Hootie Wont Budge on Burk

By Associated PressApril 7, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. Like an impenetrable goalie on top of his game, Hootie Johnson kept stonewalling the shots. Tired of talking about women, the chairman of Augusta National believes it's time for his club and the Masters to move on.
'I really think the American public is ready for us to talk about golf,' Johnson said Wednesday, the eve of the opening round.
Last year at his 'State of the Masters' news conference, Johnson was patient with the persistent questioning about Martha Burk and her efforts to call out Augusta National for not having any female members.
At one point, he proclaimed, 'If I die right now, our position will not change.'
This year, Johnson was nowhere near as colorful. He fielded five questions on the issue, and dispatched each with a calculated economy of words.
Did he feel like he'd won the public-relations battle with Burk, the head of the National Council of Women's Organizations? 'I don't feel like we won anything. I feel it's over. Well, it'll never be over, but I don't think we won anything.'
Is Augusta National any closer to admitting a female member?
'We are a private club and I'm not going to talk about our club matters.'
What about Burk's new initiative, targeting corporations associated with members of Augusta National? 'I really think you ought to talk to Ms. Burk about that.'
What impact did Burk's campaign have on the tournament and the club? 'I leave that up to you to judge.'
Johnson is apparently so solid with his stance that he said the days of televising the tournament without commercials will be over soon. When Burk put pressure on TV sponsors to pull their ads before last year's tournament, Johnson responded by saying there would be no commercials. This will be the second straight year under that arrangement.
'We don't have any firm plans on sponsors in the future, but I do expect we'll have them in time,' he said.
The protests Burk planned on the Saturday of the tournament last year largely fizzled, drawing more reporters than participants. She blamed it on being relegated by local ordinances to an open field, well away from the entrance to the course at the intersection of Washington Road and Magnolia Lane.
Speaking from her office in Washington, she insisted her mission is not over.
'I'm very happy with where we are,' she said. 'We're doing now exactly what we said we were going to do last year after the tournament. We're turning our attention to corporate involvement, and doing it successfully. What's happening on the golf course is irrelevant to the direction we're taking.'
Indeed, on the golf course, this seems like a dead issue.
'If it was as big a deal as she made it out to be, we'd still be talking about it,' Charles Howell III said recently.
Earlier this week, Burk announced she was investigating eight Wall Street companies whose top executives are members of Augusta National. She also hired Washington lawyer Cyrus Mehri, whose firm served as counsel in two of the largest race discrimination cases in history.
'What I think is going on there is a whole lot of denial,' Burk said. 'Hootie and, I suppose, some of his members are trying to pretend things are back to normal.'
Johnson was more receptive to a question about whether 14-year-old Michelle Wie might someday be allowed to play in the tournament.
'We'd be pleased to have Michelle play in the Masters tournament if she qualifies,' he said.
The most likely avenue would be for her to win the men's U.S. Amateur Public Links, or to reach the finals of the men's U.S. Amateur.
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    Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

    Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

    In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

    What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

    After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

    Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

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    Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

    Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

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    “We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

    This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

    “The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

    Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

    Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

    The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

    The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

    The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

    "The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

    First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

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    Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


    Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

    Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

    Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

    Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

    Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


    Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

    Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

    P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

    Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

    Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.