The Social: [Slow] poking fun at others, and yourself
J.B. Holmes takes the slowest possible route back to the winner’s circle, Phil Mickelson shows off his impressively large calves, and some refreshingly self-deprecating humor in a sport that often takes itself way too seriously.
All that and more in this edition of The Social.
WHAT WE’RE CHIRPING ABOUT
J.B. Holmes is a winner again. But for a moment that was nearly four years in the making, he certainly took his sweet time getting there at Riviera Country Club.
Genesis Open Sunday was bound to be slow anyway, with the leaders trying to squeeze in most of their final 36 holes as the wind blew sideways. But Holmes was noticeably slower than the rest of the field.
As Adam Scott pointed out afterward, there may never be a perfect solution for pace-of-play issues on Tour, but there’s something to be said about the importance of “ready golf” – and waiting until after your playing competitors finish their shots before even BEGINNING your (extraordinarily lengthy) pre-shot routine ain’t it.
Holmes’ celebration was overshadowed by criticism across the board on social media – from fans, peers and pretty much anyone with a TV. Here’s a small sample:
The thing I love about JB Holmes game is that he visualizes the shot, stalks it for 2 minutes, then simply pulls the trigger.— Club Pro Guy (@ClubProGuy) February 18, 2019
2 1/2 minutes to hit that garbage putt on 17 by JB— Robert Damron (@RobertDDamron) February 18, 2019
Sure, Holmes is correct that his group was never put on the clock by the Tour, but he was being timed by an angry Twitter mob – and they officially clocked him at ... slow.
And that’s really all that matters here in The Social.
THE LONG AND SHORTS OF IT
In a long overdue, but nonetheless surprising move, it was announced Monday that beginning this week at the WGC-Mexico Championship and Puerto Rico Open, PGA Tour players will now be allowed to wear shorts during practice and pro-am rounds.
Newly elected co-chairman of the Player Advisory Council, James Hahn, confirmed the news on Twitter with his best video clip since he went “Gangnam Style” at TPC Scottsdale.
Even better than the announcement, however, was the reaction on Twitter from a few pros who would’ve enjoyed the news just a little bit more had they gotten it a day earlier, since they we’re already en route to Puerto Rico for the week ... having packed nothing but pants.
Generally speaking, though, the average Tour pro is thrilled with this news. Just about everyone is happy for the relief from the heat. Everyone except Brooks Koepka, who still thinks the shorts are a little too long.
WHAT ARE THOSE?!?!?!?
In a twist crazier than something M. Night Shyamalan could cook up, Phil Mickelson has gone from a guy who didn’t know how to take a selfie to straight up dominating Twitter, practically overnight.
So you knew he’d have to throw in his two cents when news dropped about practice-round shorts.
Phil tweeted a little joke, trying to take credit for – OH MY GOD LOOK AT THOSE GLORIOUS CALF MUSCLES.
The post sent Golf Twitter into a tailspin, with some of his peers even 20-something years his junior giving the five-time major champ props for not skipping leg day.
The praise was only interrupted by his sister, Tina, who jumped in his mentions to drop this savage burn.
But hilarious sisters aside, perhaps we should take Lefty a little more seriously next year when he holds his annual “I’m in the best shape of my life” press conference.
NOTHING-TO-DO-WITH-GOLF VIDEO INTERMISSION
What kind of sorcery is this?
TALK ABOUT A MISREAD
The best way out of most embarrassing situations is to get in on the joke yourself, a tactic LPGA pro Bronte Law executed to perfection late last week after accidentally falling into a greenside bunker while reading a putt at the Women’s Australian Open.
Read that last part again and visualize it as a smile creeps across your face, because there’s no video of it (seriously, how is that possible in this day and age?).
So, how do we know this happened? Because Law owned up to it on Twitter, completely unprompted, and then talked about it the next day.
So today I experienced any golfers worst nightmare... I fell back into a bunker while reading a putt. True embarrassment at its finest— Bronte Law (@brontemaylaw) February 16, 2019
Some of her friends on tour took to Twitter to do what friends do - laugh
with at her while she was down.
But that’s how you know Law is going to be just fine. She’s OK with being the butt of a joke and, more importantly, she made the putt. Bravo, Bronte! Keep on keepin’ on.
And since a four-day search for video has turned up nothing, here’s Michael Scott falling in a koi pond. It’s the next best thing.
It’s not quite falling into a bunker while reading a putt, but Justin Thomas had a laugh-at-yourself moment of his own this weekend at the Genesis Open.
While finishing his third round early on Sunday, Thomas hit one of the shankiest shanks you’ll ever see from a PGA Tour pro, let alone the No. 4 player in the world.
And to his credit, JT jumped on Twitter to clown on himself – even after blowing a tournament he thought he should’ve won.
The tweet was a nice touch, but let’s take a moment to appreciate the immediate reaction.
His blowup consisted of a subdued “Haven’t done that in a while,” before scrambling for what eventually went down as a routine par.
Hopefully junior golfers (and Sergio Garcias) everywhere are taking notes.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
“I’m working hard and I practice and go to the gym ... apart from smoking and drinking.” – Miguel Angel Jimenez, after winning the PGA Tour Champions Chubb Classic.
Just a reminder – this is the photo he posted on is 55th birthday, just last month.
There’s living your best life and then there’s doing whatever the hell it is Jimenez is doing.
Good luck keeping up with that.