Thomas puts his money where his mouth is to give Visacki a hand up

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It appears that Justin Thomas gave Mike Visacki a personal cheque to help towards his ambition of making it onto the PGA Tour as a bona fide member, bringing to a conclusion a rollercoaster five weeks for the 27-year-old Florida mini-tour player.

Visacki, who won 37 times on the localised golf circuit, racking up 170,000 miles in his 2010 Honda Accord in chugging along the highways and byways of the West Florida Tour, came through a Monday qualifier to get into the Valspar Championship at the end of April, his first start on the main tour.

Mike Wolfe, who works for PGA Tour Entertainment, videoed Visacki’s tearful phone call to his father; the latter had apparently sacrificed so much to try and facilitate his son’s dream.

More than 12 million people viewed the video and it was shown on several big networks in America. As a result Visacki even had his own press conference at the event. Despite missing the cut, he received a personal phone call from Charles Schwab, inviting Visacki to play on a sponsor’s exemption in his tournament at Colonial last weekend.

Thomas joined Visacki for a practice round last Tuesday and after the latter has missed the cut approached him to offer some tangible support along with a good luck message. Rick Gehman, the founder of RickRunGood.com and the host of the First Cut Podcast by CBS Sports, witnessed the exchange.

Thomas said: “I want to give you something from me to support what you are doing. Keep going man I am looking forward to playing with you some more. We will be in touch; we will see you down the road. Keeping chasing.”

Great shot! Memorial patrons to be offered Covid vaccine

This weekend at ‘Jack’s place’ or Muirfield Village as the venue is officially known, The Memorial tournament will offer a little extra to ‘the patrons’ to use the American vernacular that come through the gates to watch the action. Fans will not only be able to see plenty of shots but get one as well.

A station near the main tournament entrance will be staffed by Ohio Health officials and they will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to anyone who wants one. It will be open during the second, third and fourth rounds of the event.

Dan Sullivan, the tournament’s executive director said: “This is a perfect way to enjoy the world’s best golfers, and all that the Memorial Tournament has to offer, while also helping more Ohioans get vaccinated,”

The PGA Tour’s current coronavirus protocols stipulate that for any player, caddie or official who is vaccinated, they are no longer required to be tested or wear a mask inside or outside while at a tournament.

By the Numbers: 1

Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow is the only Irish representative in the US Women’s Open which takes place on the Lake course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco from Thursday to Sunday and would dearly love to replicate her third-place finish in the 2014 tournament on her professional debut.

Word of Mouth

“I was looking dodgy for the cut after being late to the [first] tee which I have never done in my life. It was just one of those things; I got the tee-time wrong. I did well to hang in there on Friday and give myself a chance to finish [seventh]. Mentally it was a good performance considering that.” – Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey demonstrated his mettle in absorbing a two-shot penalty for his tardiness to go on and finish seventh in the Irish Challenge at Portmarnock Links.

Dr David Sheahan, pictured in 2010, won the Jeyes International Pro-Am at Royal Dublin on this day in 1962. Photograph: Pat Cashman
Dr David Sheahan, pictured in 2010, won the Jeyes International Pro-Am at Royal Dublin on this day in 1962. Photograph: Pat Cashman

On this day: June 1st, 1962

UCD medical student and Grange amateur David Sheahan would go on to stun a high-calibre field of professionals in the Jeyes International Pro-Am at Royal Dublin. Christy O’Connor Snr, Dai Rees, Harry Weetman, Peter Butler and Bernard Hunt were Ryder Cup players while South Africa’s Denis Hutchinson was another of the headline players.

The format was 18 holes on the Friday and Saturday with 36 on the Sunday. Rounds of 69, 72 and 72 – the par of the north Dublin links was 74 at the time – saw Sheahan trail tournament leader O’Connor Snr, who had shot a course record 65 on the Saturday, by three shots going into the final round. Out in 33 the future doctor needed to finish birdie/par/ birdie to claim victory.

He almost eagled the 16th but was left with a tap-in birdie, managed a par at 17 and after a drive and 4-iron to the final hole had a 20-foot chip which he coaxed to a foot for a birdie, a closing round of 69. His feat went unmatched in European golf until 2007 when Spain’s Pablo Martin Benavides won the Estoril Open de Portugal as an amateur.

Twitter Twaddle

@BKoepka It’s nice living rent free in your head. – Bryson DeChambeau is happy to keep the feud with Brooks Koepka marching along.

“I feel like I’m in the middle of something and should step aside. (Except they want the CURRENT PGA Champ).” – Phil Mickelson, who is due to partner NFL great Aaron Rodgers in an Exhibition match against Brooks Koepka and Tom Brady next month, offered a tongue-in-cheek aside to the current Koepka-DeChambeau Twitter spat.

In the Bag: Jason Kokrak (Winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge)

Driver: TaylorMade SIM, 8 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2, 15 degrees
7-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max, 21 degrees
Irons: PXG 0311 T Gen4 (4-PW)
Wedges: PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy (52 degrees), Titleist Vokey SM8 (56 degrees), Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks (60 degrees)
Putter: Bettinardi Studio Stock 38
Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Know the Rules

Q: Player A drives her ball into the rough and as she approaches a crow swoops down, picks up his ball and then drops it back out on the fairway as it tries to fly away. What is the correct course of action that Player A must follow?

A: The ball must be replaced where it originally lay. According to Rule 9.6: “If it is known or virtually certain that an outside influence (including another player in stroke play or another ball) lifted or moved a player’s ball” the player’s ball “must be replaced to its original spot. If it is not known it must be estimated.” That eventuality is governed by Rule 14.2.

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