The Grind

Matt Fitzpatrick's family-aided win, Jon Rahm's impressive TV cameo and Russell Wilson's embarrassing golf cart fail

April 18, 2023

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we can’t imagine what Matt Fitzpatrick’s parents feel like after watching their son win a huge golf tournament at a place they used to take him on vacation. Sorry, on "holiday" as the Brits say. The photos of the Fitzpatricks at Hilton Head go back two decades, but now instead of building sandcastles, the reigning U.S. Open champ is rich enough to build actual castles following his $3.6 million haul at Harbour Town:

My parents used to take my sister and me to national parks every summer so I imagine this would be like them returning to one of those and seeing me as a park ranger. Or something like that. In any event, family vacations for the win as jump into everything else that happened this week in golf.


Matt Fitzpatrick: The 28-year-old Englishman hadn’t had the season he hoped for after winning his maiden major title last June, a nagging neck injury stalling his chance to build early momentum in 2023. But he looked back in top form by winning an event with a major-like purse.

Fitzpatrick came full circle from those family trips by claiming the RBC Heritage in a thrilling playoff win over Jordan Spieth. Like he did at The Country Club last June, Fitzpatrick hit a sensational 9-iron on his final hole, this time setting up a winning putt that even a toddler version of Fitz could have knocked in.

Pretty snazzy shot there. That must have been a fun one for him to chart in one of his many notebooks after the round. Fitzpatrick proved again he’s one of the best wind players in the game, and he also showed he’s capable of winning a shootout with 17 under being the winning score. So much for that slump. Fitzpatrick should be one of the favorites at Oak Hill for the PGA Championship. Although, we’re guessing there were no family vacays holidays to Rochester, N.Y., when he was a kid. No offense, Rochester.

Spencer Levin: With all this guy’s talent—not to mention all the headlines he’s made for various reasons throughout his career—it’s amazing the 38-year-old Californian had never won a PGA Tour-sanctioned event until this weekend. Heck, this Golf Twitter legend hadn’t won anywhere since the days of Matt Fitzpatrick playing hide-and-seek with his brother. But after Monday qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour’s Veritex Bank Open, the former All-American at New Mexico shot a Sunday 63 to claim the biggest win of his life and put him on track to get back to the PGA Tour.

Oh, yeah, he also did it while putting “Happy Gilmore” style. For real. What a legend, indeed.

Jon Rahm: Guys who slip on a green jacket are supposed to slip away for a few weeks afterward, but Rahm honored his commitment to play at Hilton Head (the tournament’s “designated” status didn’t hurt). “I put myself in the shoes of not only the spectators, but the kids as well. If I was one of the kids, I would want to see the recent Masters champion play good or bad, just want to be there.” Well said, Jon. And the Spaniard didn’t just go through the motions, birdieing his final hole to finish T-15. Yet his most impressive performance came after as he stuck around to do some (brilliant) TV commentary on CBS.

If it’s possible, this guy might be better in the booth than he is on the course. And that’s obviously saying something since he’s the best in the world at the latter.

Grace Kim: In just her third start as an LPGA member, the 22-year-old claimed her maiden title—and in dramatic fashion. Kim birdied the final two holes of regulation to get into a playoff, then birdied the first extra hole to beat Yu Liu and Yu Jin Sung.


Sean M. Haffey

Kim became the fourth Australian ever to win on the LPGA Tour, joining Karrie Webb, Minjee Lee and Hannah Green. "I think [the win] really just puts the cherry on top of my career," Kim said. Wait, what?! But you’re just getting started!


Patrick Cantlay’s pace: We’re running this back for a second consecutive week, because, once again, it almost cost the tournament from finishing on time. Yes, Cantlay’s not the only golfer who plays slow. Heck, if you’ve played with basically anyone who has ever played college golf, you know that. But stuff like this is not helping—and has a trickle-down effect:

I know he found himself in some tricky spots on Sunday, especially with that insane chip shot off a bulkhead, but c’mon, man. WHILE WE’RE YOUNG! Also, the PGA Tour shares the blame as well, because the last time it doled out a slow-play penalty at a regular event (to Glen “All” Day at the 1995 Honda Classic), Matt Fitzpatrick was 6 months old.

The (over)reaction to this Jordan Spieth putt: Spieth missed putts for the win on the first two playoff holes in excruciating fashion, but the uproar over this one from a Golf Twitter community that loves the three-time major champ like Jim Nantz loves a syrupy monologue was a bit much:

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. The putt was outside the right edge for the last couple feet! It never looked like it was a surefire make! It’s called physics, people! Also, that camera angle is deceptive! OK, rant over. In any event, Spieth is stuck on two wins in nearly six years despite playing a lot of good golf in that span. And he should be much more upset about leaving his eight-footer on the next hole short or for blowing a two-shot lead with five holes to go. Sorry, Golf Twitter peeps. You and Jordy need a little tough love.

This “high five”: It never ceases to amaze me how bad pro golfers are at high fives, but this one between Scottie Scheffler and caddie Ted Scott might take the cake:

Hilarious. And this is arguably the top player-caddie tandem on tour! You’d think they’d be more locked in on celebrations.


The PGA Tour heads to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic, AKA that one with two-man teams, AKA that one with the one-legged gator. After a busy couple weeks, most of the world’s best players are taking it easy with the tour stopping in the Big Easy, but it’s still a fun event. And speaking of fun team events (PLUG ALERT!), everyone should check out the inaugural Golf Digest Open! You and a friend can play at eight qualifiers around the country with a chance to earn a spot in the finals at the brand new OMNI PGA Frisco Resort. There will be pride and prizes (including being featured in a Golf Digest article) on the line. And I’ll promise to give you a Grind shout-out as well. What could be better?! Heck, hit me up and maybe we can compete in it together. OK, I think our sales and marketing team will be happy with that. And the LPGA will have its first major of the year at the Chevron Championship, which has relocated to The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas. What a name!

Random tournament fact: More like a random pairing this week. In fact, the most random pairing in this tournament’s history as John Daly and David Duval will play together. Nope, not a misprint. It’s hard to imagine these senior tour guys making much noise—at least, on the course, because Daly will probably belt out "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" at the pro-am party—but can you imagine them as an alternate-shot duo back in the day with JD’s length and DD’s irons? Talk about a force to be reckoned with.


—Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay will win: 4-to-1 odds (Actual odds)

—John Daly and David Duval will win: 1,000-to-1 odds (Also actual odds)

—Team Daly/Duval would win the Golf Digest Open: LOCK


And just like that, the worst secret in golf was revealed: Justine Reed is @useGolfFACTS on Twitter … maybe … we think.

Hopefully, this won’t keep the entertaining handle from continuing to tweet.



I’m as big of a Russell Wilson fan as you’ll find, so it was tough watching his season of bad drives following his trade to the Broncos. But this is the worst one yet:

Turns out it wasn’t Russ driving, but still not how he envisioned this team-building exercise going. Again, it’s been a rough go since coming to Denver. As our Joel Beall said on Slack, there’s definitely a “Broncos Country, let’s ride walk” joke to be made here.


More of a mic’d up Mel Reid, please. And more of her wife, Carly, caddieing for her:

Later, Mel shared this gem as well:

Move over, Jordan Spieth and Michael Greller! That's gold.


Can you spot the difference in these two trophy photos? And we’re not talking about caddie Billy Foster swapping in for Matt’s younger brother, Alex:


David Cannon


Andrew Redington

Being a major champ has its perks. Good for Matt. This lad is all grown up. And speaking of Billy, it looks like being a tour caddie comes with extra duties these days:


Kevin C. Cox

Not that he’s complaining after getting his cut of that $3.6 million check.


Hey, good for this guy and Quinnipiac. It was a lot easier for Justin Rose to haul around his gold medal.


“I don’t know, I’m beyond addicted to this game. I always say I’m going to take some time off and then tomorrow you’ll see me chipping.” —Jon Rahm on when he’ll touch a club next after a busy few weeks. He could be World No. 1 for a long time, folks.


The RBC Heritage drew its best Sunday TV ratings in more than two decades. Get Jon Rahm back in the booth! … Jimmy Walker had a tough weekend after being one of the more surprising 36-hole leaders in recent PGA Tour history, but a T-25 gives him back-to-back top-25s and puts him on pace to get his PGA Tour card back. And he’s only got another six years until the senior tour. Speaking of … John Smoltz, 56, says he’s hoping to make a PGA Tour Champions run after getting his other hip replaced. Considering David Duval can’t contend there, good luck. … LIV player Jediah Morgan is frustrated by LIV’s sparse schedule. You really can’t make it up. … And, finally, some exciting dessert news with my Costco selling chipwiches for the first time!


They’re not quite the Georgia Peach Ice Cream sandwich (What is?), but they’ll do. Oh, they’ll do.


What does @useGolfFACTS think of LIV’s schedule?

What does @useGolfFACTS think about chipwiches?

Where else did the Fitzpatricks used to go on holiday?