Tour Notebook: Gimmegate 2 and Rory’s valuable lessonSeptember, 2015
A round-up of the best stories of the week
Gimmegate: part 2
If you thought that Suzann Pettersen’s behaviour was close to the mark then this puts it in the shade.
In last week’s PGA Cup David Dixon thought he had been conceded a THREE-INCH putt at the 11th in the singles of the club pros’ equivalent of the Ryder Cup.
His opponent, the Texas-based Australian Stuart Deane, claimed the hole which got him back to two back.
But the honorary president of the PGA of America, Allen Wronowski, heard news of the incident and, thankfully, stepped in.
He met the two players on the 13th and, after talking to the players, decided to concede the 14th without a ball being struck.
Wronowski, who had seen the Pettersen incident earlier in the day, said: “We always say that someone will walk away with the trophy but the ultimate winner always has to be golf.”
Dixon went on to win 4&3. He added: “I have never seen anything like that in 15 years of playing professional golf.
“It was a blatantly deliberate act of bad sportsmanship as the referee had already said the hole had been halved in 4s.
“Fair play to the US team captain for giving the hole back – that was really cool – but it was much to his (Deane’s) disgust.”
Great Britain & Ireland went on to win the 13.5-12.5.
Lesson learnt for Rory
It is easy to forget that Rory McIlroy won in Dubai at the start of the season and then won his first WGC-Match Play before, two weeks, later conjuring up a 61 at Quail Hollow en route to a second Wells Fargo Championhsip.
There were also late runs at both the Masters and US Open but, when asked last week what lesson he has learnt for the future, his reply was simple.
“Don’t play football in the middle of the season.”
He added that he had maybe put too much pressure on himself going into the big ones, understandable having spent the previous eight months ahead of the Masters being asked about a possible career Grand Slam.
Visa concern for Horsfield
There was much debate as to the reason Sam Horsfield didn’t take up his place on Great Britain & Ireland’s Walker Cup side.
There was talk of whether he hadn’t gelled with his team-mates and eyebrows were raised when he played in a college event on the same weekend as the matches at Lytham.
When he pulled out he cited ‘personal reasons’.
But the truth is he had a good reason for not playing. The 18-year-old has lived in the States since he was five but he was unable to obtain the necessary paperwork so there might have been a problem in getting back into the country.
Dunne leaves amateur game
Over half the Walker Cup team have now joined the professional ranks.
Paul Dunne, who led going into the last round of this year’s Open Championship, will tee it up in the Dunhill Links this week alongside his Lytham team-mates Jimmy Mullen and Ashley Chesters. Gary Hurley, Jack Hume and Gavin Moynihan have also turned pro. Moynihan played in last week’s Italian Open where he missed the cut.
‘The referee had already said the hole had been halved in 4s’ – David Dixon Lowry scoops August award
The European Tour’s Golfer of the Month for August was Shane Lowry following his stunning win at the Bridgestone.
The Irishman picked up his first WGC victory, ahead of Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Jim Furyk, and closed out the win with an unlikely birdie at the 72nd hole. Only Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy had won at Firestone previously.
Thomas Pieters, who clinched his maiden title at the Czech Masters, was second with David Horsey, who won in Denmark, in third.
Ping re-signs Oosthuizen
Louis Oosthuizen has signed a multi-year deal to continue playing Ping clubs and wearing their apparel.
The South African, who was second at the US Open and Open Championship, will play a minimum of 11 Ping clubs including the driver and putter.
Furyk struggling to make Korea
Jim Furyk is facing a race against time and injury to make the Presidents Cup on October 8.
The 2010 FedEx Cup champion withdrew from the Tour Championship having pulled out of the BMW Championship after just six holes.
Should he not make the biennial team competition then captain Jay Haas will be able to choose whoever he likes to make up the American team.
In the meantime Furyk will have to console himself with the unofficial money for last place – $132,000 – as well as the bonus for wherever he ends up in the FedEx Cup.