JOHNS CREEK, GEORGIA | “Oh, that’s pitiful.”
If you’ve ever been around Butch Harmon or watched him work from a distance, you can hear him saying that. The first time Harmon spent time on the range with Lee Janzen, the two-time U.S. Open champion flared a 3-iron short and right and said, “That wasn’t too bad.” Harmon replied, “We’ve got to set some ground rules. There are plenty of teachers who’ll tell you what you want to hear. I’m not that guy. That (shot) was terrible.”
This time Harmon’s “pitiful” comment was aimed at his only active LPGA Tour player, Danielle Kang. It would have been easy to assume that Harmon was talking about Kang’s golf swing, which had been 1 degree north of stinky in her past couple of outings, despite a T5 finish at the Mediheal Classic.
“I was hitting it really bad in San Francisco,” said Kang about both the Mediheal and the week before at the U.S. Women’s Open where she had a 77-75 weekend to finish T35. “My putting and short game saved me.”
But that’s not what Harmon was talking about at all. After a bad shot on the range, Kang had thrown a club into the ground in frustration. Harmon marched forward and said, “Oh, that’s pitiful. If you’re going to throw it, throw it.” He grabbed Kang’s club and gave it an underhanded helicopter hurl, zipping it downrange like a combination of an Olympian javelin toss and a guy on Venice Beach throwing a frisbee to his dog.
“Yeah, my throw is pitiful,” Kang said. “I throw it overhand. I got kind of mad and just chucked it and he just showed off. He’s really good at throwing the club.”
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