Bryson DeChambeau’s latest feat of strength, Josh Allen’s all-time dagger and Justin Bieber’s controversial golf photos
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we fell into an all-time tech trap recently involving a free Apple TV trial in order to watch a Yankees game. Still pondering the decision to sign up, I hit my phone’s home button to go back to something else, but in doing so, my thumbprint caused the payment to process. And then after giving "Severance" (Fantastic!) and "Ted Lasso" (Warming up to it!) a try, I couldn’t cancel within the week because I had to see those first seasons to the end. Well played, Tim Cook. Well played. In the meantime, there was also plenty of golf to watch this past week on channels I already pay for. So let’s talk about that before my “outie” makes another mistake my “innie” won’t remember.
Ryan Fox: The long-hitting New Zealander claimed a potentially career-changing victory by beating Rory McIlroy (and others) at the Home of Golf to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Now that’s certainly one to tell your grandkids about someday.
Thanks to a second DP World Tour title of 2022, Fox is now up to a career-best 25th in the Official World Golf Ranking. So there may be a lot more tales to tell by this 35-year-old who just seems to be peaking.
Mackenzie Hughes: Like clockwork, this guy will randomly pop up and win a fall event. Well, if you count every six years as being like clockwork. But seriously, nice job by the Canadian short-game guru (how about those back-to-back up-and-downs on 18?) taking down soda-loving Sepp Straka in a playoff to claim the PGA Tour's Sanderson Farms Championship and its coveted rooster trophy:
And good job by him of redeeming Canada’s pride after Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith went a combined 0-8 at the Presidents Cup. Canadian golf! Back! Speaking of redemption stories …
Bryson DeChambeau: It’s been a tough 2022 for the 2020 U.S. Open champ, even if it’s been a big year for his bank account. Bryson’s two biggest headlines revolved around an embarrassing ping-pong injury that required surgery and an even more embarrassing viral moment involving a gallery rope. But then Bryson did something this weekend that totally redeemed himself.
OK, maybe not totally, but finishing runner up at the Professional Long Drivers Association World Championship is pretty darn impressive. Even winner Martin Borgmeier mostly wanted to talk about DeChambeau, who finished second out of 128 contestants and came up short by 20 yards with a poke of 406 yards in the finals. "That guy is a professional golfer and he’s putting up these ball-speed numbers … no one has ever done that before! People don’t realize how crazy that is!” A tip of the (Hogan) cap to you, Bryson.
Trevor Immelman’s timing: Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but it’s pretty remarkable that two guys who just missed making the International Team (Fox and Hughes) as captain's picks responded by winning their very next starts.
What might have been, Trevor. What might have been. On the bright side, they’re pretty young so they’ll still be around in a couple years.
Rangefinder DQ: A pro named Blake Abercrombie played what might be the most expensive golf hole in history:
Of course, that’s on Blake for not double checking before teeing off, but isn’t that rule a bit harsh? Wouldn’t a two-stroke penalty have sufficed? Also, what’s the big deal with using these things on the course? If anything they speed up play, especially on poorly marked golf courses. Well, unless your hands shake as much as mine. But seriously, what is keeping them from being legal across the board? Is the BIG CADDIE lobby that powerful?
People ripping Rory’s hoodie: I’m not sure why, but apparently people had a problem with this hoodie Rory McIlroy wore during Thursday’s first round at the Dunhill Links. And not just the normal old heads who think wearing a hoodie on a golf course should be a federal crime. No, people didn’t like this hoodie. This really sharp-looking hoodie:
I know I’m no fashion expert, but I don’t get it. I think it looks great. And if anyone at Nike is reading this, I’m a medium. Oh, and I’m also selling Rory winning at St. Andrews. After a second close call this year, it just looks like it’s never going to happen there for him.
The PGA Tour heads to Vegas for the Shriners Children’s Open, AKA that one where prize money goes to die at the tables. LIV Golf is also in action in Thailand. Good to see Patrick Reed is spending so much less time traveling and more time at home with his family. (Wait, can he sue me for writing that?)
Random tournament fact: Patrick Cantlay won in a playoff in 2017 after shooting nine under in windy conditions during regulation. How unusual was that? The next-worst winning 72-hole score at TPC Summerlin was Smylie Kaufman’s 16-under in 2015. And the winning score has been 20 under or lower in 15 of 18 years, including four straight. So, yeah, get ready for a shootout.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
—Bryson will become a full-time long driver in 2023: 100 MILLION-to-1 odds
—Bryson will win this week in Thailand: 22-to-1 odds (Actual odds)
—Nike is going to sell a LOT of those sweet “Rory” hoodies: LOCK
PHOTO OF THE WEEK (CLEAN DIVISION)
The Hojgaard twins playing together and dressed as twins was quite a sight:
Those poor announcers.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK ("DIRTY" DIVISION)
OMG Justin Bieber was caught doing … what every guy on the planet has done during a round of golf:
Big freaking deal. I actually feel bad for Bieber because he has no privacy if the paparazzi is even going to follow him around the golf course like this. (I feel worse for the club member who has probably been doing damage control since.) That being said, I’m not sure why he had to pull his shorts down like that. That’s what zippers are for, Biebs. Unless he was wearing some sort of cool golf shorts that don’t even have zippers. Anyway, move along, people! Nothing to see here!
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (SORCERY DIVISION)
Now this is something to see. In what has to be a first in St. Andrews history, Tommy Fleetwood managed to knock two golf balls into the cup on the Road Hole with one swing. Have a look:
Incredible. You see something new every day in this game. Even at the Old(est) Course in the game.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (FAILURE DIVISION)
We’re not sure what Emiliano Grillo was thinking here, but we hope he went and fetched this club himself:
That’s a man who has clearly spent time as a Presidents Cup teammate of Hideki Matsuyama.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (WILDLIFE DIVISION)
Mark and Brenda Calcavecchia’s backyard in Highlands, N.C., got quite the visitor:
We’d call it a surprise, but he calls where he lives “Bearadise.”
THIS WEEK IN PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
How about this amazing Masters-themed wedding that featured everything from a groom’s green jacket to kids dressed as caddies to custom-logoed cake and dessert (Also Jim Nantz recording a video for the couple because Jim Nantz is the best):
Talk about being married to the game. We just hope those logos were custom enough to not warrant legal action by Augusta National.
THIS WEEK IN PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF RIDICULE
We thought we’d reached the peak of Bryson DeChambeau getting ripped for getting roped, but then Shane Lowry dragged DeChambeau for his rope ‘rematch’ video and Justin Thomas piled on:
But that was nothing compared to what Buffalo Bills superstar QB Josh Allen did following Sunday’s win against Baltimore:
Good thing Bryson did so well in that long-drive contest because otherwise, it’s been a rough couple of weeks.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Shit happens.” —LPGA rising star Maja Stark on getting DQ’d for mistakenly using a new Ping driver that didn’t go on the USGA’s list of conforming clubs until the day after the tournament ended. Well said, Maja. Because that’s a pretty shitty reason to get DQ’d from a tournament.
THIS AND THAT
Congrats to Charley Hull, who like Mackenzie Hughes ended a six-year (LPGA) winless drought by winning the Ascendant LPGA in Texas (she actually won her first tournament just one day before Hughes did!) Unlike Hughes, Hull didn’t restore the pride of Canadian golf because, well, she’s British. … Kudos to Alejandro Tosti for not only Monday qualifying and making a check at the Sanderson Farms Championship, but for doing it despite this crazy travel schedule:
Unfortunately, Tosti didn’t Monday qualify for the Shriners, but at least he can easily afford all that travel back home now after making that $32K check for finishing T-39 in Mississippi. … Speaking of Monday qualifiers, Jared Sawada shot a 11-under-par 61 to earn his Thursday tee time. Even for a Monday qualifier low score, that's impressive. … And, finally, I’m very proud of me and my wife for putting together this awesome storage unit for (some of) the kids’ toys:
What a beautiful piece of furniture. And yes, it's from Costco. And yes, these are the things you get excited about when you’re 40 with two kids.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
What should I “build” next?
What should I watch on Apple TV next?
What is my monthly cable/streaming bill up to?