Dumb and Dumber

By John HawkinsJuly 28, 2010, 12:34 am

The young girl can play but won't. The old guy can't play but will. In professional golf, it's not always whether you win or lose, but how you handle the loopholes, as a pair of oddball occurrences proved earlier this week.

Fifteen-year-old Alexis Thompson already is one of America's best female golfers, which makes her absence at the Women's British Open a poorly timed shame with many to blame. Thompson was exempt into final qualifying of the British Open by virtue of her making the 2010 U.S. Curtis Cup team, but that exemption was revoked when she turned pro a month ago.

Stupid rule. Outdated and myopic, what is the reasoning behind depriving superb young players the chance to compete in a major championship? If the accomplishment of winning an amateur title or making a national team is worthy of such an exemption when it happened, why does the decision to play the game for a living change that? You're basically penalizing a kid for getting on with life.

When Thompson was denied the pass into final qualifying she looked to qualify at the first stage, but it conflicted with the U.S. Women's Open. Shona Malcolm, CEO of the Ladies Golf Union which runs the Women's British, admitted that negative feedback from special consideration to Michelle Wie several years back affected her consideration of Thompson.

People forget that Wie finished T-3 at the 2005 Women's British, meaning the leap of faith didn't exactly end with a crash landing. Besides, every case of the worthy phenom is different, and thus, should be treated objectively. Thompson tied for second place at last week's Evian Masters, so she could have arrived at Royal Birkdale as a player with a realistic shot of winning.

Those aren't the kind you leave at home. The LPGA might be governing out of its jurisdiction on this one, but it should work with the LGU to set up a system to assure that every top-50 player is eligible for all four major championships.

It isn't that hard. Just ask Ray Halbritter, CEO of Nationwide Enterprises, which owns Turning Stone Resort, host site of next week's PGA Tour event. Halbritter decided to give himself a sponsor's exemption – think George Plimpton in 'Paper Lion' without the slack-jawed awe or the self-deprecating smirk. The Tour should be ashamed of itself for letting this happen.

John Hawkins appears on Golf Central every Tuesday at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and on the Grey Goose 19th Hole every Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.

Some rich guy who claims a 2 handicap decides he wants to live the dream? Please. Halbritter, by the way, hasn't posted a score on GHIN.com in 2010, which tells me he's got something to hide, and that something will likely add up to 87, give or take a swing. Never mind the game's competitive integrity or anyone's sturdy sense of reason – we see a bunch of 60-year-old hotel jockeys out here all the time.

At Turning Stone, which has been accorded opposite-event status behind the WGC gathering at Firestone, a majority of Tour pros in the field still have to sing for their supper. Spots are precious, which means fantasyland millionaires don't belong. Of course, the Tour won't do anything to deter Halbritter – why discourage a man who stuffs $6 million in your pocket to stage some fourth-tier tournament with no network TV?

It's as close as pro golf has gotten to reality TV. Lower standards, higher profits. Dumb and dumber, no matter how you measure it.
Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm