Brooks Koepka’s coach body slams Brandel Chamblee amid LIV Golf Ryder Cup drama

PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka, Brandel Chamblee, Claude Harman III
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The debate regarding Brooks Koepka and the Ryder Cup continues to gain traction as Claude Harman III trashed Golf Channel’s Brendal Chamblee.

Claude Harmon III is one of the top professional golf coaches in the business and is working with Brooks Koepka. After winning his third PGA Championship, the question of whether Koepka should be on the American Ryder Cup team has been a hot topic.

Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee made it evident he doesn’t believe that Koepka or other players on the Saudi-backed LIV Tour should be on the team. After Sunday’s round, the debate between Chamblee and Brad Faxon got a bit contentious.

Some agree with Chamblee, and others with Faxon. However, Harmon III made a bombastic claim regarding Chamblee, Golfweek reported.

“Brandel is a paid actor by NBC and Golf Channel. All he’s trying to do is get his lines and shows for the Golf Channel,” Harmon III said. “He’s just trying to get lines for Brandel … And I mean, I love him, I think Eamon is a fantastic writer, but for Eamon Lynch and Brandel Chamblee, who worked for NBC Golf Channel to utter the words ‘sports washing’ when the company they work for televised the last two Winter Olympics in Russia and China with the same leaders that they’ve had. It’s not like they were good leaders back then. It’s not like Putin was a good guy, right?”

Harmon III understands both sides of the story regarding LIV and the PGA Tour. He has players on both sides of the aisle.

With Koepka’s runner-up finish at the Masters and win at the PGA Championship, he currently has one of the six qualifying spots for the Ryder Cup team. If he plays well at the U.S. Open and Open Championship, all this discussion may not matter.

The 12-member team has six members who qualify automatically and six captain picks. Players earn one point per $1,000 at regular PGA Tour events beginning Jan. 1. The winners of the four majors can earn two points per $1,000. Lastly, players can earn 1.5 points per $1,000 for making the cut at all four majors.

Koepka’s win at the PGA Championship sparked a debate that is not going away.

PGA Championship reveals shockingly low viewership, ought to thank Michael Block

2023 PGA Championship, CBS
ROCHESTER, NY — (L-R) Michael Block, PGA of America Club Professional, Low Club Professional, and champion Brooks Koepka shake hands during the trophy ceremony after the final round of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. | Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The viewership of the 2023 PGA Championship was down a staggering number when compared to last year’s tournament.

Despite Michael Block becoming an international sensation, Brooks Koepka claiming his fifth major title, and Oak Hill’s East Course drawing rave reviews, the 2023 PGA Championship had shockingly low ratings.

Viewership was down 14% compared to last year’s tournament, won by Justin Thomas, per Sports Media Watch.

These numbers also represent a 15-year low for CBS, which has broadcasted the PGA Championship every year since 1991.

15 years ago, Padraig Harrington won the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, but Tiger Woods did not play in it due to his season-long knee injury.

Woods did not play this year either, as he had surgery on his ankle following the Masters.

But Woods withdrew from the 2023 Masters before Sunday’s final round. Even then, CBS drew “massive” numbers for its Easter Sunday coverage at Augusta National.

Yet, the same cannot be said for this year’s second major championship, which was quite memorable.

Koepka, perhaps the best golfer of the post-Tiger era, claimed his third PGA Championship.

2023 PGA Championship - Final Round
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
ROCHESTER, NY — Brooks Koepka plays his shot from the 18th tee during the final round of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.

Scottie Scheffler, now the number-one ranked player in the world, shot a 5-under par 65 on Sunday to finish tied for second.

Viktor Hovland, the 25-year-old Norwegian, suffered another major heartbreak on 16, but not before being in contention all afternoon.

Rory McIlroy, maybe the biggest golfing star of the 21st century outside of Woods and Phil Mickelson, produced some early fireworks that ignited the Rochester crowd. In the end, however, McIlroy could not get his driver to cooperate, as the Northern Irishman finished tied for seventh.

And Oak Hill’s 15th hole produced the moment of the year, with Block dunking in a hole-in-one, which sent the entire course into a frenzy.

Despite these tremendous storylines, CBS suffered a significant loss on Sunday.

Rochester, NY has the country’s 77th largest television market, but the size of a tournament’s host city has nothing to do with the ratings.

CBS will hope its viewership bounces back when the 2024 PGA Championship returns to Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky.

Aston Martin F1 and Honda announce a works partnership starting with the 2026 season

Formula 1 Grand Prix of Miami
Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategul T/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Honda to supply Aston Martin with power units starting in 2026

Honda power units have powered Max Verstappen to two-straight Drivers’ championships, and Red Bull to the Constructors’ title last season. But the contract between Honda and Red Bull is set to expire after the 2025 season, and Red Bull will enter the 2026 campaign in a new partnership with Ford.

However, that does not mean that Honda will be absent from the F1 world.

Honda and Aston Martin have announced a works partnership, under which the manufacturer will supply power units to the Silverstone-based F1 team starting in 2026.

Following Honda’s withdrawal from the F1 grid — which opened the door for the Ford-Red Bull partnership — the Japanese manufacturer expressed their interest to remain on the grid when the new regulations go into effect for the 2026 campaign. Following that expression of interest, Honda was linked with a few different teams, including Williams and McLaren.

Honda and McLaren had worked together in the past, during the 2015-2017 seasons, and while that relationship soured over reliability issues, there was a thought that the two organizations would be able to come together on a new power unit starting in 2026, allowing McLaren to shift away from relying on Mercedes for their power units.

In the announcement, Aston Martin stated that Honda “[w]ill supply power units to the team from the 2026 season, which are compliant with the new F1 power unit regulations that will come into force that year. The new regulations will see a significant increase in the deployment of electrical power and the use of 100 per cent sustainable fuel supplied by AMF1 Team strategic partner Aramco.”

Lawrence Stroll, the Owner and Executive Chairman of Aston Martin F1, welcomed the partnership. “I would like to welcome Honda and Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) to the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team. We share a mutual drive, determination, and relentless ambition to succeed on track,” said Stroll. “Honda is a global titan and its success in motorsport is longstanding and incredibly impressive. I would like to thank Mr. Mibe and Mr. Watanabe, and the whole team at HRC as we embark on this exciting future together from 2026.”

For Honda, the F1’s aim of energy sustainability was a massive draw in their return to the grid. “One of the key reasons for our decision to take up the new challenge in F1 is that the world’s pinnacle form of racing is striving to become a sustainable racing series, which is in line with the direction Honda is aiming toward carbon neutrality, and it will become a platform which will facilitate the development of our electrification technologies,” said Honda Global CEO Toshihiro Mibe.

“Honda is a company that has a history of growing by taking on challenges and winning world-class races. With the new 2026 regulations, the key for winning will be a compact, lightweight, and high-power electric motor with a high-performance battery capable of handling high and swift power output, as well as the energy management technology,” added Mibe. “We believe that the technologies and know-how gained from this new challenge can potentially be applied directly to our future mass production electric vehicles, such as an electric flagship sports model, and electrification technologies in various areas, including eVTOL which is currently under research and development.”

The announcement comes as Aston Martin, who currently relies on Mercedes as the supplier of their power units for the AMR23, is enjoying a stunning start to the 2023 F1 season. Veteran driver Fernando Alonso has finished third in four of the five races this season, and his success has pushed the team to second in the Constructors’ Standings, behind only Red Bull.

While the team is dreaming of lofty success in the present, Mibe shares that same vision for the future.

“Honda and our new partner, the Aston Martin F1 Team, share the same sincere attitude and determination to win, so starting with the 2026 season, we will work together and strive for the Championship title as Aston Martin Aramco Honda,” added Mibe.

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of F1, welcomed the partnership and pointed to F1’s move towards sustainable fuels. “It is great news for Formula One that Honda will partner with Aston Martin to supply power units from 2026. This is further evidence that our global platform and growth provides brands with huge potential, and it also shows that our plans to move to sustainable fuels in 2026 is the right approach to offer the automotive world alternative solutions to decarbonise the planet,” said Domenicali. “We can all see the incredible commitment Aston Martin has made to our sport and we can’t wait to see the exciting partnership in action, and I want to congratulate both parties on this exciting news.”

Squirrel’s tightrope walk stuns Yankees fans

Yankees fans were shocked Tuesday night at this acrobatic squirrel

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian loves to say that if you attend a Major League Baseball game, you might see something you have never seen before.

For some New York Yankees fans Tuesday night that quote came true, but perhaps not exactly as Kurkjian envisioned.

Fans sitting in the front row of the bleachers were treated to an up-close-and-personal feat of aerobatic achievement from, of all creatures, a squirrel. The YES Network camera caught the squirrel dart across the top of the outfield wall, before launching itself off the wall, and onto the warning track below.

Of particular note? The reactions from each of the fans, as they seem to get better and better along the squirrel’s journey:

As you might expect, social media went … nuts over the squirrel.

Even better? The number of references to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation that rolled in.

Yankees fans might consider the squirrel a good-luck charm. Aaron Judge homered in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 5-5, and send the contest against the Baltimore Orioles into extra innings. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, Anthony Volpe lifted a fly ball to right center that allowed Isiah Kiner-Falefa to tag up from third and come home with the winning run.

New York improved to 30-20 on the season with the win, going ten games above .500 for the first time this season.

Are some “rally squirrel” towels in the future?