Notes Womens Open Prize Money Half of Mens

By Associated PressJune 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 U.S. Womens OpenNEWPORT, R.I. -- The prize money at the U.S. Women's Open is $3.1 million, by far the largest purse on the LPGA Tour, but not even half as much as the $6.8 million the USGA doled out to the men two weeks ago at Winged Foot.
That's not about to change.
USGA executive director David Fay said Wednesday that the market dictates the size of the purse, noting that the men's U.S. Open draws a larger audience, has more entries and more press coverage.
'In an ideal world, they would be equal,' Fay said. 'When you're dealing with an athletic competition, that's also an entertainment product. You really pay what the marketplace drives. I would like to believe the WNBA should have the same salary structure as the NBA, but it doesn't happen that way.'
The question arose because of a renewed push at Wimbledon that men and women get paid the same. The latest to endorse equal pay was British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Fay, however, said golf and tennis don't compare because the U.S. Open is held on different courses at different dates. He said it was not clear whether fans were going to watch Roger Federer or Martina Hingis, Andy Roddick or Venus Williams.
'If you had the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women's Open on the same facility the same week, certainly there would be equal prize money because how would you know why you're coming to the event?' he said. 'Would you be coming to see (Annika) Sorenstam or would you be coming to see (Tiger) Woods? But that's not the case here.'
Laura Davies and Lorie Kane received some good news Wednesday on a foggy, rainy and windy afternoon at Newport Country Club -- both were added to the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship next week.
Davies and Kane failed to qualify through the world ranking or the LPGA Tour money list, but they were the two sponsor's exemption into the 64-player field, which pays $500,000 to the winner.
Some of the bunkers at Newport Country Club are caked with mud from all the rain.
And those are the bunkers in good shape.
USGA officials are mainly concerned with 2 feet of water in some of the bunkers because of a low water table, particularly one to the right of the par-3 17th.
'All of the bunkers have been pumped already,' said Mike Davis, senior director of rules and competition. 'The bunker that's short right of the 17th green has been pumped probably four or five times, and the water just keep coming back in.'
The solution is to get enough dry sand in the bunkers so players can take a free drop from balls that are submerged.
'We just don't want situations where the entire bunker is full of water,' Davis said. 'We don't mind some water in the bunker, but if it gets to be too bad, then pumps will definitely come out.'
Karrie Webb spent the last couple of years making changes to her swing, and it finally paid off when she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her seventh career major. She also won at Kingsmill and lost in a playoff at the LPGA Championship.
But along with countless hours on the range with coach Ian Triggs, a trip to a sports psychologist also helped.
The biggest change? Playing faster.
Webb believes she was trying to process so much information that she stayed too long over the ball and got bogged down in too many technical aspects of the swing. After seeing the Australian sports psychologist, she changed her pre-shot routine to hit the ball sooner.
That's what she was working on with Triggs earlier this week at Newport.
'Everything looked good in my swing, I just wasn't hitting it very good,' Webb said. 'I just went to pulling the trigger a little quicker, and I'm back to hitting the ball to where I'd like to see it at this stage before the tournament.'
Michelle Wie helped design a turquoise jumper that she wore in the final round of the LPGA Championship. At the start of this week, she was going through a catalog of Nike clothes to pick out a new wardrobe.
Indeed, she is becoming a fashion queen inside the ropes.
Back at Punahou School in Honolulu, however, it's a different story.
'They put uniforms in our school,' she said. 'It's not really a uniform, which is the worst part. If it was like a skirt and a tie and a vest thing, I would wear it. We have to wear a regular T-shirt -- they have the Punahou mark on it and they charge you a lot to buy it. Obviously, I'm not very happy with the dress code. 'Punahou, please take away the uniform, please, if you hear this.''
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.