Ashun Wu deserves cult hero status on the basis that all those club players who have been tortured and embarrassed by the game of golf briefly got to identify with the plight of a professional. The four-time DP world Tour winner suffered a fate with which many a hacker will empathise while playing in the second round of the Spanish Open last Friday.
His drive on the par four 16th clattered into a tree, felled a branch, and rebounded into heavy rough. The tee shot was measured at having travelled 56 yards on the DP world Tour’s website. His problems were only beginning but he judged his next superbly moving the ball 33 yards to land on a member’s tee box.
The 37-year-old still had 350 yards to the green when he hoicked a wood left and eventually had to hole a 12-foot putt for a double bogey, one of three on the back nine in a round of one over, 72. This came just 24 hours after signing for a 63 to lead the tournament. He shot a pair of 68s over the weekend to finish in 13th place behind Jon Rahm.
Still for five minutes, Ashun Wu was one of us.
Speaking on tour player Andrew “Beef” Johnston’s podcast, caddie Billy Foster recounted a couple of anecdotes about his time with Seve Ballesteros. Johnston had asked him about whether Foster had ever lied about yardage to his player or tried to persuade his man not to hit a particular shot.
“Mate I tried to do that with Seve [Ballesteros] behind that wall in Switzerland. And look what happened. I nearly deprived the world of seeing the best golf shot in the history of the game because I told him four times to chip it out sideways. [I said]: ‘I know you are Seve Ballesteros, but you are not Paul Daniels; just chip it out, will you?’
“Seve said: ‘Why I listen to you, why you put doubt in my mind? I show you.’ And the rest is history. I had been caddying for Seve in my fourth year and he’s playing St Mellion, which is a really tight golf course for ‘Seve the Slasher’ who’s all over the place.
“He had a two-shot lead playing the last over Nick Faldo and Gary Orr. He stood in the middle of the fairway, had 184 metres and all he has to do is make a bogey and he wins the tournament. It’s a ripped five iron and I know what he is going to do and if he misses any of it, it is in the water, [and] we’ll lose the tournament.
“He said: ‘Billy how far are we out?’ I said, you’re 190 metres mate. ‘Okay. You like the four iron?’ I said: yeah, it is just a smooth four iron. It finished about six yards past the flag. If I had given him the right yardage, he might have holed it. As it landed, I nudged him and said ‘I gave you the wrong yardage on purpose.’ He did not see the funny side of it [initially].”
Word of Mouth
“This is a global tour. It’s not a Tour that is in the US, not a Tour that is in Europe. This is a global tour.” Sergio Garcia’s assertion in the wake of 22-year-old Spaniard Eugenio-Lopez Chicarra’s victory in LIV’s Bangkok tournament is not backed up by viewing figures on YouTube, which numbered 300,000, considerably less than for their tournaments in America. Few are willing to get up in the middle of the night to watch it seems.
By the Numbers: 246
The number of tournaments that the 34-year-old Jodi Ewart Shadoff played on the LPGA Tour before securing her maiden victory at the weekend when winning the LPGA Mediheal Championship at the Saticoy Club in California.
The only thing better than playing in front of the home crowd is winning in front of them! A special thanks to @accionaopen and all the volunteers. Let’s go! 🇪🇸 🏆.
John Rahm celebrates winning his third Spanish Open title
I mean that I am playing on Tour as a 20-year-old. It’s hard to get tired from this. I am a five-year-old at Disneyland for sure.
Tom Kim winner of the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas
On this Day: October 11th, 2022
It will be the first birthday, her 33rd, that Michelle Wie West is without the moniker as an LPGA Tour player, having taken the decision to step back from professional golf last June. Wie, who was once tipped to do for women’s golf what Tiger Woods did for the men’s version of the sport, turned professional just before her 16th birthday having signed mega deals with Nike and Sony worth millions of dollars.
At just 10 years old she became the youngest-ever player to qualify for the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, she won the Hawaii stroke play at 11, became the youngest players to qualify for a LPGA event a year later, and at 14 shot 68 in the Sony Open. Her career was riddled with injuries.
In 2014 she won the US Women’s Open and finished second at another major, the ANA Inspiration. She had four other victories on the LPGA Tour, the most recent coming in 2018 at the HSBC Women’s Championship. She hasn’t ruled out a comeback but for now she is concentrating on other interests.
In the Bag
Jon Rahm (Spanish Open champion)
Driver: Callaway Rogue St Triple Diamond (10.5 degree) LS model
3-Wood: Callaway Rogue St Triple Diamond (16 degree)
5-Wood: Callaway Rogue St Triple Diamond (18 degree)
Irons: Callaway X-Forged UT. (4-PW): Callaway Apex TCB.
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Forged (52, 56, 60 degree)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X (2022)
Know the Rules
Q: Player A’s tee shot may have come to rest in a bush and so he declares that he is playing a provisional ball. His provisional ball comes to rest before he reaches the point where his ball has disappeared into a bush. Is he entitled to take another shot with the provisional ball before looking for the original?
A: Yes. The player may play the provisional ball without losing its status as the provisional ball because it is further away from the hole than his original tee shot. If his passes the point where his original tee shot is estimated to be, and strikes the provisional ball then it becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance.