Fans able to bring cell phones to Wyndham Championship
Defending champion Ryan Moore hopes to give them something to talk about.
Tournament officials said Tuesday that they would allow fans to use mobile phones at Sedgefield Country Club – as long as the devices are kept in silent mode and calls are made only in designated areas around the course. Also, fans won’t be allowed to take pictures or video during the four competitive rounds.
Tournament director Mark Brazil, a member of the PGA Tour’s tournament advisory council, said the group discussed changing the cell phone policy after some fans complained they were out of touch with their families and businesses without their mobile devices. He said the tour has confidence in his event’s network of volunteers and security workers to enforce the trial rules.
“We’re going to be kind of the guinea pig tournament on allowing this,” Brazil said. “We’re just going to test it here.”
Though wireless devices have long been a no-no on the tour, Moore said he usually hears rings from contraband cell phones roughly once or twice per tournament. He joked that he might send some text messages from the course, then said he expects fans to use their phones responsibly.
“People are going to sneak (phones) in anyways, somehow get them in. It’s adults. I feel like if you let them actually bring them out there, they’ll probably respect the fact that you let them have it and actually go use those (designated) areas a lot more,” he said. “People appreciate the fact that you’re not treating them like a 10-year-old: ‘You’re not responsible enough to do this.’ They’re actually letting them have it, and just say, ‘Please, just be respectful of play.’ I think people will do that, for the most part. I really do.”
Moore said he wants to give fans more reasons to reach for their phones and text their buddies.
'I’m going to do everything I can to come out of the way and play this event every single year,” he said, and not just because he claimed his first tour victory here last year. Rather, it’s a gesture of gratitude to the people who gave him his first shot on the tour six years ago.
He hadn’t yet turned pro in 2004 but had just won the U.S. Amateur when he was invited to play that year’s Greensboro event, which at the time was held in the fall across town at Forest Oaks Country Club. Since finishing tied for 24th that year, he has skipped the tour stop in the North Carolina Triad only once.
“When people take care of you and treat you right, you remember it,” Moore said. “That’s how this tournament has been for me.”
But for Moore, nothing topped last year. He beat Kevin Stadler with a birdie on the third hole of a sudden death playoff to claim his only win on tour. His best result this year was his second-place finish at the AT&T National earlier this month.
“What the win did for me last year, it wasn’t quite what I thought it would do for me – it actually showed me a little bit more of how far off I was, which is weird,” Moore said. “I simply just came in here, this is a golf course that fits my game … and I just kind of got some good momentum and I played some really good golf that week.”
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
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. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18