LPGA to Start Random Drug Testing

By Associated PressNovember 14, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The LPGA Tour on Wednesday released its policy for drug testing that will start next season, making it the first professional golf organization to require randomly selected players to prove they are clean.
 
The policy is similar to the outline released a day earlier by the PGA TOUR, which will not start testing its players until July.
 
The LPGA will suspend players one year for a first positive test, two years for the second offense and a lifetime ban for any more violations. It will not discriminate between performance-enhancing drugs and recreational drugs.
 
'My hope is that we don't have any positive tests,' LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens said.
 
The LPGA first announced plans for a drug testing program last November at the ADT Championship, giving it one year to pull together a plan. It relied heavily on the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances, eliminating some drugs such as allergy medicines that it felt should not apply to golf.
 
The LPGA Tour used the National Center for Drug Free Sport as a consultant while developing its plan, but it has not decided who will administer its drug testing.
 
Jill Pilgrim, the LPGA's general counsel who will be in charge of the program, said the tour will insist that results of drug tests be available within seven to 10 days.
 
'This is all about competitive equity,' Pilgrim said.
 
She also said the LPGA wanted a program that was easy to administer to make sure that every player is treated equally. If there is a positive test, players can be asked that their 'B' sample be tested to confirm the result, and they will be offered an appeal process.
 
For positive tests, Pilgrim said the LPGA Tour would disclose the name of the player, the tournament at which she tested positive, the penalty and the specific substance involved.
 
There were no guarantees that every player would be tested this year, and Pilgrim said the tour would not even disclose which tournaments would be selected for the random tests. But she said all testing would take place at tournaments immediately after competitive rounds.
 
'We do reserve the right to do target testing if we so choose, but a truly efficient and effective program, I think, has to do it randomly,' she said.
 
Pilgrim, who joined the LPGA Tour in January, previously worked eight years as general counsel and director of business affairs for USA Track & Field, where she worked on its Anti-Doping Task Force. The LPGA said she has published numerous legal articles on sports law, drug testing procedures and Olympic Games arbitration.
 
Other details of the LPGA Tour plan:
 
  • If a winner tests positive, she will be treated like a disqualification. The runner-up will be declared the winner, and in case of a tie, the LPGA will award the victory to whoever had the lowest final round. If it's the same score, the tie will be broken by using whoever had the best hole starting on No. 18 and going backward.
     
  • For two-year suspensions, a player can only regain membership by essentially starting over. That means either a return to Q-school or getting sponsor exemptions.
     
  • Any player who receives two doping-related suspensions will be ineligible for the Hall of Fame.
     
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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.