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The Shag Bag

29 AUG 2017

A Payne-ful Farewell

Billy Payne retired as the chairman of Augusta National and the Masters Tournament on Wednesday, after holding the position for over a decade. During his tenure, the 69-year-old oversaw the admittance of the club’s first female members and spearheaded numerous grow-the-game initiatives, including the annual Drive, Chip, & Putt competition that now precedes The Masters. Payne also played essential roles in the club’s acquisitions of neighbouring lands and in the construction of several beautiful buildings on the property, including the new spectacular media centre and Berckmans Place, a 100,000 square-foot hospitality area near the fifth hole. Former USGA President Fred Ridley will officially take over the helm from Payne in October. Ridley, who won the 1975 U.S. Amateur, has served as the chairman of the club’s competition committee for more than a decade.

“I retire knowing that it is simply the right thing to do,” read Payne in a statement. “And at the right moment — to open the door and invite someone new to be called upon to lead, bring forth new ideas and craft a new vision that will honour our founders and serve the game of golf for years to come.”

Easy Pickings

When you think of short golf holes, the 7th at Pebble Beach and the 17th at TPC Sawgrass immediately come to mind. However, even those holes seem gigantic compared to the par 3 16th at Himmerland Hills, where European Tour players played last week’s Made In Denmark event. Although the hole can be stretched to 133 yards, the par 3 played much shorter on Thursday measuring to a measly 86 yards from the tips! Obviously, that is not enough distance to challenge some of the world’s best players and the field responded to the pitch-and-putt by posting a scoring average of well under 3 on the hole for the round. There were even two aces on the hole on Thursday, as South African Zander Lombard two-hopped his tee shot into the cup, while Italian Eduardo Molinari spun his ball into the hole off of a backdrop behind the cup. To be honest, we were surprised there weren’t more aces from that distance …

Don't Mess with DeLaet

After Graham DeLaet tweaked his back on Friday at the Northern Trust Open and withdrew from the tournament, a fantasy golf player called him out on Twitter for ruining his chances in a weekly pool on Draft Kings.

DeLaet, who has had a history of back problems over the course of his career, did not take kindly to the message and let his critic know, in an indignant response, that performing well for fantasy golf owners is of no importance to him.

DeLaet’s detractor drew some substantial heat on Twitter following the exchange and ultimately apologized to the Canuck for his insensitive comments, but not before a full-blown Twitter feud erupted between the Canadian’s army of fans and a group of fantasy golf players, bent on supporting one of their own.

Video of the Week

There are plenty of instructional videos online educating golfers about the proper way to swing a golf club, but how many videos have you seen that teach the art of safely breaking your irons over your knee after a lousy shot? “How’s my posture?” “Yeah, you’ve got to have the hips a little further back for this one!”

Trick Shot(s) of the Week

We don’t know how good the rest of this guy’s game is, but his chipping is certainly on point. (Number four was our favourite, by the way!)

Swing of the Week

Brandt Snedeker, who withdrew from the FedEx Cup Playoffs citing a rib injury, posted this video of an amateur golfer’s terrible swing to his Twitter account last week. Snedeker was apparently trying to help this poor guy shed a Barkley-esque hitch in his downswing. However, as the 2012 FedEx Cup champion found out first-hand, some people’s swings are just downright incurable!


Shot of the Week

Dustin Johnson nailed his drive an incredible 341 yards on the first playoff hole, outdriving opponent Jordan Spieth by a whopping 79 yards!