Finchem Calls for Universal Drug Testing in Golf
Even with Tiger Woods among those in favor of drug testing to prove golf is clean, Finchem has defended the tour's lack of plan because he has found no evidence of performance-enhancing drugs or evidence of players using them.
He conceded, however, that drug testing in sports has become a reality.
'It's unfortunate that these realities are with us, but they are,' Finchem said Wednesday at the Travelers Championship. 'And we have to deal with them, and I think it's important that golf deal with them collectively.'
Woods said last summer that he didn't think anyone was using steroids, but it could be a problem in the future. Asked when he would like to see a drug-testing plan, Woods replied, 'Tomorrow would be fine with me.'
Finchem has moved a little slower.
The PGA TOUR policy board in November authorized the TOUR to develop a list of prohibited substances, along with creating an education program to inform players about how they might get into the body, the health risks, potential testing and possible penalties.
'We don't have a rule on performance-enhancing drugs; we never have had,' Finchem said. 'We're getting close on that. I suspect we'll be done with that certainly this year.'
Finchem said he is working with other golf organizations 'to see if we can't move forward together with respect to what a rule is, and then beyond that, in terms of the execution of the rule.'
He said that likely would mean a testing program 'so that we have a legitimacy to the rule.'
The LPGA Tour announced last year it would start drug testing in 2008. Commissioner Carolyn Bivens said the tour would develop its policy through the National Center for Drug Free Sport, which manages testing programs for the NCAA and other organizations.
The penalty for testing positive would be 25 tournaments for the first offense, 50 tournaments for the second offense and a lifetime ban for a third violation.
European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said last month that his tour would have a drug policy in January, and he urged that the golf world unite on any such policy.
'I personally don't think we've got a drug problem in professional golf. I haven't met anybody yet who thinks we have,' O'Grady said. 'But we work with governments in so many different countries. They are insisting on a wider list.'
In amateur golf, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and U.S. Golf Association -- which govern golf around the world -- did a sample test at the World Amateur Team Championship in South Africa late last year, and all 12 golfers came back clean.
Finchem recommended that all golf organizations develop a single standard on what to test for and how.
'In Europe, in particular, and in certain other areas of the world, the idea of testing in athletics is just a reality, because it's government required,' he said.
J.J. Henry, back in Connecticut defending his first tour win last year, said he doesn't think testing will have a big impact on the sport.
'A lot of people have talked about that integrity and honesty of golf is what makes it so special,' he said. 'I'd like to think there's none of that going on out here, to be honest with you.'
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Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
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.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
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.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.
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.