Hole19's Golfing Naughty or Nice List 2019
It's that time of year again when Jolly Old Saint Nick is beavering away in preparation for his annual time to shine. He's likely snowed under (no pun intended) so to help the big guy out we've put together a collection of golfers who have been either naughty or nice in 2019.
We've made a list, we've checked it twice, check out below who's been naughty and nice.
The Nice List
These golfers can enjoy the magical build-up to Christmas safe in the knowledge that they've been on their best behaviour. Santa Claus will be pleased...
Right at the head of our list of 'nice' golfers has to be Rickie Fowler. In fact, we have evidence for this in the shape of Golf Digest's survey of the nicest golfers on the PGA Tour.
Perhaps Rickie needs to be a little less 'nice' and develop more of a ruthless streak if he is to win more tournaments and recover from his 23rd position in the Official World Golf Rankings. Just don't tell Santa we suggested it though!
A return to major-winning ways, matching the great Sam Snead's PGA Tour wins record and captaining Team USA to an 11th victory at the Presidents Cup means Tiger has done more for the game this year than most.
His win at the Masters back in April saw golf making front-page news for the first time in years and proved to everyone that there's life in the Big Cat yet!
Tiger easily makes the nice list!
Just as few golf fans expected Woodland to win his first major championship at Pebble Beach back in June, there are even fewer who would have a bad word to say about the likeable Kansan.
He tugged at all our heartstrings when we became aware of the friendship with Amy Bockerstette, and he went so far as to call the Special Olympics athlete to let her join in his U.S. Open celebrations.
Gary shoots straight to the top of the nice list this year.
Professional golfers often get irked when they're standing over a putt and a distracting noise comes from the gallery. You can probably multiply that level of annoyance by any number you like when the putt is a possible tournament-clinching stroke.
Pennsylvanian native Brandon Matthews would have been easily forgiven for displaying those emotions when a fan with Downs Syndrome got a little over-excited with the drama unfolding before his eyes. When this became clear to Matthews - after missing his putt - he hugged the man and asked him how his day had been before signing a glove. Top man!!
A sure-fire way to nail down a position on Santa's nice list!!
The Naughty List
These golfers have been less than angelic this year and are in danger of falling foul of Father Christmas' rather strict nice-list qualification rules this festive season.
We think Korean golfer Bio Kim is looking like a shoo-in for the naughty list this year. Any golfer who flips off his watching public isn't likely to be in Santa Claus' good books for too long.
Back in September during an event that he ultimately won, Kim got a little hot under the collar. He ended up with a three-year suspension from the Korean Professional Golfers Association (on appeal reduced to one year) for showing a noisy golf fan his middle finger.
Hopefully, he can find his Christmas spirit in time for Saint Nick's visit this year. For now, Bio Kim is on the naughty list.
One guy who seems to revel in the role of pantomime villain is... that's right... good old Patrick Reed.
The 2018 Masters champion is one of the most controversial players in the game, and he set tongues wagging for all the wrong reasons at the Hero World Challenge when he quite obviously improved his lie in the sand. That's never going to sit well with Santa Claus - he's a stickler for the rules.
Quite easy this one. Festive express delivery: a lump of coal for a Mr Reed!!
On last year's Naughty or Nice list, we said: "it's as certain as death or taxes that (Kuchar) will have behaved impeccably throughout the year". Ermmm, yeah, it may be time reevaluate that statement.
From a reputation standpoint, 2019 has most definitely been Kuch's 'annus horribilis'. First up, it was a surprise to many of us when he refused to pay his local caddie more than $5,000 at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Cue a social media storm and an eventual increase to $50,000 with further amounts given to Mayakoba charities.
Other controversies included what seemed like a nonsensical request for relief from a fairway divot, and failing to concede a putt to Sergio Garcia at the WGC-Dell Match Play.
Whatever way you look at it, 2019 was not a great year for Kuchar. Naughty list unfortunately.
Bryson de Chambeau
Slow play was once again front and centre this year on Tour and one player who got more column inches on the issue than most was Bryson de Chambeau.
Whether it be pacing out a 70-yard pitch shot, or taking two minutes to line up a putt at the Northern Trust back in August, his rather deliberate style is starting to test the patience of golf fans around the world.
Father Christmas is far from impressed... naughty list for Bryson.
Which other golfers do you think should make the 'Naughty List' this Christmas? Let us know in the comments.
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