Day After Martin Ruling Golf Goes On

By Adam BarrMay 30, 2001, 4:00 pm
At the intersection where law and life collide, there are often bang-ups, but seldom any real casualties. Life goes on. Wounds heal.
And a day after The Ruling, life is going on for Casey Martin and for the PGA Tour. Casey is enduring a seemingly endless round of media interviews, including appearances via satellite on NBCs Today and CNNs Larry King Live. And the PGA Tour is running one of its marquee events, the Memorial Tournament, whose host is the Tours greatest-ever player and whose defending champion is his successor.
As often happens with big controversies, the aftermath may not be as bad as the losers imagine. The class of people who a) can play golf well enough to reach the PGA Tour, and b) have a disability that it would be reasonable to accommodate, is probably very small.
Still, the PGA Tour faces an administrative nightmare. It has spent probably millions defending Martins suit, and for various reasons, some of them good. Those who say in the clear light of hindsight that the Tour should have accommodated Casey from the start miss the significance of the Tours position as a sports league. All the other leagues were watching; the Tour could not afford a less than vigorous defense, or its legitimacy would have been called into question. (Such a criticism would have been misplaced, but in this day and age, an accusation is all thats necessary to convince some people.)
The Supreme Courts 7-2 decision in favor of Martin essentially pushes a judicial function on the Tour. The Courts order does not require it expressly, and as we have said, the need for it may never arise again ' but the Tour will now have to develop some sort of procedure for reviewing and granting accommodations for golfers with disabilities.
Think how big a responsibility that is. There are legal and medical definitions of disability. So now you have to find doctors and lawyers for your review board. Once you determine the existence of a disability (as opposed to, say, a temporary condition arising from a disease, syndrome, or disorder), the Americans With Disabilities Act requires that the accommodation be necessary, reasonable and not fundamentally alter the nature of the game, all within the meaning of the statute and cases decided under it.
Will the game change so that it is unrecognizable? We all know it probably wont, and by all, I mean those who agree with the Supreme Court and those who dont.
If there is a lesson to take away from this, perhaps it is that golf does not live in some sort of vacuum or bubble. These days, nothing does. Every day the law careens toward its intersections with life, at times with seemingly little regard for what is coming down the road. Fairness sometimes requires such indifference. The desire to make ones own rules, however compelling it might be, is no shield against the immutable rules of a civilized society.
Aside from preserving some measure of tradition at hallowed grounds such as St. Andrews, it couldnt hurt golf to shed whatever armor it wears and become more a part of the life of the nation, of the world. If that means a league has to set up a review operation to balance its competitive requirements against the law of the land, so be it.
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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.