The English Patience

By Brian HewittAugust 29, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker this week is all about the LPGAs controversial decision to require its members to pass English evaluation tests by the end of 2009.
Without further ado:
Chuck writes: I think this is the best thing to happen to the LPGA. The sponsors are CORRECT. If I'm going to sponsor a ladies golf tournament in AMERICA then the ladies should be able to speak ENGLISH and also my thoughts are that the MEN on the PGA in AMERICA should speak ENGLISH as that is where they are making the majority of their living. When I go into another country, I try to speak enough of the language to get by and I'm not there to make a living from their MONEY. ENGLISH should be the language in all AMERICAN SPORTS.
The Comebacker Right now money is the language in all American sports. And by the way, Chuck, I can see by all the upper case letters that clearly you are a capitalist.

Chris writes: I speak English and I know that the number of phrases and words used during a round of golf with a bunch of guys is pretty limited and for the female golfers even more limited because they wouldn't be expected to comment on the beer cart girl or tell bad/really old jokes. Phrases like That sucked, Does your wife know your playing with her clubs? Are you going to play or just talk? No I still have the honor and Looks like you're still away, shouldn't take these golfers longer than two weeks to learn.
The Comebacker You might be surprised at a few of the phrases that Helen Alfredsson and Suzann Pettersen know.

Brian writes: I am appalled with the LPGA's new language policy. It is blatantly discriminatory. Are they going to have the same approach toward players who have personalities not conducive to courting sponsors? The policy poses a legal nightmare in implementation.
The Comebacker God forbid that lawyers should be the ones to make money off this whole situation.

Ronald writes: I can understand why potential pro-am partners would not want to pay the high fee to play with a pro who can't communicate with them while playing a round of golf. It would also concern me more as a sponsor if the player, wearing my logo, is not able to communicate with the press and their fellow players without using an interpreter.
The Comebacker I would be surprised if there were very many players, who dont speak English, getting paid to wear the logos of American-based companies.

Michael writes: I agree with the LPGAs new rule regarding the English policy. I have played in one of the pro-ams at Kingsmill in the past, though I have been paired with American ladies. I have heard complaints about those who cannot speak English. It did not make the round fun. I hope this change will be viewed as a positive one and sponsors will come back to the great game the ladies play. Go Paula Creamer.
The Comebacker Paulas English, by the way, for what its worth, is excellent.

Christine writes: This whole civil liberties infringement is garbage. These foreign players are welcome to play in their respective countries, on their respective professional tours, and no one would care. But they come to this country because the prize money is much, much better; accommodations are much, much better; and then (they) scream violation of their civil liberties because they have to speak English in the United States? Where do they think all that money comes from, the golf fairy? No, it's American sponsors, American TV, American patrons, who shell out millions to support this tour. I don't see many, if any, foreign companies advertising on the LPGA or sponsoring any LPGA tournaments, do you? Enough is enough. You don't like the LPGA Tour rules, go play someplace else.
The Comebacker Question for Christine: Do you think wed all be having this conversation if the four womens majors this year had been won by four Americans instead of three Asian Americans and a Mexican? Just asking.

John writes: OK! I've heard some rather unique takes on how people should communicate with each other. Requiring someone to speak the native language competing on a professional tour event is ridiculous. Golf is a sport which perhaps recognizes the most diversity amongst its athletes. In turn the majority have mastered the English language, far beyond most Americans. I only wish more people, here in the U.S. could converse in a language other than English (and lose, where are you at?). If the LPGA invokes this policy, I will quit watching all LPGA Tour events. Having already ruled out the numskulls of the NBA, NFL and NHL, this leaves curling and maybe ping pong. I guess the policy should be: think before you speak. The only reason these events are successful is because the athletes provide the entertainment and ratings. Not the commissioners and Congress.
The Comebacker John, youre a little bit all over the map here but you do provoke a few thoughts and hit a few hot buttons. Meanwhile, have you ever thought about synchronized swimming?

Anthony writes: This whole story stinks. I understand the LPGA's problem, but to try to suspend someone for not learning to speak the language is ridiculous. If they go through with it there has to be a lawsuit and hopefully they will actually lose sponsors, but I don't think that will be the case. A more disturbing part to the story is seeing the GOLF CHANNEL poll which shows how many people are in favor of the LPGA's ruling. I think it just brings out the old stereotypes about the game being full of snobs and racists. It does seem that the Korean ladies have been targeted. What a way to grow the game.
The Comebacker
Still more hot buttons pressed.

Larry writes: You play in the USA you speak English. If I played in Portugal I would learn Portuguese. Learn it or leave.
The Comebacker If I played in Portugal, Id be on vacation. (Hey, I know this is a serious subject, but weve got to lighten up a little at some point.)

Paul writes: Considering the miserable condition of U.S. women's golf, instead of punishing the Korean women, why doesn't the LPGA support women's golf in the U.S.A. by hiring some Korean instructors to teach the U.S. up-and-coming players how to play better. Those instructors will need better English, but why put restrictions on the players to speak English ' that's ridiculous! How would English-speaking players on the European and Asian tours feel if those tours decided to force them to speak Japanese or German? I believe the LPGA has overstepped authority into an area it has no right to be in.
The Comebacker I think youre on to something here, Paul. But you might be surprised how many Korean women on the LPGA have American instructors.

Dave writes: Firstly, with no Scots on the Ryder Cup squad and an announcement that doesnt include the words Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo may be hard pressed to get out of Scotland alive on Sunday night. When was the last time there were no Scots on a Ryder Cup team? I truly think that Faldo will get a sick little kick out of making this announcement in our own back yard and thats why he did not ask for an extension. It was 703 years last Sunday since the English disposed of William Wallace by hanging, drawing and quartering him and they are still doing it to us today. Seriously though, as a longtime Monty fan I dont think that even his great Ryder Cup record merits his inclusion on the team. Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood will fulfill the leadership role and, Scots or no Scots. Europe will win. Now let the games begin. Secondly, I think that if they were to enforce the language law on the PGA TOUR, then Boo Weekly has a great deal of work to do.
The Comebacker We know Monty speaks English (it always seems to be better after he plays well). Does Faldo speak Scottish?

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.