The 73rd Hole: Tyrrell Hatton to LIV Golf, Pavon a winner and landscaper, no safe pee breaks

2023 Ryder Cup - Morning Foursomes Matches
2023 Ryder Cup - Morning Foursomes Matches / Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages

Tyrrell Hatton is going to LIV Golf, Matthieu Pavon is a winner on the PGA Tour after outlasting the field at Torrey Pines, and so much more from golf this week. Let's take it all to the 73rd Hole and figure out what's happening on the PGA Tour and the golf world at large.

Tyrrell Hatton joins LIV Golf, Jon Rahm's new team at stroke of midnight

He was rumored to be joining LIV Golf, then that died down, but now at the 11th hour, it's official: For a reported $63 million, Englishman Tyrrell Hatton is heading to LIV Golf, as first reported by James Corrigan of The Telegraph.

Hatton will join fellow European Ryder Cup team member Jon Rahm on the Spaniard's new team on the LIV Golf tour, Legion XIII (which sounds more like a comic book volume than anything, but whatever).

For one, this could be a sneakily huge get for LIV Golf entering this new era of golf on all tours globally. Hatton has never found major championship success, to be sure, but has consistently been a Top 30 player in the world by rankings measures and for good reason. But perhaps more importantly, the fiery 32-year-old's antics have been fodder for golf fans to laugh over and enjoy, whether it's F-bombs flying with furiosity over the most mundane of mistakes, his dry, wry and self-deprecating brand of humor, or anything else in that ilk, he could be someone that draws curious eyes to LIV.

Beyond that, however, this will only further the calls made in Dec. 2023 from Rory McIlroy upon Rahm's departure for the DP World Tour to reconsider Ryder Cup candidacy for LIV Golf players. Rahm is obviously the more galvanizing and crucial force in that capacity for the European side, but Hatton joined Rahm to go 2-0-0 at last year's Ryder Cup in Rome. Not allowing LIV players onto the team would seriously jeopardize any chance the team has making its way to Bethpage in 2025, so we should expect some serious reconsideration in that regard -- and soon.

If nothing else, though, a team of Rahm and Hatton could be on the verge of truly brilliant innovation in the curse-word lexicon.

Matthieu Pavon wins, but not without some controversy

31-year-old Matthieu Pavon enjoyed a star-making Saturday at the Farmers Insurance Open, overtaking 54-hole leader Stephan Jaeger and holding back other challengers at Torrey Pines to capture his first PGA Tour victory and making history as the first Frenchman to win on the PGA Tour. He also sealed his win on the 18th hole with Nicolai Hojgaard trying to knock down the door atop the leaderboard with an absolutely exquisite third shot from the deep, gnarly rough to within eight feet to set up the tournament-winning birdie to finish.

But with that shot came some social media controversy. One X/Twitter user pointed out the possibility that Pavon stepped down the grass with a little bit of landscaping work behind his ball, which is what would've then allowed him to make such great contact in that deep, lucious rough and get spin on the ball to pull off that winning approach shot.

Make no mistake, it's not outlandish to think the way Pavon stepped there in combination with how beautifully he struck a seemingly impossible shot were irregular to say the least. But the social media sleuths continued and maybe there's not controversy at all. It's hard to see exactly where Pavon's ball is when he's stepping in the video. Another X/Twitter user, however, indicated that Pavon's eye-line, if we assume it was on the ball, when he stepped would indicate he stepped down the grass well behind his ball where it would not have greatly affected anything about his swing.

There's certainly nothing definitive with Pavon's step and shot there, but it is enough to raise some questions -- though not enough for the PGA Tour to raise questions as we've heard nothing from their side on the matter. So for now, we'll simply join them in congratulating Pavon on his victory and hope it doesn't require an asterisk.

Is the Season of Nelly Korda upon us on the LPGA Tour?

Anyone watching the LPGA Tour on a regular or semi-regular basis will tell you two things about Nelly Korda: First, there might not be a more talented woman on the tour than her. But second, we haven't seen her live up to that talent level as consistently as some expected and as many hoped she would.

But to start the 2024 LPGA season, Korda got things going with a bang as she captured a win at the LPGA Drive On Championship in Bradenton, FL. She didn't make it easy on herself, going into Sunday with a nice lead only to shoot 73 in the final round. However, it speaks to her moxie and talent that she pulled together a frankly sloppy round on the final two holes to eventually enter into a playoff with Lydia Ko, which Korda won on the second hole.

The next part is what's more crucial for Korda, though. The 25-year-old is prodigiously talented with a swing touched by the golf gods. However, she still has just one major championship to her credit -- the 2021 Women's PGA Championship -- at this point in her career, though she does have nine total LPGA wins. Success in golf, particularly historically, is often measured by majors. Korda needs to insert herself into that conversation quickly and this win in her native Bradenton could be a sign of things to come with a true Season of Nelly taking shape.

Think your pee break will be safe from CBS drone cameras? Think again!

Who among us hasn't had to take a pee break while on the golf course? And sometimes, when there isn't a facility in sight, you just head for some bushes seemingly out of view from everyone. Even PGA Tour players are accustomed to that but, as Nicolai Hojgaard found out, "out of view from everyone" does not include the CBS drone cameras flying over the tee box.

Hojgaard probably didn't expect his bathroom break to be broadcast nationwide on network television, but here we are. Though no one argued with him at the time, maybe this is another notch in the cap of Rahm's argument that the PGA Tour needs more port-a-potties on the course for the players in these tournaments.

Or, you know, maybe CBS could just cool it on occasion with the drone shots. Either or.

Golf Power Rankings: 5 players I'm watching closely, for better or worse

1. Rory McIlroy

Saying you're keeping a close eye on Rory McIlroy probably isn't a groundbreaking revelation, but there's good reason. Now a decade removed from his last major championship win, the pressure continues to elevate for one of golf's true modern greats to get back into the winner's circle at one of the four biggest events of the season. And it would be extra sweet for that to be completing the career grand slam by taking the Green Jacket at The Masters.

Augusta National Golf Club has long appeared to be a perfect fit for Rory, but success has eluded him in many ways at The Masters. Now, yet again, he's changing up his preparation. McIlroy plans to play the week before Augusta at the Valero Texas Open and with a few more other events leading into The Masters, he told Golf Monthly. So that has my senses heightened to watch Rory even more closely leading up to the second weekend of April.

2. Nick Dunlap

The improbably amateur winner at The American Express, Nick Dunlap is now a PGA Tour professional. The former Alabama Crimson Tide star officially turned pro this week and is now qualified for the remaining Signature Events in the 2024 season while also locking up his Tour Card until 2026. After his historic win, the first for an amateur on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson in 1991, many described Dunlap as a "killer" mentally on the golf course, and we've seen how much game he has throughout the bag. Now just 20 years old and a pro, I'm excited to see what he has in store, starting this week at Pebble Beach.

3. Tony Finau

Tony Finau's putting is an abject disaster right now. At one point during Saturday's final round while Finau was in contention, CBS Sports commentator Frank Nobilo noted that Finau had made just 12.5% of his putts from 4-8 feet -- and he then missed two more in that range to finish the tournament. His stroke looks unconfident, which is in stark contrast to him absolutely flushing it right now tee-to-green. Especially after what we saw from Scottie Scheffler last season as he put on a tee-to-green masterclass and kept coming up short with putting deficiencies, my alarm bells are going off for Finau with his current form on the greens.

4. Will Zalatoris

Though he wasn't necessarily in contention, Will Zalatoris finished T13 at Torrey Pines this past week and has been trending up over the past few weeks since missing the cut at the Sony Open. He gained strokes across the board at the Farmers for the week, including 1.15 tee-to-green without playing all that well on approach.

We were concerned coming off of a back injury that Zalatoris might take a long time to recapture some of his previously elite form, but we're already seeing signs that it might be inching back into his game. If so, we know that this is a young star who can make noise on the biggest of stages this season.

5. Anthony Kim

Yes, that Anthony Kim. Once one of the most promising stars in the game of golf with three PGA Tour wins from 2008-10 in addition to a third-place finish at the 2010 Masters, injuries all but derailed his career starting in 2012. Since then, he's largely been out of the scope of the golf world. But maybe not for long.'s Dylan Dethier reported this weekend that A.K. is attempting a comeback at 38 years old. It's unknown if that return would be on the PGA Tour or LIV Golf as the latter has been in contact with him, nor is it known how a $10 million insurance policy Kim took out himself would come into play as a return could mean that the policy would be void. But for anyone who remembers the 2008 Ryder Cupper and his promise, we should all be excited about the possibility of a return.

Next. SL - Best golfer from every US state. The best golfer from every US state. dark