiger Woods swore too much on camera. Rory works out too much. Jordan Spieth? He’s too dependent on his team.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open - Day FourPhoto by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

If such is the criteria, Rahm’s there. Since a lackluster performance and meltdown at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, we’ve heard takes about his “tantrums” and on-course demeanor. Though he owes the golf populace nothing in this regard, he’s still apologized time and time again and noted he’s working on the issue. He’s also an uber-talented 23-year-old playing a mentally taxing sport in front of millions of eyeballs for millions and millions of dollars. Acting like a well-mannered saint in such a sporting situation is a stupid prerequisite that only golf’s ham-handed history could promulgate. This is entertainment! We would all be better served such sanctimony died tomorrow.

The mark of a great athlete is a wake of bad takes on the internet. Rahm’s created plenty already. Welcome to stardom.

The European Tour just gets everything right. You should be watching.

I’ll start with this: There’s nothing wrong with the PGA Tour. Our American tour is still considered the world’s best, hosts plenty of wildly compelling events, and is starting to step outside its comfort zone with events like the Zurich Classic.

But, man — man — the European Tour is so damn good and fun to watch.

In an era where golf’s needing to look a bit outside the box to attract a younger and more diverse audience, the Euro Tour’s led the charge. Events like GolfSixes have received rave reviews from players, media, and European fans — and you’ll likely see the other tours follow suit in the future. They’ve added music to practice ranges. They’ve allowed players to wear shorts in practice rounds. But the Euro Tour’s strengths go far beyond just this progressiveness: they’ve revitalized an awesome series of events.

This stretch of the Rolex Series leading into the Open Championship is the crown jewel of the Euro Tour’s renaissance. Three events — the French Open, Irish Open, and Scottish Open — provide a perfect lead-up to world golf’s top event. But they’ve managed to make these events compelling standalone destinations for players, regardless of the place on the schedule. The French Open provided the only place to see Le Golf National ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup. The Irish Open has Rory. The Scottish Open’s always been one of the tour’s best events, anyway. It’s a hell of a run.

There are few sports organizations in the world making better decisions than the European Tour right now, and it almost always manifests in awesome, unique Sunday golf. If you’re an American looking for a change-up from the mid-summer monotony of the PGA Tour, you can grab your golf fix earlier on Sunday the next couple weeks.

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Greenbrier Classic 2017: Tee times, TV channel, and live stream for Sunday

A year after devastating floods, the Greenbrier Classic is back to crown a champion in West Virginia.

You will hear it throughout the broadcast on Sunday — that this final round of the Greenbrier Classic is even happening is an accomplishment. A year ago, the entire area was under water, the event canceled due to historic flooding that devastated West Virginia and resulted in far more consequential damage than the cancellation of a golf tournament. The Greenbrier served as a place of refuge for many displaced and then helped rally some of the clean-up and recovery efforts.

Now, a year later, the course has been completely re-done, compelled to renovate really instead out out of choice or vanity. There will be a winner and a purse doled out and FedExCup points awarded, but the week is more a celebration of what the people of West Virginia and the Greenbrier have been able to accomplish in the recovery of last year’s flood.

Sebastian Munoz and Robert Streb will be the final pairing, going at 2 p.m. ET off the first tee. It’s not the strongest field and the leaderboard probably doesn’t have the sex appeal CBS would prefer. But the course has been the star this week, with so much of the original C.B. Macdonald work prevalent throughout — there’s a thumbprint 18th green, a Biarritz, a Redan, and an immaculately conditioned course with brand new greens. It’s a cool test and a nice change-up with a more historic architectural feel.

Coming right off the heels of a Euro Tour conclusion at the Irish Open, Golf Channel will have the early-round coverage, which should feature the end of Phil Mickelson’s round in his first event in 25 years without longtime looper Bones Mackay. CBS will take over for their usual late-afternoon coverage and a targeted conclusion just before 6 p.m. ET. Here’s your media schedule for Sunday at the Greenbrier:

Sunday’s final-round coverage

Television:

1 to 2:30 p.m. ET — Golf Channel

3 to 6 p.m. — CBS

Online streams:

1 to 2:30 p.m. — Golf Channel simulcast stream

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Live/CBS simulcast stream

Radio:

1 to 6 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 92/208 and streamed here)

TEE TIMES

Here’s the full tee sheet for the final round in West Virginia:

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Irish Open 2017: Tee times, TV channel, and live stream for Sunday

It’s coffeegolf season and Sunday at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open should be a fun one.

July is the best month for what I like to call “coffeegolf.” That’s the golf that’s fully up and running before you’re even out of bed, and set up to occupy your casual summer morning. This is, arguably, the strongest stretch the European Tour has to offer. They have built the schedule around the British Open, which, obviously, draws a loaded international field. World talents, including Americans, cross the pond to play an event or two around The Open, get climatized for the third major, and patronize the Euro Tour.

The European Tour has made the stretch even more formidable with some schedule changes and the formation of the “Rolex Series,” an eight tournament group with increased purses and points spread across the globe and season-long schedule. Three of those tournaments are clustered here in July leading into The Open. It’s “open season” now with last week’s French Open, this week’s Irish Open, and next week’s Scottish Open all drawing strong fields before the oldest major championship in golf.

The Irish Open, a historic event that had been on the ropes, has gotten an incredible boost by partnering with Rory McIlroy. We see legends and larger-than-life names often take on a tournament or two on both sides of the Atlantic. Rory is the latest superstar to have his foundation really own an event and become the face of it. This is the first year of a change in date, moving from May to July, and it should only add to the field strength with some Americans making the flight over during a weaker PGA Tour stretch and with links golf becoming a priority.

McIlroy missed his fourth cut in the last five years and won’t be around to defend his title from last year, which was one of the more exhilarating Sunday finishes of 2016. But Sunday does have a star to watch with your coffee. Jon Rahm shares the lead with American Daniel Im. Anyone who watches golf will tell you Rahm has the chance to be the next mega-talent multi-major winner, and he’s been in contention on the PGA Tour ever since he turned pro just a year ago.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open - Day ThreePhoto by Warren Little/Getty Images
Rahm walks up the 18th on Saturday at the Irish Open.

After a strong start to this season, Rahm hit a rough patch (relative term for someone like Rahm!) in recent weeks but an Irish Open win would be a nice return to form before The Open. He has not played much Euro Tour as a pro, chosing to focus on his status and card in the States, but a Rahm win would be a nice pairing with the boost in stature of this event and this stretch on the Euro Tour schedule. That’s a big name to add to the increased hype of the Irish Open and Rolex Series.

Golf Channel will have the coverage Sunday morning. I love watching a final round come down to the wire and resolve itself before lunch. Just like primetime golf, it’s a great change of pace from the usual late-afternoon obligation on the couch. Get your coffee, watch some of the best in the world at big-time events in a different setting playing a different style of golf, and then go out and enjoy your summer afternoon like a normal human being. It’s what makes July my favorite golf-viewing stretches of the year.

Here are some of the nuts and bolts for this Sunday at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (all times ET).

Sunday’s Media Schedule

TV: Golf Channel, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Online Streaming: Golf Live Extra, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tee Times

Here’s the bottom of the tee sheet for the final round from Portstewart — all times ET:

7:20 a.m. — Peter Hanson, Matthew Southgate

7:30 a.m. — Bradley Dredge, Ryan Fox

7:40 a.m. — Justin Rose, Oliver Fisher

7:40 a.m. — Scott Hend, Julien Quesne

7:50 a.m. — Hideto Tanihara, Benjamin Hebert

8 a.m. — Jon Rahm, Daniel Im

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Phil Mickelson’s ex-caddie Bones Mackay ‘can’t wait’ to start new career as NBC on-course reporter

Crossing over to the dark side, Bones trades Lefty’s golf bag for an NBC/Golf Channel microphone.

Phil Mickelson said, after announcing two weeks ago that he and Jim “Bones” Mackay had split after 25 years as golfer and caddie, that any professional golfer would be fortunate to land his longtime looper. Whoever that lucky player may eventually be, he or she will apparently have to wait a while as Mackay will be wired for sound as the newest on-course reporter for NBC Sports and Golf Channel.

Not that offers weren’t rolling in for one of the most successful caddies in the game. Though Mackay declined, during a Thursday conference call, to name names, he acknowledged he “had several opportunities to do things.”

When NBC Sports’ lead golf producer, Tommy Roy, reached out following the Lefty-Bones breakup, Mackay jumped at the chance.

“A couple of weeks ago when Phil and I announced we were not working together anymore, I got a great phone call from Tommy and the ball started rolling,” Mackay said. “It’s an absolute honor for me to be here.”

In his first start under a reported multi-year deal, Mackay will handle the microphone at the British Open at Royal Birkdale in two weeks. He will round out his first partial season behind the mic by covering the FedExCup playoff series and Presidents Cup and then go full time in 2018.

“During my years as a caddie, I had the opportunity to watch Tommy Roy work his magic in the production truck, and walk the fairways with Notah Begay, Roger Maltbie, and Mark Rolfing,” Mackay said in a statement issued by NBC Sports Group. “To join them and be a part of the coverage of some of golf’s biggest events — starting with The Open — is an opportunity I’m grateful for, and I’m eager to add my take to help illustrate the strategic decisions golfers face inside the ropes.”

Mackay noted on Thursday that he was itching to begin his second career.

“I can’t wait to get started,” he said, adding that The Open is his favorite tournament.

“July 20th can’t get here fast enough,” said Mackay, who observed that he had a lot to learn and would “drive these guys [Roy, Maltbie, Steve Sands, et al] nuts with a lot of questions.”

While Mackay’s new contract marks the first occasion in which a former full-time PGA Tour caddie will join the likes of ex-golfers Nick Faldo, Brandel Chamblee, and Notah Begay III under the headsets, it will not be Bones’ debut as a talking head. In addition to the quarter century of on-course savvy as Mickelson’s bagman, Mackay also brings some reporting experience to his new job as he and Matt Kuchar’s caddie, John Wood, provided commentary for Golf Channel during the 2015 RSM Classic.

“It’s an honor for Woody and me to have this opportunity on Golf Channel,” Mackay said at the time. “We have gotten to know course reporters very well over the years, and we’re fascinated with everything that goes into producing and covering a professional golf tournament.”

Back then, Roy touted the Mackay-Woods experiment as an effort “to come up with new things to attract viewers and enhance the experience for viewers,” Roy told the Associated Press. “We’ll see where it goes from here.”

The RSM Classic - Round TwoPhoto by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Bones in his on-course TV gear back in 2015 at the PGA Tour’s Sea Island stop.

Where it went from there was Bones learning a bit about his new occupation before trading his caddie bib for a mic — a notion that Mickelson and Mackay did not mention in their joint separation notice.

“Bones’ keen observations and ability to draw insight from personal experience will bring an original perspective to our coverage and complement our already well-respected broadcast team,” Roy said in the same statement. “The player-caddie dynamic in golf is often one of the most compelling and unique narratives being captured during our coverage. Bones has a career’s worth of experience being immersed in the most pressure-packed situations on golf’s biggest stages working alongside Phil, one of the most cerebral champions in the sport.”

Though Mackay received what he termed some “intriguing” looping offers, he said he was committed to his new vocation.

“I don’t think it rules anything out,” Mackay told Golf World and Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte on Thursday. “I’m going be working 20-odd weeks a year. I think being a caddie is always going to be in blood, but right now it’s one thing at a time.”

As Mackay prepares for his new career, Mickelson is playing this week’s Greenbrier Classic, and the rest of the season, with his brother, Tim, on the bag. Mackay wished his former employer the best and said “it wouldn’t surprise me in the least” if Phil were to win his first tour event since the 2013 British Open this week at the Greenbrier.

Oh, and if you’re a sports fan of a certain vintage, it may interest you to know that Jim Mackay of looper lore never had the opportunity to meet broadcasting legend Jim McKay, who died in 2008.

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Danielle Kang celebrated her LPGA victory by eating pho from the trophy

Tro-pho!

Pho out of the trophy… @daniellekang Pic credit @themichellewie

A post shared by Alex Kang (@alexkang1234) on Jul 2, 2017 at 7:23pm PDT

Danielle Kang won her first major on Sunday when she captured the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship after she birdied the final hole. The first major victory will always be memorable, but Kang made it even more special with what she did with the trophy.

She served herself up some pho and ate from the dang trophy. This is taking Stanley Cup celebrations to the next level. Sure, eating cereal from the Cup is cool but you’re really just throwing cereal in a bowl and then dumping milk in it.

You need way more than two ingredients to prepare pho, and you need a lot more time too. That’s just too easy now that Kang has changed the trophy game.

Here’s to more excellence from Kang in her career. Hopefully, she’ll have some more pho from her future victories too.

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