Sarah Browns messy DQ Futures Tour tries to fix a costly mistake

By Randall MellJuly 28, 2010, 8:20 pm

Sarah Brown will never know if she was on the verge of logging her best Duramed Futures Tour finish or even if she might have mounted a torrid back-nine charge in the final round to win last week’s The International in Concord, N.H.

A rules official’s mistake took away her chance.

The fallout’s shaking out this week at the Duramed Futures Tour headquarters.

Brown, 18, of Lopatcong, N.J., started the final round at Concord three shots off the lead but was disqualified at the turn when rules officials declared her Ping Tour-W wedge had non-conforming grooves.

Brown left in tears.

Turns out, her Ping Tour-W wedge, the XG model, was conforming after all.

While Duramed Futures Tour CEO Zayra Calderon can’t remedy the wrong for Brown, she said she’s intent on preventing the mistake from happening again.

“The most important element of this issue is the player,” Calderon said Wednesday in a telephone interview.

That’s why Calderon contacted Brown to apologize for the mistake, express the tour’s regret and communicate actions being taken to prevent a similar mistake.

“It’s important to understand this is a complex issue,” Calderon said. “When the USGA was making plans and transitioning [to the new grooves rules], it had to be concerned about the potential for some mistakes.”

Calderon said she wishes the rules officials involved would have taken more time to use resources available to them before disqualifying Brown. The model of the Ping Tour-W in question was marked XG on the hosel, which is coding for 2010 grooves. The USGA website identifies the club as conforming. 

Keith Brown, caddying for his daughter, told Golfweek he pleaded with rules officials to allow her to finish the round and make sure they were making the right decision before disqualifying her. The magazine identified Jim Linyard and Kelly Wergin as the rules officials.

“I asked (Linyard) what he would do if he was wrong,” Brown told Golfweek. “What if he disqualified Sarah and later found out he was wrong? How would he rectify that? He refused to answer. He said: ‘The club is illegal. Sarah is disqualified.’ That was it. It was like giving someone the death penalty on hearsay.”

Calderon said the Tour is reviewing how the ruling was made to “clearly, clearly define the protocol” for making future rulings.

Calderon said it’s unfortunate, but she can’t change the result for Brown.

“You can’t predict outcomes, it’s impossible,” Calderon said. “Once a decision’s made, it’s made. We are sensitive to it. We looked at everything we can do. We think we’ve taken correct actions.”

Asked if the rules officials face discipline, Calderon said umpires and officials in all sports make mistakes, what’s important is they own up to them. She said she believes the rules officials in question are “passionate” about their jobs and sincerely believed they were doing the right thing.

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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.