The Grind
December 14, 2018

The year in PGA Tour WAGS (2018): Clutch caddying, romantic proposals, and one super fancy gala

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

VERSAILLES, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: Brooks Koepka\'s partner, Jena Sims, takes a selfie with Dustin Johnson\'s partner, Paulina Gretzky, before the Ryder Cup gala dinner at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup on September 26, 2018 in Versailles, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Photo by: Richard Heathcote

Richard Heathcote

Perhaps more than ever before, golfers and their significant others (AKA WAGs) were intertwined — and on display together — during this past year. Sure, there were the usual engagements, weddings, and babies, but there were also shared struggles, triumphs and viral moments that helped tell the story of the 2018 golf season. Let’s take a look back.

Of course, we start with Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky. There still were no wedding bells (At least, we didn’t get an invite), but the couple celebrated an important milestone:

180821-dj-paulina.jpg

180821-dj-paulina.jpg

Five years?! It feels like just yesterday when we started stalking following these two lovebirds. And after all this time, they're still dancing on boats and doing backflips into the water to get over tough losses in majors:

180618-dj-paulina.jpg

180618-dj-paulina.jpg

Paulina also celebrated a birthday milestone of her own:

And she had a meme of her go viral after she was spotted lurking in the background while DJ did an interview with CBS’ Amanda Balionis:

Which prompted Paulina and Balionis to team up for this funny response:

But it wasn’t all fun and games this year as those who follow Paulina particularly closely got quite a scare when she deleted from her popular Instagram account all photos that included Dustin. Like this, which was a good one of them swimming that's now in Internet heaven:

181212-wags-instagram.png

181212-wags-instagram.png

Sigh. . . There were rumors their relationship was going to disappear as well — you could even bet on whether Paulina was going to be in Paris for the Ryder Cup — but things got smoothed over. And DJ resumed to his role of fi·an·cé/Paulina’s personal photographer:

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: Dustin Johnson of the United States takes a picture of partner Paulina Gretzky before the 2018 Ryder Cup Gala dinner at the Palace of Versailles on September 26, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Photo by: Richard Heathcote

Richard Heathcote

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

VERSAILLES, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: Dustin Johnson of the United States and his partner Paulina Gretzky arrive at the Ryder Cup Gala dinner at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup on September 26, 2018 in Versailles, France. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Photo by: Andrew Redington

Andrew Redington

Phew. Speaking of the Ryder Cup, how about this year’s gala turned into the WAG event of the millennium since it was staged at the Palace of Versailles. Here's a look at Team USA's crew:

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

VERSAILLES, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: The players of Team USA pose with their wives and partners on the steps of the Palace of Versailles prior to the Ryder Cup Gala ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup on September 26, 2018 in Versailles, France. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Photo by: Andrew Redington

Andrew Redington

And here's Team Europe:

2018 Ryder Cup - European Team Portraits

2018 Ryder Cup - European Team Portraits

VERSAILLES, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: The players of Team Europe pose with their wives and partners on the steps of the Palace of Versailles prior to the Ryder Cup Gala ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup on September 26, 2018 in Versailles, France. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Photo by: Andrew Redington

Andrew Redington

Just a slight upgrade from the gala at the Mall of America in 2016. Although, to be fair to the MOA, it has more fast casual dining options than anywhere in the world. But yes, slightly less enticing selfie opportunities.

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

2018 Ryder Cup - Gala Dinner

VERSAILLES, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: Brooks Koepka\'s partner, Jena Sims, takes a selfie with Dustin Johnson\'s partner, Paulina Gretzky, before the Ryder Cup gala dinner at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup on September 26, 2018 in Versailles, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Photo by: Richard Heathcote

Richard Heathcote

Anyway, besides that glamorous gala, there was a lot of same old, same old going on. Sergio Garcia and Angela Akins continued to sight-see:

Allison Stokke, Rickie Fowler's girlfriend, continued to train:

And Jena Sims, Brooks Koepka’s girlfriend, continued to act:

181024-jena-zombie.jpg

181024-jena-zombie.jpg

181204-jena-sims.jpg

181204-jena-sims.jpg

But Jena was seen most following her man's two major victories. First, Fox’s Joe Buck got her name right this time when her man won a second straight U.S. Open:

180617-brooks-jena1.jpg

180617-brooks-jena1.jpg

SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JUNE 17: Brooks Koepka of the United States kisses girlfriend Jena Sims as they walk off the 18th green during the final round of the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 17, 2018 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Photo by: Streeter Lecka

Streeter Lecka

Which led to the two turning up the PDA to borderline NSFW while on vacay celebrating the win:

And then there was Jena’s interaction with another major champ following Brooks’ victory at the PGA Championship that drew even more attention:

And thus, another WAGs meme was born. While we're on the topic of Tiger, Woods flashed some serious PDA with a girlfriend for the first time in years when he gave Erica Herman a big kiss after winning the Tour Championship:

TOUR Championship - Final Round

TOUR Championship - Final Round

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 23: Tiger Woods and his girlfriend Erica Herman celebrate after the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Photo by: Stan Badz

Stan Badz

The celebratory smooches weren't always smooth, though. Aaron Wise’s somewhat awkward embrace with his girlfriend went viral after he won the AT&T Byron Nelson:

They’re young. They’ll get the hang of it.

But no one was as suave as Emiliano Grillo, who enlisted a plane to wish his wife happy birthday during the Wells Fargo:

Thanks for making the rest of us look bad, Emiliano.

On a much more somber note, Erin Walker revealed she had contracted Lyme disease like her husband, Jimmy. But Erin turned her news into a positive by speaking out about the illness:

And she continued to be a badass show jumper:

OK, we're back to fun stuff. We saw two of the game’s biggest stars get engaged. First, Rickie Fowler to Allison Stokke on a Hamptons beach (How romantic!):

And then Jon Rahm to Kelley Cahill. Unfortunately, Rahm didn’t have Justin Thomas to document the occasion like Rickie did, so here are a couple photos of the happy couple from that fancy Ryder Cup gala instead:

No word on if the wedding will be at the Palace of Versailles also. Talk about an expensive potential venue. . . Although, Rahm clearly spared no expense on the engagement ring, which he even played a role in designing. What a talented young lad. Golf.com’s Luke Kerr-Dineen got a good look at the gleaming rock boulder on Kelley's finger:

And how about some tour pro weddings in 2018? Smylie Kaufman became the first #SB2K member to take the plunge and he invited his Baker’s Bay boys to the big day:

Dustin Johnson’s brother and caddie, Austin, got married to Sam Maddox:

And Jordan Spieth tied the knot with high school sweetheart Annie Verret. The couple did a good job of keeping a tight lid on photos, but here’s a pre-wedding photo of guests:

And here’s a photo of Jordan and Annie (and Phil Mickelson) from the Ryder Cup:

42nd Ryder Cup - Day Three - Le Golf National

42nd Ryder Cup - Day Three - Le Golf National

Team USA's Jordan Spieth (left) with Annie Verret and Phil Mickelson (right) appear dejected on day three of the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Paris. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

Photo by: Gareth Fuller - PA Images

Gareth Fuller - PA Images

Sorry, there weren’t any trophy pics of Jordan and Annie this year because, well, planning a wedding and kicking out your roommates is a stressful time in a young man’s life.

By the way, that leaves Justin Thomas as the lone #SB2K member not engaged or married (No pressure, JT!). But he did help another couple get married during the Wells Fargo Championship:

It was during another tournament, the Wyndam Championship, when we thought a marriage might actually dissolve. C.T. Pan certainly didn’t give his wife much love for her caddying skills that week:

Ouch. But the duo finished runner-up, matching Pan’s best career finish. And more importantly, they didn’t let work come between them:

Wyndham Championship - Final Round

Wyndham Championship - Final Round

GREENSBORO, NC - AUGUST 19: C.T. Pan of Taiwan stands on the 18th green with his wife and caddie Michelle Lin during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 19, 2018 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Photo by: Jared C. Tilton

Jared C. Tilton

And there were several winning WAG caddies as well. Chris Paisley and his wife, Keri, won on the European Tour:

And Lee Westwood might enlist the help of girlfriend Helen Storey a lot more. After parting ways with longtime caddie Billy Foster, Westwood won his next start with Storey on the bag to break a five-year winless drought. Here's the lovely couple in their sweet matching UPS uniforms:

Nedbank Golf Challenge - Day Four

Nedbank Golf Challenge - Day Four

SUN CITY, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 11: Lee Westwood of England and Caddie and partner Helen Storey lift the trophy after Lee Westwood wins during Day Four of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player CC on November 11, 2018 in Sun City, South Africa. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Photo by: Warren Little

Warren Little

And speaking of a winless drought, Kate Rose’s co-owned horse (not pictured) entered some big races, but didn’t have the 2018 success of her husband, Justin, who claimed the FedEx Cup and reached No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking:

But Master Merion is still a Triple Crown-level name for a horse.

Finally, how about the year Andrew Johnston had? Beef didn't make the Ryder Cup and he didn't record a victory, but he won the love of Jodie Valencia — even with his trademark big beard:

And he followed the year's most bizarre display of PDA by popping the question successfully:

The photo booth images from that wedding are going to be a lot of fun.


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