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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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x