American professional Ken Weyand became an unlikely source of discussion in Dubai, so who is he and why was he in the field on the DP World Tour?
But for very different reasons, an unknown professional with no previous tour experience also caught the eye.
Ken Weyand shot an 87 in the first round of the inaugural Dubai Invitational, and things didn’t get better.
The American finished a staggering 53-over-par following more rounds of 82, 82, and 86.
DP World Tour player Richard Mansell was in Weyand’s company for the first two rounds, which he admitted wasn’t always plain sailing.
“It’s been a tricky few days and I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t distracting,” Mansell said, as reported by James Corrigan of the Telegraph.
“Look, I saw what Eddie posted and I’ve read a few more comments and I can understand where they’re coming from. But the way I look at it is that without the sponsor, this tournament doesn’t happen.
“So for their special two invites, or whatever they got this week, they can invite who they want, I suppose. That’s golf. I do feel for Matty Jordan, though (the event’s next reserve).”
Eddie Pepperell wasn’t best-pleased with Weyand’s inclusion in the tour’s first event of 2024:
“Limited field of only 60 pros, and old Ken Weyand gets an invite and then does this. I don’t care if he’s Ken from Barbie – it shouldn’t happen,” Pepperell said on X.
This is indeed how Weyand got a spot in the 60-man field. He and Thomas Bjorn were on the entry list under sponsorship invitations, but who is this mystery golfer?
Who is Ken Weyand?
Weyand is a 54-year-old club professional who happens to be the director of golf, general manager and President of The Grove XXIII – the golf club belonging to basketball icon Michael Jordan.
Weyand began working at the exclusive club in Hobe Sound, Florida in 2017 and as reported by the Telegraph, he was meant to be joined by Jordan at the Pro-Am event at Dubai Creek this week.
Jordan didn’t play but Weyand remained in the field and as there was no cut, he was able to complete four rounds on his first-ever tour start.
He eventually finished 72 shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who birdied the final two holes in thrilling fashion to leapfrog McIlroy and Thriston Lawrence to victory.
53-over-par isn’t the worst score over four rounds in professional golf though.
This unwanted accolade appears to belong to Mike Reasor who shot 93-over-par at the 1974 Tallahassee Open.
Having made the cut, Reasor suffered damaged knee ligaments, torn rib cartilage and a separated left shoulder after coming off a friend’s horse into a tree.
He endeavoured to play, competing one-handed with a 5-iron which led to rounds of 123 and 114 at the weekend.
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