Judge Rules Discrimination in Dublin

By Associated PressFebruary 20, 2004, 5:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ireland -- One of Ireland's top golf courses is discriminating against women by refusing to let them join the club, a Dublin court ruled Friday in a judgment hailed as a landmark by equality advocates.
 
District Court Judge Mary Collins ruled in favor of the government's Equality Authority, which argued that Portmarnock Golf Club was breaching a 2000 anti-discrimination law.
 
That law, the Equal Status Act, permits private clubs to restrict membership only if the club promotes an activity specific to a particular group. Collins ruled that golf is played equally by men and women, so no golf club in Ireland should be allowed to bar women.
 
'This is a landmark decision,'' said Equality Authority chief executive Niall Crowley. 'It sends out a message to wider society about the importance of including women.''
 
But the judge declined to specify any punishment for the club pending the outcome of another case in the High Court, Ireland's second-highest court, which is weighing whether the 2000 act is constitutional. Lawyers for the Portmarnock club argue it isn't. That case could take several months to be decided and could, in turn, be appealed by either side to the Supreme Court.
 
Portmarnock club manager Bruce Mitchell declined comment Friday. He previously has argued that the club doesn't discriminate because it does permit women and other nonmember visitors to play at specific times during the week. He said members had overwhelmingly opposed giving membership rights to women during three debates on the subject since 2000.
 
The National Women's Council of Ireland -- which, inspired by similar protests against the Augusta National Golf Club in the United States, filed a discrimination complaint with the Equality Authority in 2002 -- says the policy means female golfers have no voting rights at the club and aren't allowed to play at the best tee-off times.
 
If Portmarnock is eventually punished for its membership policy, the major sanction would be to withdraw its certificate of registration. This would prevent the club from selling alcoholic beverages in its clubhouse, initially for a 30-day period. But the club could react by offering its members drinks for free or allowing them to bring in their own beverages.
 
The wind-swept course, founded in 1894, is bounded on three sides by water and is considered one of Ireland's most challenging links courses. Its 18-hole championship course, designed by German pro Bernhard Langer, played host to the Irish Open for the 13th time last year.
 
Under current membership rules its only permitted female member is President Mary McAleese, the largely symbolic head of government.
 
One other internationally regarded Irish course, the Royal Dublin, also bars women as members but hasn't yet been subjected to any discrimination complaints.
 
Fiona Malley, a Progressive Democratic Party lawmaker in Ireland's coalition government, assailed Portmarnock as 'one of only a handful of dinosaur-like institutions left in this country.''
 
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.