Fans Face First Smoke-Free Open at Torrey

By Associated PressJune 11, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Spectators at the U.S. Open had better keep their butts off Torrey Pines Golf Course: No smoking allowed.
 
To both the delight and indignation of the gallery, the 108th Open starting Thursday will be golfs first smoke-free major.
 
Woo-hoo! hollered Jill Kulper, of Sacramento, attending the tournament with her husband and young children. Now we dont have to move away from a good spot when somebody starts smoking a stogie.
 
Never mind that golf and cigars go together almost like cake and ice cream. Spectators caught smoking'cigarettes or cigars'face up to a $100 fine.
 
I sympathize with them. I dont think its fair, Spains Miguel Angel Jimenez, one of the European Tours top players and a cigar aficionado, said after puffing his way through a practice round Wednesday on the back nine of the cliff-side South Course that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
 
I dont see whats the problem. Why not make everyone ride a bike here instead of driving their cars? Were in open space. I thought we were supposed to have freedom to do what we want.
 
Well, he does.
 
The U.S. Golf Association sought exemptions for everyone, including spectators, at Torrey Pines after San Diego officials, worried about the health effects of second-hand smoke and sick of cleaning up discarded cigarettes, banned smoking at its beaches, city parks and municipal golf courses in 2006, said Reg Jones, managing director for the U.S. Open.
 
The city rejected that request but did agree to exempt the players, their caddies and others inside the ropes that keep spectators off the course.
 
Our concern was for the players, said USGA president Jim Vernon. This is THE national championship and some of them smoke.
 
Players, he said, have enough on their hands trying to tame golfs toughest test without having to deal with a nicotine fit.
 
Defending champion Angel Cabrera, a notorious chain-smoker, kicked his habit recently.
 
But who knows if hell get a pang on the 71st hole? Vernon said.
 
If he does, he can light up to his hearts content.
 
Because variances are granted for areas and not individuals, the city agreed to allow anyone inside the ropes'including standard bearers, marshals and members of the media'to light up this week.
 
The fans, however, dont have as much as a roped-off designated smoking area anywhere.
 
Yeah, they do, corrected a volunteer manning the information booth by the putting green. Its outside the gates.
 
Although cigarettes arent as popular on the golf course as they were during the days of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, smoking a good cigar has become as much a part of the game as drinks in the clubhouse, followed by a hearty steak dinner and a glass or two of red wine.
 
I dont like either cigarette smoke or cigar smoke, said swing coach George Pinnell, whose distaste for tobacco dates to the third grade when his father made him smoke a cigar as punishment for sneaking off to smoke cigarettes.
 
Pinnell is trying to get his top pupil, 24-year-old Open rookie Jay Choi, to quit smoking.
 
Im a fan of the ban, Pinnell said. I wish more courses would put up the no smoking sign.
 
David Martin, a 58-year-old retired government worker from San Clemente whos smoked for four decades, didnt know about the ban until told by a reporter who saw him snuff out a cigarette. But he had no problem with it.
 
He said hes used to being restricted from puffing just about everywhere he goes these days.
 
Its the way of the world, Martin said. Its everywhere you cant smoke.
 
At least they dont ban alcohol, he said.
 
But that makes it even tougher. You have a couple of cold ones and you get a hankering for a smoke, Martin said. Theyd just better not ban the beer. They couldnt do that. That would be like Holy Communion being banned from the Catholic Church.
 
Bob Gill of San Diego said he doesnt mind keeping his cigars in the humidor this week.
 
Everybody likes a good cigar, he said. But its just as well. Its healthier this way.
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry