5 Things: When Langer met Trump, Eason breaks 90 and Mickelson's money match
1) When Langer met Trump.. or probably not
According to a report President Trump (I know, it still sounds ridiculous) collected together his House and Senate leaders and told a bizarre story about Bernhard Langer that illustrated voter fraud. Mr President supposedly claimed that he would have won the vote by three to million votes if it weren’t for the illegal voters.
And then Langer’s name came up. Three staff members said that Trump claimed that the German, a ‘very famous golfer’, was waiting to vote in Florida when he was informed that he wouldn’t be able to vote.
However people ahead and behind Langer in the queue who ‘did not look as if they should be allowed to vote’ were able to cast provisional ballots.
Which is all quite odd given that, while Langer is a permanent resident, he is a German citizen and therefore not allowed to vote.
Since then it has emerged that the story appears to be built on sand.
“He is not a friend of President Trump’s,” said Langer’s daughter, Christina. “I don’t know why he would talk about him.”
And then the two-time Masters champion released a statement which read:
“Unfortunately, the report in the New York Times and other news outlets was a mischaracterisation by the media. The voting situation reported was not conveyed from me to President Trump, but rather was told to me by a friend. I then relayed the story in conversation with another friend, who shared it with a person with ties to the White House. From there, it was misconstrued.”
2) How to save yourself 22 shots
Leicester’s Greg Eason had a memorable few weeks in the Bahamas on the Web.com Tour.
The former England international opened up his year with rounds of 91-95 two weeks ago. He then shot a 90 at the Great Abaco Classic which wasn’t exactly helped by taking 15 at the last.
“It’s like a driving range on that tee. Six off the tee, found the third one, a few drops, a few hacks and a few more hazards further up. Equally distributed left and right,” he explained.
But, after a tip from a friend, he found some game and produced a 68.
“He said I was a bit steep and I was generating loads of spin into the wind, any wind really, and it’s just too hard to play with that,” Eason said, “so I got myself together a bit and started hitting the ball properly, and saved 22 shots.
“I was a little sceptical going into the round but it’s obviously delightful to break par eventually, or even break 80, or even break 90, actually.”
3) And the hat of 2017 goes to..
Qatar champion Jeunghun Wang wore a relatively understated cap this week but his caddy more than made up for it.
While the now three-time winner went for a black number, with side sponsoring, his sidekick used the caps that his sponsor had sent the player.
Given it’s a bug W with an upturned WANG you can see why he didn’t fancy it but, in a golfing world of few surprises, it’s something different.
“Actually my sponsor give me to use it, but I don’t use it. My caddy uses it. It’s really cool.”
Kiradech Aphibarnrat won’t be doing the same..
4) Playing Phil for money
Phil Mickelson tells a good story and this is a cracker. Speaking on the Golf.com podcast the left-hander relates a tale of how he and Rickie Fowler once took on Brendan Steele and Keegan Bradley in a Tuesday money match at The Players.
What you need to know is that Bradley has been paying out for around a year and a half, he’s never won a penny and he’s all set to drop out of these pre-tournament get-togethers.
So this Tuesday at Sawgrass is going to be Bradley’s last if he has to pay out again.
Over to Mickelson: “Fast forward to the 12th green. Keegan and I have about a 16-footer and 14-footer, and I’m away. Now they’re 2 up. They’re 2 up. And as I’m standing over this putt, I back away, and I say, ‘Oh my goodness, this putt is the entire match.’
“And Keegan bit, and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, how so?’ which is what I was hoping he would say.
“And I said, ‘Well, if I miss, you’re going to make your putt. You have momentum, you’re going to make it, and you’re going to be 3 up with six to go, and you guys are going to win. But if I make it, you’re going to quick-peel yours low side. You’re going to be so pissed off, you and Brendan are going to give us a hole. Next thing you know, we’re going to be tied, Rickie and I are going to have momentum, we’re going to make a birdie or two coming in, probably beat you, 2 and 1.
“So I knock it in. I knock it in. And of either side he could have missed it on, he missed it low side. He quick-peeled it low side. Now they’re so pissed off, they both bogey the next hole, and we get that hole and now we’re tied. So Rickie and I birdie 15, 16 and 17, and win, 2 and 1.
“And I just chuckle about the story every time I hear it, because it’s just funny. And I don’t care about the money. I just love being able to – and I give him smack about this every time I see him.”
Bradley did take a year out but has since been back and has now won some matches.
5) It nearly got snagged up in the rough…
And, yes, he did make the putt
Just Phil being Phil. pic.twitter.com/G6EaonB1Jv
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 26, 2017