An Argument You Just Cant Win
Its a shame Van de Velde has decided to make an issue of this. Remember, he took an eminently honorable stance in granting interviews after his famous meltdown at the 1999 British Open, patiently explaining his thought processes while undergoing the self-destruction at Carnoustie, even finding the grace to mix in liberal helpings of humor.
And now ' this.
'My whole point is that if women are allowed to play in our tournaments, then reciprocity should apply, said Van de Velde. If not, I don't understand what all of this is all about. I am trying to make the point that there are more important things for our governing body to be concerned with, like searching out whether people are playing with illegal clubs or drugs.'
The issue, though, is far different from this either-or ultimatum. If everything were equal, if the same organization administered both tournaments, if one were strictly for men while the other were strictly for women, then Jean might have some basis for his actions.
The Royal and Ancient, though, administers the Open, while the British Ladies Golf Union runs the womens Open. And the R&A has decided (and this is probably getting really old by now) to open its tournament to the BEST GOLFERS AVAILABLE ' not the best MEN available.
The R&A took a stand for almost 150 years that they wanted their Open to be strictly male. And that was perfectly OK by me. But now that they have opened it up to ALL persons, then what right does anyone have to gripe?
The Womens British Open has decreed that that tournament is for women only ' a point that will be elaborated on later in this sermon. Andy Salmon, chief executive of the LGU, said: The 2006 entry form has not yet been sent out, but the 2005 entry form says that competitors must be of female gender. And we have absolutely no plans to change that.
So, Van de Veldes argument is apples and oranges, or golf balls vs. tennis balls. Somewhere here, a major deconstruct is at play.
Are we talking restrooms here ' men vs. women? Or golf tournaments? Is this an anatomy class? Or is it a sporting event?
Some people assume its as simple as this: if youre male, you play strictly with males. If youre female, you play strictly with females. Theres no mixing of the genders, in these peoples eyes.
But we arent in Saudi Arabia, despite a lot of peoples argument that its just not right. Whats not right about it, as long as the organizers of the tournament dont mind? If you want a tournament exclusively for men, start one and declare that its for men only. Undoubtedly there are many of these on the planet. It just so happens that the major championships of the PGA Tour or the European Tour dont have one.
Now ' should the opposite be true? Should men be allowed to play in a womens major? See ' that is where the breakdown of logic occurs. Men dont have a major, though the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship have always been won by men. And they will be won by men for the next thousand years.
But the womens tournaments have GOT to stay women-only. If one man were allowed to play , then 100 would demand the right to play. And if 100 demanded to play, then 1,000 would demand the right to play. Why? Because any male pro would win a womens event 90 percent of the time. The event would no longer have any women competitors. There isnt a person alive who would disagree that the Creator gave men more muscular ability than women.
But thats not the case in what is commonly referred to as mens tournaments ' the PGA Tour, for example, the European Tour, etc. Women may play from time to time as sponsors give them exemptions. A woman may even qualify for an event ' or, in the case of the Open, a major. But there is no way in Hades that women are going to take over the so-called mens tours.
The point, of course, should be totally moot. A woman (women?) may decide to enter Open qualifying, but women are still a long way from making it to the first tee in Open competition. Michelle Wie (lets face it, she brought about the qualifying change) isnt about to make it through qualifying anytime soon.
But, some males ' Van de Velde? - are going to complain forever that if women are allowed to play in mens events, that men should be allowed to play in womens. And no amount of reasoning, no explanation of the rules of the British Open, is going to change that.
Now ' with all this logic, let me say this: the naysayers will still say nay. You can quote logic until you no longer can mouth the words ' you arent going to change the mind of a person whose decision is already made. Jean Van de Velde can get right in step with a lot of Average Joes from around the globe. They are going to assume that you have mens tournaments, and you have womens tournaments. Its Bathroom Politics at its zenith, and I dont care how precise the argument is, those people arent going to change.
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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.”
PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes
The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:
The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.
We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.
Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.
The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.
Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.
''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''
Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).
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:
No. 5: Dec. 12
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18