What happened to Smylie Kaufman? US golfer shoots 15-over round

Miles Wigby July 16, 2021
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Smylie Kaufman burst on to the golf scene as a rookie but hasn’t been so impressive since. The US golfer was in the final group at the Masters with Jordan Spieth five years ago, but recently hit a 15-over round of 87 at the Barbasol Championship.

Kaufman struggles to get his career back on track in 2021

2021 has continued to provide more struggles for Smylie Kaufman. The US golfer has fallen from 48th in the world rankings to a current 1,530th.

Earlier this year, Kaufman missed a crucial one-foot putt in a PGA Tour qualifier.

He was quick to post his response on Twitter:

Smylie has round to forget at Barbasol Championship

The likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka have all made good starts to 2021, but things continue to go from bad to worse for Kaufman.

At the Barbasol Championship yesterday (15 July), Kentucky’s only PGA Tour event, Smylie hit a 15-over round of 87, leaving him rock bottom at the event.

On the par four 7th he hit a quadruple bogey, while on the par four 18th, he shot ten. The 15-over par round put him 23 shots behind the leader and in 131st place.

Twitter hasn’t failed to let him know how poorly he is performing either. Kaufman is being labeled as ‘Trunk Slammer’ of the week by one account.

For those not familiar with the term, its fairly literal: a golfer who’s having a bad day slams his clubs in the trunk and heads home.

What happened to Smylie Kaufman?

Kaufman burst on to the scene in 2015 in the web.com golf tour, eventually earning himself a place on the PGA Tour 2016.

That year he rose to 48th in the world rankings.

In his fifth event of the PGA tour season at the Shiners Hospital Open, Kaufman shot 10-under par. This was his first PGA tour win and little did everyone know at the time it would be his only win for the next six years.

Kaufman’s performances suddenly dropped off, and the young prospect struggled to live up to his early potential.

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Many excuses have been heard – some given by Kaufman and some on his behalf.

Kaufman blew up on social media, spending time doing Instagram brand deals, but when his performances dropped he received blowback on social media.

That led to him taking a few months off social media.

Kaufman also cited injuries for his drop in form, stating he needed to ice pack his elbow for days before events, while also having wrist and shoulder injuries.

Kaufman filed for a medical exemption but was denied after an MRI scan failed to reveal injuries that would prevent him from playing.

Smylie did make good use of his time off in 2018, though, marrying childhood sweetheart Francie Harris.

Let’s hope Smylie can rediscover his early form and be back challenging at the top of the leaderboard.

Miles writes articles on Cryptocurrencies, Sport and Sports betting. Alongside The Focus, Miles publishes for Trademate Sports and has been a professional sports bettor, analyst and Crypto investor for many years.