The 2018 PGA TOUR season unveiled its first new slogan in 20 years, replacing the former “These Guys are Good” with “Live Under Par”, and what a season under par it was. As the article reads, “one of the first initiatives the TOUR made under the fans-first approach was relaxing cell phone and social media guidelines at tournaments”. As Douglas Adams would say, “this has made many people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
Just a few months prior to the TOUR rolling out the sub par slogan, we had one of the first noteworthy events of the year. During the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas booted a fan who had been digging at JT for a couple holes, culminating with the fan yelling “Get in the bunker!” after JT’s tee shot on the 16th on Sunday. I’ve waffled back and forth on this but ended up landing on the side of Justin Thomas. If some dude is constantly heckling you during a golf tournament it’s OK to kick his ass out. However, I still think he acted like a prick towards Luke List during the playoff which he eventually won.
Also during the Honda, we were introduced for the first time of the season to none other than Tiger Woods’ playing partner, Sam Burns. Burns has followed my Twitter bio equation to the lower case “t” he wears around his neck.
Every @PGATOUR pro’s Twitter bio is a version of the following: “Christ follower, husband to _____, father to _____, following a little white ball, fan of alma mater college sports.” Or just “PGA Tour Player”.
— Cart Path Only (@nocartsplease) July 13, 2018
I also said I would tattoo “SAM BURNS” across my knuckles if he wins in the next two years. Of course he cruised through the Web.com Top 25 season and looks to be a stud golfer for years to come.
The Masters this year was hyped to be the best Masters in history, with Tiger looking better than expected and a resurgence from Phil. Also a stairs-free DJ, the annual Rickie first major prediction, and of course Augusta Spieth all were adding up to a historical Masters. But instead, Phil played a practice round in a dress shirt, air-balled a driver off the pine straw, and Tiger almost got paired with Jeff Knox over the weekend. DJ was non-existent, Rickie and Spieth both had a chance to win, but Spieth clipped a tree branch off the tee box with his drive on 18 that ended up squirting out for a whopping 100 yards and Rickie couldn’t claw back far enough to catch Mr. Augusta (state) himself.
Phil had quite a year. I can’t go on without at least mentioning the Mizzen + Main commercial. This remix by @HashtagChad is some of the best work of the year. Phil won the WGC Mexico Championship to become the oldest winner in history of the PGA TOUR. But after that he just looked, old. He quick-raked that putt at the US Open on his way to a round of 81, joined Twitter to update us like a 50 year old aunt, showed up in France looking like he’d lost his marbles, and capped off his season with a Ryder Cup settling shank into the water to concede the clinching point. I don’t think he’ll win another tournament but the content Phil is going to provide this upcoming season will be must-watch.
After the Masters coverage, which shows more back-nine golf than any other tournament, we went through a series of low points of TV coverage with two very, very small victories in between. Due to upcoming weather, the final round of the Heritage was bumped in order to finish the tournament on Sunday rather than waiting out the storm and potentially having a Monday finish. CBS refused to budge on its policy to show live golf outside its telecast window and forced many of us (me and a couple other dudes who bet on Si Woo Kim) to either follow the final round and eventual play-off with the drunk Shot Tracker on the PGA TOUR app or find an illegal stream from the UK.
CBS was firm in its stance on not budging and succumbing to the Twitter mob’s angry pleas. NBC never agreed to budge on its time windows but announced The Players would provide an “unparalleled mix of innovative viewing choices” with over 22 hours of live golf coverage. But that 22 hours did not include the pre-1 pm birdie run Tiger went on during Saturday’s round. NBC, to its credit but mainly to Tiger’s credit, abandoned their coverage window rule and started their coverage early to show the end of Tiger’s round, after he was done making birdies for the day.
CBS finally joined the 21st century the following month, after failing to capture on television Tiger’s first lead in a golf tournament in five years, by allowing the re-scheduled Sunday round to be shown online prior to the scheduled television broadcast window. It was perhaps the smallest step in a laundry list of golf coverage issues but a step nonetheless.
But golf coverage came back to its roots after televising infomercials sprinkled in with 30 second clips of golf during the Ryder Cup.
In case anyone was wondering, from 3:05 to 3:45 @GolfChannel ran 28 ads and 1-2 minutes of flyovers/promos/not live golf.
In that time, they showed 33 golf shots, 13 of which were putts.
World number 1 Dustin Johnson was not shown once.@NoLayingUp @gfordgolf @tdemers7
— Robbie Vogel (@RobbieVogel14) September 28, 2018
While I wish we could’ve seen more live golf shots, I really wish I could’ve seen less of Greg Norman, who of course got butt ass naked for the Body Issue of ESPN the Magazine.
A massive under par initiative from the PGA TOUR was to add another wrinkle to the already wrinkled team event at the Zurich Classic by letting the players have and choose their walk-up music for the first tee, but it turned out exactly how we should have imagined it would.
🎵⛳️ When your first tee starters are ready for walk-up music! 😂 #lit pic.twitter.com/ja4zaKzw91
— Zurich Classic (@Zurich_Classic) April 28, 2018
I still enjoyed myself that weekend though. I got my face painted, drank a million John Daly’s, saw St. Paul and the Broken Bones with some Baylor Boys, and even got mentioned in the newspaper.
It was a monumental year for the four dudes that went to my high school. Never before have four graduates of the same high school been on the PGA TOUR at the same time. When we were in high school, our trainer, who only knew how to ice and heat injuries, would post the Raider Recap each Monday recapping the week in Baylor sports. Eddie Davis, no relation, is the original sports blogger from Baylor, and I’m just following in his footsteps. This year’s PGA TOUR Raider Recap had Luke List losing to Justin Thomas in a playoff at the Honda, then nearly beating him in a rematch at the WGC Match Play putting with a sand wedge after the 7th hole. Keith Mitchell had an OK rookie start while his alter-ego, Kevin Mitchell, notched 4 top-10’s and a Rookie of the Year nomination. Stephan Jaeger won the Web.com event in Knoxville, retained his card through the Web Finals, and probably most impressively, was on the No Laying Up podcast. Harris didn’t have his best year on the course but he managed to piss off an entire community with one tweet and then earned one of the final spots to the FedEx Cup, effectively keeping his tour card with a ballsy finish to the regular season.
Other golfers we love that had momentous years were Tom Hoge, finishing 92nd in the FedEx, Jimmy Hard K with a Web Tour Finals top 25 on the number to earn a PGA TOUR card, and John Peterson, who missed out on regaining his tour card by a couple Bryson DeChambeau fractions.
In personal news, I doubled my Twitter following from 100 to 200, with Patrick Reed and Shane Bacon both blocking me.
But I think it was this https://t.co/s84rFbliXS
— Cart Path Only (@nocartsplease) July 18, 2018
I also came in second to last out of 32 in my One and Done league. I probably spent more time analyzing golf than anyone else in the pool, and the only person I beat quit midway through the season. Shout out to future CPO analyst Doug D AKA Burnt Biscuits for winning the league with his patented Moneyball Matrix. He had five outright winners including Tiger’s Tour Championship win, which he called three weeks in advance.
The greatest story of the season, though goes to Lucas Glover and his firecracker, future second crazy ex-wife Krista, who attacked Lucas and Lucas’s mother after Glover shot 6-over on what would be his final round Saturday at the Players. This police report is something out of Reno 911.
The 911 call also has Lucas on tape saying, “Yeah, hi, I think we got our lines crossed here. This is the husband, the sane one of the bunch. … My wife has called you. … Now she’s trying to blame it on my mother, which is not the case at all. … My wife has gone crazy.” Glover narrowly missed out on another berating and beating from Krista by regaining his tour card in the Web.com Finals.
Overall the 2018 season provided plenty of under par moments, and with Tiger coming off his first victory in five years the 2018-2019 season looks to be the furthest under par PGA TOUR season yet. Hopefully this year in review will bide you over during the off-season, as I’m sure it will take some of you illiterates more than 3 days to read this. As a send-off for the 2018 PGA TOUR season, here is my favorite golf video I’ve found this year, from Jaysen Hansen, the PGA Professional who made the PGA Championship this year. See y’all next season.