The Break: Island golf takes the spotlight this week; Nicklaus endorses Trump
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The Break: Island golf takes the spotlight this week; Nicklaus endorses Trump



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Each day, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on topics in the game, links to Golf News Net content and what else I’m reading, as well other stats and information to frame the day in golf.

Today: We’re in store for some great island golf this week…just as the final stretch of the election season finally bleeds us dry.
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Island golf is where it’s at

This week, the PGA Tour and European Tour are both contesting events on island nations.

The PGA Tour is playing the Bermuda Championship, which has suddenly become an event with a full allocation of FedEx Cup points and offers a ticket to the 2021 Masters to the winner in the wake of the cancellation of the WGC HSBC Champions. The European Tour is playing back-to-back weeks on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, with some stunning views in store for two tournaments that weren’t planned at the start of the year.

Obviously this year has been the strangest of our lives, so having four days of nothing but beautiful island vistas sounds alright to me.

On the PGA Tour side, Bermuda is an hour ahead of the Eastern time zone, so the golf is on Golf Channel from 12-3 p.m. for the first three days and from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday. No PGA Tour Live this week.

Jack endorses Trump; faces backlash

The election is mercifully 5 days away. If you’ve voted already, great. If not, you do you, but hopefully you’ll express yourself.

Jack Nicklaus expressed himself on Wednesday night, tweeting out an endorsement of President Trump, saying in part, “[I]f we want to continue to have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, and not evolve into a socialist America and have the government run your life, then I strongly recommend you consider Donald J. Trump for another 4 years.”

Nicklaus has been roasted by left-leaning golf fans and those outside of the game for the endorsement, while those inclined to vote for Trump were happy to see the endorsement in their timelines. Nicklaus has been a vocal Republican supporter for the last several election cycles.

Look, I’m a Democrat, and I’ve never been coy about that. However, I’ve learned working in this sport, where my political views are in the minority, that it’s possible to disagree with people on politics and still come together on other common bonds. This election has been personal and nasty for a lot of people, though, so I think any kind of endorsement from a public figure like Nicklaus is going to cause a stir. I don’t know that I would expect golf’s younger stars to make such a bold — and risky — statement in the days ahead.

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The story of the 2020 Open’s cancellation: The lone major that won’t be played this year is The Open, which the R&A cancelled early on, reportedly to cash in on a prescient insurance policy that protected them against a pandemic. Now, John Huggan is telling the fascinating story of how that cancellation happened and the aftermath of it. Well worth a read to hear from R&A chief Martin Slumbers.

Bubba’s battle with anxiety: For years, I railed against Bubba Watson. I thought his frequently petulant behavior stained the pro game, not offsetting the fun, engaging things he did (often for cameras). However, over the years, I’ve come to view Bubba as more complex than that. He has mental health issues, which he has been more open about in recent memory, including in this recent conversation with Golfweek. He has seemingly worked hard on those issues, feels in a better place now because of it, and his example will hopefully convince other people going through things to seek help and counsel.
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About the author

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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