Tiger Wins PGA Championship Going Away

By Associated PressAugust 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill -- No tears, no sweat.
 
One month after an emotional victory in the British Open, Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship with a ruthless display of efficiency Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 for a five-shot victory and his 12th career major.
 
He became the first player in history to go consecutive years winning at least two majors. And now, only Jack Nicklaus and his 18 professional majors stand in the way of Woods becoming golf's greatest champion.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods won his third PGA Championship in dominating fashion.
Woods started with a 10-foot birdie to seize the lead. He finished with a tap-in par to match his scoring record at the PGA Championship, finishing at 18-under 270 and walking off the 18th green with a broad smile.
 
That wasn't the case at Hoylake last month, where Woods sobbed on his caddie's shoulder after winning his first major since his father died in May. He paid tribute to Earl Woods again, his voice steady this time. He even managed a wisecrack about how his father taught him to putt.

'I kept saying all day, 'Just putt to the picture.' He actually knew what he was talking about,' Woods said.
 
This celebration was routine. Woods plucked the ball out of the cup and put it in his pocket, thrust his fists in the air and gave a thumbs-up sign as he walked over to pick up the Wanamaker Trophy.
 
'This is sweet. This is really sweet,' he said.
 
He became the first player to win the PGA Championship twice on the same course. Woods outlasted Sergio Garcia by one shot at Medinah in 1999. This one was never close.
 
Woods twice made birdie putts over 40 feet, and the margin of victory might have been greater had he not aimed for the middle of the green and lagged for par over the closing holes.
 
Shaun Micheel won the battle for second place, about the only drama on a sunny afternoon outside Chicago.
 
Even the race for the Ryder Cup fizzled, with no change in the standings.
 
So much for those worries about Woods after he missed the cut at the U.S. Open. He now has won his last three tournaments, the first time he has done that in five years.
 
'Jack Nicklaus, he's the only other guy I've ever seen who looks more comfortable leading on the back nine of a major than playing the first hole of a tournament,' Chris DiMarco said. 'And that's pretty scary. He just puts the hammer down.'

Nicklaus was home in North Palm Beach, Fla., watching his grandchildren play golf, but he saw enough of the final round on television to appreciate how easy Woods made it look.
 
'He's that good,' Nicklaus said. 'The guy is playing just great golf, terrific golf. From what I saw, he certainly was in total command.'
 
Nicklaus won his 18 majors over 25 years. Woods has won 12 in his first 10 years on the PGA Tour, and there doesn't appear to be anyone capable of stopping him.
 
Luke Donald was tied for the lead going into the final round at Medinah and didn't make a single birdie, closing with a 74 to finish in a tie for third at 12-under 276 with Adam Scott (67) and Garcia (70).
 
'He's just too good,' Micheel said after a 69, although he never got within five shots of Woods after the fourth hole. 'Unless you're at the top of your game, you just can't play with him.'
 
Woods is now 12-0 when he has at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
 
'Tiger just doesn't back up,' said Steve Stricker, who made a late bid for the Ryder Cup. 'He doesn't let anybody get close to him, especially in the last round.'
 
So dominant was this performance that Woods made only three bogeys the entire week, including a harmless one on the par-3 17th hole over Lake Kadijah when he was playing it safe. All that cost him was the scoring record in relation to par. He settled for 18 under, the same score he posted at Valhalla in 2000.
 
It was the fifth major that Woods won by at least five shots. He now has won his 12 majors by a combined 56 shots, while Nicklaus won his 18 majors by 44 shots.
 
That Woods has never lost a 54-hole lead in a major was enough to make some believe it was due to happen, especially on a soft course yielding low scores and a strong cast of contenders behind him.
 
He went 10 years before missing a cut in a major. Would this be the one he blew in the final round?
 
U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy found water on the second hole and three-putted from 8 feet on No. 3 to disappear. Garcia chunked a wedge and made bogey on the par-5 seventh to stall his momentum. Mike Weir got within one shot of Woods at No. 5, but he couldn't keep up the pace and fell back to a 73.
 
Donald was in contention at a major for the first time, but not for long.
 
They were tied atop the leaderboard and in the wardrobe department -- both wore a red shirt -- as thousands crammed in around the putting green, the first tee and down both sides of the fairway. Donald had equal support, not only from winning an NCAA title at Northwestern, but sticking around to make Chicago his home.
 
Cheers of 'Luuuuuuke' followed him toward the first tee, but those hopes faded quickly. Woods hit 7-iron into 10 feet, and kept his head so still over his birdie putt that he didn't look up until it was inches from dropping for birdie.
 
No one caught him the rest of the day.
 
Donald caught a bad break when his ball landed in a muddy divot on No. 4, leading to his first bogey in 40 holes. He missed a 5-foot birdie on the par-5 fifth, and that effectively ended his tournament.
 
The only drama left was the U.S. Ryder Cup team, and that also turned into a snoozer.
 
Tim Herron needed a two-way tie for seventh and was looking good with two birdies on his first five holes, but he followed that with two straight bogeys and never recovered, shooting 73. Stricker made a late surge, needing to finish third. He got as high as a tie for sixth until the birdies dried up, he finished with a bogey for a 69 and tied for seventh.
 
Davis Love III finished with three straight bogeys, completing a 73-76 weekend.
 
The top 10 players who earned a spot on the team were Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, David Toms, Chad Campbell, DiMarco, Vaughn Taylor, J.J. Henry, Zach Johnson and Brett Wetterich.
 
Tom Lehman will make his two captain's picks Monday morning, with Stewart Cink likely to be one of them. Cink was 12th in the standings and closed with a 69 while paired with vice captain Corey Pavin.
 
The question was whether he would consider Lucas Glover for his raw skill or Love for his experience, or perhaps someone else.
 
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    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 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.”