Notes: PGA's Bishop, R&A's Dawson at odds over anchoring

By Doug FergusonMay 1, 2013, 1:17 am

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The biggest rivalry in golf at the moment could be the heads of two different organizations on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

PGA of America president Ted Bishop has been vocal about his opposition to the proposed rule that would ban the anchored stroke used for long putters. Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson last week referred to Bishop's public comments as a ''campaign.''

''The PGA of America knows my views about this and I'm disappointed at the way that campaign was conducted,'' Dawson said. ''It put rule-making onto the negotiating table. The negotiating table is no place for rule-making to take place. Obviously, the feelings are strong. We shall have to see where it goes.''

Bishop took it one step further in an interview and exchange of emails with Golf World magazine, in which he revealed details of his encounter with Dawson during the Masters and questioned the R&A's male-only membership.

''I find that to be very curious and perplexing given the fact that the R&A has not been inclusive, as evidenced by their unwillingness to accept women as members to the R&A,'' Bishop told the magazine. ''This is a much different approach than we have taken in America.''

Bishop said when he told Dawson that the PGA of America was looking after the best interests of the amateur golfer, Dawson pointed a finger at him and said, ''That's not your role.'' He said they met again at a reception that night that was more civil.

But he continues to challenge Dawson, particularly the 90-day comment period that ended two months ago.

''The PGA of America has gotten the impression from the R&A that we should have just accepted the proposed rule change and not issued any comments,'' Bishop said in an email to Golf World. ''Then why have a comment period at all? If you remember, Dawson stated on Nov. 28 that he doubted if any new evidence would surface during the comment period that would result in the ban on anchoring being dropped. That hardly set the stage for an 'open' comment period.''

Bishop also made a comment that won't make this issue any less divisive, saying the differences between the PGA of America and the R&A came down to cultures.

''Europeans have a tendency to accept the things that are imposed by their respective governments, while Americans will debate, argue and vote on issues,'' Bishop said in the email. ''I think that is the fundamental premise that America was founded on.''

The PGA Tour and PGA of America are opposed to the new rule. The European Tour is in favor of it. A decision whether to adopt the rule is expected by the end of May. If it's approved, it would not go into effect until 2016.

RUB OF THE GREENS: For a golf club that strives for perfection, Quail Hollow has its hands tied this week by Mother Nature.

Due mainly to an unusually cool spring, the home of the Wells Fargo Championship has struggled so mightily with its greens that two of them (Nos. 8 and 10) have had to be resodded in recent weeks, and tournament officials have asked players to hit only one shot into Nos. 12 and 13 during practice rounds.

The rest of the greens are spotty at best, most with several patches of brown. And it's not just looks. Some players say the greens are running at different speeds.

''It's tough to see,'' said Webb Simpson, the U.S. Open champion who lives at Quail Hollow. ''I think their biggest challenge is going to try to get it to be the same firmness and speed of the other greens.''

The practice green might have been in the best shape of all, and putts were bouncing more than they were rolling.

''The good news is everybody's playing the same golf course,'' Simpson said. ''So there will be no excuses this week.''

GUAN MORE: Guan Tianlang isn't done with the PGA Tour just yet.

Guan accepted a sponsor's exemption into the Byron Nelson Championship next month. That will be his third PGA Tour event in a span of six weeks, more golf than Tiger Woods will have played in the last month or so. Guan made history at the Masters as the youngest to play all four rounds in a major, and he became the youngest player to make a cut in a PGA Tour event at the Zurich Classic last week in New Orleans.

Still to come is qualifying for the U.S. Open.

A DIFFERENT QUESTION: A popular question to most players at the Masters was about Guan Tianlang, and what players were doing at age 14. Bubba Watson heard the question again in New Orleans last week and decided to turn it around, with a dose of perspective.

''Let's got a different route,'' he said. ''If you looked at every sport through time, everybody has gotten better – bigger, better, stronger, fast, no matter sport it is. In golf, there are kids nowadays that are learning at a younger age. They're working out at a younger age. They're eating better. They know what to practice because they've watched Tiger Woods. ... So you can just see it.''

He then mentioned the LPGA Tour, where the players seem to be getting younger. And he mentioned LeBron James, who went to the NBA straight from high school.

''So you look at every person in sports, it's growing that way,'' Watson said. ''Pretty soon they're going to be younger, and 20 years down the road, it's probably going to be younger than 14. But records are already broken.''

NEXT QUESTION: Maybe it's time to stop asking Jack Nicklaus if he thinks Tiger Woods will break his record of 18 professional majors.

An answer last week during a Q&A at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley explains why.

Nicklaus for years has said essentially the same thing. He thinks Woods will break his record, but that Woods still has to do it. Golfweek magazine was there when the question came up again. The answer didn't change – ''I still think Tiger will break my record,'' he said – except for what Nicklaus tacked on to the end of it.

''If I said anything different, there would be headlines in the newspaper tomorrow,'' he said.

Can you imagine?

DIVOTS: The U.S. Open received a record 9,860 entries this year, smashing the mark of 9,086 for the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. The U.S. Open returns to Merion this year for the first time since 1981. ... Hideki Matsuyama, the two-time Asia-Pacific Amateur champion (and 2-for-2 in making the cut at the Masters) won the Tsuruya Open last week on the Japan Golf Tour in just his second start as a pro. Matsuyama is now No. 108 in the world, 10 spots ahead of Ryo Ishikawa. ... Billy Horschel winning and D.A. Points finishing second put both of them inside the top 50 in the world, and knocked Matteo Manassero out of The Players Championship. Manassero would have to win at Quail Hollow this week to get into the richest tournament in golf. ... Nassau native Georgette Rolle has been given a sponsor's exemption into the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic next month at Atlantis Resort. Rolle is a graduate assistant coach for the men's and women's golf teams at Texas Southern, and she teaches at a First Tee program in Houston. She also hosts a two-day junior camp in The Bahamas once a year.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods has averaged $97,126 per round from official events in his PGA Tour career.

FINAL WORD: ''He was responsible for all the bogeys I made. I made the birdies.'' – Angel Cabrera, on having Angel Jr. caddie for him at the Masters.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.