Just WEN Baby

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Jeld-Wen TraditionThe JELD-WEN Tradition is officially the seasons final major championship. Its the 13th of 13 majors among the men, women and seniors, and the fifth of five on the Champions Tour.
 
Unlike a big boxing match, the Tradition is without a catchy headline. But if there was one, it would be: Unfinished Business.
 
Peter Jacobsen
Peter Jacobsen has two Champions Tour wins, both major championships.
There are a number of players who have a lot to gain, prove and put behind them with a win this week in Aloha, Ore.
 
In the Gain department, there is Peter Jacobsen. Jacobsen is a Portland native and his event management company, Peter Jacobsen Productions, Inc., conducts this tournament. Hes already won one major this season, the Ford Senior Players Championship, so a victory this week would be the sweetest icing on the cake.
 
In the Prove department, there is Dana Quigley. Quigley is having his best-ever campaign. He has two wins, currently leads the money list and is a candidate for player of the year. But despite some close calls, he is still in search of his first major title.
 
In the Put-Behind-Him department, there is Craig Stadler. Stadler should enter this week with positive memories of his triumph at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club a year ago. Instead, he may still be stinging from a bitter defeat in the U.S. Senior Open.
 
There are plenty of others in the 78-man field who could fall into anyone of these categories. But these three are the favorites.
 
Five for the Title:
 
Peter Jacobsen
Jacobsen is the reason this tournament moved from an April event in Arizona to an August event in Oregon. His production company took the reigns in 2003 and the tournament has gone from the first major of the season to the annual finale. The former Oregon Duck would dearly love to win so close to his hometown. He held a share of the 54-hole lead a year ago, but shot 1-over 73 in the final round to tie for fourth. Jacobsen is a major player, with both of his tour wins coming in one of the five elite events (2004 U.S. Senior Open; 2005 Ford Seniors).
 
Dana Quigley
Its been an eventful season thus far for Quigley. He began the year with a win at the MasterCard Championship, and added another at the Bayer Advantage Classic. He had a chance to capture his first major championship at the Senior PGA, but lost to Mike Reid in a three-man playoff. He also ended his consecutive-events-played streak at 264 by skipping the Senior British Open. Consistency is Quigleys middle name, as he has won at least one tournament and has finished inside the top 10 in earnings in five of the last seven seasons. But this year he has a chance to be the tours best. A major victory would likely solidify that.
 
Craig Stadler
Craig Stadler is trying to become the first player since Gil Morgan in 1998 to successfully defend his title.
Craig Stadler
A year ago, Stadler was the tours best. Now he just wants a win. Stadler earned five victories in 2004, including his first major at this event. He was also voted player of the year. This year, he is winless and is still trying to rebound from a difficult defeat at the U.S. Senior Open, where he played his final 10 holes in 7 over to fall from leader to also-ran. He won this tournament by shooting 5-under 67 on Sunday to erase a four-stroke deficit.
 
Loren Roberts
Like Stadler, Roberts is trying to put behind him a poor finish at the Senior Open. Roberts held the lead through 10 holes of the final round, but then double bogeyed 11 and bogeyed 13 to ultimately fall one stroke short. This will be Roberts third Champions Tour start. He finished fifth at the Senior British Open.
 
Tom Watson
Watson won the Senior British in a playoff over Des Smyth. It marked his seventh tour victory and his fourth Champions major. He won this event in 2003, when it first moved to the Pacific Northwest. He was also a runner-up in 2000 at Desert Mountain, losing in a three-way playoff to Tom Kite.
 
Finishing the Front Nine
 
Four more players to keep an eye on
 
*Allen Doyle, who won the U.S. Senior Open. Doyle shot 8-under 63 in the final round at NCR Country Club to overcome a nine-shot deficit. Doyle tied for second last year at the Tradition.
 
*Des Smyth, who has two wins on the season. Smyth has played as well as anyone in the majors this year without a win. He has three top-10s in the first four big events, including the afforementioned playoff loss to Watson.
 
*Tom Kite, who won this event in 2000. Kites win came at the previous tournament site, but he finished runner-up at The Reserve Vineyards in 2003. He is in search of his first win of the season.
 
*Hale Irwin, who has won nearly every senior event except this one. The 60-year-old got off to a hot start this season with a pair of early wins, but he hasnt added to his collection (which now stands at 42) since February. Irwin has five top-10s in nine career Tradition appearances.
 
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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.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

    Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

    Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

    It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

    “What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

    Amen.

    The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

    Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



    Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

    But at what cost?

    The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

    The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

    We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

    In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

    We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

    Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

    We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

    “What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

    Amen again.

    We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

    Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

    There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

    This is good governance.

    And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

    This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

    We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

    Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

    Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

    Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    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.”