Whaley weighs in, supports PGA '100 percent'

By Randall MellOctober 25, 2014, 12:11 am

Prominent PGA of America member Suzy Whaley stepped up as a strong voice for women in the game Friday telling Golf Channel viewers how troubled she was by the controversy Ted Bishop created making sexist remarks as president of the association.

Bishop was removed from his position as PGA president by a vote of the association’s board after he called European Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter a little girl in separate posts on Twitter and Facebook. Bishop’s term as president was scheduled to expire next month. Bishop’s comments about Poulter were a reaction to Poulter’s criticism of Nick Faldo and Tom Watson as Ryder Cup captains in Poulter’s new book, “No Limits,” released this week.

“Obviously, I was extremely disturbed by it,” Whaley said in a live interview on Golf Central. “They were extremely insulting and sexist.”

Whaley, a former member of the PGA board of directors, is running to become the next secretary of the PGA of America, which could put her on track to become the association’s first female president. Whaley made national news in the summer of 2003 when she became the first woman to qualify for a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias 58 years earlier. Whaley qualified to play in the Hartford Open as winner of the Connecticut PGA Championship.

“For me to hear comments that are derogatory about young girls, or insulting, just because you are a girl, is offensive,” Whaley said. “Our board of directors took swift action. The PGA of America finds it quite critical to be inclusive and we will continue to do so moving forward.”

Bishop created the furor by calling Poulter a “Lil Girl” on Twitter. In a separate post on Facebook, Bishop wrote that Poulter “sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess.”

Whaley said those words are at odds with the lessons she learned from PGA members while growing up.

“I was in 100 percent support of the board of directors,” Whaley said. “Our mission is to grow the game of golf, to be inclusive. I am extremely proud of the PGA membership and what I do on a daily basis to include young women and young men from all backgrounds into the game. There are 27,000 of us out there each and every day teaching young men and women, that are changing their lives through the game of golf. I’m so proud of that.

“We need to really empower young women and young girls . . . I was mentored by male PGA professionals, who encouraged me and taught me the game, who taught me life lessons and really wanted me to understand I could do anything, anything in the game of golf, or anything I chose to do in a professional in my life. That came from a male PGA professional.”

Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez was also troubled by Bishop’s comments toward Poulter.

“I was disappointed to hear he said that,” Lopez told GolfChannel.com. “I’ve always believed when you have an issue with someone, you should pick up the phone and call them and deal with them directly, in private.

“As far as the comment about little girls, I don’t think you ought to make any comments like that in reference to little girls. Little girls are sweet. Why even say that?”

There has been no public comment on that matter by the LPGA, and many the women’s game's most important voices have so far been noticeably silent on the topic. Annika Sorenstam had this to say Friday night: "This is an unfortunate episode, but the game of golf must continue its march toward openness and inclusiveness for all."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

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.