Most people just refer to him as Hootie.
And here, Hootie, is the latest for a suggestion box that is perpetually overstuffed:
Find a way to get Joey Sindelar into the field at the 2005 Masters.
Sindelar, you probably know by now, finished 41st Sunday on the 2004 PGA Tour money list when he failed to make the cut at the Chrysler Championship and when Jesper Parnevik birdied the 72nd hole and when Tommy Armour III bogeyed his last hole Sunday.
This combination of events dropped Sindelar out of the top 40. Which brings us to your qualifying standards. The top 40 on the 2004 money list are in for next April. Sindelar, who hasnt played in a Masters since 1993, is out for now.
I know he can still qualify if he ranks among the top 10 on the U.S. money list published the week prior to the 2005 Masters. He can qualify if he jumps into the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of calendar 2004; and he can qualify if makes it into the top 50 on the world rankings published the week prior to the 2005 Masters. (As of Mondays latest re-mix, Sindelar is No. 82 in the world.)
All of these avenues, however, are something of a longshot.
Heres the deal, Hootie:
Sindelar has been aiming for the 2005 Masters ever since he won the Wachovia Championship at the age of 46 last May. His two sons are 14 and 11 now. Last time he got to Augusta they didnt know the difference between the green jacket and the Green Hornet.
Sindelar, by anybodys definition is one of golfs very best good guys. Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts and Ben Hogan all would have enjoyed his company.
When they told Sindelar he had earned $1.08 million for winning at Wachovia, he said this that day:
Thats wild. I really want to know what my parents are thinking right now. Because my dad delivered mail for 35 years and my mom drove a school bus. Thats a stupid amount of money no matter what you do, let alone that. Well have a lot of laughs about that. Its bizarre.
I know what youre thinking right now, Hootie. Youre thinking, son, a man has to earn his way into our tournament. We cant have every Tom, Dick or Esteban teeing it up here at Augusta National on a whim.
And, of course, you are absolutely correct.
Thing is, there is this other qualifying standard for your tournament: Its written right there in the tournament by-laws: The Masters Committee, at its discretion, also invites international players not otherwise qualified.
Im not the first to wonder why there isnt a similar category for American players. And Im thinking if there was, Joey Sindelar, who represents everything American golf should be all about, should receive one.
Thanks, Mr. Johnson, for your time.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
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.
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
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18