Cink says players should support Tours sponsors

By Associated PressApril 27, 2009, 4:00 pm
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PGA Tour (75x100)CROMWELL, Conn. ' Stewart Cink could have done a teleconference Monday to promote Junes Travelers Championship, where he is the defending champion.
 
But Cink, who is playing this week at Quail Hollow in North Carolina, instead flew to Connecticut for the day to shake hands with tournament supporters and meet with members of the media.
 
In these tough economic times, he said, its important for golfers to support tournaments like this one, which recently received a commitment from the insurance company to sponsor the event through 2014.
 
At a time when everyone else is running for safety, for Travelers to step forward like that, its a big deal, Cink said.
 
The event, which began in 1952 as the Insurance City Open and later became the Greater Hartford Open, was on the verge of extinction when Canon dropped out as title sponsor after 2002. Buick stepped in as a bridge sponsor before Travelers agreed to become the title sponsor for the 2007 event.
 
With the companys help, the tournament last year opened a state-of-the art practice facility, and this year will have an expanded Fan Zone on the golf course, with attractions such as a rock climbing wall, miniature golf and free concerts in the evening when play is over.
 
Cink, a member of the PGA Tour Policy Board, said hes been trying to convince other golfers they also need to step up and play in tournaments like this one, to send a message of support to companies that make long-term commitments to the sport.
 
As the players play, the fields are better and the value is up for television, for the sponsors and its a better world for all of us, Cink said. Thats been difficult to get across to some players.
 
Gov. M. Jodi Rell, the honorary chairman of the tournament, said its also important to the state, which looks to the Travelers as an economic driver.
 
Every time were on television and they say the words in Cromwell, Connecticut and then they show this beautiful course and they show these wonderful players, Im thinking to myself, Cha-ching, cha-ching, she joked.
 
The tournaments spot on the schedule, in June just after the U.S. Open, has hurt the field in the past. Many golfers like to take the week off after a major. But this year, the Open will be held at Bethpage on Long Island, less than 130 miles from Cromwell.
 
The tournament already has received commitments from players such as Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh, Anthony Kim and Stuart Appleby.
 
The travel is the one difficult part of what we do out here, Cink said. If you take the difficulties and the stumbling blocks out of the equation than theres less reason for anybody to say no.
 
There has been talk of requiring all golfers to play every stop on the tournament at least once every four years. But Cink worries that would lead Tiger Woods, who has never played in Cromwell, to simply pack his bags every summer and head to the European Tour.
 
Andy Bessette, Travelers executive vice president and chief administrative officer, agreed that such a rule wouldnt be good for the tournaments.
 
I think it would be very helpful if the players once in a while supported every tournament, he said. If Tiger were to play here, great, but its important to have people who want to be here.
 
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  • Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

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    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

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    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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