Notes Creamer Hot and Cold Davies Cold

By Associated PressJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Six birdies, four bogeys, one double bogey, an eagle, a trip to the top of the leaderboard and one trip to the bathroom to throw up: To say the least, Paula Creamer packed a lot into her second round at the U.S. Open on Friday.
 
When it was all over, Creamer had a wild round of 2-under-par 69, good enough to finish at 143, just three strokes out of the lead.
 
``Anything can happen out there, and I'm a prime example of it,'' she said.
 
The 18-year-old Californian, who won at Q-school last year to earn her tour card, has more than fit in in this, her first year as a pro. She has one win, one second and a pair of third-place finishes, including one at the LPGA Championship two weeks ago.
 
Nothing, however, compared to her round Friday. After starting with a bogey and a double, she looked to her caddie and said she was hitting the ball too well to be scoring so poorly.
 
Then, she proved it -- making six birdies and an eagle over the next nine holes -- the eagle came when she holed an 8-iron from 132 yards on No. 10 -- to get a share of the lead.
 
She couldn't enjoy it much, though, because of a wrenching stomach ache she got from gulping down some Gatorade.
 
``I was trying not to get sick on the golf course,'' she said. ``And it was great'' because the longest putt she faced during the stretch was only 10 feet.
 
A 45-minute rain delay gave her time to head to the bathroom and throw up, but it also stifled her momentum. She made three bogeys after the delay, then, in a fitting finish to the roller-coaster round, closed with a 20-foot putt to save par on No. 18.
 
``Just knowing that I made a lot of birdies and I am under par for my day was enough for me,'' she said, ``because now I know going into the weekend that I can do it.''
 
DAVIES DECLINES:
Laura Davies reached into her bag and pulled out the driver, drawing cheers from the gallery.
 
Though she said early in the week that there was no point in hitting driver on Cherry Hills' opening hole, Davies took a lash at the 313-yard par 4 anyway. With no hope of making the cut and little chance of cracking 80 for the second straight day, Davies figured it was worth a shot.
 
'Absolutely. I was hitting driver on every hole except 7,' Davies said.
 
Arnold Palmer made No. 1 famous by driving the green in 1960, using his birdie there to overcome a seven-shot deficit and win the U.S. Open. Davies' shot wasn't nearly as miraculous, landing about 70 yards short and left in the thick rough next to a tree. She punched through a small opening and landed on the green, but three-putted from 30 feet for bogey.
 
The hole typified Davies' two days at Cherry Hills.
 
She was 7 over in the first round Thursday when play was suspended due to weather, then closed it out Friday morning with a triple bogey, double bogey and bogey to shoot 13-over 84 -- her worst score in 66 U.S. Open rounds.
 
Davies opened the second round with a birdie on No. 10, then went back to making bogeys. She closed out the back 9 with a triple bogey on the par-4 18th to make the turn in 8-over 44, then had bogeys on three of her next four holes.
 
Davies has always been a fast player, but once things got really bad she played as if she needed to catch a flight. She hit her shots just seconds after playing partners Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome, and hit putts in succession as if they were playing by continuous putting rules.
 
And she kept hitting that driver.
 
'This afternoon was irrelevant. I needed to shoot 66 and that wasn't going to happen,' Davies said. 'I'd rather miss the cut by 10 than by one.'
 
As for the rest of the tournament, don't expect Davies to be tuning in.
 
'I don't care who wins,' she said. 'They run a great tournament, but I'm not part of it. I'll be out of here as fast as I can.'
 
MCGILL'S MELTDOWN:
Jill McGill grew up playing Cherry Hills and the local knowledge seemed to help her in the first round.
 
It didn't make much difference in the second.
 
After opening with a 1-over 72 on Thursday, McGill struggled with just about every aspect of her game for a 79 on Friday. She finished at 9-over par and when leader Nicole Perrot made a 4-foot putt to save par and finish at 2 under, McGill had missed the cut -- done for the weekend.
 
'It had nothing to do with knowing the golf course, it had to do with hitting bad shots,' she said. 'Whether you know a golf course or not, if you can't hit it straight you're going to score poorly.'
 
McGill's biggest problem was with the greens. After getting around in 27 putts in the first round, she needed 35 in the second, including three three-putts.
 
'My speed was way better yesterday and today I just didn't have a clue,' McGill said.
 
Among those joining McGill on the sidelines for the weekend were 2003 champion Hilary Lunke, Carin Koch, Kelli Kuehne, Beth Daniel and Davies.
 
HETHERINGTON'S RUN:
On a day when scores climbed and big numbers dotted the scoreboard, Rachel Hetherington matched her best score in 24 rounds at the U.S. Open.
 
She started with a bogey on the par-4 first hole, but had four birdies on the front 9 to turn in even-par 35 and had three more on the back to shoot a 2-under 69. Hetherington, who also had a 69 in the second round of last year's Open, is at 1-over 143 through two rounds.
 
'Even when I was making bogeys, I actually hit good shots, just a little too long or a little too short,' she said. 'I am very happy with it.'
 
DIVOTS:
Cherry Hills' finishing hole was still giving players fits in the second round. The hole played 0.679 strokes above par and 21 players made double bogey or worse. That included Sophie Gustafson, who made a quintuple-bogey 9. Three players did, however, make birdie on the hole after a first round that didn't yield a single one. ... Brittany Lincicome had never played with Laura Davies before this week, but the two had crossed paths before. Lincicome was a standard bearer for Davies' group several years at JC Penney Classic in the Tampa Bay area.
 
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    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 Web.com 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.

    Amen.

    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.”

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    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.