Different Strokes: World’s top three snub Premier Golf League

Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka join Rory McIlroy, car park golf is back in fashion

Brooks Koepka has snubbed the Premier Golf League along with Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. Photograph:  Matt Sullivan/Getty

Brooks Koepka has snubbed the Premier Golf League along with Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. Photograph: Matt Sullivan/Getty

 

Top three reject Premier League

At least one end is in sight: Rory McIlroy got the ball rolling with his opposition to the proposed Premier Golf League and, in turn, the two players closest to him in the world rankings have thrown their full weight in favour of the PGA Tour and, by extension, the European Tour.

McIlroy was to the vanguard in stating his case, and both Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka have rowed in behind. Who knows when tour golf will get underway (even if the RBC Heritage stateside is remaining in the planning process, while the Andalucia Masters in Spain scheduled for April 30th-May 3rd remains on the schedule. . . both look unlikely, as do those events next in line!), but the PGL would look increasingly to be pushed to one side.

Rahm told magazine “Golfweek” that he was rejecting advances from the PGL. “What I’m going to do is focus on just the PGA Tour. At the end of the day I’m a competitor, I’m a PGA Tour member and I’m going to stay that way.”

He added: “I’m a younger player. The PGA Tour has been doing things extremely well. Hopefully I have a long career ahead on the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour has done such a great job with what we have and I’m really thankful for what they’ve done.”

Initially no-ncommittal on which way he would turn, Koepka too has finally shown his colours. “I am out of the PGL, I’m going with the PGA Tour. I have a hard time believing golf should be just about 48 players,” Koepka told agency AP.

So, with an emphatic 1-2-3 from the three top-ranked players! That, it would seem, is that!

Car park golf back in fashion

Car park golf was in evidence around the country over the weekend, as the throwback days of changing into shoes at the car boot became the new norm and the 19th hole became an isolated place.

Although a large number of upcoming events have been cancelled or postponed by the GUI and the ILGU - among those gone are the Irish Girls’ Open strokeplay at Roganstown and all regional and provincial squad coaching, the Irish Colleges’ match - the point has been made that golf is one of the few leisure activities that can still be played, with players following guidelines on social distancing recommended and shotgun starts among those on the no-go list.

With an older age profile of golf club memberships, the governing bodies have also recommended that clubhouse activities including bridge nights, choir practice etc be avoided.

In encouraging players to continue playing, a joint statement from the GUI and the ILGU stated: “Golf is a great sport for people generally to get out and about, exercise and enjoy fresh air. It is played in an outdoor setting where the risk of contracting Covid-19 is low. All golf clubs should, at this time, aim to keep their members and staff safe and well. As such, everyone should be keenly aware of the vulnerabilities golf clubs will face.”

Word of Mouth

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better start. It feels absolutely incredible and it really is a dream come true. Growing up as a kid, all I could ever dream of was playing on the Ladies European Tour and to come and win my first event, the feeling is indescribable. . . this has definitely happened a lot quicker than I thought it would” - Alice Hewson on winning the Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake in her first professional outing. The 22-year-old Englishwoman came from three shots behind to overtake Olivia Cowan to claim a breakthrough title having turned professional last September and earned a tour card when finishing fifth in the LET Q-School.

By the numbers

425 - Indian teenager Aadil Bedi’s win in the Bengal Open on the Professional Tour of India saw the 19-year-old jump from 1,081st in the official world rankings up to 656th, an improvement of 425 places.

Phil Mickelson in action during the first round of the postponed Players Championship. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA
Phil Mickelson in action during the first round of the postponed Players Championship. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

Twitter Twaddle

After arriving home safely and with a month off, I could sense things were going to go one way or the other. I was either going to use this time to workout, get fit and stronger or I was going to lay in bed, watch shows and eat. After day 1, the latter is in the lead - it didn’t take long for Phil Mickelson’s fitness regime to get the elbow.

Like @BKoepka @McIlroyRory my loyalty is with the @PGATOUR The way Jay Monahan and the Tour have handled the current situation makes me proud to be a member! One of many reasons I wanat to play on this Tour for the rest of my career #PGATour #ProudMember - add Bubba Watson’s name to list of those staying put.

It breaks my heart to end my college career this way. But I am forever grateful for the past four years at ASU. Thankful for all the memories, growth and fun with a group of amazing people - Olivia Mehaffey on finishing her golfing days at Arizona State after the collegiate season was called due to cronavirus. Mehaffey aims on breaking out onto the professional circuit (whenever it resumes) after she graduates.

Know the Rules

Q

In searching for his ball in an area covered by leaves, Player A kicks the ball and moves the leaves that were close to the ball. What happens next?

A

Under Rule 7.4/1 (Estimating original spot on which to replace ball moved during search), when a player’s ball is accidentally moved during a search and its original spot where it must be replaced must be estimated, the player should consider all reasonably available evidence about where the ball was located before it was moved: how the ball was found (whether it was stepped on, kicked or moved with a probing club or hand); if it was visible or not; and, its location relative to the ground and any growing objects, such as whether it was lying against or under grass and how deep in the grass it was located. In replacing the ball, the player is not required to replace loose impediments (such as leaves) that may have been moved since they are not part of the lie and, in many cases, it would be nearly impossible to reconstruct the original situation.

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