Graham DeLaet gets into ridiculous Twitter beef with PGA fantasy player

Don’t tell Graham DeLaet, but the number of DFS, golf articles and podcasts seems to be growing more quickly than bentgrass greens after a rain. Golf is one of the fastest-growing DFS sports, and the numbers bear this out.

Since its 2014 launch, engagement on DraftKings’ golf platform has grown by a factor of 23, with more than 15 million DraftKings golf line-ups created. This past January and February alone, DraftKings saw 107% year-over-year growth in users participating in their fantasy golf offerings.

Is this necessarily a good thing for the PGA Tour’s product? Does more PGA DFS players mean more tournament viewers? More golf fans, generally?

Even given previous PGA Tour commissioner, Tim Finchem’s, frosty attitude towards gambling in general and DFS in particular, how could it not be? Indeed, PGA Tour players are formally banned from playing DFS, which seems downright dictatorial (Are you listening, Phil Mickelson?)

Enter Graham DeLaet: A PGA Tour player who most certainly doesn’t care about fantasy sports. DeLaet, who was reported to be in ill health, withdrew from the Northern Trust during the second round with a back injury. There was no report of injury in DeLaet’s last start, the PGA Championship, where he finished top 10.

Predictably, this didn’t sit well with the DFS community (as withdrawals never do), and a self-appointed representative let the oft-bearded Canadian know on Twitter. DeLaet, in turn, let him know that he didn’t exactly give a damn, nor did his fellow professionals.

More of the same from DeLaet with another one.

Certainly, if it were any other sport you’d totally respect DeLaet’s replies. It’s never appropriate in, say, football, for DFSers to criticize a player for tearing his ACL because of the injury’s adverse effect on his lineup. The same can be said in PGA DFS for an unexpected injury on course. If a player hits a tree root on a punch out from the woods, sprains his wrist and withdraws, a player looks more self-indulgent than pot-bellied Homer Simpson on his couch, shoveling pizza in his face hole.

The only point of validity a DFS enthusiast could make is this: In football, or baseball, or basketball, there’s an injury report. Thus, gamers are able to factor in the likelihood that a player will suit up and how compromised his performance might be. In golf, this isn’t the case. If DeLaet, say, tweaked his back during Wednesday’s pro-am but decided he’d give it a go in the tournament, that’s certainly information PGA DFS players would like to have.

However, as he’s not obligated to report it, and the PGA Tour doesn’t publish an injury report, it’s simply the unfortunate nature of the PGA DFS beast at this moment. Should the PGA Tour capitulate to this wants of gamblers? Probably a moot point because it’s never going to happen.

All of this said, DeLaet should have kept his mouth shut on Twitter. Never a good idea to insult the fans, especially when you’re a middling tour pro trying to side-hustle a microbrew (as DeLaet is with his Prairie Baard).

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