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Tough Breaks

J.R. Smith steps on bees nest while searching for ball, halting his third round at Elon Phoenix Invitational

October 12, 2021

On Monday, J.R. Smith—shirtless hero, NBA champion, real-life Billy Madison—played his first-ever rounds of competitive collegiate golf, teeing off as the number-five guy for North Carolina A&T at the Elon Phoenix Invitational. Smith proceeded to shoot 83-78, good for +19 and solo 81 (out of 84 players) heading into Tuesday’s third and final round.

It was a bit of a rocky start for Smith, several awesome highlights notwithstanding, but it pales in comparison to what happened Tuesday, when Smith stepped on a bees nest while searching for his ball on the 12th hole, requiring medical attention that put a halt to his third round.

Yikes, we’ve all been there. Bees, snakes, poison ivy, bunker sand in your eyes. Golf is a dangerous sport. But to have it happen in a tournament with the eyes of the golf world on you while playing alongside a bunch of teenagers is what we in the industry call “a tough break.”

Here’s hoping Smith will be OK and can continue his third round. But if not, we’re sure he’ll put his head down, work harder, get better, watch where he's stepping, and come out the other side an all-around better golfer. Lord knows he’s survived worse …