Controvery Sparks New Business Anti-Burk T-Shirts
What is different about the 41-year-old, former advertising executive and real estate salesman is how he went broke.
Manzi was listening to the radio last fall while driving from Orlando, Fla., to his home in Tampa. He had just left a job. He swears he wasn't looking for a crusade. He doesn't even play golf.
But on came Martha Burk, who runs the National Council of Women's Organizations, talking about how she planned to force Hootie Johnson, who oversees Augusta National and The Masters tournament, to admit women as members. Something inside Manzi snapped.
'I was just so ticked off by her, by her presumption that she was speaking for all women,' he said Thursday, 'and I figured a lot of people felt that way. So I'm driving and thinking, 'What if I came up with a slogan and put it on some T-shirts?''
He does not deny trying to make a buck in the bargain. And though he's not the only opportunist in a field that already includes Burk and Jesse Jackson, he is the only one losing his shirt.
'Yeah, I needed something to do and sure, I thought it could be huge. But I also knew it could flop. You learn that in marketing. That's the way it is with any opportunity. Still, I need passion to drive me,' Manzi said, 'and I was passionate about this.'
That's the problem with passion, of course. One thing quickly leads to another.
Manzi had to back off the original slogan (unfit to reprint here) and come up with a new one. After that, he ordered dozens of golf balls with a likeness of Burk on the side and began offering them for sale along with the T-shirts and hats on his web site, www.theburkstopshere.com.
One indication of how he's fared is apparent from the link in the top right corner of the home page. It reads: 'Todd Manzi is looking for a real job. Click here if you would like to hire Todd.'
And he's not the only person surprised it turned out this way. Colleen Severson, the business manager for a Minneapolis builder's association where Manzi was a successful marketer, said, 'When Todd puts his mind to something, it usually works out.'
Maybe Manzi wasn't cut out to be an activist. Besides missing a paycheck since October, he's plowed his savings -- about $25,000 -- into the enterprise. His family is living off credit cards and money isn't his only headache, either.
Manzi was a stay-at-home dad for almost a year and he worries he's neglecting his two young kids. He's had a half-dozen tearful, heart-to-hearts with his wife, Barb, and his neighbors are tired of debating the issue. They won't have to worry about it much longer, though.
Manzi figures he's in the stretch run now and that if he sells the house and finds work soon after the Masters ends, he could be out of debt by June, 'maybe.'
And now for the strangest part: Manzi doesn't spend much time worrying about whether Augusta has none, one or 100 female members. What keeps him awake nights is that Burk's pressure tactics will succeed. To combat that, he ripped a page from Burk's book, trying to do to her what she has done to Augusta National.
'All 300 or so members there know Hootie is speaking for them, and they can agree or disagree as they see fit. Martha Burk has 10 women on a steering committee,' he said, 'and if I'd been able to establish that her support goes much beyond that group, you wouldn't be talking to me right now.'
Burk did not return a phone call Thursday.
But nearly every poll conducted on the controversy shows women equally divided over whether Augusta National should admit females. With that number in mind, Manzi attempted to contact the dozen organizations that comprise roughly 80 percent of the 7 million women the NCWO says it represents, and asked them whether they support Burk's campaign. He claims to have convinced at least one group to quit NCWO, though the organization says it didn't renew its membership because of an oversight.
'As a society, we have to decide if one person with an impressive letterhead can do whatever they please,' he said. 'Plus, she's talking about all these benefits being denied to women because no one belongs there, but so far, the only economic impact it's had is on Augusta, and it's all been bad.
'Corporations are skipping the Masters, which means the catering firms and furniture stores and who-knows-what-other-businesses there -- some of them run by women -- are losing money.'
In the meantime, Burk tours the country using the media to tighten the screws on Augusta National. Manzi visited Augusta several weeks ago to scout sites and file a permit for a counter-demonstration. Otherwise, he sits at home, putting in 70-hour workweeks with encouraging e-mails as his only compensation.
'I saw her on TV the other day and I got so mad all over again, I almost threw a brick through it. And if I'd had a steady paycheck coming in,' Manzi said, 'I might have.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18