Different Strokes: Cameron Smith won’t bid farewell to the mullet

Mehaffey honoured with award, word of mouth, by the numbers and more

Cameron Smith high fives with his partner Marc Leishman during the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Cameron Smith high fives with his partner Marc Leishman during the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

 

Promises are made to be broken, certainly in the case of Aussie Cameron Smith – he of the famed mullet – who, after his win with Marc Leishman in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, has decided this is not the time to change his hair-style.

Smith, you see, had promised his girlfriend that he would get rid of the mullet haircut if he won an event on the PGA Tour.

Except, he has grown rather fond of the distinctive style and has opted to keep the locks flowing for the foreseeable future.

“I feel it’s part of me now,” said Smith, “it’s really cool, it gives the fans something to get behind. Lots of people love it and it’s good fun as well. It makes people laugh. I love it.”

Leishman doesn’t have the same issue but remarked of his compatriot’s mullet: “He’s got a cult following now, (the fans) are all over it. It’s awesome! They love Cam’s hair.”

On a more serious note, both Smith and Leishman have set their sights on representing Australia at the Olympic Games. Adam Scott’s decision not to put himself forward for the Olympics due to “scheduling” reasons has opened the way for Smith, currently ranked 25th in the world, and Leishman, ranked 37th, to secure the two spots available.

“I was kind of bummer I didn’t get in the team (at Rio in 2016). It was really a goal of mine, and I’d be thrilled if I’m there and contending on the weekend for a gold medal,” insisted Smith.

Mehaffey honoured with Pac-12 award

Olivia Mehaffey has been named as the 2021 Pacific-12 Women’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the year, an award established to honour collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.

The Co Down golfer - who is completing a Masters at Arizona State - is due to move into the professional ranks when she graduates but her final year at the college has witnessed some stellar play on the golf course, with three top-10 finishes this season, but has also achieved stellar results academically. Having completed her undergraduate degree in sociology, Mehaffey is currently completing her graduate degree in organisational leadership.

Word of Mouth

“I spoke to Gary actually and he just said there is no such thing as a lead and you should play like you’re two behind” - Garrick Higgo, the 21-year-old South Afircan who had a phone call from Gary Player prior to the final round of the Gran Canaria Open where he claimed his second career European Tour win in just his 24th start.

By the Numbers

9: Louis Oosthuizen has enjoyed a stellar career, although the South African’s quest to claim a PGA Tour win on American soil remains elusive: his only PGA Tour win actually came in The Open at St Andrews in 2010 and his runner-up finish alongside Charl Schwartzel in the Zurich Classic means that he now has nine second places to his name, including all four majors. His latest attempt to break his duck stateside comes at this week’s Valspar Championship.

In the bag

Brooke Henderson, LA Open winner

Driver - Ping G400 (9 degrees)

3-wood - Ping G400 (14 degrees)

5- wood - Ping G400 (17.5 degrees)

Hybrid - Ping G400 (22 degrees)

Irons - Ping i210 (5-Utility Wedge)

Wedges - Ping Glide Forged (52 degrees and 60 degrees)

Putter - Ping Sigma 2 Fetch

Ball - Titleist ProV1

Twitter Twaddle

“I hear what the PGA Tour are saying, but recently I asked for an invite into an event and they gave it to Martin Kaymer instead. Putting aside all the majors, tournament wins, Ryder Cup winning putts, good looks, I’d still say it was a huge mistake on their part . . . . . so when push comes to shove, we can still be confident that the PGA Tour will give invites to those who deserve it based on credibility, and not based on crass jokes about socks” - Eddie Pepperrell being Eddie Pepperrell.

“Such a fun week in New Orleans at the @Zurich_Classic. Would’ve never known I had an ace if it wasn’t for my pardz @mattwallace jumping all over me!” - Graeme McDowell, on not realising he’d had a hole-in-one during the Zurich Classic.

“Let me get this straight. There’s 40 mil in play for the guys on the @pgatour based on social media likes and follows and tweets?! The only tweets I’ve ever heard make you money are birdie tweet tweets! Good luck with that” - Freddie Couples giving it straight.

On this day (April 27th, 1997)

Frank Nobilo, apparently, includes pirates among those in his family lineage and the New Zealander’s win in the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic in North Carolina - in terrible weather conditions - was considered something of a steal, with Brad Faxon the victim.

Nobilo had won a number of tournaments on the European, Asian and Australasian circuits, but - at age 36 - had found his rookie season on the PGA Tour something of a struggle. Having missed three cuts in five weeks, the New Zealander considered skipping the tournament at Forest Oaks only to be persuaded to enter by his travelling room-mate Ernie Els.

With rounds of 69-69-69-67 for a total of 14-under par 274 (including a closing run of six birdies in his final 11 holes), Nobilo made up a five-stroke deficit and tied with Faxon. Although the 18th was near unplayable for the sudden death play-off, Nobilo defied the weather conditions to hit a 75 yards third shot to eight feet to set up a par while Faxon’s short game deserted him in taking three from the fringe.

The win - Nobilo’s only success on the PGA Tour - marked a comeback from a debilitating shoulder and arm injury that had put his career in doubt. “This is going to be the one I’ll always remember. Because of what I overcame, this goes to the top of the tree.”

Know the Rules

Q: In walking onto a teeing area, a player accidentally trips over the tee-marker and, in so doing, moves it out of position. Is there a penalty for his actions?

A: No, not in this instance. Rule 6.2b(4)/1 deems that the tee-marker moved in such a manner by a player should be replaced without any penalty. The rule states that, before making a stroke when playing from a teeing area, a player must not move a tee-marker in the teeing area to improve the conditions affecting a stroke (however, moving it by tripping over it does not apply or result in a penalty). If a tee-marker is moved, it should be replaced in its original position.

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