Super Bowl week always results in an influx of news from the NFL. This year, the NBA stole a lot of the headlines with its trade deadline madness. That usually leaves very little space for one of the other “major” sports currently in season, golf. However, from lunch time Friday through the early afternoon on Saturday, the golf world experienced one of its craziest news cycles in history.
The influx of golf headlines begun as most of the east coast of the U.S. was starting to figure out their Friday lunch plans. The European Tour somewhat strangely announced that “Captain America” Patrick Reed had been given honorary lifetime membership on the European Tour.
This honor had only been given to three American members before him, neither of which were named Tiger Woods or Brooks Koepka, with the latter starting his pro career on the Euro Challenge Tour.
From there the news turned sad as it was announced that Alice Dye, wife of hall of fame architect Pete Dye and the mind behind the island green 17th at TPC Sawgrass had died.
After that though, the news just started to get weird for golf standards.
It started with this supposed “infraction” late in the 2nd round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
This is even worse than Haotong Li!! Y’all did my boy @_dennymccarthy dirty!! Practice swings, no intention to hit the ball, lines HIMSELF up, AND THEN GOES INTO HIS STANCE… get outta here @PGATOUR @WMPhoenixOpen pic.twitter.com/sbBbsaaLjl
— Brad Schneider (@bschneid117) February 2, 2019
As you can see from the video, that’s the caddy for Tour Pro Denny McCarthy standing behind him as he takes his practice strokes. McCarthy was hit with a two-stroke penalty for violating the new rule that says that a caddie can’t help in the alignment of a player or shot. The video clearly shows that McCarthy’s caddie had moved away from him well before McCarthy LINED HIMSELF UP and set up for his shot. Yet the 2 stroke penalty was still assessed.
Then, as the majority of the county was waking up on Saturday morning, they were waking up to the news that Sergio Garcia had been disqualified from the European Tour event in Saudi Arabia for what was initially called “misconduct” on the golf course. It was later reported that Garcia damaged not one, but five greens intentionally during his round. The damage to the greens was so bad that the groups behind him complained to rules officials, leading to Garcia’s DQ.
— Martin Dempster (@DempsterMartin) February 2, 2019
Around the same time that those reports about Sergio started making the rounds, reports and pictures started circulating of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus playing a round of golf with President Donald Trump.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2019
As Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte reported, it was the first time Tiger and Jack teed it up together in quite a long time.
— Tim Rosaforte (@RosaforteGolf) February 2, 2019
The news cycle then went full circle in a sense in terms of the rules violations. Just after 3pm on Saturday, as third round coverage of the Waste Management got going on NBC, the PGA Tour released a statement essentially admitting that the ruling against Denny McCarthy was BS and rescinded the 2 stroke penalty.
Wow. This is a huge deal. Essentially the PGA Tour, overnight, deemed the alignment rule as BS. And has given Denny McCarthy his two shots back. pic.twitter.com/MwbNJS6fH4
— Jay Coffin ⚰️ (@JayCoffin) February 2, 2019
Needless to say, the golf world has a 24 hours in the news cycle that we have never seen before. In case you got lost at any point, here is a quick summary of some of the major developments:
So, to recap the last 24 hours or so in the golf world:
🕳Sergio goes scorched earth on 5 greens
🕳Tiger & Jack playing with Trump
🕳Denny McCarthy getting hit with an awful 2 stroke penalty
🕳Patrick Reed being granted honorary lifetime Euro Tour membership
— Dan Hauser (@DanHauserGolf) February 2, 2019