Wadkins a Major Champion

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Ford Senior Players ChampionshipDEARBORN, Mich. -- Despite a double-bogey on the 72nd hole, Bobby Wadkins held on Sunday to win his first major championship crown at the Senior Players Championship. Wadkins' back nine included the double-bogey, a bogey, a par and six birdies -- including five in a row.
 
Wadkins ended the championship at 14-under-par 274, one stroke clear of Jim Thorpe. Wadkins won for the second time this year and for the third time in his Champions Tour career.
 
Bobby Wadkins
Bobby Wadkins, wearing his Miami Dolphins shirt, strikes a winning pose Sunday.
'I've never been in that situation before where you try to make a six to win the golf tournament and it's tougher than trying to make a par,' said Wadkins, who earned $375,000 for the win. 'I was lucky to make six. It might not have been a pretty win, but it's a win. I'm very pleased, it's great to get it over with.'
 
Thorpe could have forced a playoff, but a bogey on the last left him at minus-13 after a closing 3-under 69.
 
Third-round leader Loren Roberts faltered in the final round for the second straight Sunday. Roberts set a USGA record with his 8-under 62 in the third round of the U.S. Senior Open last week, but a final-round, 3-over 73 dropped him into a share of eighth.
 
This week, Roberts used rounds of 67-64 on Friday and Saturday to lead by two shots entering the final round at TPC of Michigan. His lead was as big five strokes on Sunday, but two double-bogeys and a bogey on the back nine dropped him into a share of third at 12-under-par 276.
 
Roberts finished alongside Jay Haas (68), 1998 winner Gil Morgan (69) and Des Smyth (70).
 
The 51-year-old Roberts drained back-to-back birdies from the third to move to 16 under, four strokes clear of Dana Quigley and Morgan. He parred his next six holes before disaster struck.
 
Roberts found a hazard off the tee at the 12th and that led to a double-bogey, which dropped him into a share of the lead with Thorpe. After a three-putt bogey from over the green at 12, Roberts found another hazard on 14. That led to another double-bogey, which dropped him four back of the leaders.
 
Thorpe opened with seven straight pars. He then ran off three consecutive birdies from the eighth to get to 13 under. A birdie on the par-5 13th got him to minus-14.
 
Wadkins tripped to a bogey on the first, but he came right back to birdie two. He birdied the fifth to get to minus-11 before five straight pars. From there, Wadkins turned it on with his putter.
 
The 54-year-old birdied the 11th, then drained 30-footer for birdie on 12. At the par-5 13th, Wadkins' birdie got him to minus-14 and a share of the lead with Thorpe and Roberts.
 
Wadkins poured in a birdie putt on 14 from nearly 35 feet to take the lead. He came up short of the par-3 15th, but ran in a lengthy birdie effort from the fringe to go two up on Thorpe.
 
With a two-stroke cushion, Wadkins was starting to feel some pressure as he went for his first major title. He missed the green at 16 before two-putting for bogey.
 
Wadkins, one ahead of Thorpe, pitched his third to 4 feet at the 17th and tapped that in for birdie and a two-stroke lead with one to go.
 
Thorpe, playing one group ahead of Wadkins, got too aggressive at the 18th. Thinking he needed birdie to possibly tie Wadkins, Thorpe ended with a three-putt bogey to fall three behind.
 
'I knew I needed to make birdie there (at the last) and the second shot played very long into the wind,' Thorpe stated. 'The back nine played very, very hard. If I had known what Bobby was going to do, maybe I'd have played it a little different. Hindsight is 20/20, and unfortunately I three-putted for bogey.'
 
Wadkins made things interesting, though, when he drove into a hazard at the last. After taking his drop, his third came up short in a greenside bunker. Wadkins then blasted his fourth over the green into the rough.
 
Needing to get up and down to avoid a playoff, Wadkins' bogey chip hit the hole, but rolled eight feet past. No worries though. Wadkins drained that putt for double-bogey, which was good enough for the one-shot win.
 
'I played so perfect on the back side until the last hole. I knew I had a two-shot lead,' Wadkins admitted. 'I hadn't hit a bad tee shot all day. I was just trying to hit a hard drive down the left side of the fairway and not get blocked out by the tree.'
 
Smyth had five birdies and two bogeys over his first 16 holes to get to 13 under. He also had a chance to get to 14 under with a birdie at the last, but he knocked his approach over the green, then two-putted for a closing bogey to end in a share of third.
 
Brad Bryant, a two-time winner this season, closed with an even-par 72 to join Tom Purtzer in seventh place at 11-under-par 277. Tom Kite and Fuzzy Zoeller were one stroke further back at minus-10.
 
Fred Funk, playing in his second straight Champions Tour event, shared 11th place with Morris Hatalsky, 2004 champion Mark James, Dan Pohl, Don Pooley and Dana Quigley at 9-under-par 279.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Ford Senior Players Championship
  • Full Coverage - Ford Senior Players Championship
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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.”