The Shag Bag
19 SEP 2017
Another One Bites The Dust
The list of player-caddie break-ups on the PGA Tour this season grew yet again last week when Jason Day announced that he had parted ways with his long-time looper, Colin Swatton. Swatton has served as both a coach and father figure to Day ever since the Aussie first attended the Kooralbyn International School in Queensland at the age of 12. He is also the only caddie that Day has employed throughout his entire career on the PGA Tour. During Swatton’s tenure, Day won 10 PGA Tour events, including his only major championship and two WGC titles, and ascended to the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings. Unfortunately, 2017 has not been a banner year for the 29-year-old and his world rank has plummeted from 1st overall to 9th after failing to win a single event through 18 starts this season. “I’m blaming him for nothing,” Day explained to reporters prior to the BMW Championship last week. “The last couple of weeks were tough. I never wanted it to turn into a toxic relationship, where he’s taken me from where I was as a 12-year-old kid to where I am today and I’m not talking to him.” Luke Reardon, Day’s former roommate at Kooralbyn, will serve as the Australian’s interim looper for the remainder of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which culminate this week at the Tour Championship.
Video of the Week
It took less than 90 minutes for Wesley Bryan to play his final round at the BMW Championship. The South Carolinian, who began the day in last place, was not paired with anyone else as a result of Danny Lee withdrawing earlier in the week and that allowed Bryan to sprint in between his shots en route to a 2-under 69!
The LPGA Tour garnered a lot of criticism last week after it decided to shorten its final major of the season, the Evian Championship, to just 54 holes. The first round was suspended around noon on Thursday — and then cancelled outright later that day — following a torrential downpour that flooded the Evian Masters Golf Club in France. At the time, nearly half of the tournament’s 121 competitors had completed at least one hole and many of those players were not thrilled with the tour’s decision to nullify their scores and restart the tournament on Friday. That was especially the case for Jessica Korda, who was tied with South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu atop the leaderboard at two-under when play was suspended. The American sarcastically voiced her displeasure with the tour’s announcement on Twitter later that afternoon.
Golf writers and fans alike also took to social media to criticize the LPGA Tour’s decision and, within hours, the controversy began trending worldwide.
The flurry of negative press forced LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan to issue a statement on Thursday afternoon explaining why the tour decided to shorten the major to 54 holes rather than just extending it to a Monday finish.
Swings of the Week
These two videos demonstrate that it does not matter whether your golf swing is unconventional or fundamentally perfect, as long as you can hit the ball straight!
Shot of the Week
Ben Crane was already in a solid position in the Web.com Tour Finals race after finishing in a tie for 6th place at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship three weeks ago. So, it’s not exactly like he needed a tremendous result at the Albertsons Boise Open last week in order to keep his PGA Tour card hopes alive. Yet, despite his cushion in the standings, Crane had the sort of nightmarish week in Boise that you would not even wish upon your worst golfing rivals! After making par on his first hole of the tournament, Crane realized that he had forgotten to remove a tiny training sticker from his driver face and reported the infraction to a nearby Rules Official. As a result, Crane was assessed a pair of two-stroke penalties for carrying a golf club with an illegal attachment. Less than 10 minutes later, Crane reconvened with rules officials in order to disclose that his 6-iron also had a decal on it. That confession earned Crane another pair of two-stroke penalties and caused his score to balloon to 8-over par after just two holes! Despite the penalties, the 41-year-old worked his way back to just five-over par for the day and seemed genuinely optimistic about his chances for the rest of his week after the round.
Unfortunately, Crane never got an opportunity to grind his way back into contention in Idaho. That is because he was disqualified from the tournament prior to the start of play on Friday morning after he admitted to a Rules Official that he had known about the decal on his 6-iron when he initially reported his driver.