Its Not Easy Sifting Through the Waste Area

By Kraig KannApril 23, 2004, 4:00 pm
Somebodys got to draw a line in the sand on this whole thing! Ever since Sundays finish in Hilton Head things have been chaos at Golf Channel Headquarters. Starting with Sunday nights 'Sprint Post Game,' continuing with 'Golf Central,' and running deep into Wednesday nights 'Sprint Pre Game,' where the focus should have been on Humble, Texas and the Shell Houston Open, all anyone wanted to talk about was Stewart Cink, loose impediments and a possible loose interpretation of the rules as we thought we knew them.
 
Trust me on this, weve looked at more tape than 3M ships out in a week. Ive spent more time thinking about, and making phone calls on, this one incident than any story I can remember in my nine years at TGC. And Im hardly alone among those whove dedicated their working life over the past few days to figuring this thing out. (The beauty of this job, by the way.)
 
You know what Ive concluded? Not much, to tell you the truth, except that I think the list of those to question runs pretty deep.
 
  • Start with Stewart Cink. Say what you want about his interpretation of what he could or could not do, but it just seems like he might have gone where no man had ever gone before in that waste area. One of the absolute most honorable and respectable players on tour, Cink, like it or not, will not soon escape his link to the rule.
  • Slugger White comes next. I give this guy a huge dose of credit for taking me up on the offer to join us on Wednesday nights 'Sprint Pre Game.' Did we hear from the referee, who many think handed Ohio State the national title against Miami, just a day later on national television? However, somewhere in that conversation walking off the 16th tee the lines of communication became a bit blurred. My biggest question remains: If White and Cink never talked walking toward the waste area, would the outcome ultimately have been ruled differently?
  • Ted Purdy is no saint in this whole thing. Hes mad now, but how closely was he watching what Cink was doing in that waste area? Remember, he had a similar shot in regulation which didnt turn out nearly as well. His drop at the 13th wasnt exactly letter perfect, and PGA Tour rules official Jon Brendle should get one of Purdys first Christmas cards this year.
  • CBS Sports didnt exactly jump all over it the minute Cink went to work. Wheres the whoa, wait a minute to go along with the videotape?
  • The PGA Tour cant get a whole lot of help from the USGA, because the USGA doesnt even recognize waste areas in the first place. So why doesnt the PGA Tour fall in line? PGA Tour rules, local rules or USGA rules? No wonder were always confused.
  • And finally, lets throw course designer Pete Dye into this while were at it. Guess what, he called our show Wednesday night right after it ended to apparently say that he never intended for it to be played as a designated waste area with different rules. I havent spoken with him, yet. But hes fired up to join us Sunday night on the 'Sprint Post Game' so dont miss it.
     
    Whatever your feeling is about the outcome -- the ruling and the players in the storyline that Sunday will not soon be forgotten -- I think it bears mentioning with strong emphasis that each of the characters in the plot gave us their time.
     
    Cink politely declined a live chat on 'Golf Central' and the 'Sprint Pre Game,' but did return my phone calls and did spend time with me talking about it on two separate occasions, giving me his side of the story for use on the shows.
     
    Slugger White talked with us on 'Golf Central' Monday night, returned my call again on Tuesday and agreed (with Jon Brendle) to put an appearance on the 'Sprint Pre Game' ahead of his sons baseball practice and his family in general.
     
    Ted Purdy hardly hid from our phone calls and seemed to give viewers the same line of discord that he gave to our Jerry Foltz on the telephone. Trust us, hes mad.
     
    I dont know what becomes of the situation from here. But I hope you can appreciate their respect for the issue and their respect for how passionate we, as fellow fraternity members of the sport, are about these situations as they arise in front of our very eyes.
     
    I do know this: Im a member at Windermere Country Club here in the Orlando, Fla. area. And weve got a few waste areas that Ive found myself in before. And the next time Im there, or anybody is for that matter, people will be talking about the shot Ill play, how Ill prepare to play it, questioning the result if they didnt watch my shot, and also throwing the name Cink into the conversation. It just cant be helped.
     
    I do hope we can get things back to normal in a hurry, though. Im suddenly missing all the e-mails and discussion about whats wrong with Tiger, why the media fawns all over Tiger and why were also all now so quick to fall in love with Phil.
     
    Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
  • Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: