Brooks Koepka: An Alpha Dog With Bite

Alpha dog athletes don’t rely solely upon the tools of their trade to stake out their territory. A well-timed gesture or pointed comment can be just as corrosive to the confidence of rivals as any excellence in the arena. Roger Federer was a master of it, sometimes congratulating a victorious opponent for having played the match of his life (translation: you had to play the match of your life to beat me!). Tiger Woods is golf’s greatest practitioner of psych ops, so he’s unlikely to have missed Brooks Koepka’s exquisite mastery of the dark art at Bethpage Black.

Not that pre-tournament press conference, during which he declared majors easier to win than regular PGA Tour events. No, Koepka’s alpha doggedness was on display in subtle drone strikes targeting Woods himself.

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Is It A Hall of Fame or a Mausoleum?

When the World Golf Hall of Fame announced its “Class of ‘19,” the inclusion of Peggy Kirk Bell illustrated much of what’s wrong with that noble but misbegotten institution.

It’s not that she isn’t worthy of induction. Quite the opposite: She deserved it years ago. Bell lived 95 years, but the Hall waited until two years after her passing to bestow its grace.

Thus can an intended honor seem like a clumsy insult. She deserved better.

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Peggy Kirk Bell, finally a Hall of Famer, two years after her death.

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A 10-Handicap at TPC Sawgrass? Pros Predict a Train Wreck

By lunchtime Friday at the Players Championship, the normally fearsome TPC Sawgrass was looking almost toothless, with the scoring average hovering around 71 and the cut likely to fall under par for only the third time in the last 20 years.

The low scoring has surprised a lot of veterans who have endured tougher times at this Pete Dye brute, not least two-time winner Tiger Woods.

“It’s in perfect shape, it’s just playing really short. It’s so hot out here, the ball’s flying. We’re probably playing close to a club less than we normally do,” he said after a second round 71. “The cut right now is under par, which is unheard of around here.”

The course may be playing relatively easy for the best, but how about for the rest?

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The infamous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.

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