GolfDifferent Strokes

Climate activists won’t change their ways for golf

Pádraig Harrington to walk on hallowed ground; and Scottie Scheffler is still chasing Byron Nelson

Climate activists are apprehended on the 18th green by police officers during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on Sunday. Photograph: James Gilbert/Getty Images

Climate activists who staged protests at two tournaments on Sunday – firstly, delaying the final round of the KLM Open in the Netherlands by two hours by blocking the main entrance; and, secondly, invading the 18th green of the Travelers at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut – will probably target further disruptions.

In a press release issued by the activists, noting two spectators at the Travelers had on Saturday suffered injury due to lightning strikes, Extinction Rebellion claimed it wasn’t protesting against any individual or organisation, “rather, the protest highlights the worldwide danger of climate breakdown. Case in point: the last 13 months were the hottest on record, with extreme weather events around the globe.”

The protesters at the PGA Tour signature event – where Scottie Scheffler defeated Tom Kim in a playoff – let off smoke bombs on the 18th green and dumped white and red powdery substance on the putting surface, with greenkeeping staff changing the hole location for the sudden-death.

One of the players, Akshay Bhatia, said of the incident: “I was scared for my life.”

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A protester there wore a T-shirt bearing the words “No golf on a dead planet”.

Explaining the use of those words, the Extinction Rebellion spokesperson claimed: “Golf, more than other events, is heavily reliant on good weather. Golf fans should therefore understand better than most the need for strong, immediate climate action.”

Pádraig Harrington’s grounds for optimism
Tiger Woods in action at the US Amateur championship in 1995 in the Newport Country Club in Rhode Island. Photograph: JD Cuban/Allsport/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington et al will be stepping on to hallowed terrain when this week’s US Seniors Open is played at Newport Country Club on Rhode Island.

The inaugural US Amateur and US Open championships were played at the historic seaside venue in 1895, a links originally designed by the noted architect AW Tillinghast and restored by Ron Forse.

This championship was first pencilled in for 2020 but fell victim to the Covid-19 pandemic and had to be restored to the calendar in this slot.

Harrington – winner of the US Senior Open in 2022 – heads into this latest senior major with momentum after his three-peat in the Dick’s Open, which he won on Sunday for a third straight year. He is one of three Irish players in the field in Rhode Island, along with Darren Clarke and amateur Jody Fanagan, an old Walker Cup team-mate of Harrington who earned his exemption when reaching last year’s US Senior Amateur final.

Word of Mouth

“As far as going week-to-week in the season, there’s not really much time to kind of sit around and reflect. I was able to win the Memorial, but couldn’t really celebrate for too long because we had the US Open the next week. So, in terms of playing through the season, I try not to look too far into the past or look too far into the future. I’ve been very fortunate to come away with some wins this year and it’s been fun” – Scottie Scheffler on staying in the moment.

By the Numbers: 27,696,858
Scottie Scheffler during the final round of the Travelers Championship on Sunday. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

That’s the amount, in US dollars, that Scheffler has made in prize money so far this season. His win in the Travelers was his sixth on the PGA Tour this year. The record is held by Byron Nelson, with 18 in 1945, when many of his potential rivals were on military service.

On this day: June 25th, 1989

Ian Woosnam had to defy all manner of things to successfully defend his Carrolls Irish Open title at Portmarnock.

A year earlier, he’d been a runaway winner, seven strokes clear of a pack that included José Maria Olazábal and Nick Faldo; and a week before his defence, he had finished runner-up to Curtis Strange in the US Open.

Woosie made the transatlantic trip back on Concorde to ensure he would be up for the task of defending on the north Dublin links but he also had to contend with huge galleries who were very much behind Philip Walton in a final round that went down to the wire.

The Welsh wizard shot a closing 70 and Walton a closing 72 for the pair to be locked together on 278, which sent the two men into a playoff where Woosnam won with a 10-footer for birdie on the 18th in sudden-death.

X-Twitter Twaddle
Leona Maguire hits an approach shot on the 14th hole during the third round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club on Saturday in Sammamish, Washington. Photograph: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Nice to be back in the business end of things @KPMGWomensPGA Thank you @kpmggolf for the great hospitality and continuing to elevate the women’s game Time for a quick break and looking forward to a summer full of European golf! – Leona Maguire, who ultimately finished tied-24th, her best result in a major so far this season. She has the Evian and the AIG Women’s Open left.

Haven’t been home since January 3rd and haven’t seen my girls in over 4 weeks. Get me home @aerlingus Looking forward to the rest of the summer with some huge weeks coming up – Shane Lowry on beating travel disruptions for the flight back to Dublin.

Man we tried.. we gave it everything but it just wasn’t enough. Congrats @scottie.scheffler you deserve everything you’ve accomplished. You are a true champion but even a greater friend – Tom Kim tips the cap to Scottie Scheffler after their playoff in the Travelers.

That must be terrifying for Scottie. All the cops on the green ... ... – Ben An being Ben An.

Know the Rules

Q Players A and B are to play C and D in a four-ball match. However, A arrives just after B, C and D have teed off at the third hole. A is not allowed to play for the side until the fourth hole but A gives advice to B during the play of the third hole. What is the ruling?

A There is no penalty. This situation is governed by Rule 23.4: an arriving partner who is not allowed to play on a hole may still give advice or help to the other partner.

In the Bag

Amy Yang – KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Driver – Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees)

3-wood – Ping G430 Max (15 degrees)

Hybrid – Ping G430 (19 degrees)

Irons – Srixon ZX (4), Srixon ZX5 MkII (5-PW)

Wedges – Callaway JAWS Raw (50, 54 and 58 degrees)

Putter – Odyssey Ai-One #7 Cruiser

Ball – Titleist ProV1x