Kim hurts Ryder Cup chances with missed cut
In his final chance to make an impression before Pavin announces his four picks Tuesday, Kim opened with a 68 and then crashed out Saturday with a 76 to miss the cut in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Does he have a chance?
“If he believes my game will come around in a month,” Kim said in the locker room as he finishing writing notes to his pro-am partners. “If he judges me on my last two weeks, I probably won’t be a pick.”
The 25-year-old Kim, fresh off a victory in the Houston Open and a third-place finish at the Masters, was No. 2 in the Ryder Cup standings when he decided to have surgery on his thumb that kept him out for three months.
Since his return, Kim was 76th out of 79 players at Firestone (where there is no cut), then missed the cut in his next four events. He fell out of the automatic eight qualifiers at the PGA Championship.
Kim has regained his length off the tee and said he spent seven hours practicing on Tuesday, which he could have never done before surgery. He just can’t seem to post a score.
“I told Corey if I’m not playing good, I would swear on everything and tell him,” Kim said. “It’s close. I’ve been playing every day.”
Kim doesn’t regret having the surgery. If he could have played through the pain, he easily would have qualified. His only regret is returning when he did.
Kim said he was healthy enough to return, but rusty from not being able to practice enough. Instead, he showed up at Firestone trying to pick up points and secure a spot on the team.
“At that point, I needed to make points,” he said. “Unfortunately, he (Pavin) now has some scores in front of him to look at.”
He headed to the car with his clubs in a travel bag from the Ryder Cup at Valhalla, were Kim led the Americans to victory. And despite his struggles, he was still smiling.
“I just need to have someone tap Corey on the shoulder in the middle of the night and say, ‘Pick the kid. He’ll be ready.”’
FUNNY RULES: Chad Campbell was No. 83 in the FedEx Cup standings and opened with a 72. He never got a chance to improve his position, at the Deutsche Bank and in the playoffs, when he was disqualified Saturday for a technicality.
He forgot to register for the tournament.
Players have three responsibilities that have nothing to do with their swings – officially enter a tournament, register for the event before their first tee shot, and sign their card.
If Campbell were to ever fail to sign his card, he would have the hat trick.
A year ago, he was on a plane halfway across the Pacific Ocean when he realized he never entered the Sony Open in Honolulu. The blunder at Deutsche Bank was even worse.
“Just can’t believe you would make a mistake like that,” Campbell said. “Just kind of slipped my mind.”
Reminded of the Sony Open mishap, he said, “It’s starting a trend.”
COLLEGE SPIRIT: Nike makes sure its players get into the college spirit a couple of times a year, such as the Transitions Championship (NCAA basketball tournament) and the Deutsche Bank Championship on Saturday, for the start of the college football season.
Tiger Woods had the Stanford logo on his white shirt, while Anthony Kim had his OU logo for the Sooners’ opener and Justin Leonard wore burnt orange with a Texas Longhorns logo on the back. Paul Casey (Arizona State) and Lucas Glover (Clemson) also got involved.
Stewart Cink, the Georgia Tech grad, wore a white shirt with thin blue and gray lines, no logo anywhere.
He left his Yellow Jackets shirt back at his hotel by accident, except that it was no accident. Turns out Cink is a little superstitious, and he didn’t like the results he was getting on what he calls “special shirt day.”
“My scoring average is like 76,” Cink said. “Every time it’s special shirt day, I have a bad round.”
He pointed to a 78 he shot at the Transitions Championship in the opening round, leading to a missed cut. And the “Live Strong” shirt he wore at the Travelers Championship, where he got off to a bad start and shot 70. A year ago at the TPC Boston, he shot 71 to miss the cut.
So on Saturday, he took a pass.
“It’s in my room,” he said. “I put my iPad on top of it so it would look like I forgot.”
Cink shot a 66 and was four shots out of the lead.
OVERFLOWING CUP: Stewart Cink twice has been a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, and he is considered a favorite to get one of the four picks Tuesday. But he’s awfully tired of talking about it, much less thinking about it.
“The Ryder Cup is like a reward,” he said after a 66. “I’d love to be on the team, and I hope to get his attention. But I’m getting so many Ryder Cup questions. I just want to concentrate on this tournament.”
DIVOTS: The last 36-hole leader to win Deutsche Bank Championship was Olin Browne in 2005. … Scott Verplank withdrew from the second round with a wrist injury. He is in danger of falling out of the top 70 in the standings and missing next week. … The last time Woods lost his No. 1 ranking after a five-year run was at the TPC Boston in 2004. … Andres Romero made a hole-in-one on the eighth hole. Romero made it to Boston by making a 40-foot birdie putt on the last hole of The Barclays.
Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.”