Player I Know of One Steroid User in Golf

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Gary Player put steroids at the forefront of the British Open on Wednesday, saying golf has its head buried in a bunker if it thinks the sport is clean and he knows of one player using performance-enhancing drugs.
 
The nine-time major champion urged golf organizations to start random testing.
 
'It's absolutely essential that we do that,' Player said at Carnoustie, where he won the British Open in 1968. 'We're dreaming if we think it's not going to come into golf.'
 
Player says it already has.
 
'Whether it's HGH, whether it's Creatine or whether it's steroids, I know for a fact that some golfers are doing it,' he said.
 
Asked how he knew for certain, he said one golfer told him.
 
'I took an oath prior to him telling me -- I won't tell you where -- but he told me what he did, and I could see this massive change in him,' Player said. 'And somebody else told me something, that I also promised I wouldn't tell, that verified others had done it.'
 
The cryptic accusation put the Royal & Ancient Golf Club on the defensive over why it does not have drug testing at the British Open, with chief executive Peter Dawson being asked whether he was concerned that its winner could be using steroids.
 
'I don't know if Gary Player is right about golfers being on drugs, frankly, so I really can't comment,' Dawson said. 'One thing I do know is that we're not drug testing here at the Open championship this week, so just how that would be identified, I'm not sure.'
 
The R&A and the USGA used drug testing for the first time last November at the World Amateur Team Championship in South Africa, where all 12 samples came back negative.
 
The LPGA Tour has said it will start drug testing next year and recently disclosed a list of banned substances to its players. The European Tour and the PGA TOUR are working on drug policies, which PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said likely would lead to a testing program, although its first step is developing a list of drugs that would be banned.
 
Player did not say when this conversation with the purported steroid user took place, nor did he say whether he shared this information with tour officials.
 
'I can't speak to Gary's remarks,' PGA TOUR spokesman Ty Votaw said. 'I can't disagree and I can't agree with him. They are his remarks that's he is free to make.'
 
None of the top players concurred with Player.
 
'He knows two (players)? I know zero,' six-time major winner Nick Faldo said. 'Never heard of anybody.'
 
Tiger Woods, who last year said he would like to see the PGA TOUR begin drug testing as quickly as possible, was asked Tuesday if he would be surprised if a golfer tested positive for drug use.
 
'If anything, probably out here it would be testing positive for maybe being hung over a little bit,' Woods said. 'But that's about it. I know some guys have taken Medrol packs for inflammation in their wrists, but other than that, I really don't see anybody doing anything, or have heard anybody doing anything.'
 
Phil Mickelson also said he thought golfers were clean.
 
'I don't think there's even a remote chance that will happen,' he said of a golfer testing positive for steroids.
 
The R&A and USGA are the governing bodies for golf around the world, although both Dawson and USGA executive director David Fay have said that leaders of the professional tours should take the lead in developing a drug policy.
 
Player said he felt 50 to 60 percent of athletes in the world are using performance-enhancing drugs. When asked for a number of golfers, he estimated 10.
 
'I might be way out,' Player said. 'Definitely not going to be lower, but might be a hell of a lot more.'
 
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.