USGA Releases 2003 Championships Schedule
Over the course of five months starting in June, USGA championships will be played in 13 states and make return stops to nine familiar courses. The schedule concludes in October with the U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur and the U.S. Mid-Amateur championships in South Carolina and Delaware, respectively.
The U.S. Open, scheduled June 12-15, is the years first of 16 events and 13 national championships conducted by the USGA. Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill., will welcome the worlds best golfers, including Woods, who will be trying to defend his title and win his third U.S. Open. He also won three U.S. Junior Amateurs (1991-93) and three U.S. Amateurs (1994-96). He is one behind Bob Jones, who won nine USGA titles from 1923 through 1930.
Olympia Fields hosted the U.S. Senior Open in 1997, won by Graham Marsh, but hasnt hosted an Open since 1928, the year Johnny Farrell beat Bob Jones in a playoff.
The U.S. Senior Open will be played from June 26-29 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, the site of four previous U.S. Opens. The U.S. Womens Open will follow from July 3-6 when the championship makes a second visit to Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.
Alison Nicholas of England won the first Womens Open at Pumpkin Ridge, in 1995.
Local (18 holes) and sectional (36 holes) qualifying will again be conducted to award spots for the Womens Open to non-exempt golfers. This practice was initiated in 2002.
The USGAs amateur championships spend June through August on the East Coast, with the U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links starting the schedule from June 17-22 at a recently-opened venue; Ocean Hammock Golf Club in Palm Coast, Fla. Another relatively new club, Blue Heron Pines Golf Club in Galloway, N.J., will host the U.S. Amateur Public Links from July 14-19.
Staying in the mid-Atlantic region, the USGAs two junior champions will be held concurrently from July 21-26. The U.S. Girls Junior will be played at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn., while the U.S. Junior Amateur stops at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md.
The winners of each of the junior championships will gain an exemption into the respective amateur championships in August in Pennsylvania.
The U.S. Womens Amateur will be played from Aug. 4-10 at Philadelphia Country Club, site of three national championships, but none since 1949. The U.S. Amateur, set for Aug. 18-24, returns to the USGA-friendly venue of Oakmont Country Club, host of 12 previous USGA events, including seven Opens.
The Amateur winner will be busy, too, as he likely will be asked to join a 10-man U.S. team that will oppose a team from Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup Match, from Sept. 6-7 at Ganton Golf Club in North Yorkshire, England. The USA has an overwhelming 31-6-1 lead in the biennial series, but the European squad has won three of the last four matches.
The senior amateur events also start on Sept. 6 back in the United States. The USGA Senior Amateur, for men age 55 and older, is scheduled from Sept. 6-11 at The Virginian Golf Club in Bristol, Tenn. The USGA Senior Womens Amateur, for women age 50 and older, is from Sept. 6-11 at Barton Creek Resort and Club in Austin, Texas. Carol Semple Thompson, 54, of Sewickley, Pa., has won the last four Senior Womens titles.
The mid-amateur championships, for golfers age 25 and older, will be held in from Oct. 11-16. The U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur will be hosted by Long Cove Golf Club in Hilton Head, S.C. The U.S. Mid-Amateur will be contested at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del.
The top three amateurs from each state also will be selected for the USGA Womens and Mens State Team Championships, run concurrently from Sept. 16-18 in the Boston area. The womens championship will be held at Wellesley Country Club while the mens championship will be played at Charles River Country Club. The best two of the three scores will count toward the team total each of the three days.
USGA 2003 CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE
U.S. Open June 12-15 Olympia Fields Country Club
Olympia Fields, Ill.
U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links June 17-22 Ocean Hammock Golf Club
Palm Coast, Fla.
U.S. Senior Open June 26-29 Inverness Club
U.S. Womens Open July 3-6 Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club
North Plains, Ore.
U.S. Amateur Public Links July 14-19 Blue Heron Pines Golf Club
U.S. Girls Junior July 21-26 Brooklawn Country Club
U.S. Junior Amateur July 21-26 Columbia Country Club
Chevy Chase, Md.
U.S. Womens Amateur Aug.4-10 Philadelphia Country Club
U.S. Amateur Aug. 18-24 Oakmont Country Club
Walker Cup Match Sept. 6-7 Ganton Golf Club
North Yorkshire, England
USGA Senior Womens Amateur Sept. 6-11 Barton Creek Resort and Club
USGA Senior Amateur Sept. 6-11 The Virginia Golf Club
USGA Womens State Team Sept. 16-18 Wellesley Country Club
USGA Mens State Team Sept. 16-18 Charles River Country Club
Newton Centre, Mass.
U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur Oct. 11-16 Long Cove Golf Club
Hilton Head, S.C.
U.S. Mid-Amateur Oct. 11-16 Wilmington Country Club
Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion
Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.
Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.
“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.
It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.
“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”
The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.
“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”
Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey
Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:
Tiger sighting on the range! pic.twitter.com/rcJYLCes7R— Morning Drive (@GCMorningDrive) January 23, 2018
Back on TOUR.pic.twitter.com/OPmjaXFo1l— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 23, 2018
Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open
The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.
Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.
Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:
1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.
2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.
3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.
4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.
5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.
6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.
7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.
8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.
9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.
10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.
Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'
It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.
Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.
"The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."
Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.
That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.
"You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.
"But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."