Hello. Welcome to another edition of The Slam. Isn’t it nice out? I hope you’re making the most of it. You can read this nonsense when you get back in.
What a day Sunday was on tour. Two very emotional winners in Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Nate Lashley. If you haven’t read their ridiculous back stories, it’s well worth a few minutes of your time – just click on their name, but remember to come back because I’ve got loads more.
Incidentally, Lasley’s girlfriend is called Ashley. Which begs the question: Will she take his name if they get married?
Did I hear that right? Nate Lashley’s girlfriend is called Ashley? pic.twitter.com/Zj69qUtQ91
— Alex Perry (@AlexPerryNCG) June 30, 2019
Right, like last week’s Slam let’s see how many song titles I can squeeze into one column…
Meet your master
Remember when Tiger Woods won the Masters in April? That was good, wasn’t it?
The 15-time major champion (it still feels weird saying that) has now received his fifth Masters trophy, which is a replica of Augusta National’s famous clubhouse made from sterling silver.
He let the world know on Twitter…
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) July 2, 2019
Pretty cool, but are those Ikea shelves?
What’s that all about, Tiger? Now, I’m not dissing Ikea at all. In fact I’m dragged there every few weeks – “Fine, as long as we can have meatballs” – but this is a man who has more money than almost everyone else on earth. A man that can afford to shop at Oak Furniture Land.
Tiger Woods. He’s one of us.
Long road to ruin
The Challenge Tour’s D&D Real Challenge in Slovakia this week means a return of the longest hole in professional golf.
Just the 783 yards.
The 15th hole at Penati’s legend course has 11 tee boxes and for members plays around 450 yards, but organisers have decided to make it more of a challenge for the big boys. It’s even plays as a par 6.
— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) July 6, 2016
But it’s nothing compared to the world’s longest hole. Gunsan Country Club in South Korea boasts a par 7 that tips out at 1,100 yards.
You don’t want to be taking three off the tee there…
Because I got high
Robert Garrigus (remember him?) is back in action at the inaugural 3M Open this week after a three-month suspension for failing a drugs test.
His offence? Smoking marijuana.
The tour’s anti-doping programme defines a “drug of abuse” as “recreational drugs that are often obtained illegally”.
But Garrigus, who is perhaps remembered more for losing the 2010 St Jude Classic to Lee Westwood in a play-off despite leading by three on the 72nd tee than he is his sole PGA Tour win a few months later at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic (remember that?), says he was prescribed a medical version of the drug to treat problems in his back and knees.
The 41-year-old golfer and marijuana farm owner, said: “I wasn’t trying to degrade the PGA Tour in any way, my fellow professionals in any way.
“I don’t cheat the game. I understand HGH (Human Growth Hormone), anything you are trying to do to cheat the game you should be suspended for 100 per cent. Everything else should be a discussion.”
He added: “If you are doing marijuana, then we should be testing for alcohol, too. If you can buy it in a store, then why are we testing for it? That’s my opinion.”
Now, I’m a bit of a goody two-shoes and never fell into drugs (why do people “fall into” drugs?) but I know plenty of people who did and, if anything, players should be rewarded for being able to play while high AF.
You can leave your hat on
Every single golfer on the planet has told a little porky pie to their other half about being somewhere else when they’re actually on the golf course. (Just this week I missed the kids’ bedtime because I couldn’t resist sneaking out for a sun-soaked nine holes and I’ll be making up for that for a while.)
So hats off – or, indeed, on – to this guy…
Two tickets to paradise
And finally, who’s off to Royal Portrush for the Open? If you haven’t got tickets by now, I don’t think you’ll have much luck.
And it’s starting to look that way for next year too. A little birdie from the R&A tells me that they have record-breaking numbers of sales for Royal St George’s too, with a lot of ticket options now into limited availability status.
If you’re planning on heading to Kent to watch the world’s best next July, you better step on it.
Speaking of the Open, Final Qualifying is one of the most ridiculous days of the calendar year and no-one wraps up the madness in 800 words quite like Mark Townsend.
Right, that’s enough from me for another week. What’s good on National Club Golfer dot com this week that you should definitely be reading? Well if you’re getting excited for Portrush we have LOADS of really cool exclusive interviews on our dedicated Open website, including Darren Clarke, Jordan Spieth and Tony Jacklin.
Here are some other suggestions…