Bryson DeChambeau, Tom Watson(?) and a law-breaking social-media star: Golf’s biggest turkeys from 2022
Gather 'round, golf fans, because it's the most wonderful time of the year! Actually, it's not that time just yet despite what many radio stations blaring Christmas music way (way) too early are telling you. And, actually, we aren't celebrating anything wonderful. But it's still always fun handing out our annual turkeys of the year.
We'd love to hand out actual turkeys to each and every one of our honorees this Thanksgiving, but have you seen how much turkeys cost these days? We'd go broke before we got through all the LIV Golf guys. Instead, we'll continue to simply name golf's biggest turkeys of the year—especially because there were a LOT of them in 2022. Let's get to it.
Mito Pereira: We're going to try to keep these light for the most part, but we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the guy who let a major championship trophy slip through his hands as if it was covered in turkey grease. All Pereira had to do on the final hole at Southern Hills to NOT lose in regulation was to NOT hit his golf ball into that creek down the right side … and he hit it in the creek.
Maddie Meyer/PGA of America
We still feel bad for him, but … TURKEY! Justin Thomas should really send him one with all the trimmings as a Thanksgiving thank you.
Danny Willett: Similarly, Willett had an all-time crushing loss when he went from having a four-footer for birdie and an easy win at the Fortinet Championship to three-putting and LOSING!
The only good thing for Danny is that it was the Fortinet Championship and not the PGA Championship, so not as many people will remember him losing as they will Mito Pereira. It didn't help that Max Homa chipped in before Danny's disastrous three-putt, and to Danny's credit, he handled the situation as well as could be expected. But still, you can't lose that tournament.
Sergio Garcia: Just like you can't beg to play in the DP World Tour's flagship event and then WD after you get off to a bad start and while the tournament, being held in England, has been delayed because of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Making matters worse, Garcia then showed up in Austin, Texas, for a UT football game that Saturday while the event played on (something he was later fined for).
Bad look. Turkey.
Talor Gooch: Speaking of bad looks, or really, bad takes, Talor turned into a real lightning rod this year for a few reasons. But none was worse than him comparing the atmosphere at the first LIV Golf event in the U.S. to a Ryder Cup. “I haven't played a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup, but can't imagine there's a whole hell of a lot of difference.” LOL as the kids say.
Aitor Alcalde/LIV Golf
Gooch later admitted it was, "Maybe a little aggressive of a comment," (Gee, ya think?) after he took some heat for it. Enough heat to cook a turkey to a golden brown.
Timothy Kelly: OK, let's get into the "forgetful tour pro" portion of the menu. First, we have Kelly, AKA Tee-K, who forgot his entire golf wardrobe in his hotel. Tough. But at least Turkey, we mean, Tee-K got them all back.
After spending a good amount of gas money, that is.
Adam Schenk: And then there's this guy, who forgot his freaking golf clubs at home when traveling to a tournament. Yep, his golf clubs. How is that possible?!
Thanks to Adam's wife, Kourtney, for always keeping him in check. We'd say tour pros are just like us, but I don't know any golfer who would forget his clubs going on a golf trip.
Syed Zaki: This guy is definitely NOT a tour pro, but apparently he said he was before playing in a PGA Tour pre-qualifier, where he fired a 69. For nine(!) holes.
As you can see, he did manage to birdie a 231-yard par 3. Impressive. Before making 17 on the following hole. Impressive for different reasons. Hopefully, Zaki will be better vetted before trying to "compete" in another qualifier. Our thoughts go out to his playing partners that day. And anyone playing behind his group.
Whoever set up this pin: There were plenty of high numbers at the Iowa Girls 3A State Golf Tournament as well, but they were mostly due to one of the most devilish pin positions in history on the 18th hole of the River Valley Golf Course in Adel:
Did Mike Davis move to Iowa? Get it? That was a USGA joke … OK, moving on …
Matt Moroz: It's too much to explain here so check out the reporting from The Fire Pit Collective's Ryan French.
Basically, Moroz was DQ'd from Korn Ferry Q School for cheating. Multiple times. Across multiple days. And in multiple ways. "Finding" golf balls that had no way of being found? Check. "Finding" golf balls at the bottom of the cup that never had a chance of going in? Check. Bottom line, if you ever find yourself playing with this guy for any type of stakes, you better keep an eye on him.
The guy who asked this question: To show we're fair and balanced, our next turkey doesn't go to a golfer, but to a golf writer at the Open Championship, who was amazed that Cameron Young could be so good at golf when he grew up on the "streets of New York." Meanwhile, Cameron grew up living on one of the country's most exclusive country Clubs, Sleepy Hollow, where his dad is the longtime head pro.
So, yeah, not exactly the Cinderella story that dude was fishing for.
Tom Watson: Just like Cameron Young never thought he'd be asked about growing up on the mean streets of New York, we never thought we'd be writing about this eight-time major winner riding a go-kart. That being said, if you told us Watson was going to ride a go-kart, we wouldn't have been surprised that he'd wind up getting hurt doing so.
Tom, you're 73! Your go-kart days are well behind you! We shouldn't have to tell you that!
Bryson DeChambeau: Then again, you don't have to be doing a dangerous activity to sustain an injury. You can be doing something like playing golf. Or, really, just walking. Such was the case with Bryson, who gave golf fans the biggest blooper of 2022 when he walked into a gallery rope at the LIV event outside of Chicago—and then acted like he'd been shot in the face:
Poor guy. At least, not too many people noticed …
Kidding! Everyone in the world seemed to notice. Well, at least everyone on Golf Twitter.
Katie Sigmond: Speaking of viral moments, TikTok star Katie Sigmond treated her six million followers to a golf shot into the Grand Canyon. But after launching a golf ball—and part of her club—into this treasured landmark, she got slapped with three misdemeanors and a court appearance:
Apparently, the people at the United States National Parks System are as protective of their surroundings as the people at Augusta National.
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And try not to do anything too dumb. We'll be monitoring—for next year's list.