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The Week in Golf: Lawsuits, Shark Shirts and Rory McIlroy Speaks Out (Again)

Gary Van Sickle ranks 10 bits of news from last week, many with a common thread of LIV Golf and lawsuits. And one on actual threads.
Clockwise from top left: Rory McIlroy, Greg Norman in a shark-logo shirt, Patrick Reed and Charley Hull.

Golfers in the news last week include (clockwise from top left) a chatty Rory McIlroy, Greg Norman (more specifically, his shirts), a litigious Patrick Reed and a resurgent Charley Hull.

The all-important news from an all-important week in the all-important world of golf, ranked in importance by the all-important staff members at The Ranking, who still pay their bills with checks (if they pay their bills …).

10. Attention, Alanis Morissette: This is what real irony looks like. The PGA Tour is at war, sort of, with Greg Norman and LIV Golf, yet the multicolor logo of the Greg Norman Collection was everywhere on the volunteers’ outfits at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Tournament executive director Steve Jent told Golfweek that buying Norman gear “saved a few extra dollars.” The movie version will be titled Sharknado: Attack of the Outlet Mall Markdowns. ...

9. The Swedish Golf Federation severed ties with golfer Henrik Stenson over his departure to LIV Golf, saying he wasn’t “an appropriate model” for Sweden’s junior golfers. Ex–Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter scolded the SGF on Twitter: “I hope you regret this.” Unofficially, The Muppets’ Swedish Chef barked, “Bork! Bork! Bork!”…

8. Rory McIlroy, de facto leader of the PGA Tour players in the LIV Golf showdown, analyzed the current situation: “Golf is ripping itself apart right now.” Update courtesy of Mac the Ripper. …

7. Rory McIlroy, de facto leader of the PGA Tour players in the LIV Golf showdown, analyzed the current situation: “There is a time and place where everyone involved should sit down and try to work together. It’s very hard for that happen right now when there’s two lawsuits going on.” Update courtesy of Mac the Flipper. …

6. How do you shoot 52 on the Old Course’s back nine in a DP World Tour event? You play 15, 16 and 17 in 11 over par with a three-putt, at least one pot bunker tour, two balls out of bounds from the 16th fairway and another O.B. from the 17th tee. Germany’s Alexander Knappe suffered the 52 but, to his credit, posted even-par 36 on the front for 88. What was the problem? It was miserably cold, windy and rainy, an event the Scots call September. …

5. Gerry McIlroy, the father of Rory and his son’s pro-am partner in the Dunhill Links Championship, tees up at the 14th hole on the Old Course. Sky Sports announcer: “Another chance to have a look at the swing of McIlroy Senior.” How delightful. Gerry swings, yanks his tee shot left and blurts out, “Ah, s---!” That’s golf as we know it. …

4. England’s Charley Hull won The Ascendant LPGA event in Texas and shockingly, it was the first victory in six years for the 26-year-old former Solheim Cupper. Six years ago, gas cost $2.14 per gallon, the U.S. inflation rate was 0.12%, and 2016 was three Tiger Woods victories ago. …

3. Four of the most outspoken PGA Tour critics currently playing in LIV Golf filed a motion to take their names off LIV Golf’s lawsuit against the tour. They were Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Talor Gooch and Hudson Swafford. Erasing those dropouts leaves Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones and Peter Uihlein as “the Three Scrooges," the only remaining players on the original legal filing. ...

2. Patrick Reed refiled his $750 million defamation lawsuit against Golf Channel (and others) to add more names to his dead-to-me list (led by Brandel Chamblee), including Golf Channel’s Damon Hack, Shane Bacon and DP World Tour commissioner Keith Pelley. It makes sense, $750 mil is a lot of lettuce that would definitely taste better with Bacon bits. …

1. The PGA Tour filed a countersuit against LIV Golf’s antitrust lawsuit, claiming the rival tour encouraged its members “to breach their [PGA] tour agreements.” According to The Ranking’s legal team, the two suits stand right between “Did not! Did not!” And, “Did so! Did so!” We regret having to use the technical legal jargon.

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