Notes Campbell Criticizes 18 Norman Faldo Tied

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Michael Campbell isn't a big fan of the Old Course's closing hole.
The U.S. Open champion, contending again at the British Open after a 4-under 68 on Saturday, was asked if the short par-4 -- a mere 357 yards -- was a good way to finish a major.
Most players drive the green or come up just short, setting up the chance for a two-putt birdie. And the big hitters don't even have to use their driver.
No. 18 ranked as the easiest hole on Saturday, producing two eagles, 42 birdies and 32 pars. Only four players managed to bogey the hole.
``If they bring it back another 40 or 50 yards to the left-hand side, it would be a tough hole then,'' Campbell said.
The New Zealander has birdied the hole all three days. He goes into the final round with a 7-under 209, five strokes behind leader Tiger Woods.
``It's a very, very short hole for a finishing hole,'' Campbell said. ``You can't really miss the fairway, because it's so wide'' with the adjacent first fairway.
``But move it back 40 yards, that brings it back into play.''
Ten years ago, Campbell led going to the final round of the Open at St. Andrews, but a 76 ruined his hopes. After a discouraging slump and tedious comeback, he finally broke through at Pinehurst last month.
``I feel very, very confident,'' he said. ``I feel the experience is going to hold me through if I do get in a situation where I'm in the running for another major championship.''
Campbell believes his performance at St. Andrews shows he's ``not just a flash in the pan.''
``I'm here for a very long time and I want to win more majors, more major championships,'' he said.
Nick Faldo and Greg Norman had some memorable encounters over the years, and they're still going strong in the 134th British Open.
Both shot 70 on Saturday and were at 3-under 213 going to the final round at St. Andrews.
Norman, who turned 50 this year, will play in his first 50-and-over event next week, the Senior British Open at Royal Aberdeen. He then heads to the U.S. Senior Open in Kettering, Ohio.
``I still love to play and I still love to compete,'' Norman said.
Faldo will be eligible for senior events in two years, but he's holding up pretty well against the youngsters in between his duties as a commentator for ABC.
In fact, he's doing double-duty at the Old Course, heading to the TV booth after Saturday's round.
Fifteen years ago, Norman and Faldo were both at 12 under and paired together for the third round at St. Andrews. Faldo shot 67 on the way to one of his three British Open titles; Norman shot 76 on the way to another missed opportunity in the majors.
In 1996, Norman and Faldo played together on Sunday in the final group at the Masters. The Shark blew a six-stroke lead with a 78, handing Faldo his third green jacket.
Norman, who did win the British twice for his lone major victories, is playing his first event since undergoing back surgery three months ago.
This week, it was quite an accomplishment just to make the cut. He'll likely be a contender in his senior debut.
``I'm just going to treat it like a golf tournament,'' Norman said. ``I'm very, very happy making this one the first one back from surgery, and I'm very happy to make the (Senior) British Open my first one as a senior major. Obviously, with the history I have over here -- I really started my career in Europe -- so it's not a bad way to start my senior career.''
Norman won't be a regular on the Champions Tour, but he plans to play the senior majors.
Faldo also sees himself playing with the 50-and-over set once he's eligible.
``I'm planning to, but I want to be competitive,'' he said. ``If I really think I'm competitive, then I'll give it a go. If I'm not, I don't need to go out there and feel like I'm not going to win. In that case, I'll just stay in the booth and analyze.''
After qualifying for his British Open just last weekend, Sean O'Hair scrambled to get a passport and a flight across the Atlantic. He didn't even arrive at St. Andrews until Wednesday.
The hectic schedule hasn't hurt his play.
The 23-year-old American, who won the John Deere Classic last Sunday to earn a spot in the British Open, is six strokes behind leader Tiger Woods after shooting 70 on the tricky Scottish links.
``I'm just trying to enjoy the moment, and I'm trying to soak up all the experiences for this week,'' he said Saturday. ``But it's been crazy.
``I haven't gotten to enjoy it yet. But I'll be taking two weeks off to let it all sink in.''
Nick Faldo announced proudly that he beat Jack Nicklaus' record for sub-70 British Open rounds on the same day the Golden Bear made his St. Andrews farewell.
Only one problem: Faldo eclipsed the mark three years ago at Muirfield.
The Englishman took his record of below-70 rounds to 36 with a 69 on Friday. Nicklaus, who played his final major the same day, went into the 60s 33 times at the British.
Tiger Woods is right where he wants to be -- out front.
In nine previous major wins, including this year's Masters, Woods either led or had a share of the lead after three rounds.
Overall, he's 31-of-34 when out front after 54 holes.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 134th Open Champoinship
  • Daily Photo Gallery
  • Open Championship Trivia Challenge
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

    Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

    Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

    It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

    “What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.


    The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

    Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.

    Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

    But at what cost?

    The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

    The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

    We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

    In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

    We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

    Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

    We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

    “What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

    Amen again.

    We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

    Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

    There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

    This is good governance.

    And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

    This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

    We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

    Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

    Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

    Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”