Notes Norman Calls for Drug Testing

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 15, 2003, 4:00 pm
SANDWICH, England (AP) -- First, it was Tiger Woods calling for a crackdown on illegal clubs. Now, Greg Norman wants all golfers to be subjected to random drug testing.
 
While stressing that he doesn't think illegal substances are being used, Norman said Tuesday that testing would eliminate any lingering doubts that long-hitting players are pumping up pharmaceutically.
 
'Because of the peak performance these athletes are trying to get into, are they using performance-enhancing drugs?' he asked. 'I doubt it, because golf doesn't allow that to happen. You need to be very calm and within yourself.
 
'Now, I say that without any medical degree or background. There could be stuff out there that caters to that.'
 
In April, three-time major champion Nick Price speculated some players would resort to steroids to keep up with stronger competitors and the trend toward lengthening courses. Last month, drug tests were conducted on the European Tour for the first time after the final round of the French Open.
 
The lack of a widespread testing policy is a major impediment to golf being included in the Olympics, a proposal floated over the past decade.
 
Norman believes most golfers would willingly go along with random testing, perhaps four or five players at each event.
 
'Like with the equipment, I support mandatory testing, every now and then,' he said. 'Just a spot check. Keep the guys alert.'
 
NEW HOLE
 
Going against the trend in major championships, Royal St. George's is giving the golfers a break.
 
The treacherous fourth hole was a par-4 when the tournament was last played at Sandwich 10 years ago. For this British Open, No. 4 has been extended 30 yards and converted to a par-5.
 
Par for the course is now 71.
 
'I'm not quite sure why they did that,' Brad Faxon said. 'That's a pretty short par-5.'
 
Greg Norman, who won the 1993 British Open, said he would still play the hole like it's a par-4 -- even though the tee has been moved back 30 yards to increase the length to 497 yards.
 
'It's going to play exactly the same,' Norman said. 'It could have stayed as a par-4, even off that new tee.'
 
A 235-yard drive will carry the first set of bunkers, so it shouldn't matter which way the wind is blowing. The real teeth of the hole is the green, which is small, elevated and slopes sharply in all directions.
 
HELPING TORONTO
 
Masters champion Mike Weir said he's willing to take part in a golf exhibition to benefit Toronto's SARS-ravaged tourism industry.
 
The Globe and Mail, quoting sources it didn't identify, reported Tuesday that a plan was in the works to pair Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam for a prime-time match against Weir and fellow Canadian Lorie Kane.
 
The newspaper reported that the event would be held Aug. 25, most likely at the Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario.
 
While saying he's not aware of such an event, Weir endorsed the concept.
 
'It's fun to get away from the stress of grinding it out for four straight days,' he said. 'We could do something for SARS and Canada, kind of put a little boost back into the economy and people's perspective about what's really happening there, which has probably been blown out of proportion. I don't mind doing that at all.'
 
Outside of Asia, Toronto had the largest outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, a potentially deadly ailment. City officials insist the danger was overblown and are working to bring back tourists.
 
BABY ON THE WAY
 
At the 1999 U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson wore a beeper and was prepared to rush home for the birth of his first child -- even if it cost him a chance to win a major championship.
 
Facing a similar predicament, Nick Faldo said he would probably play on if he's in contention for a third British Open title.
 
His wife, Valerie, is pregnant with their fourth child. She is due to give birth about 10 days after the tournament.
 
'I just told her to sit still,' Faldo quipped. 'I don't want her jumping around or going out and mowing the lawn or anything like that.'
 
If Faldo is contending for victory on Sunday, would he leave the course as Mickelson was willing to do?
 
'Come on, give me a scenario. Six-shot lead and the phone goes?' Faldo said, drawing laughter. 'I've been told to stay and play. That would be good. I would like to be in that position and see what happens. That would test me.'
 
BEEMER SELLS
 
Rich Beem stopped by the merchandise tent to help sell some clubs for his sponsors, though his first swing was hardly a ringing endorsement.
 
Beam, the winner of the 2002 PGA Championship, hit a few drives into a net while a computer analyzed his swing. When his first attempt was projected at 260 yards, he looked incredulously at the moderator.
 
'Don't believe everything you see there,' said Beem, whose driving average is 290.3 yards. 'That felt like 280.'
 
'So, you think it's conservative?' the moderator asked.
 
'I think it stinks,' Beem replied with a smile.
 
Related Links:
  • 132nd Open Championship Home
  • More Open Championship News
  • Course Tour - The Royal St. George's Golf Club
     

    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.