A Gimme Gaffe
Augusta, MO — In past years, the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship has not garnered much media attention. However, last Friday’s semi-final match between Erica Shepherd and Elizabeth Moon ended in such a bizarre and controversial manner that it made headlines across the world! After Shepherd came roaring back at the end of regulation to send the match into extra holes, both players had good looks for birdie on the 19th. Shepherd went first, missed by a couple of inches and then picked her ball up after Moon conceded her putt for par. However, when Moon missed her birdie putt by a similar distance and raked her ball back in disgust, Shepherd informed her opponent that she had not yet conceded the putt.
Click here to watch the incident.
Interestingly, Shepherd told officials in the ensuing deliberation that she would have conceded the putt if Moon had given her a chance to do so. Nonetheless, Moon was assessed a one-stroke penalty and Shepherd went on to win the match by default. As you can imagine, the result, which closely mirrored the Suzann Pettersen/Alison Lee debacle from the 2015 Solheim Cup, caused an uproar on Twitter immediately following the match’s conclusion. Many commenters criticized Shepherd’s lack of sportsmanship down the stretch:
Others, like Golfweek’s Kevin Casey, were quick to defend Shepherd, alleging that the Indiana native did nothing wrong:
Obviously, the golf gods were not displeased with the result because Shepherd went on to win Saturday’s 36-hole finale over opponent Jennifer Chang by a score of 3 & 2 to become the 69th champion in the history of the tournament.
Canadian Open Net
Oakville — In the days leading up to this year’s Canadian Open, tournament organizers at Glen Abbey set up boards and a hockey net on the 7th tee and challenged some of the world’s best iron strikers to show off their hockey skills. Some of the players were up to the task, including Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson and Mike Weir, who all impressed the gallery with their well-placed snapshots and good form. Others, like Smiley Kaufman and J.B. Holmes, did not fare nearly as well. Kaufman, whose left leg kept mysteriously rising in his follow-through, shanked a couple of shots and clanked one off of the crossbar, while Holmes was so embarrassed that he gave up after just one attempt. Even Jack Nicklaus got in on the fun, firing off a couple of wrist shots in front of a delighted crowd.
Much A-Boo About Nothing
United Kingdom — There were a lot of bad takes after Jordan Spieth’s 30-minute eventful 13th hole and subsequent comeback at Royal Birkdale two weeks ago. However, no take was as hilariously misinformed as that of Jim Bowens, an Englishman from Devon County, who wrote a letter to the Daily Express condemning his countrymen for booing American Matt Kuchar after each of his shots. Clearly, Bowens did not understand that spectators at the Open were actually yelling “Kuuuch” in support of the 39-year-old! Lol! Maybe it was the Englishman’s first time watching golf?
Trick Shot of the Week
While playing his practice round at Glen Abbey last week, Harold Varner III went into the fairway bunker on the 18th hole and successfully recreated the iconic 213-yard strike over water that Tiger famously hit in 2000 to seal the Canadian Open. Incredibly, Varner III pulled it off on his first attempt!
Video of the Week
Dustin Johnson hit his tee shot so far left on 10 at Glen Abbey on Thursday that his ball ended up in the parking lot. And even though he played it off by laughing afterwards, we’re not sure if DJ was actually joking when he asked a nearby rules official if one of the cars behind his ball could be moved!
Shank of the Week
Keeping your down through impact is important, but at what price?
Interview of the Week
Long drive competitor Maurice Allen got really excited during an interview between rounds at the Mile High Showdown in Colorado last week and channeled his inner Ric Flair! Woooo!