Burk Calls Ordinance Intimidation Tactic
Augusta officials passed the law Tuesday, requiring demonstrators to give the sheriff 20 days notice of protest plans.
Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, recently visited Augusta to scout locations for protests. Even with the new rule, she says she has plenty of time to plan before Masters week begins April 7.
'I do not know the legal implications,' Burk said. 'But I think the moral and psychological implications are pretty clear. It's an intimidation tactic. It seems to me to be a stifling of speech rights.'
The Georgia legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union said the law gives the sheriff too much authority to deny permits.
'The revised ordinance continues to have some very significant constitutional problems and gives very broad and unconstitutional discretion to the city to deny a permit or to change a permit to a different location,' Gerry Weber of the Georgia ACLU said.
Augusta mayor Bob Young, city attorney Jim Wall and sheriff Ronald Strength did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment Wednesday. Strength has said that he will not allow protests along Washington Road, the heavily traveled street that leads to the club.
The Augusta-Richmond County Commission adopted the new protest law 6-5, with the mayor casting the tiebreaking vote. For the third time in a month, the vote split the commission along racial lines with five black commissioners -- who have said the law unfairly restricts civil rights -- voting against the change.
'The furthest thing from the truth is we're trying to restrict anybody from obtaining a permit to protest,' said commissioner Bill Kuhlke, who voted to pass the new law.
Kuhlke noted the revised law includes an appeals process that allows protesters who are denied permits to seek judicial review without having to file suit. 'So in a way it's standing up for those who want to get a permit,' he said.
Any opposing commissioner could have blocked the mayor's tiebreaking vote by simply refusing to vote. The mayor can vote only in a 5-5 tie, with six votes needed to pass a law. But commissioners who wanted to change the protest law worked out a deal with opponents by agreeing to put the city fire department in an inner-city office building.
Wall had urged commissioners to revise Augusta's protest law, expanding it from six paragraphs to eight pages, because it was too vague and left the city vulnerable to lawsuits.
Young had said he supported the changes to 'save the taxpayers' money from serious litigation.'
But the ACLU's Weber said the heart of the protest ordinance remains the same: The Augusta-Richmond County sheriff can deny applications, change protest locations or halt protests in progress for reasons ranging from public endangerment to snarled traffic to threatening weather.
Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia
Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.
Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.
Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.
Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.
It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.
The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.