Bryson DeChambeau shows his decency in incident with spectator

Koepka’s punishment workout; Nelly Korda wins yet again; Conor Purcell with DP World Tour start

No matter how polarising the whole mainstream tours and LIV schism of recent years has been in the fracturing of men’s professional golf, Bryson DeChambeau managed to mix and match the monikers of The Scientist and The Entertainer at Valhalla in showcasing what a loss he has been to the PGA Tour.

DeChambeau wears his emotions on his sleeve like few others (Shane Lowry and Tyrrell Hatton apart, maybe!) and even showed his decency when calling back an adult spectator who’d nicked a golf ball he had thrown to a young boy halfway on route from green to tee in the final round of the US PGA. You got to like that kind of thing, don’t you?

Although he came up short in a quest for a second career Major at Valhalla, the 2020 US Open champion moves on to next month’s US Open at Pinehurst on the back of strong performances at the US Masters (tied-sixth) and US PGA (runner-up).

“I played well. Didn’t strike it my best all week. Felt like I had my B game pretty much. My putting was A+, my wedging was A+, short game was A+, driving was like B. You know, shot 20-under par in a major championship. Proud of myself for the way I handled adversity. Definitely disappointing, but one that gives me a lot of momentum for the rest of the Majors,” said the 30-year-old Californian.

Ricky Elliott avoids Koepka’s punishment workout

Good thing caddie Ricky Elliott doesn’t have to join his paymaster Brooks Koepka in the gym for any punishment for poor results.

Koepka hasn’t had a top-10 in any Major since lifting the Wannamaker Trophy in Rochester 12 months ago, his title defence in Valhalla resulting in a tied-26th finish to go with his tied-45th in the Masters. After his PGA win last year, he finished tied-17th in the US Open and tied-64th in The Open.

“I would say [trainer Ara Suppiah] will probably make me do a bunch of exercises,” conceded Koepka after a disappointing showing in Valhalla, a reference to how his personal trainer and the rest of his team penalised him for his Augusta performance with a hard-hitting gym regimen that had almost made him “throw up” it was so tough.

Portrush native Elliott has been with Koepka for the past decade and caddied for the player in all five of his Major wins. But he doesn’t have to share the pain. As Koepka once put it of Elliott, “I love the guy to death.”

Word of Mouth

“It’s a lot of fun. For me it’s more rewarding that all the hard work that I’ve put in, all the rollercoaster that I went through from the end of 2021 with my injuries to this year, is just super rewarding” – world number one Nelly Korda after winning the Mizuho Americas Open, her sixth win in seven starts on the LPGA Tour.

By the Numbers

1&2&5

Conor Purcell – playing on a sponsor’s invite – is the lone Irish player in the field for the Soudal Open in Antwerp on the DP World Tour.

Lauren Walsh – fresh off a career best top-10 finish in the German Masters – is looking to continue that decent form in the Jabra Ladies Open at Evian-les-Bains in France. The Kildare player, in her rookie season on the LET, has moved to 38th on the updated order of merit and is joined in the field by Olivia Mehaffey, currently 100th on the LET standings.

There are five Irish players in the field for the Danish Challenge in Odense: Conor O’Rourke, Gary Hurley, Dermot McElroy, Ruaidhrí McGee and Ronan Mullarney.

On this day ... May 21st, 1989

This was the day when Ronan Rafferty finally found a way to win on the European Tour.

A precocious talent in his youth, the Co Down native had played in The Open at Muirfield as a 16-year-old amateur in 1980 and turned professional (when still a teenager in 1982) but, remarkably, he recorded no fewer than 62 top-10s over the following seven seasons on the European Tour before managing to break the code for victory.

The win, when it came, was in the Lancia Italian Open in Como where rounds of 71-69-68-65 for a total of 273 gave the Northern Irishman a one-stroke winning margin over Scotland’s Sam Torrance and earned Rafferty a pay-day the equivalent of €59,624.

Rafferty’s Italian Open breakthrough was the first of three wins on the European circuit that year, followed by successes in the Scandinavian Open and the season-ending Volvo Masters, which enabled him to finish number one on the order of merit when he edged out Nick Faldo.

X-Twitter Twaddle

“I tried ... I failed ... And I’ll try again. Thanks for all the support” – Shane Lowry, ready to move on to next month’s US Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

“What an exciting PGA Championship at Valhalla. Congrats to Xander who was solid all day and delivered when he needed it most. Bryson continues to be fascinating and exciting to watch while Hovland shows he too is on the verge of greatness. A great weekend for golf” – Phil Mickelson hits the nail on the head.

Frustrating week in KY. Lost to a guy who was literally in jail Friday morning. Tough look for me. The journey continues in Fort Worth next week #golf – Max Homa good-humouredly takes out himself ... and Scottie Scheffler.

Know the Rules

Q

In foursomes matchplay, a player whose turn it is to play plays first from the tee. Their partner then plays from the tee as though it is a four-ball competition. What is the ruling?

A

The side have proceeded under penalty of stroke and distance and the second ball played from the tee is now in play. This is covered under Clarification 22.3/1 (in the Rules of Golf). The ball played by the partner from the teeing area is in play and the side’s next shot will be its fourth.

In the Bag

Xander Schauffele – US PGA Championship

Driver – Callaway Paradym AI Smoke Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees)

3-wood – Callaway Paradym AI Smoke Triple Diamond (15 degrees)

Hybrid – Callaway Apex UW’21 (21 degrees)

Irons – Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)

Wedges – Callaway JAWS Raw (52 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (56 and 60 degrees)

Putter – Odyssey Las Vegas prototype

Ball – Callaway Chrome Tour

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