USGA responds to Burk's call to abandon Trump

By Randall MellJuly 9, 2016, 2:41 am

Updated July 9, 11:15 a.m.

SAN MARTIN, Calif. – The USGA responded Friday to news that Martha Burk is backing “heavy-duty protesters” upset that the U.S. Women’s Open continues to be scheduled to be played at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. next year.

Burk, who first came to prominence in golf in 2002 protesting the male-only membership policy Augusta National Golf Club had at the time, wrote a blog in the Huffington Post supporting a movement to “force the USGA to abandon Trump and his club.”

The U.S. Women’s Open is being staged this week at CordeValle Golf Club just south of San Jose, Calif.

“Our focus is still on conducting the best championship we can for the players, the spectators, the fans and the volunteers, both this year and a year from now,” the USGA said in a statement. “During his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump has made some remarks that are at odds with our belief that golf should be welcoming and inclusive for all. We have reiterated that we do not share his views, and that is still true. 

“It is important to note that Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, has fully complied with our standing anti-discriminatory member policy, which we will continue to require of all championship sites.”


U.S. Women’s Open: Articles, photos and videos


Burk is the director of the National Council of Women’s corporate accountability project. In her blog Friday, she wrote that the protest isn’t over whether or not there are any exclusionary policies at Trump’s Bedminster course but is an objection to the USGA “kowtowing to Trump’s overtly racist and sexist views” and called the USGA’s previous “condemnation” of Trump statements merely lip service.

“Golfers not being a rabble-rouser crowd, the current protest is not taking place with placards in the streets, but behind the scenes,” Burk wrote. “It’s being led by New York University historian Dr. Jeffrey T. Sammons and other prominent African American golfers. Sammons, who has been trying since 2011 to get the USGA to disassociate with Trump properties, recently resigned his membership on the USGA’s museum and library committee and its African American Golf Archive in protest of the decision to leave the 2017 Women’s Open at Bedminster.”

Cedrick Smith and Calvin Sinnette also resigned positions with the USGA museum.

“As for Dr. Sammons, Dr. Sinnette, and Dr. Smith, we respect their views,” the USGA said in a statement. “They made exemplary contributions to our efforts to collect and preserve the rich history of African American golf and we’re truly saddened by their resignations. That said, we respect their personal decisions, and we remain committed to the important work of celebrating the stories of African American pioneers in golf.”

Burk also took the LPGA to task while urging readers to sign a petition against the U.S. Women’s Open being staged at Trump’s course.

“Once again, the USGA puts profit over principle,” Burk wrote. “And where’s the LPGA? Silent as usual, even though the Donald has disparaged women regularly, calling them bimbos, dogs, fat pigs, and crazy. Nothing new here - the good girls of golf have always been afraid to cross the guys.”

The LPGA released this statement Saturday morning:

"The USGA has been and continues to be a great partner for the LPGA. The USGA – not the LPGA – owns and operates the U.S. Women's Open and we are delighted to have so many of our LPGA members qualify to participate each year.

"When it comes to decisions regarding venue, purse, TV, etc., those are solely made by the USGA.

"We fully expect to keep the U.S. Women's Open on our 2017 schedule, and support the decisions made by the USGA on this matter."

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.