Friday - January 28 2011

By Morning Drive TeamJanuary 28, 2011, 4:56 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. – Week 4 of 'Morning Drive' wraps up today at 7 a.m with another Studio full of guests! We hope you enjoy the show. Make sure to reach out to us during the show through Facebook, Twitter or email.

Contact Us

Facebook | GCMorningDrive
Twitter | @GCMorningDrive
Email | MorningDrive@GolfChannel.com

Today's Topics
- Rickie's World: Rickie Fowler signs with Golf Digest then fires a 1st Round 65 (7 under) at the Farmers Insurance Open
- Star Power: John Daly and Phil Mickelson are 5 under at the Farmers Insurance Open. Tiger is 3 under ... 5 back of the lead
- Flying Molinaris: Both Edoardo and Francesco off to great 2nd rounds at the Euro Tour's Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain
- Fisher's Out: After 16 years at the helm, Jeff Fisher is shown the door from the Tennessee Titans. Hasn't won a playoff game since 2004

Business Headlines
- Comcast acquires NBC Universal
- Golf Digest Inks Fowler
- USGA and Polo

Guest Schedule
7:15 a.m. - Alan Hocknell, Sr. VP Research & Development for Callaway IN STUDIO
7:20 a.m. - Matt Adams, PGA TOUR Network on SIRIUS XM Radio IN STUDIO
7:30 a.m. - Win McMurry, Golf Channel insider IN STUDIO
7:45 a.m. - Butch Harmon, Renowned Instructor IN STUDIO
8:15 a.m. - Kristy McPherson, LPGA Pro, Past Big Break Contestant IN STUDIO
8:30 a.m. - Bill Morgan, Sr. VP Research & Development for Titleist IN STUDIO
8:40 a.m. - Sara Brown, LPGA Pro, Past Big Break Contestant IN STUDIO

Who's Tweeting
Standout tweets today from around the world of golf.

@PGA_JohnDaly - my R11 has a knickname in my bag -- he's my 'Great White Hope' & today he screamed down 17 & 18

@IanJamesPoulter - Played great today 35 putts, missed 1 green, Simply the WORST greens i have ever seen & im not joking they are embarrassing.

@Kristy2208 - Had a great first day at the pga show! Be sure to watch me on the Morning Drive on Golf Channel tomorrow morning!

GARY NAMES YOUR BAND
All season, Gary has has used words and phrases that Erik thinks would make great names for a band. So if you're a musician and your bandmates are dissatisfied with 'Dan Smith: The Greatest Rock Star of All Time featuring Three of His Unemployed Buddies,' feel free to change your band name to one of these Gary Williams originals:

Ryder Cup Purgatory
Bowels of the Abyss
Precipice of Oblivion
Driver Off the Deck
Cold-Topped It
Pariocrity
Find the Jones
Too Penal
Ticklish Little Three-Footer
Elixer
Call for the Squeal
Throw Mitts
Tips for Turkey

WATCH & LISTEN TO TODAY'S ACTION
Holly and Win's Merchandise Review > Listen Now
Alan Hocknell Interview > Listen Now
Bill Morgan Interview > Listen Now
Kristy McPherson Interview > Listen Now
Sara Brown Interview > Listen Now
Butch Harmon Interview > Listen Now
Best of January 28, 2011 > Listen Now

TODAY'S MUSIC
If interested in the music you heard today on 'Morning Drive', download it on iTunes.

Got to Get You Into My Life - Revolver 'Got To Get You into My Life' by The Beatles
I Gotta Feeling - The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) 'I Got A Feeling' by Black Eyed Peas

WHO'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tune-in or stream the show live on GolfChannel.com weekdays from 7-9 a.m. ET.

Monday, January 31
Tim Rosaforte IN STUDIO

Tuesday, February 1
Cris Collinsworth
Bob Costas

Wednesday, February 2
Brian Baldinger

Thursday, February 3
Annika Sorenstam IN STUDIO

Friday, February 4
Matt Lauer
Getty Images

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

The statement reads:

The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

Goodbye and good riddance.

The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

“What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

Amen.

The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

But at what cost?

The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

“What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

Amen again.

We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

This is good governance.

And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

Getty Images

PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.