Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we aren't sure why certain things turn into memes while other worthy candidates don't. At the Solheim Cup, arguably the biggest event in women's golf, Lexi Thompson, arguably the biggest star in women's golf, gave us a hilarious viral moment, turning to her caddie in disgust and saying, “Jesus, it’s not that bad” after he gave one of the loudest “FORE!” calls of all time:
The response. The face. So good. But while the clip spread around Golf Twitter, it didn’t spawn a full-blown meme. I tried to push the issue, but like the word “fetch” in Mean Girls, sadly, it hasn’t really caught on:
Maybe I went too regional with a New York sports joke? I had been workshopping “Me when someone criticizes my diet” or “Me when someone asks about my chocolate addiction.” Maybe those would have played better? Oh well, I tried, Lexi. In any event, we promise to talk about some more important things going on in golf. And in the meantime, better safe than sorry with those “Fore!” calls.
Suzann Pettersen: Many people questioned Pettersen’s spot on the European team after essentially being on maternity leave for the past two years, but wow, did she come through with arguably the year's clutchest putt and potentially one of the greatest walk-off moments in sports history. As in actually walking off into the sunset. The two-time major champ buried this must-make putt to claim the Solheim Cup and then immediately announced her retirement from professional golf:
What a freaking mic drop.
Joaquin Niemann: From one player perfectly finishing a brilliant career to another beginning one in style, Niemann rolled in a long birdie putt to cap a six-shot win at The Greenbrier to open the 2019-‘20 PGA Tour season.
How about this kid? And we do mean kid considering he doesn’t turn 21 until November. A late-season run allowed him to keep his PGA Tour card following his rookie season and now, who knows how good this former World No. 1 amateur can be. In addition to being the first golfer from Chile to win on the PGA Tour he also joined Seve Ballesteros and Rory McIlroy as the only foreign-born players under 21 to win a tour event. DECENT company.
Sergio Garcia: We’ll keep the international accolades going with Sergio’s KLM Open victory, his 16th career European Tour title. Frankly, it was good to see Sergio making news for something other than destroying a golf course or throwing a putter at his caddie. And I love a good Azalea sighting:
We’re also buying the 18-year-old from Denmark, Nicolai Hojgaard, who he beat by one. I remember a teenaged Sergio challenging Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship like it was yesterday. Damn, I’m getting old.
Jack Nicklaus’ heroics: Jack may be closing in on 80, but the Golden Bear still possesses the magic that made him an 18-time major champ. First, here’s a walk-off putt to win a team event:
And then he had a walk-off chip-in to win a charity contest:
You don't win 18 majors by accident. What a legend.
Lexi Thompson’s week: What actually was that bad was Thompson’s 0-4 record. A tweaked back before her final match didn’t help matters, but if Thompson could have clawed even a half point, Team USA would have retained the Cup. Ouch. Instead, America’s highest-ranked player got shut out, while the world’s 620th-ranked player wound up being the hero. That’s golf, folks.
Scottie Scheffler’s “shank”: This shot definitely didn’t need a “FORE!” call and yet the PGA Tour rookie was disgusted by it. Scheffler obviously hasn’t played with my boss, Sam Weinman, because he clearly has no clue what a shank is.
And you wonder why kids react like this on tee shots that end up 15 feet from the pin:
Hideki Matsuyama, this is your fault.
Kevin Chappell's weekend: First off, it was great seeing Kevin playing his first PGA Tour event in nearly a year after undergoing back surgery. It was even greater seeing him fire the 11th 59 in PGA Tour history on Friday at The Greenbrier. Yet with rounds of 73 and 72 over the weekend, he managed to finish T-47. In a tournament he shot FIFTY-NINE! But again, that's golf, folks.
The PGA Tour heads to Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship, AKA that event where the winner gets a rooster trophy. Meanwhile, the BMW PGA, the European Tour’s flagship event, will be contested across the pond. This event was moved from May to September with all the PGA Tour schedule changes this past season. It will boast a better field than the Sanderson Farms Championship, but not a rooster trophy. Advantage: Sanderson Farms Championship.
Random tournament fact: Cameron Champ won the coveted rooster trophy last year. But he is still looking for his first top 10 of 2019.
Heavy lies the rooster crown.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
—Either event will produce a dramatic finish like the Solheim Cup: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds
—Joaquin Niemann will win again this week: 12-to-1 odds (Actual odds; the favorite to win that coveted rooster trophy!)
—Joaquin Niemann will win again at some point: LOCK
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Move over, Alex Noren!
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Move over, Brooks Koepka!
Long live The Barn Rat.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I’m done. I’m closing it down tomorrow.” —Suzann Pettersen. Funny, I said the same thing after my latest disappointing round on Saturday.
THIS WEEK IN CELEBRITIES PLAYING GOLF
From backboards to sneakers to golf clubs, Zion Williamson destroys everything he touches:
THIS WEEK IN TOUR PRO PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF
Tiger Woods and his girlfriend, Erica Herman, went to a college football game pitting their alma maters (Stanford and UCF) against each other:
And Erica’s Golden Knights are probably ready to declare themselves co-national champs again after drubbing Tiger’s Cardinal, 45-27. Ouch.
That must have been a tense car ride home. And then Woods' Oakland Raiders got run off the field by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Tough weekend for Tiger.
THIS WEEK IN TOUR PROS ARE JUST LIKE US
Justin Thomas shared his recent skin cancer scare and provided an important PSA for golfers everywhere:
Also, JT, you might want to ask Phil for some calf exercises. Speaking of Phil. . .
THIS WEEK IN PHIL BEING PHIL
Phil philmed his latest edition of “Phireside Chats” from one of his phavorite restaurants in San Diego:
We were wondering when he was going to start turning these into ads. Can’t wait for him to start slipping in some product placement! Also, Phil got word of this fantastic painting of him:
Hopefully, that artist got PAID.
THIS AND THAT
Tiger Woods announced the One Bahamas Fund to help raise money for the area after Hurricane Dorian. You can donate here. Check out our Brian Wacker's piece on Dorian's devastating effects and donate here. . . . Viktor Hovland tied Bob Estes’ PGA Tour record by shooting in the 60s for a 17th consecutive round. Sorry, Bob, but I think your record is going down. . . . More stats! With a pair of 20-year-olds, Matthew Wolff and Joaquin Niemann winning in the same year, marked the first time since 1931 that three players under the age of 21 won on the PGA Tour in the same year. . . . Speaking of Young Gunz, 17-year-old Akshay Bhatia will make his pro debut this week at the Sanderson Farms Championship. He makes Wolff and Niemann look like grizzled vets. . . . And finally, these cookies are a new addition to Costco:
Let’s just say I’m not mad about it.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Did Tiger and Erica make a bet on the Stanford-UCF game?
Did golf writers (over)use the phrase “Young Gunz” in 1931?
Is my chocolate addiction that bad?