Hello. Welcome to this week’s edition of Dialled In. This week I am absolutely astonished to discover that Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are friends. I am shocked this has not been mentioned before. Shocked.
Anyway, let’s just get on with it so we can all get on with our lives…
The JT-Spieth convergence
Ridiculous questions are part and parcel of a golfer’s media conference. I’ve been lucky enough to sit in dozens down the years and there will always be at least one person who raises a smile by asking a question that you wouldn’t even ask if you out for a beer with the golfer on stage.
Then there are the Japanese journalists who, at every single major, ask each golfer that approaches the microphone what they think of their countryman Hideki Matsuyma.
And now the new in-thing is for reporters to bring up his friendship with Jordan Spieth in every Justin Thomas press conference.
Take this week after the latter triumphed at the CJ Cup in Korea, for instance.
First up was this reporter who thinks that once you’ve played one golf course in a country you’ve played ’em all: “We know that you are very close friends with Jordan Spieth, who played at the Presidents Cup in Korea in 2015. Did Jordan tell you anything regarding the courses and how to attack them?”
Thomas managed to not sound too irritated: “No, Jordan definitely didn’t. It’s a totally different golf course and a totally different tournament. It’s not like you can just play the same throughout the entire country. He just wished me luck. No one has ever played here before so you can’t really ask for advice on how to play in a place no one’s ever played before. It was really just a lot of unknown coming here just trying to get the lay of the land as much as I could when I got here in these past couple of days.”
Next up, this bizarre segue: Are you used to such windy conditions? If you were to give Jordan Spieth any advice playing on this course, what would you say?”
Thomas replied: “Jordan has played a lot of golf in the wind. He doesn’t need advice from me to help him.” He probably stopped just shy of screaming “JORDAN HAS WON THE OPEN!”
The final question – “If you were to come back next year would you convince your good friend Jordan Spieth to come with you?” – got exactly the response it deserved: “I don’t care what he does.”
This theory from Ryan Ballengee of Golf News Net probably isn’t far off the mark…
Someone def trolled Justin Thomas all week. 3 questions name dropping good friend Jordan Spieth! pic.twitter.com/GjT4MIjKe4
— Ryan ⛳engee (@RyanBallengee) October 22, 2017
No more questions
If you don’t know what No Laying Up are all about, you should. The PGA Tour is finally seeing sense and accrediting blog sites – and it’s paying off, if this exchange is anything to go by…
My first ever press conference question did not go to waste pic.twitter.com/vZYkb1nBJG
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) October 22, 2017
The “thanks for the question” from JT is quite telling here.
No Perez in Paris?
Speaking of No Laying Up, they reminded me on Sunday that the PGA Tour’s so-called Fall Series has no affect on the Ryder Cup standings. Which is bad news for everyone’s second favourite golfer Pat Perez…
Pat Perez wins the CIMB and finishes T-5 at the CJ Cup and gets rewarded with exactly zero Ryder Cup points.
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) October 22, 2017
Yep. Really. The in-form American has earned the square root of sweet FA in his bid to make his Ryder Cup debut at Le Golf National next September.
This is because Team USA’s Ryder Cup “Task Force” – or whatever the hell they call themselves these days – decided a while back that they don’t like the PGA Tour wrap-around season. (Well, I’m with them on that one.)
Here’s how it all works. Take a deep breath…
- 2017 major championships: 1 point for every $1,000 earned
- 2017 WGC events and the Players Championship: 1 point for every $2,000 earned
- 2018 major championships: 2 points for every $1,000 earned for the winner; 1.5 points for every $1,000 earned for everyone else
- 2018 WGC events and regular PGA Tour events: 1 point for every $1,000 earned (starting January 1 and ending August 12)
My brain hurts. Though probably not as much as Perez’s…
Time is on Europe’s side
This is how the US and European teams would line up if the qualification process ended today:
— Nosferatu (@VC606) October 22, 2017
I know who my money would be on…
USA No. 1 (and 2, and 3)
More good news for Jim Furyk – three of the men who will certainly be heading to France now top the world rankings after Thomas’s win.
It’s the first time in a while, too…
Last 2 times 1-2-3 in the World were American:
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) October 22, 2017
The average age of the 2010 trio? 39 years and 2 months.
The average age of the current top 3? 27 years and 4 months.
Remember the stinger?
Another week, another Tiger Woods progress video.
In eight weeks the GOAT has gone from “the doctor said I could do some chipping”, to “smooth iron shots”, to “making progress” with the driver, to THE STINGER!
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) October 23, 2017
At the rate he’s going, if the Masters was tomorrow he would win it by 10.
Oh, and I couldn’t resist…
"Oh and Virginia, so you know, my jacket size is 44 long and my right arm is a little longer than my left." https://t.co/a97JW2oCWI
— Alex Perry (@AlexPerryNCG) October 24, 2017
Celebrate good times
Jamie Donaldson was a hero at Gleneagles three years ago, but went into this week’s Valderrama Masters needing a good finish to retain his European Tour card.
He was in pretty good spirits ahead of the round…
— Daryl Coyne (@DarylCoyne) October 22, 2017
And he was in an even better mood after…
— Jamie Donaldson (@DonaldsonJamie) October 22, 2017
Just point and speak louder
Elsewhere in Spain, tournament host Sergio Garcia thought he’d help some of his European counterparts learn how to pronounce the names of his fellow countrymen and it is well worth one minute and 27 seconds of your day…
Tour players + one language they can't speak =
Sergio's Spanish Lessons. ?? pic.twitter.com/oru9cBEHaw
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 20, 2017
The KJ Factor
And finally, I don’t think this video of nine-time PGA and European Tour winner KJ Choi needs much introduction.
wow!!! have you ever seen KJ choi singing before? pic.twitter.com/lI0KKbt50v
— Danny Lee (@dannygolf72) October 19, 2015
The answer you seek, Danny, is no.