5 Things: Serving country - one way or another
South Korean men face 20 months of mandatory military service when they turn 21. The same goes for top pro golfers.
Seung-yul Noh, ranked No. 64 in the world, turns 21 in May and said he will enroll in college to stall his military service for five years.
He can’t avoid it completely but can abbreviate it should he win an Olympic medal in 2016.
“If I am on the Korean golf team and we finish top-three in the Olympic Games, then I would only have to do four weeks of army service,” he told Reuters.
“Everybody in Korea has to do national service in the army, so if I don’t win either a gold, silver or bronze medal in 2016, then I have to do 20 months of service.”
It’s nice to have options.
As the face of Puma Golf, Rickie Fowler is reinforcing the brand’s edgy, irreverent identity in its latest commercial. [Watch on YouTube]
The ad depicts Fowler getting up and down from a bunker – not with a golf club but atop a dirt bike, which plays off Fowler’s motocross background. Before developing his golf prowess, he spent much of his youth airborne on dirt bikes.
“It fits what we’re about,” said Bob Philion, president of Cobra-Puma USA. “It’s different. It’s irreverent. We are looking for things that cut through the clutter.”
So far, so good. The spot has gone viral, fueled by Cobra-Puma’s social-media effort.
“It’s getting a lot of clicks for us,” Philion said.
Spoiler alert: Concerned for Fowler’s safety, Puma hired a stuntman. Sounds like Fowler had other ideas.
“I would have liked to have shot the whole commercial on my own,” Fowler said.
No surprise there.
Course designer Colin Montgomerie took some criticism for the severity of the greens at the Royal Golf Club during the Volvo Golf Champions. Many players thought the slopes were too severe, and the European Tour seemed to concur by keeping the greens on the slow side all week.
Ian Poulter referred to them as the “Himalayas” on his Twitter and also wrote: “Simply the WORST greens I have ever seen and I’m not joking.”
Paul Casey, who won Sunday, was more diplomatic.
“From tee to green it’s a pretty decent layout and I like it,” Casey said. “It’s almost as if the plans came in for the green and they got crumpled – significantly.”
Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez was forced to improvise after snapping his putter in frustration during the second round in Bahrain.
The 47-year-old threw his putter at his bag after a par at the 13th and watched it break. Jimenez had taken 22 putts until that point and had to finish with his wedge. He needed only another seven putts in the last five holes.
“I think now I putt with my lob wedge,” he joked after.
He still entered the third round tied for the lead but ultimately finish tied for second.
College golf coaches in the United States must be lining up to try to get England’s Charley Hull to enroll in their golf programs.
The 14-year-old recently won the Jones-Doherty Match Play Championship on Florida’s Orange Blossom Tour at Coral Ridge Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The precocious teen from Woburn Golf Club in England became the second youngest to win the title. (Alexis Thompson was 13 when she won the 2009 title.)
It was the culmination of a productive three weeks for Hull. She finished runner-up in the South Atlantic Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Oceanside Country Club, and 12th in the Harder Hall Invitational at Sebring.