Travelers Championship

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The Grind

Harry Higgs’ important message, Bryson DeChambeau’s funny U.S. Open training and a major champ rips the PGA of America

May 28, 2024

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we begin with tragedy on the PGA Tour. Grayson Murray’s death at 30 and amid a tournament he had been playing left the golf world shocked. Sadly, it shocked me less. That’s because four years ago, my best friend, who, like Grayson, seemed to have everything going for him, took his own life. But also like Grayson, Kiffy battled depression and issues with alcohol. And if you’re still confused by how this sort of thing can happen, Gary Williams’ candid piece on Grayson and dealing with alcoholism himself was particularly powerful—and eye-opening on just how nasty this disease is.

Unfortunately, both of their deaths serve as a horrible reminder that you never know the depths of someone’s struggle no matter how close you are or no matter how open that person is about them like Grayson was. So let’s all be nicer to each other and always make that extra call or text if you think someone might need it. OK, now let’s talk some golf. With the blessing of Murray’s parents, the PGA Tour played on, and so shall we.

WE’RE BUYING

Davis Riley: How deep is pro golf these days? Well, a guy who had one top-25 finish all year not only won, but did so in dominant fashion by easily holding off the World No. 1 in a head-to-head Sunday battle. Seriously impressive stuff from Riley, who picked up his first individual PGA Tour title (He and Nick Hardy teamed up to win the 2023 Zurich Classic) at the Charles Schwab Challenge. And got to drive away with a classic 1975 Corvette Stingray.

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Tim Heitman

Wow, that car looks sharp. I think that beats the 1973 Bronco Emiliano Grillo won last year, 9 and 8. Davis certainly picked a good tournament to find his game.

Harry Higgs: For a second consecutive week, Higgs won on the Korn Ferry Tour in a playoff. He was also particularly proud of his successful high-fives with his caddie:

Sadly, that is a rarity in pro golf. But on a more serious note, we were particularly impressed by Higgs’ victory speech in which he delivered an important message to everyone following Grayson Murray’s death:

Well said, Harry. And well played.

Richard Bland: Before LIV came around, this British golfer delivered one of the best feel-good stories in golf by winning his first DP World Tour title at the age of 48. Now 51, the member of Cleeks G.C. picked up his first career major title at the Senior PGA Championship with a final-round 63:

Bland has been told his LIV involvement will prohibit him from playing PGA Tour Champions events (like his LIV status keeps him from PGA Tour events), but let’s not focus on that. The guy has LIV committments anyway and this is a cool story of a late-bloomer. Oh, and another reminder that your dreams of “making it on the senior tour” when you turn 50 are laughable.

WE’RE SELLING

Scottie Scheffler’s police videos: So the Louisville mayor and police chief called a big press conference and promised to release more videos related to the traffic incident with Scheffler during the PGA Championship and then released … these?

Let’s just say there’s no smoking gun in there. Now, there is a little bit that we can’t see beforehand due to camera angles, but the four charges, including a second-degree felony for assault, seem to be overblown at this point. And Scheffler’s lawyer has said they plan to fully fight them in court. In other news, Scheffler has now shot over par in three of his past four rounds and he only finished tied for second at Colonial. Is Scottie Scheffler (gulp) in a slump? Kidding. Sort of.

The PGA of America’s cart policy: Mark Calcavecchia was certainly ticked at the PGA of America for not letting him use a cart when others like Bernhard Langer were given one.

Calc’s got a point. And you’d think a major champ would command more respect. Whether you agree or not with golfers using carts in tournaments, an uneven handling of that rule doesn’t seem fair. It should be all or none.

Having your golf clubs manhandled: The East Tennessee State men’s golf team looked out the window of its plane while heading to NCAAs … and saw a horrifying site:

Oof, that’s rough. Either that guy throwing the bags like that isn’t a golfer or he’s just a jerk. Anyway, I’m flying American Airlines in July for my annual buddies golf trip, and I’m already sweating my clubs getting to French Lick, Ind., and all in one piece.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads North for the RBC Canadian Open, AKA that one Tiger Woods won in 2000 with that insane bunker shot on the 72nd hole, AKA that one Nick Taylor won last year with an insane eagle putt in a playoff, AKA that one where Adam Hadwin was tackled by a security guard in the celebration.

This year’s event shifts back to Hamilton Golf & Country Club for the first time since 2019. That year, Rory McIlroy won it and not surprisingly, McIlroy is an overwhelming (+360) favorite this time around. But not as big of a favorite as Nelly Korda (3-to-1 odds) at the U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club. And to talk about her and the tournament we had Lexi Thompson and Kay Cockerill on this week’s episode of The Loop podcast:

Of course, Lexi announced that she was retiring at the end of the year after we interviewed her and while we were recording our roundtable. Sigh. Anyway, good luck to her this week and in the future with whatever she does next.

Random tournament fact: McIlroy’s seven-shot win in 2019 was the event’s biggest margin of victory since Lawson Little won by eight shots in 1936. You could say Little won BIG that week. Sorry, the dad in me couldn’t help itself.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

—Nick Taylor will win the Canadian Open again: 60-to-1 odds

—This year’s finish will be as exciting as last year’s: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

—Grant Waite still has nightmares about that Tiger bunker shot: LOCK

TWEET OF THE WEEK (TOUR PRO DIVISION)

TWEET OF THE WEEK (NON-TOUR PRO DIVISION)

CLUB PRO GUY TWEET OF THE WEEK

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (TOUR PRO DIVISION)

After picking up a bunch of fans at Valhalla, Bryson DeChambeau has implemented some funny changes to his workout routine ahead of next month’s U.S. Open:

If it wasn't apparent already, Bryson is so back. And the #content world is much better for it.

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (NON-TOUR PRO DIVISION)

Not a tour pro, but Golf Digest’s Drew Powell did play for Duke. And he can freaking play. This was honestly insane to see in person.

And shout-out to the Golf Digest team of Joel Beall, Kevin Harrigan, Drew and myself for finishing T-1 in the gross division of the Brooklawn member-guest. We won’t talk about what happened in the match of cards.

VIRAL VIDEO(S) OF THE WEEK (NATURE DIVISION)

Turtle Woods! Love it.

THIS WEEK IN PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

Matthew Wolff and social-media influencer Kim Lloyd got engaged 17 months ago, but they just shared these engagement photos:

Very artsy! Good luck with the wedding planning, guys. I mean, good luck to Kim.

And then there was this poor guy in Iowa who had his house destroyed, but focused on his golf clubs during an interview with local news:

And Callaway swooped in to the rescue:

Sometimes social media is great.

THIS WEEK IN PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

Nice effort by Louis De Jager, but what the heck was he doing leaving his belt unbuckled. There are kids watching!

THIS WEEK IN CELEBRITY GOLFERS

JJ Redick is really getting around golf courses during these NBA Playoffs:

You love to see it. I can’t believe it, but I actually like this Dukie now.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Everybody here could be a difference, the difference. Brighten up somebody’s day, it could mean the world.” Once again, Harry Higgs hit that victory speech out of the park.

THIS AND THAT

We’ve got a lot of college golf news to cover! Congrats to Rachel Heck on leading Stanford to the NCAA Women’s team title after a couple injury-riddled seasons. And congrats to Texas A&M’s Adela Cernousek on winning the individual title. … On the men’s side, congrats to Georgia Tech’s Hiroshi Tai on winning the individual title—and qualifying for the 2024 U.S. Open and 2025 Masters in the process. And condolences to Virginia’s Ben James losing by a shot after being penalized a shot for slow play in the first round. Ouch. … Congrats to Stanford’s Michael Thorbjornsen on becoming the second college golfer to earn a PGA Tour card through the PGA Tour U program. The first was Ludvig Aberg last year, so watch out for this young man. … And, finally, thanks to Mason Leverington for giving my basement a better look for future episodes of The Grind:

Talk about a producer who can do it all! And, yes, those are Tiger Woods and Bill Haas bobbleheads. Go Deacs!

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

What does it feel like to hit a 350-yard drive?

How many rounds of golf will JJ Redick play this year?

How much longer will that green jacket be hanging there?