Woods Cant Win In the Augusta Debate

By George WhiteOctober 22, 2002, 4:00 pm
Maybe ' just maybe ' Tiger Woods has already given his opinion on the great debate - Augusta National Vs. Women Members.
An old story got new legs last week when Woods was asked again ' for the hundredth time ' about the issue. He answered the question when it was brought up the first time at the British Open. The story was front-burner news for a month or so ' Tiger Waffles On Women at Augusta National, the headlines read. Then it died down, only to be resurrected again last week.
There is no new information from this quarter. Woods didnt set down and write a long position paper on the subject. He didnt promise to go up on the mountain for the women affected. He said in the past exactly what he believed, and there was nothing wishy-washy about it: No. 1, he dislikes discrimination again women; No. 2, non-members, even one who is Tiger Woods, are in no position to do anything about it.
Regardless of what youve read, this does not equate to race discrimination. Augusta National welcomes women who have gained admittance to the grounds under the accepted manner ' either wives of members or guests of members. Women played 1,000 rounds there last year, which is a good number when you consider that the club is closed from May to October, and it isnt used extensively when it IS open.
Blacks were ' and in many cases still are - routinely prohibited from using the grounds at many country clubs. By contrast, most of the members at Augusta have wives and many have daughters. All, it is presumed, had mothers. Until the past decade, there were no blacks ' mothers or daughters, fathers or sons ' who strolled the Augusta fairways.
Tiger is being asked questions that Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer arent for precisely that reason ' he is not lily white. The issue is being race-based, even though it clearly is gender-based. To try to somehow construe the two issues as one is a fallacy.
For the reason that there are many loopholes in the so-called no women allowed rule, Im ambivalent about the issue. I certainly would not belong to a club which did not allow women. But not once since the issue arose has any representative of Augusta called and asked me for my opinion. They havent called Woods, either. But just about everyone in the media has.
I go back to what Ive said before ' how about the hundreds of thousands of womans associations in our country? Theyre harmless, really. Does any man alive object to not being in the ladies' loop? No, of course not. And Augusta National, for that matter, does not object to women playing golf until their hands are bloody.
Woods is right when he says that so many people demand that he take up their cause ' yes, demand it. He is in a rather delicate position now ' people who are sure they are right want to involve him on their side. It doesnt matter that he has come out in favor of the position of women. They demand that he be anti-Augusta as well. He must see the issue exactly as they see it, or else he is a Judas. The truth is ' he doesnt.
If it were a black-white issue, the situation would be far different. But this isnt, and the argument that it is the same is just so much baloney.
This is not a defense of Augusta National. It is a defense of Tiger Woods. He is not straddling the fence. The question was one that was proper to ask, and Woods gave a response. He wasnt coy or trying to be all things to all people. It is wrong to discriminate against women, he said. But since he is not a member, there is nothing he can do to change the situation. And as a personal aside, I seriously doubt that he could change things even if he decided to boycott. Augusta National, dont forget, threw away the millions of its Masters television sponsors. Does it seem likely that Woods absence would affect them, either?
Some of the members, thank goodness, have voiced reservations about the ban of women members. But to take Woods to task because he is not as rabid as many of the protestors is clearly wrong. Its an argument that he just cannot win.
If you want a more definitive answer, then ask him a question where the two issues are more clear-cut. Clearly, Augusta National is on the way toward admitting a woman, regardless of the stance of Hootie Johnson. But dont expect Woods to equate the argument to one of race. That just isnt going to fly. This isnt a question of someone being hanged solely because he is black. Pardon me, but the links simply dont stretch that far.
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.