The Shag Bag
30 APR 2019
The Shag Bag is a weekly compilation of amusing stories and anecdotes from the wacky world of golf.
Golf fans often joke that they would do shady things for Masters tickets, but one Texas family actually followed through on that claim and is now facing serious federal charges as a result. Counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud have been laid against Stephen Michael Freeman, his sister, Christine Oliverson, and his parents, Steven Lee and Diane Freeman, after the accused allegedly tried to scam the Masters lottery system from 2013-2017 by entering hundreds of names they purchased from a bulk mailing list. The Freemans also allegedly created corresponding fake email accounts and mailing addresses for each bogus applicant in the event that any were selected for Masters tickets. Stephen Michael Freeman, who purportedly masterminded the scheme, was also charged with aggravated identity theft. The ploy was detected by the FBI and turned over to Georgia’s Southern District U.S. Attorney. If the Freemans are found guilty, they could serve up to 20 years in a federal penitentiary. “The Masters is one of the world’s great sporting events, and tickets to the tournament are cherished by their fortunate recipients,” said Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “Using fraud and deceit to circumvent Augusta National’s generous lottery system is despicable, and those who follow the rules in hopes of winning tickets deserve better than to have their chances diminished by profiteering con artists.”
Hole-in-One Challenge, Part 3
One of our favourite European Tour videos is the hole-in-one challenge that Edoardo Molinari attempted in 2017, in which he hit 500 shots to a flag 145 yards away and missed every one.
The video was so successful that the tour tried it again last year with South Africa’s Brandon Stone on a 184-yard hole and he, too, could not pull off the ace.
Stone’s attempt didn’t garner nearly as many views as Molinari’s, but a substantial amount nonetheless, so another challenge was issued this year to Andy Sullivan. The Englishman was a strong choice for the video because he wears his emotions on his sleeves and that made for excellent viewing as his frustration built with each close call. Sullivan was up to the challenge, however, jarring his 230th attempt on the 171-yard hole with a strike that spun into the cup after landing on a dime just to the left of the hole. The shot paled in comparison to the 31-year-old’s reaction though, as Sullivan threw his club in the air and then sprinted to the green, screeching most of the way there.
It was a heck of a shot, but it was no hole-in-one. It was a hole-in-230!
First Tee Jitters
The South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel got off to a solid start at the Zurich Classic on Thursday, carding seven birdies and an eagle for a 64 in the best-ball format. That score put them in a tie for 17th place heading into the second round, but things took a turn for the worse for them right off the bat on Friday afternoon in the alternate-shot format when Oosthuizen hooked their first shot of the day out of bounds to the left. Schwartzel’s attempt moments later was no better with his ball slicing out of bounds on the right side of the hole. The duo didn’t know that Schwartzel’s shot was also out of play, which resulted in them searching for it for a while before Oosthuizen had to be driven back to the tee to hit their fifth shot. Fortunately, the third time was the charm and Oosthuizen found the fairway with his drive, but it took them another four shots to finish up and the pair walked off the hole with a quintuple bogey 9!
Video of the Week
We think there were probably some turtles on TPC Louisiana rolling their eyes as they watched Jason Day, Adam Scott, Abraham Ancer, and Jhonattan Vegas “run” on their final hole in an attempt to finish their rounds before sunset.
Warm-Up of the Week
Is this guy helping an airplane land or getting ready to play golf?