Hello golf junkies and welcome back to another edition of The Social Scramble, a place where our Ben Smith delivers the latest news in the world of professional golf.
It's been another busy week. But we've been saying that ever since LIV Golf came onto the scene, haven't we?
Let's dive in shall we.
"I'm not a betting man"
Doing the towel drill (without a sign saying not too ) pic.twitter.com/95k3ccQGA3— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) August 25, 2023
We can't go a week without Phil Mickelson making some sort of headline, can we? The latest from our Phil? Well, he admitted to stealing from Augusta National during the 2004 Masters. The reason? Well, he wanted to practise a towel drill he was given by top coach Dave Pelz on the East driving range but there was a sign telling him not to. What's hilarious about this particular story is that Mickelson claimed to have crawled through the magnolias in the dead of night after the champions' dinner to remove it. He got away with it, but was rumbled a year later by security.
A win for PGA Tour and LIV Golf?
The PGA Tour and PIF-backed LIV Golf have agreed to be best buds for life. Or at least, there is an agreement to try and have an agreement to be best buds for life by the end of the year. ICYMI, the war is over and both organisations have dropped what could genuinely be described as frivolous lawsuits. This was only ever about money. One problem remains for both sides, and that's the New York Times wanting to go through their dirty laundry. A judge has denied the Times' request to unseal docs that are bound to make those at Ponte Vedra and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a tad nervous.
Rory's Ryder Cup injury worry
Cruising at 182 ball speed with a back injury is hilarious tbh pic.twitter.com/vR7fsVgaFr— Rory McIlroy Tracker (@RMTracker) August 24, 2023
Unless you've been living under a rock, you won't have heard about Rory McIlroy's back injury. He tweaked it before the Tour Championship whilst in having a splash in the pool with his daughter Poppy. It then went into spasm when he was stretching and foam rolling one evening. It got better as the week went on, but luckily Rory didn't draw much attention to it. Apart from the fact he was rolling around on the floor at every opportunity, getting his caddie Harry Diamond to apply some cream and talking his back after every round you'd have hardly noticed. It was an entertaining week for Rors. He gave this fan a high five which sent her absolutely ballistic. He followed that with cracking a spectator on the wrist after a wild drive. He apologised to the fan
and probably told the gentleman he hit a loose shot because his back was hurting.
PGA Tour-bound pro suspended
Korn Ferry Tour pro Alejandro Tosti has already earned his 2024 playing rights. He withdrew from the Boise Open last week and it was later confirmed he had been suspended. Tosti has been described as a bit of a wild boy. So the story goes, there are apparently a few rumours about the golfer that are not so dissimilar to tales about Patrick Reed when he was in college. Yeah, we're going to need to know more about this one.
Tee time for three
Nelly Korda's older sister Jessica Korda is going to be a mum. Jessica announced she was taking an indefinite break from the game because of a back injury. She's announced she's expecting a little one next February.
Tiger's hellish golf course
The wait is over. Excited to share the latest from Trout National - The Reserve. We've finalized course routing and are continuing to make progress on this unique and exciting project with @TigerWoods and @tgrdesignbytw. pic.twitter.com/rpu2on1KUg— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) August 25, 2023
Tiger Woods took a trip to see how his golf course in the Utah mountains is getting on. Have you seen the plans? Big cat says the course will suit every ability but it's difficult to imagine how when every par-5 is over 600 yards. Still, it looks awesome.
LIV Golf is not dead
We heard from LIV Golf official Gary Davidson about how the PGA Tour-PIF negotiations are going. Davidson, speaking to bunkered, claimed Greg Norman's position is safe and the rival league is even considering expanding to 15 teams in 2024. He didn't sound as confident as PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan that the deal would get over the line, though...
"I couldn't sit down"
Daniel Berger has announced he's "back to work" after a hellish back injury prevented the American, at one point, from sitting down. Berger said at his lowest point he would have traded playing pro golf ever again just to be pain free. Still, it's great to see this young man back in action.
Jena spills the beans
Brooks Koepka's glamorous wife Jena Sims confirmed her husband was going to be selected for the U.S. Ryder Cup team before the official announcement. Perhaps there's a career in the news for Jena if she fancies it. I remember she was also the first to break the story that LIV Golf had struck an agreement with the MENA Tour in late 2022 when the rival league tried to pull a fast one and get world ranking points.
Everything's coming up Viktor
Viktor Hovland won for the second time in as many weeks at the Tour Championship. The Norwegian previously confessed to European Ryder Cup skipper Luke Donald that he wasn't clutch enough. Well, he's certainly changing that perception. This dude is a killer. If I have one gripe with the Norwegian it's that he should try and smile a bit more when he's got a five-shot lead playing the 72nd hole of a PGA Tour event and is about to win $18m.
Are they saying Burns or Boo-urns?
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was jeered when he gave a speech on the 18th green at East Lake.
It wasn't immediately clear if they were booing Monahan because of his fashion sense or the fact he spent the last 12 months telling PGA Tour stars not to join LIV Golf only to strike a deal behind everyone's back in secret.
Ryder Cup snubs and surprises
Who will feel most unfortunate to miss out on the US Ryder Cup team?— GolfMagic (@GolfMagic) August 29, 2023
Zach Johnson named his six wildcard picks for Team USA. I've got to be honest, it was pretty embarrassing watching Johnson try and dodge the LIV Golf questions. Although it has to be said, it was a masterclass in vagueness. Johnson was asked if he contacted some of the LIV golfers thought to be in with a chance of making the team. Dustin Johnson went 5-0 at Whistling Straits but apparently wasn't even contacted. Johnson explained that he only contacted those in the standings (1-25) who had a chance of qualification. That means that Taylor Moore got a phone call and DJ didn't. Come on, Zach...
We'll see you next week!
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