Singh's status remains a mystery

By Jason SobelMarch 14, 2013, 7:44 pm

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – On a chilly, blustery day that made for difficult scoring conditions, Vijay Singh walked off the Innisbrook Copperhead course with a 2-under 69, his name firmly entrenched on the leaderboard.

He had to have felt pretty good about the result, but that notion couldn’t be confirmed.

After the round, Singh was approached by a PGA Tour media official who asked if he would speak to an awaiting contingent of reporters.

“I have no comment,” he responded.

When the media official asked if he alone could have a few comments only about the round and nothing else, Singh still didn’t acquiesce.

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“Sorry,” he said. “I have no comment.”

It should be noted that Singh was polite and cordial in his response. He apparently didn’t mind being asked a question about whether he could be asked questions, but he also made it clear that he didn’t want to answer any.

All of which only adds to the awkwardness of his current situation – whatever that situation may be.

On Jan. 29, news broke that Singh had revealed to Sports Illustrated that he had been using deer-antler spray, which reportedly contains IGF-1, a chemical banned under the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Policy.

“When I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances,” he said via statement that day. “I am absolutely shocked that deer-antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position.”

Since then, Singh hasn’t spoken publicly about deer antler spray, a possible suspension, his game or anything else. He finished T-50 at Pebble Beach on Feb. 10. No comment. He turned 50 on Feb. 24. No comment. And yes, he shot an opening-round 69 on Thursday. Once again, no comment.

The result is reigning confusion about his situation, which may or may not have already been settled. Compounding the mystery is the fact that PGA Tour executives won’t speak about the matter, either. Not until the case is closed and then only if he is deemed guilty.

“There's no time urgency here,” commissioner Tim Finchem explained last month. “If action is taken, it'll be reported. If no action is taken, it won't be reported, and that'll be the end of that. I'm not concerned about that.”

Which means that if Singh isn’t suspended – or even if he is appealing a suspension – and neither he nor anyone from the PGA Tour will address it, then the rest of us are left guessing about any progress or possible conclusion to the situation.

As if that isn’t complicated enough, there’s this: According to the Anti-Doping Policy, “Sanctions on players may include disqualification, including loss of results, points and prize money from the date the antidoping rule violation was found to occur forward.”

Translated into layman’s terms, that means there’s a possibility Singh could parlay his strong opening-round performance here at the Tampa Bay Championship into a victory on Sunday, only to later be punished by suspension that would wipe out the result.

Of course, there’s that little word in the policy’s language – “may” – which renders it all completely nebulous.

To summarize, Singh used a substance which is believed to contain a chemical banned by the PGA Tour. We know he hasn’t been suspended, because he’s still competing and because the Tour hasn’t made any formal announcement. But we don’t know that he has been cleared, because the Tour won’t say if that is the case.

Meanwhile, Singh won’t comment about anything, from deer-antler spray to a potential suspension to his opening round this week.

It was probably a good one, probably one in which the 50-year-old was pleased with his own performance. We can only guess, though, as the situation becomes more awkward every time he tees it up.

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.