This Years Masters Set for Spectacle

By Associated PressMarch 3, 2003, 5:00 pm
Over the weekend, the Masters slid further down the slippery slope that separates sporting event from spectacle.
 
At this rate, by early April, Martha Burk will get her wish. It will be a full-fledged freak show.
 
The leader in the clubhouse isn't Tiger Woods any longer, but a 39-year-old repairman who loves poodles and fancies himself an Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan ' even though he wields as much real clout as the Wizard of Oz.
 
His name is J.J. Harper, and say what you will about him, even an opportunist needs an opportunity.
 
After driving over from his home in the middle of Georgia sometime during tournament week, he plans to set up shop as close to fellow demonstrators Burk and Jesse Jackson as the authorities in Augusta will allow. Harper's views might be foolish, but he's no dummy; he knows that without Burk and Jackson close by, he'd spark as much attention as a soggy match.
 
Harper became the unanimous choice to run the KKK's American White Knights chapter earlier this year, but that's because he also happens to be the only member. As a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, told the Daily News, ``If he shows up at Augusta with his two poodles, he'll have a protest of three.''
 
Unfortunately, Harper also figures to draw a media following many times that, especially if he shows up in traditional KKK garb. That's because Burk did Harper's advance work for him. She suggested his endorsement proved that Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson and most of the members secretly yearned to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Harper, modeling percale bedsheets with the eyeholes cut out, too.
 
Though Burk must know that she is as responsible for Harper's 15 minutes of fame as anyone, it serves her agenda to pretend otherwise. Harper said Friday the only reason he even sought a permit to demonstrate was because Jackson planned to stake out a spot next to Burk. But the chair of the National Council of Women's Organization's insisted the men who run the Masters were the real draw.
 
``We think it is not a surprise that Augusta National has attracted the support of the Ku Klux Klan,'' she told the Daily News. ``After all, they are flaunting discrimination and the support of a group that is about discrimination is to be expected. But we have not heard from a single member of Augusta on this issue, and that includes the heads of some of America's largest corporations. Do they think their membership is more important than speaking out?''
 
Maybe they don't see the need.
 
Polls consistently show Americans evenly split on the issue, with 46 percent of respondents to an Associated Press poll conducted in November backing Augusta's current membership stance and the same percentage saying a club holding such a prestigious tournament should have female members.
 
And when the question was framed another way, whether it was all right for executives of companies with policies against gender discrimination to belong to Augusta, 52 percent said yes and 35 percent said no. Not everybody buys Burk's argument that belonging to an all-male golf club constitutes discrimination.
 
But she rarely worries what other people think. At the start of this fight, Burk knew so little about golf that she proposed moving the Masters somewhere else if Augusta refused to add a female member. And to her credit, she remained undaunted even after CBS and the PGA Tour ignored her much the same way the golfing CEOs have.
 
But after years spent lobbying behind the scenes on issues such as welfare reform, Social Security and women in the military, Burk received more publicity the day she was ripped by Johnson than she had been able to generate in a lifetime. And she will not let go of the spotlight without a fight.
 
At the end of an interview in a recent edition of the New Yorker magazine, Burk was asked whether it was OK to exclude one gender in a private social setting. The bottom line sounds like something Harper might say.
 
``I myself have what I call the ``Girls' Dinner.' Just some of the women in the women's movement and we get together for dinner. Women in Congress do it, too,'' she began.
 
``Here's the difference. And it's interesting that you should ask this, and it's just now come to me, pretty clearly. It is because, when men get together, denigrating women is just a part of the social interaction. When women get together, denigrating men is rarely done. It's just not even on the radar screen.
 
``Even among the so-called strident feminists of the women's movement. We don't have anything to hide in that way,'' she concluded, ``and men seem to.''
 
Related Links:
  • KKK Wants to Protest at Augusta National
  • Full Coverage of the 2003 Masters Tournament
     
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


    President at the Presidents Cup


    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


    Trump golf properties

    Vandalism

    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.