It may have been a week unlike any other in golf.
You’ve got to dig deep into the Craziness Bag to pull out stuff like we saw around the world this past week.
Some of it was tough to fathom, some tough to understand and a lot of it was just plain ridiculous.
Let’s begin at the TPC Scottsdale.
The Phoenix Open continues to be not just a golf phenomenon but a sports phenomenon. It’s gone way beyond a golf tournament — it’s a happening, a social feeding frenzy, a must-be-there on your Phoenix area social calendar.
Sunday’s weather wasn’t your typical day four of the Phoenix Open. Somehow, Scotland kidnapped the sunshine and overnight leader Rickie Fowler and the rest of the field was forced to handle wind, a lot of rain, chilly temperatures and a golf course that suddenly became birdie-stingy.
What transpired with Rickie Fowler was an act of sheer determination. Here’s a guy who’s been bullied by this event, embarrassed and left hanging in the wind on too many occasions. Not this time. Rickie overcame what might have been one of the worst breaks ever seen in a final round and won in style with birdies at the 15th and 17th holes. But that was only part of the strange happenings.
PENALTY REVERSAL: There’s a lot of head-scratching with the new rules, particularly the one forbidding caddies to line up the player as part of the pre-shot routine. On Friday Denny McCarthy got hit with two shots even though he hadn’t taken his actual stance and the caddie exited before he did. Then the PGA Tour did something unprecedented — it rescinded the penalty when McCarthy was playing his third round on Saturday. At least the tour had the balls to do it, the European Tour faced a similar situation two weeks ago and hit Haotong Li for the same thing but didn’t have the guts to take it back like the tour did.
Th Tour also put similar penalties on hold until a better clarification of the rule is produced by the USGA and R&A. “We agree with the rule, just the interpretation is a little difficult right now,” said Tour official Slugger White.
SERGIO GARCIA GOES BERSERK: Biggest crap-show of the week came from Sergio Garcia during the third round of the Saudi International. Seems El Nino was really fed up with missing putts and started hammering the greens with his putter, reports say he damaged as many as five but the gutless European Tour and broadcast partner Sky Sports refused to release any of the action. There was a video of Garcia abusing a sand trap during the second round, a bit of a prelude to his Saturday rampage. On Saturday, it took action from players behind Garcia to bust the former Masters champ. They reportedly saw divots on the greens. So the European Tour DQ’d Garcia but didn’t have the guts or testicular fortitude to suspend and fine him, which would have been most appropriate in this case.
PATRICK REED GETS LIFETIME ET MEMBERSHIP: Here’s the basic “What the Hell?” announcement of a very strange week in golf. The European Tour, which has already demonstrated it basically doesn’t have a clue, gave Patrick Reed a Honorary Lifetime Membership to the European Tour. Seriously? This one is hard to fathom. The only other three Americans to receive the honor are Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson. Ask yourself if the name Patrick Reed belongs in that group of icons? Reeds has two European Tour wins. Harumph. Consider that Tiger Woods has 40 European Tour wins and is third all-time on their winner’s list. He doesn’t have an Honorary ET membership. So yes, new ET guy Keith Pelley is one crazed dude if this is what he considers appropriate.
All of this in one week.
A lot of berserk, a lot of never-seen, a lot unpredictable.
Just another week in the world of golf.