European Tour

DP World Tour: Irish stars relishing Mount Juliet homecoming

Pádraig Harrington, Shane Lowry and Séamus Power are excited to tee it up in front of the packed home crowds at Mount Juliet Estate for this week’s Horizon Irish Open.

The home favourites will be backed by Irish golf fans in their thousands, with a sold-out weekend and only a limited number of tickets remaining for the first two days, as all three players return to compete on home soil for the first time this year. Harrington, the 2007 winner of this event, arrives in County Kilkenny having secured his maiden Senior Major title at last week’s U.S. Senior Open at Saucon Valley, where he earned a one-stroke victory over fellow former Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker.

Power, the World Number 36, returns to his home Open for the first time in three years and the first time since becoming a PGA TOUR winner at the 2021 Barbasol Championship in Kentucky.

The highest-ranked player in the field at Mount Juliet is 2019 Open Champion Lowry, who currently occupies 24th on the Official World Golf Ranking, and arrives home off the back of an excellent run of form during which he has missed only one cut in 2022.

Australia’s Lucas Herbert will defend the title he won in wire-to-wire fashion at Mount Juliet last year, while Rolex Series winners Tyrrell Hatton, Thomas Pieters, Aaron Rai and Min Woo Lee will also tee it up this week. Make-A-Wish Ireland, the Official Charity of the Horizon Irish Open, will benefit from the Birdies for Wishes initiative this week whereby every birdie on the 18th hole at Mount Juliet during tournament play will result in a €500 donation to the charity.


Pádraig Harrington: “It’s great to be back after a win. Great to have won on the Champions Tour.  I’ve gone out there for that very reason, to win, rather than play regular events and finish in the top ten.

“Coming here, the crowds, it was a nice atmosphere with people congratulating me. I’m sure it will be like that for the rest of the week. It can be tough being at your home Open, especially if you don’t play well or you’re in the middle of the pack and things aren’t going so well, you feel like you’re letting down the fans.  I think Mount Juliet lends itself to a great event. It’s got a great atmosphere. All the players are on site. So the players enjoy themselves, and with the crowds coming in, there should be a great buzz. Whoever wins here or gets themselves in contention this week will know all about it. I’m looking forward to it.

“The fans are out and it’s a great week, great venue, Mount Juliet, so I’m going to enjoy myself no matter what, wave to the crowds.  My display of golf today wouldn’t give you any great confidence about how the rest of the four days, but 24 hours is a long time in golf so I’m hoping that I’ll be well rested by tomorrow.”

Shane Lowry: “I say it every year, it’s always great to come back to this event. It’s kind of close to me, and I owe a lot to it for where I am in the game with the start that I had with the Irish Open in 2009 and it gave me the kick start to my career that I really needed. It definitely gave me one up on the rest of the guys around my level at the time. 

“It’s nice to come back here every year. I’m playing some good golf, and I’m just kind of excited for the week ahead, and I’m very hopeful that I put in a good performance. It’s been a nice stretch for me, and I feel confident, I feel good about my game. It’s just about managing expectation in a week like this really, but I feel like I’m doing that every week because I feel like every week I play now is such a big week, and every week I really want to do well. 

“I’d love myself to do well this week. I’d love myself to be the Irishman to do well. I think obviously Séamus or Padraig, or even anybody, we were all up there on Sunday afternoon, and one of us won it. So it would be great for the tournament and it’d be great for golf if that was the case.”

Séamus Power: “It’s one I’ve had circled on the calendar for probably six months now, it’s going to be great. I haven’t played since 2019 as obviously the last couple years with COVID has been tricky. I think it’s going to be sold out, and it’s going to be a great week.

“As soon as I saw the draw with Shane, I thought this is going to be pretty cool. Probably some of the biggest crowds that I’ve seen, I’d imagine, with Shane. I’ve known Shane a long time. Haven’t played a ton of competitive rounds as professionals together. We played quite a few practise rounds together, so I think it’s going to be really, really good out there. Big crowds and hopefully the weather is good. It’s a completely different experience for me. I’ve played in the States for a long time. I haven’t played that many Irish Opens, and obviously none really as someone near a featured group. 

“So it’s going to be a different experience. I feel like I have a good plan set up for it. At the end of the day, I’m going to start a golf tournament tomorrow morning. No matter where it is, I still have to be prepared, do proper warm-ups, having everything taken care of preparation-wise and see where my game stands.”

European Tour

European Tour: Fitzpatrick set to follow brother’s footsteps on pro debut in Ireland

Alex Fitzpatrick will follow in his brother Matt’s footsteps when the Englishman makes his professional debut this week at the Horizon Irish Open, the same tournament in which the recently-crowned U.S. Open Champion entered the paid ranks in 2014.

The Fitzpatrick family made global headlines less than three weeks ago when the older of two brothers, Matt, claimed a maiden Major title at The Country Club in Brookline, prompting emotional scenes on the 18th green with Alex, along with their parents Russell and Sue.

Having watched his brother make history in Boston, 23-year-old Alex is now ready to make his own mark on the professional game as he plays his first event as a professional at Mount Juliet Estate – following an impressive amateur career which included Walker Cup appearances in 2019 and 2021.

He has already had some experience among the professional elite – making the cut as an amateur at last year’s Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale, before playing at the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship three months ago.

Matt Fitzpatrick claimed a share of 29th position when he made his own professional debut at the island of Ireland’s national open eight years ago, kicking off a career which has thus far yielded a Major title among seven other DP World Tour victories.

Australia’s Lucas Herbert will return to Mount Juliet Estate this week to defend the title he won in wire-to-wire fashion last year, while Tyrrell Hatton will be targeting his first win of the 2022 season in an event at which he has already claimed two top five finishes.

Player quotes:

Alex Fitzpatrick: “I found out about the invite probably two or three weeks ago, I was incredibly excited.

“So obviously it’s funny, following in your brother’s footsteps but sometimes that isn’t a bad thing, especially the route that he’s gone. Hopefully it might open a few doors, but if it doesn’t, I still have to play good golf and if I don’t play good golf, then doors will be shut. Just all about enjoying myself and working hard and hopefully get some good results.

“We’re different in a lot of ways. Our games are completely different. I would say he’s a great driver of the golf ball and a great putter, and I would say my iron and short game would be better than his, which is hard to say when he’s just won the U.S. Open. I think if we were one player, we would be pretty good as well.

“Mainly he tells me all the time, “Hit it straight and you’ll be just fine.” If I can start doing the same stuff he does, then hopefully I’ll be fine.

“I’ve got a great caddie this week in Martin, one of Billy Foster’s friends. Incredibly knowledgeable and incredibly funny as well. So I noticed he was a Leeds fan, so giving each other a bit of stick about that.”

Lucas Herbert: “It’s pretty sweet to be back. Just getting around the property, seeing it all again, bringing back memories from last year, it’s pretty nice.

“I just went to play the back nine now and hit a lot of the shots that I sort of remember hitting last year. 

“I feel like I’ve watched the highlights so many times; all the pins are right there in the back of my memory so distinctly.  It’s been kind of nice to get back and just have a bit of a stroll down memory

“This year it’s just finding that consistency has been tough. I feel I turned a little bit of a corner. The game feels like I have the ability to hit the shots. It’s just putting everything and the structure in place around it to produce a little bit more of that consistency. I think we’ve turned a corner. 

“Most of our practice round today we were discussing the crowd, how excited, especially around 14 green, how excited they were getting.

“They are always really respectful. Obviously they are getting pretty vocal for me last year but I feel like they are really respectful. They knew when to clap and when not to and in terms of what a good shot looked like.

“This week and the next two weeks in Scotland and The Open, everyone on Tour knows they are some of the best crowds on Tour. They appreciate good golf when they see it.  It’s something I’m definitely looking forward to having around again this year.”

Tyrrell Hatton: “The course seems good. Obviously had quite a bit of rain over the last few days so it’s pretty soft out there, which is to be expected. It should be a fun week.

“The U.S. Open and the week prior wasn’t great. I did a bit of work with my dad last week to get back to how I should be swinging it. We’ll see come Thursday if I’m able to play a bit better, but I’ll try my best.

“That was obviously amazing watching Fitzy win there. Obviously delighted for him and his family, his whole team, it’s brilliant. It would be nice if we could kind of follow in his footsteps now.

“I’d say it definitely motivated me last week out there and try and sort my swing out again rather than just going through the motions.

“If I can have a good week here, hopefully that leads into a good week at the Scottish and The Open.  Like I said, we’ll be trying our best to play well.”

Top Tours

DP World Tour, PGA Tour Expand and Strengthen Alliance

The DP World Tour and the PGA TOUR have moved to significantly strengthen not only their existing alliance but also help develop players to compete at the pinnacle of men’s professional golf, by unveiling a ground-breaking new 13-year operational joint venture partnership.

The partnership, through to 2035, builds on the success of the existing Strategic Alliance between the two Tours that was unveiled in November 2020 and which has already seen tangible benefits for members of both Tours, not least the co-sanctioning of the Genesis Scottish Open on the DP World Tour, alongside access for both memberships into the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship on the PGA TOUR.

Collaboration has already borne fruit for the DP World Tour with the introduction of new tournament title sponsors such as Genesis and Horizon and new Tour partners such as Fortinet and Velocity Global.

In addition, working together to drive prize funds and commercial revenue will not only benefit the entire range of both memberships immediately, but also develop immense strategic opportunities for all members of both Tours for the future.

As part of the new joint venture, the PGA TOUR will increase its existing stake in European Tour Productions from 15 percent to 40 percent, while utilising the DP World Tour’s recognised international credentials and global footprint to continue to coordinate a worldwide schedule.

The DP World Tour will guarantee growth in annual prize funds to its membership for the next five years, all above the record 2022 levels unveiled as part of the DP World Tour title partnership arrangement announced last November.

The new joint venture will provide additional competitive opportunities for professional golfers of both Tours and also establish a clearly defined pathway for top players around the world. Players from the Sunshine Tour and ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, with whom the DP World Tour already has existing Strategic Alliances, now enjoy a formal pathway to the DP World Tour. With today’s announcement, DP World Tour members will now have direct and formal access to the very pinnacle of the men’s professional game on the PGA TOUR.

To achieve that, from 2023, the leading ten players on the end of season DP World Tour Rankings [in addition to those already exempt] will earn PGA TOUR cards for the following season.

Furthermore, the DP World Tour will work closely on the development and implementation of the new international events announced by PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan last week at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, and DP World Tour members will gain access to those events.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the DP World Tour said: “Building on the success of the existing Strategic Alliance between ourselves and the PGA TOUR, this move will significantly enhance the meritocracy that has successfully served the professional game on both sides of the Atlantic for more than 50 years.

“It is a natural extension and progression of what we have been doing over the past few years and I passionately believe that this move is the right thing for our players, our Tour, our fans, and the game of golf in general.

“Our two tours have undoubtedly drawn closer over the past few years and today’s announcement strengthens both Tours for the betterment of both memberships.”

Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR, said, “It was clear from the outset that our Strategic Partnership with the European Tour Group was a powerful agreement for both sides, and we are thrilled with today’s announcement of this expanded partnership.

“We will continue to collaborate on a global schedule and key commercial areas as we draw our organizations and memberships even closer together while innovating to provide the most entertaining and compelling golf possible to fans around the world. On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I want to credit and commend Keith Pelley and his team at the European Tour Group for their incredible commitment to this effort.”

(Text: DP World Tour)


A Colt-play Gala in the heart of the Netherlands

Travel insider Jürgen Linnenbürger takes a day trip to Utrecht, the capital of the smallest province of the same name, and gets to know the Utrechtse Golf Club de Pan, one of the leading golf courses in continental Europe.

Part of the Oude Negen

Every time I get to know another top course of our western neighbours, I am thrilled all over again. The number of exceptional golf courses is simply impressive. Those that belong to the group of the Oude Negen (Old Nine) are particularly appealing to me. This includes the course I am presenting today, where I encounter traditional old school golf at its finest.

Leading in the Netherlands and Europe

We have been looking forward a long time to play the Utrechtse de Pan golf course, which currently ranked second in the Netherlands. The club is equally proud of the fact that it also enjoys the highest international recognition. Not only does it rank among the top 3 in continental Europe,
but it is also represented in the top 100 of the world’s best courses. Three Dutch Opens have been held here. The last time, however, was in 1984.

It is the second oldest golf club in the Netherlands. The club’s origins date back to 1894, when it was founded as the Doornsche Golfclub with a nine-hole course. In 1927 the club moved to its present site, was renamed Utrechtse Golf Club de Pan and opened as an 18-hole course in 1932.

Its original design is due to the great Harry S. Colt, who also took on the design of several other top courses in the Netherlands in the early 20th century. The Englishman designed De Pan in 1929.

In the years that followed, some changes were made. In the last decade, however, these were gradually dismantled by the renowned golf course architect Frank Pont, so that the course is now almost back to its original state.
Guests are welcome to join the private Family Members Club on certain days. To get to know and appreciate the traditional setting on the historic grounds, a minimum HCP of 24 is required.
The club is not easy to find. You quickly drive past the small entrance sign. From the car park, a short path leads to the beautiful thatched clubhouse that crosses the 10th hole. Those standing at its elevated tee operate a switch that triggers a flashing light to warn people passing by.

In front of the clubhouse, we are greeted by the bronze statue of the Greek shepherd god Pan, gleaming in the sun, which was donated by members in 1994 on the occasion of the club’s 100th anniversary. He is said to haunt the Forest de Pan and trigger the famous pan-ic attacks in the
players. Fortunately, he spared us on our round.

The shepherd god Pan at the entrance to the course (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

We are warmly welcomed by Siemon, a member of the Course Committee. In the traditional and cosy clubhouse, he gives us background information about the club and the course. We learn that great importance is attached to environmental protection and that the club has decided, among other things, to use a maximum of 30,000 cubic metres of water per year to irrigate the course. Usually, however, only 12,000 – 14,000 are used. Only in the extremely dry year of 2018 24,000 cubic metres were needed.
We are greeted just as nicely by the friendly caddie master John, who kindly lets us onto the round.

Friendly welcome in the cosy clubhouse (Photo Jürgen Linnenbürger)

Complete tranquility in unspoilt nature

The slightly hilly, classic heathland course is located in the middle of the majestic de Pan forest. It is considered one of the most beautiful in the Netherlands. Its 18 holes are perfectly integrated into the peaceful nature. The masterful routing through the not too large terrain is exceptional and among the best created by Harry Colt. It is very pleasant that they and the tees are extremely close to each other and are only separated by short distances. Some tees are played from elevated tee boxes.

Tee times are spaced at a comfortable distance, so you’re alone on most holes and can’t see the rest.

If you’re lucky, you’ll see deer or foxes on the fairways, which are often intersected by the overgrown sand hills of the dunes, constantly coming into play as natural obstacles.

The fairways, which are not too wide, are lined with tall, old trees and roll over the sandy ground with a short mow. There are no water hazards here as well as not too many fairway bunkers. Greens come in all sizes. The perfect condition and the speed distinguish them all.

Precision before distance

The par 72 course has a length of 6,097 metres from the championship tees. There are a total of four different tee boxes, so that every HCP class has its own comparable challenge. From yellow it plays 5,716 metres, from red 4,935 metres long with an SR of 135 and 136 respectively.
Anyone who enjoys strategic play is in the right place here. It is not primarily distance that counts, but tactics and precision and the choice of the right club. Every single shot is a new challenge.
The varied round begins with a relatively short par 5, followed by a challenging par 4, whose attractive positioning of the bunker is already the first spoiler for many.

Inviting par 5 to start the round (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger )

After that, the first of four great par 3 awaits, to be played slightly downhill over the heath field through the aisle.

Hole Three: A par 3 with a length of 153 m from Yellow (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger)

From the sixth, the course really turns on. From here to the end of the round, it becomes clear why it is one of the best in the world of the golden age of golf architecture.

Hole six (HCP 1): Two blind shots and 391 m into the green (Photo Jürgen Linnenbürger)

Here, not only the tee shot is to be played blindly, but also the following approach into the green. The sign high in a tree is supposed to give orientation for the second shot. With luck, you will hit the green.
‚Belling‘ is highly encouraged. Already at the tee box of the sixth, you are kindly asked to inform the following group with three strokes on a bell when you have passed the knoll and that the fairway is clear.

‘Bellen’ is expressly desired (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger)

The tenth tee shot is played from the elevated tee carry over the aforementioned path and the long heather field.

Beautiful, but not for the faint-hearted – tee-off hole 10 (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger)

I manage a perfect drive to the point where the fairway narrows considerably on both sides due to the dune. From here it’s just a wedge into the green surrounded by imposing trees.

Approach into the well-protected green of the ten (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger)

The last three holes are then a bit more relaxed to play, as the course opens up wide from the 16th and the wide fairways allow for a good score.

A few steps lead up to the tee box on the 17th, where you have a great view over the heather field.

Hole 17: also a visual highlight – through the heath onto the elevated green (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger) 

The finish on this fantastic golf course is a par 5. If the long hitters stay in play after the tee shot, they have the chance to reach the green with the second shot.

Straight back to the clubhouse (Photo: Jürgen Linnenbürger)

I don’t succeed, but I am happy about my par, which concludes an unforgettable round on a fan- tastically designed and well-maintained golf course. The trip to our neighbours has been worth it once again. We start our journey home very satisfied and with a distinct feeling of happiness.
Further impressions of this exceptional course can be found in the official club video at:

Text: Jürgen Linnenbürger

European Tour

DP World Tour confirms member sanctions

The DP World Tour today confirmed the sanctions to be taken against members who breached Tour regulations and participated in a LIV Golf event at Centurion Club from June 9-11, despite not having received releases to allow them to do so.

Such actions contravened the conflicting event Regulation laid down in the Members’ General Regulations Handbook as well as the Code of Behaviour Regulation, of which the members have been reminded on a number of recent occasions, and has led the Tour to take the following steps, which have been notified to all members concerned.

  • They will be fined £100,000*
  • They have been advised that they are suspended from participating in the following DP World Tour tournaments – the Genesis Scottish Open and Barbasol Championship (July 7-10) and the Barracuda Championship (July 14-17) and have been removed from the entry lists of these events where applicable.

It is important to note that participation in a further conflicting tournament or tournaments without the required release may incur further sanctions.

*Money raised from the fines will be shared equally in two distinct ways; (i) it will be added to prize funds of upcoming tournaments on the DP World Tour, to the benefit of Members of the DP World Tour who have complied with the Release rules and (ii) it will be distributed through the Tour’s Golf for Good programme to deserving charitable causes in the communities that the DP World Tour plays.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, said: “Every action anyone takes in life comes with a consequence and it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members.

“Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour, but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf that has been the bedrock of our game for the past half a century and which will also be the foundation upon which we build the next 50 years.

“Their actions are not fair to the majority of our membership and undermine the Tour, which is why we are taking the action we have announced today.”

Text: DP World Tour

Ladies Tours

Record: Double prize money at the Women’s PGA Championship

The organizers of the Women’s PGA Championship have doubled the prize money for the major tournament: a total of 9 million dollars is up for grabs this week. A record sum that the best ladies in golf would not have expected.

Record sums at the Women’s PGA Championship

Compared to last year, there is double the prize money this year at the Women’s PGA Championship. The president of the PGA of America, Jim Richerson, announced that this year there will be a total of 9 million dollars and of that 1.35 million dollars for the winner. Compared to the prize money of 2014, the year before sponsor KPMG stepped in, that’s a 300 percent increase. Richerson justifies the increase as part of a desire to elevate women’s golf: “We really wanted to make sure we utilised this event to showcase the best women’s players in the game and do that with one of the biggest purses.” Prize money for the five women’s majors now totals $37.3 million, up from $13.75 million in 2012.

Hysterical reactions to the announcement

Participants in the Women’s PGA Championship can hardly believe the doubling of prize money. LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan had sent an email to the players shortly before the public announcement informing them of the increase. “There have been been some ‘holy you know what’ and ‘oh, my God’,” she recalls.

The prize money will be a special incentive for the women in the field, who will have to compete against defending champion Nelly Korda, among others. The latter underwent surgery on her left arm in April and only returned to tournament action last week. Here she fought her way directly into a 3-way playoff, in which she finally had to give way to Jennifer Kupcho. A promising return to the tournament, which raises hopes for a top finish at the Women’s PGA Championship.

Several German players will also be competing: Isi Gabsa, Caroline Masson, Sophia Popov and Esther Henseleit. The two Swiss players Albane Valenzuela and Morgane Metraux will also be playing.

Highlights Tours

Open Championship 2022: LIV Golf players may play in St. Andrews

The R&A is allowing LIV golfers to compete in the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews. These include former Open winners Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen, also qualifying are Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Abaham Ancer, plus Brooks Koepka, who may also join the LIV Golf Tour.

Open Championship: Openness has been Fundamental

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said:

“The Open is golf’s original Championship and since it was first played in 1860, openness has been fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal.

“Players who are exempt or have earned a place through qualifying for The 150th Open in accordance with the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the Championship at St Andrews.

“We are focused on staging a world class Championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf. We will invest the proceeds of The Open, as we always do, for the benefit of golf which reflects our purpose to ensure that the sport is thriving 50 years from now.”

The USGA had allowed the players who participated in the first event of the LIV Golf Series, which is funded by the Saudi government’s PIF, to participate in the US Open. The issue had arisen after the PGA Tour suspended the players. However, the major tournaments are hosted by independent promoters who set their own qualifying criteria. However, neither the USGA nor the R&A guarantee that the qualification criteria will not change in the future. In the long run, the question of whether there will be world ranking points for LIV golf tournaments will also be relevant in this context, as these are often an important component of major qualification.

The DP World Tour has not commented yet and wants to make a decision about the sanctions for the LIV Golf participants in the coming days.

Highlights Tours

US Open 2022: Matt Fitzpatrick and his caddie Billy Foster – An emotional win

It was probably the best Sunday in the life of the still young Matt Fitzpatrick. After an exciting final day, the Englishman beat his flight partner Will Zalatoris and Masters winner Scottie Scheffler to win the US Open 2022. For the 27-year-old, however, it is not the first title on this course, as he already won the US Amateur at the same venue in 2013. In addition, his caddie, Billy Foster, also had reason to celebrate after some forty years.

US Open 2022: Fitzpatrick still can’t believe his success

With the words “Yes and no. Actually no, I’d say yes,” Matt Fitzpatrick answered the question after his triumph at the US Open 2022 whether he had expected this outcome before the tournament. However, his caddie, Billy Foster, was convinced of the victory of his “protégé” early on: “Billy had been saying for a while, the time will come. You’re playing so well. Just keep doing what you’re doing. It will come. It will happen. It will happen”.

And indeed, that was the case on this weekend in June. The Englishman showed solid golf over four rounds, played, compared to his competitor Scheffler, not a single round over par and was therefore deservedly happy about his first major title in professional golf. Even if he was not convinced before the tournament that it could be enough for the victory in the end, his opinion changed after the Moving Day. He entered the final day as the leader, along with Will Zalatoris, and then had a good feeling: “I put myself in position after two rounds and then played well yesterday. I just really believed this could be the time. Yeah, for whatever reason, because of my success here before, it just felt like this was the time.” And even though Fitzpatrick said it was cliché, the triumph was exactly what he had always dreamed of as a kid.

Fitzpatrick’s caddie celebrates first major title in 40 years

Not only was Matt Fitzpatrick’s win at the US Open a premiere victory, but his caddie Billy Foster was also able to celebrate his first title at a major. The Englishman, who has accompanied numerous stars around the world’s golf courses, was finally able to celebrate a “big” title after more than 40 years. No wonder, then, that he kissed the flag on the 18th hole and, of course, took it home afterwards. In the social media, many were also happy for Foster.

“It means the world to Billy. I can’t tell you how much it means to Billy. It’s unbelievable. I know it’s something he’s wanted for a long, long, long time. To do it today is incredible” Fitzpatrick said about his caddie after winning the title. It could have turned out very differently, because the two guys only started working together by chance about four years ago: “We ended up working together. I was kind of in between caddies. He just split up with Lee, and just happened to work out. It’s so funny. He kept telling me the first time on the job, I’ll just do 25 weeks and maybe get a fill-in for the others. I think he’s had about two weeks off in four years, so yeah.” It’s a wonderful story that turned out to be an emotional victory for both of them.

Fitzpatrick enters the history books alongside Jack Nicklaus

It was a very special victory for Matt Fitzpatrick. On the one hand, the Englishman has not yet been able to celebrate a victory as a professional golfer, and on the other hand, it was not his first major victory at the Country Club in Brookline. In 2013, the then 18-year-old celebrated winning the US Amateur at the same venue. If he had been told at the time that he would be able to enjoy another title there 9 years later, but with a lot more competition and, above all, significantly more prize money, he would probably have just smiled wearily. However, the 27-year-old delivered and deserved to be the winner in the end.

In addition to the Major victory, Fitzpatrick is therefore also celebrating another triumph. Alongside Jack Nicklaus, he is the only player to succeed in winning the US Amateur and the US Open on the same golf course. While the golf legend celebrated in Pebble Beach in 1961 and 1972, Fitzpatrick achieved the same feat in 2013 and 2022 at the Country Club in Brookline. The Englishman was visibly moved when he realized this: “Any time you’re sharing a record with Jack Nicklaus, it’s unbelievable. So for me to have that as well is incredible” Nicklaus, who of course also followed the 2022 US Open, was one of Fitzpatrick’s first well-wishers. He passed on his congratulations to the Englishman by phone: “He called me up down there just at the presentation to congratulate me. Coming from someone like that, it means the world”.

In the women’s world, by the way, only one player managed this double success: Juli Inkster won in 1980 and 2002 at Prairie Dunes Country Club. No wonder, then, that the fans were on their best behavior during Fitzpatrick’s triumph. Especially on the 18th hole, they were almost unstoppable to cheer Fitzpatrick on. However, he and his caddie remained cool: ” It felt like Billy and me were going to get stampeded, but we didn’t. We’re fine. I love that. I love when the crowd is excited and loud. It’s what makes it more exciting.” Also, because Fitzpatrick is an avid soccer fan, he would enjoy such a raucous atmosphere in golf from time to time, “I love football, and I love the atmosphere in that. I know golf’s different, and it’s got to be all nice and calm and everything, but sometimes it’s good to be a bit different”.

Highlights Tours

US Open 2022 – Justin Thomas: “It pisses me off!”

Justin Thomas started the moving day of the 2022 US Open with high expectations and six shots off the lead, but the third round at Brookline Country Club went differently than expected. First, the superstar was not recognized and then Thomas landed in an awkward position with subsequent rules discussion.

US Open 2022: Justin Thompson or Thomas?

Justin Thomas has 15 PGA Tour titles, two of them at major tournaments, and yet not all golfers know him. Before the start of the third round, the announcer on the first tee of the 2022 US Open made an embarrassing mistake, and Justin Thomas became Justin Thompson.

No drop for Thomas on Moving Day of the US Open 2022

But if the start of the round was more funny than annoying, it continued for Thomas on lane 4 with a controversial situation. After a drive, his ball landed near a drain cover. Unsure what to do now, the American called in a referee. The first question in this situation: Is the swing or stance affected by the obstruction? Thomas answered in the negative. “It’s very clear that my stance and where my ball was was altered and sitting bad because of that drain, but didn’t get a drop from it. That’s just how it is. You have to be able to hit the drain to get a drop,” Thomas said after the round. “I called an official in to get a ruling on it, and in the spirit of the game, I told the official I wasn’t going to hit the drain. I felt like I could have very easily told her I was going to do it and gotten a free tee shot, but I didn’t.”

The USGA’s statement to ESPN later said, “During the discussion, Justin was asked if the drain was going to interfere with his swing, to which he replied it was not. Because there was no interference from the drain, Justin was not provided relief.”

Immovable obstructions – What is allowed, what is not?

The Justin Thomas case was about Rule 16.1a (1), it states “an impairment exists if the ball, stance or swing is impaired by unusual court conditions (obstructions), the ball may be dropped without penalty within one club length of the nearest point of relief.” It also explicitly mentions, “If the unusual court conditions are close enough to distract the player but do not meet any of these requirements, there is no impairment under this rule.” So Thomas answered the impairment question in the negative and didn’t get a drop. His shot ended in the greenside bunker in front, and he walked off Hole 4 with a bogey.
“That’s what pisses me off, because so many other people would lie that they can hit that, but I just say, ‘I’m not going to hit it.’ That’s f***ing bu****it, man,” Thomas said before tossing his iron onto his bag. That leaves him seven strokes behind heading into the final round after another round of 72 on Saturday.

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US Open 2022: Jon Rahm squanders the lead with “six good strokes

For Jon Rahm, it’s all about defending his title this week at the US Open 2022. The 2021 Open winner is well in the running, alone in third place. But still on the 17th hole of his third round it looked like the leading position in the final. Rahm got bogged down on hole 18, and in an interview after the round he gives an insight into his view of the final hole.

Jon Rahm: “It was six good shots”.

With a one-stroke lead, Rahm went onto the 18th hole. The little drama already started on the tee shot, his ball did not hit the expected right turn, but landed in the left fairway bunker. From there, Rahm needed two shots at once, with shot two ending up in the greenside bunker. Rahm chipped the dug-in ball to the flag at just under 20 feet and needed two more putts. So a total of a double bogey brings him to a 71 – one over par for the moving day of the US Open 2022. Before that he holed another putt for birdie and the sole lead:

So much for the facts, but for Rahm this chaos railroad had many positives: The truth is, 18, it was six good shots. Unfortunately, it added up to 6, but it was all good swings. If anything, it was maybe a choice or a decision on the fairway bunker, but swings were good, so execution was proper. So I’m happy about that in that sense.

Regarding the bunker hits, Rahm continues when asked,  “I haven’t thought really about it. Quite frankly, it was a little dark, and it was hard to see. After I hit the shot, I realized the ball was a little bit deeper in the sand than I could really truly see.” He admits he misjudged the situation, “But I think I got maybe — tried to be a little too perfect with the shot. I had a 9-iron in hand. That’s plenty to get over that lip. Maybe I was trying to get too cute, making sure — looking for another birdie, where I could have just hit a 9-iron and hope it gets over the bunker and see what happens.”

Rahm goes into the final motivated

For the last day, the Spaniard wants to focus on himself and his game. “I can’t control what the guys ahead or behind me are doing,” the Spaniard said. ” I just have to focus on myself and my game and play my golf, shot by shot. Try to be as committed as possible to each shot, and that’s it.” Continuing, Rahm explained, “The second you get too caught up in what others are doing at a U.S. Open is when you start making bogeys and double-bogeys in a row. Yeah, exactly that. Just nothing special. Nothing that needs to change. Just, again, making decisions and executing.”