The Loop

Frenemies?

Everybody calm down, Scottie Scheffler didn’t intentionally walk across Cam Smith’s line … probably

August 11, 2022

No other sport lends itself more naturally to pettiness and microaggression than golf. The unwritten rules. The white-gloved origins. The emphasis on etiquette. In concert, they offer golfers a myriad of ways to get back and get even—a vibrant rainbow of revenge stretching from San Diego to St. Andrews. If the NBA is the 'Days of Our Lives’ of professional American athletics, then the PGA Tour is ‘General Hospital.’

This phenomenon has been amplified ten-fold with the introduction of LIV Golf into our daily consciousness. Where once there were hushed rumors and quiet discord, there is now outright war. Everyone, from players to fans, are baying for blood, and for a few brief, glorious moments at the FedEx St. Jude Championship on Thursday, we appeared to get it as World No. 1 (and Team Tour stalwart) Scottie Scheffler seemingly walked across the line of World No. 2 (and rumored LIV Golf defector) Cam Smith in the passive-aggressive power play of the century. The video is being purged left and right, but the screengrabs are forever.

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The entire history of the sport swelled to this moment—the world’s two top players, major winners at the sport’s two most hallowed venues within months of each other, brazenly flaunting etiquette in an ethical battle of tens of millions verses hundreds of millions. Nothing could be more golf. But in the immortal words of Lee Corso, NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND.

Soon after that clip surfaced, so did a rebuttal from the hole before, in which Scheffler and Smith could be seen high-fiving each other in a show of narratively inconvenient friendship. Could that much really change in the span of a couple shots? Could they really go from high-five to hatred in a matter of minutes? Maybe so … but probably not.

Unfortunately for the townsfolk who gathered in the square anticipating carnage, this appears to be a double nothingburger with cheese. Scheffler was probably in the zone and made an honest mistake. Smith was certainly surprised, but he was a few feet back from his actual ball getting a read, so it’s not like Scheffler literally walked across his line. All’s well that ends well, as the old saying goes, and both of these dudes are going to be winning tournaments and raking in dough for years to come, regardless of who’s signing the paychecks.