Magazine Fires Editor Over Noose Image

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2008, 5:00 pm
Ten days after a GOLF CHANNEL anchor was suspended for her use of 'lynch' in commentary on Tiger Woods, an editor was fired Friday for illustrating the controversy with a noose on the cover of Golfweek magazine.
 
Dave Seanor, vice president and editor who took responsibility for the noose cover of the Jan. 19 issue, was replaced by Jeff Babineau.
 
'We apologize for creating this graphic cover that received extreme negative reaction from consumers, subscribers and advertisers across the country,' Turnstile Publishing Co. president William J. Kupper Jr. said. 'We were trying to convey the controversial issue with a strong and provocative graphic image. It is now obvious that the overall reaction to our cover deeply offended many people. For that, we are deeply apologetic.'
 
Turnstile is the parent company of Golfweek, which has a circulation of about 160,000.
 
Golfweek removed its Jan. 19 issue from its booth at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., while Babineau made the rounds on news talk shows to offer more apologies. The magazine also removed the cover from its Web site.
 
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem called the Golfweek cover 'outrageous and irresponsible' and accused the magazine of tabloid journalism. He distanced himself from the firing of Seanor with a statement from the PGA TOUR that Finchem merely was responding to an inquiry, and that his comments were not a 'call to action.'
 
Woods, out of public view for the last month, makes his 2008 debut on the PGA TOUR next week at the Buick Invitational, where GOLF CHANNEL anchor Kelly Tilghman returns from a two-week suspension.
 
Woods has not spoken publicly, although his agent said in a statement through GOLF CHANNEL last week that Woods and Tilghman are friends, and 'we know unequivocally that there was no ill intent in her comments.'
 
The episode began Jan. 4 during the second round of the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship when Tilghman and analyst Nick Faldo were discussing possible challengers to Woods.
 
Faldo suggested that 'to take Tiger on, maybe they should just gang up (on him) for a while.'
 
'Lynch him in a back alley,' Tilghman said, laughing.
 
GOLF CHANNEL issued a statement four days later to say it regretted the comment and that Tilghman had apologized to Woods. But when the Rev. Al Sharpton demanded on CNN that she be fired, GOLF CHANNEL suspended Tilghman for two weeks.
 
The Golfweek cover shows a noose against a purple sky with the title, 'Caught in a Noose.' The subtitle said, 'Tilghman slips up, and Golf Channel can't wriggle free.' For many, the noose is symbol of lynchings in the Old South. According to Tuskeege University, 3,466 blacks were lynched in the United States from 1882 to 1968.
 
The magazine devoted four pages of news and commentary on the topic, including a column on the back page supporting Tilghman and asking that the controversy be kept in context.
 
In an editorial, the magazine explained why it felt the Tilghman story deserved so much attention. It was accompanied by a cartoon that showed Sharpton holding a noose and offering it to a pair of Golf Channel employees staring into a hole of thin ice, presumably where Tilghman had been standing.
 
The harshest criticism came from Finchem. The PGA TOUR is in the second year of an unprecedented 15-year contract with GOLF CHANNEL to broadcast its weekday coverage and full coverage of 14 tournaments.
 
'Clearly, what Kelly said was inappropriate and unfortunate, and she obviously regrets her choice of words,' Finchem said in a statement. 'But we consider Golfweek's imagery of a swinging noose on its cover to be outrageous and irresponsible. It smacks of tabloid journalism. It was a naked attempt to inflame and keep alive an incident that was heading to an appropriate conclusion.'
 
The TOUR issued a statement Friday that said Finchem's comments were 'a response to an inquiry and an expression of the TOUR's dissatisfaction with Golfweek's choice of a cover image.' The TOUR said Golfweek's decision on its editorial leadership was an internal matter.
 
Meanwhile, CBSSports.com reported Thursday that Jack Peter, chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame, said tour officials had told the magazine it might withdraw $50,000 in advertisements for the World Golf Village.
 
'Jack was not speaking on behalf of the PGA TOUR,' spokesman Ty Votaw said Friday. 'I can categorically tell you the PGA TOUR has not threatened any advertising pull.'
 
Among the tour's corporate marketing partners is Golf Digest Publications, which publishes the weekly magazine Golf World, a competitor of Golfweek.
 
'We have partnerships with a lot of media companies,' Votaw said. 'This was an editorial decision that Tim was expressing an opinion about. I don't think anyone should read anything else into it. It was simply a reaction to the image on the cover.'
 
Babineau has worked for Golfweek the last nine years as editor, deputy editor and senior writer.
 
'We know we have a job ahead of us to re-earn the trust and confidence of many loyal readers,' he said. 'Our staff is very passionate about the game. Our wish is that one regretful error does not erase more than 30 years of service we've dedicated to this industry.'
 
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

You don’t believe it, though.

She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''