Burk Targeting CEOs in Augusta Golf Club

By Associated PressApril 22, 2003, 4:00 pm
The last time anybody blew a lead this big was the '69 Cubs.
 
Instead of being demoralized, Martha Burk is juiced.
 
No pity parties, none of this 'wait-'til-next-season' stuff for her. The National Council of Women's Organizations boss, whose name rhymes with work, can't wait to get back at it, especially now that she's facing somebody her own size.
 
'We are moving to a full-fledged corporate campaign,' Burk said over the weekend, repeating a vow to make life miserable for any CEO who still belongs to Augusta National Golf Club.
 
Though she's been making the same threat every day for the nearly eight months, she told the Chicago Sun-Times it's important now to be precise.

'We don't use the word 'boycott,'' she said.
 
Apparently legal terms make her jumpy.
 
'We use 'consumer information,'' she said. 'We use 'purchasing decisions.''
 
Some people would use 'shakedown' or 'coercion,' but whatever.
 
Burk, unavailable for comment Sunday night, is calling on anybody who cares deeply about Augusta's male-only membership roll not to buy goods or services from corporations whose CEOs won't resign.
 
Based on the 40 protesters she cobbled together at the Masters, and the price of a 2-liter bottle (79 cents on sale this weekend), those 'purchasing decisions' might already have cost Coca-Cola upward of $8 a day - even more if they swear off snacks, too.
 
And she's just getting started.
 
'My goal is to make it completely unacceptable to practice sex discrimination,' Burk said.
 
Who knew? Despite considerable public sympathy and sometimes-fawning media attention, she's managed the opposite. Burk made such a mess out of campaigning to get a woman admitted to Augusta that it's become easier, not harder, to sidestep discussions of the real damage sex discrimination causes.
 
Last week, instead of moping over her bad reviews, Burk jumped squarely into the middle of a labor dispute between the WNBA and its players association. She was soon joined by National Organization of Women president Kim Gandy, who warned golf wasn't the only game where 'consumer information' and 'purchasing decisions' might come into play.
 
Women 'recognize and reward good corporate citizenship, and the reverse,' Gandy said. 'The members are going to be watching.'
 
It would break Gandy's heart if she knew how few people actually watch the WNBA, but that's another column. As it is, the league folded two franchises after last season, moved two others and expects to lose some $12 million this season - despite reaching a tentative deal with its players last weekend.
 
'I have an idea if this was a new startup men's league, we wouldn't be talking about them making a profit (yet),' Burk said.
 
There was that one-season-and-done, $100-million startup men's league called the XFL, but who's counting? More to the point is what that quote demonstrates about Burk: She rarely does her homework.
 
She might be good at twisting arms in Washington, D.C., over welfare reform and Social Security benefits for women. Away from Capitol Hill, though, it's another story.
 
Last July, she wrote Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson with vague threats of what could happen if a woman wasn't invited to join the club before the Masters. Johnson, who is a good deal more progressive and a lot smarter than his first response let on, lost it - momentarily. His worst line was that the club would not be forced to admit women 'at the point of a bayonet.'
 
Burk woke up the next morning on third base and believed she had just tripled. Rather than tackle the issues women identify over and over as barriers to their participation in golf - a lack of time and teaching opportunities, more affordable playing and learning centers - she chose the easy target.
 
Somehow, she managed to miss even that. Burk lost respect from much of her audience when she said the Masters didn't have to be played at Augusta National, then lost touch with the rest by trying to link women fighting in Iraq with women being admitted to Augusta National. Then came the disastrous puppet show-protest.
 
'Every time I see one of those corporations' names mentioned in an article,' she said, 'it's a victory for me.'
 
If so, Johnson still holds a big lead. He proved that just before the tournament began. After his remarks in July, he resurfaced with a kinder, gentler version of Augusta National that made the club sound no more exclusionary than the Girl Scouts. But on that day, he was talking tough again.
 
'If I drop dead, right now, our position will not change in this issue,' he said. 'It's not my issue alone. And I promise you what I'm saying is, if I drop dead this second, our position will not change.'
 
What he didn't say was that the club had earlier offered any member who opposed that position a chance to quit. Not one did.
 
Maybe that's why Johnson is already talking about another Masters without sponsors, even if making up the difference means sending members out on the golf course in their green jackets to sell boxes of cookies.
 
The Augusta National Membership Debate: A Chronology
 

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

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

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

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.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

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.