Goodbye Solheim Cup Hello FedEx Cup

By Randall MellAugust 25, 2009, 4:00 pm
With the Solheim Cup behind us, and the FedEx Cup Playoffs at hand, were guided by poets as we try to make rhyme and reason in setting the storylines for the week ahead:
 
Riding a Solheim Cup wave in Oregon
 
From Maya Angelous Phenomenal Woman. Its the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. Im a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, Thats me.
 
The Solheim Cup is made of crystal, but the LPGA is hoping it will bounce.
 
The tour would love to see the excitement built up last week bounce into a season thats been too much about whats wrong with womens golf.
 
Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer and the rest of the Solheim Cups stars will be looking to build on momentum gained in a highly entertaining American victory against a spirited European team at Rich Harvest Farms.
 
You want to know how this will help the LPGA? Hall of Famer Juli Inkster said in the Solheim Cup aftermath. If more people would just come out and watch us play . . . Ive been out here, as you guys know, a long time, and Ive never seen the golf that these women play now. Thats not only our team, but the European team. You have Lorena [Ochoa] and all the other ethnic groups out there. We have the best golf right now ever.
 
Inkster believes Wies experience will catapult her to a new level of play.
 
I would bet a large amount of money she is going to win before this year is out, Inkster said.
 
Wie will be trying to do just that this week at the Safeway Classic in North Plains, Ore, but shell have to go through Creamer and the other charged-up Americans. Eleven of the 12 U.S. Solheim Cup players are in the field. Inkster withdrew. Eight of Europe's 12 players also are in the field this week.
 
There are, however, lots of players at Safeway who didnt compete in the Solheim Cup and will be looking to take advantage of the increased interest the team event created for this weeks tournament. Ochoa, the worlds top-ranked woman, will be playing for the first time since the Womens British Open three weeks ago.
 
With the Solheim Cup played at such a spirited level, theres a danger of a Solheim Cup hangover at the Safeway Classic, but, then again, this marks the first regular LPGA event on American soil since the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic seven weeks ago. The women shouldnt have any trouble getting energized again.
 
Inksters looking forward to seeing greater focus on players instead of the tours struggles with title sponsorship renewals.
 
Were going to be great, Inkster said. You guys just got to be patient with us.
 

 
Kim says to heck with her critics
 
From William Shakespeares All the Worlds a Stage.
 
All the worlds a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.
 
Count Christina Kim among the 19 players from the Solheim Cup at this weeks Safeway Classic.
 
Kims profile leaped with her performance helping the Americans win, but not for all the reasons she would like.
 
Though Kim was 3-1 in the matches, shes getting more attention for her role as exuberant American cheerleader, though that isnt what theyre calling her in Europe. Shes a new Solheim Cup villain over there.
 
This Sunday headline in the United Kingdoms The Telegraph sums up what shes up against overseas: The Solheim Cup is turning ugly . . . Christina Kim took her American team way over the edge of acceptable sporting behavior.
 
Kims tweets on Twitter show shes hurt by the idea she was being disrespectful. She doesnt see it that way. She points out her exhortations came after her opponents played their shots. She called her critics sensational seeking media and tweeted to heck with them.
 

 
Tiger, Tiger, Tiger
 
From Theodosia Garrisons The Torch.
 
Lord, let me be the torch that springs to light And lives its life in one exultant flame.
 
Tiger Woods got shut out in the majors this year, but he appears determined to come away with a lucrative consolation prize: The FedEx Cup Playoffs trophy and the $10 million winners check.
 
With Woods entry in The Barclays this week, we may get a full dose of Woods in all four playoff events this year, a first since the Tour created its postseason.
 
While the idea that 'playoffs' will never really matter in golf can be debated, theres no debating that golf fans like to see the best players compete against each other as often as possible. In that respect, the FedEx Cup Playoffs is a hit. Theyve assured us a large dose of Woods this summer. This week will mark the fifth event Woods has played in the last seven weeks. If he plays all four FedEx Cup events, hell have played eight times in an 11-week span. Even if Woods loses in the playoffs, golf wins.
 

 
Good till the final putt drops?
 
From Louise Driscolls Hold Fast Your Dreams.
 
Hold fast your dreams! Within your heart Keep one still, secret spot Where dreams may go, And, sheltered so, May thrive and grow Where doubt and fear are not.
 
The third rendition of the FedEx Cup Playoffs begins in search of a first rendition thats actually filled with the tension and theatrics we associate with postseason play.
 
With Woods winning the first year in anticlimactic fashion, and Vijay Singh the second in equally drama-less fashion, the FedEx Cup is still searching for a defining moment.
 
The PGA Tour needs a playoff memory fans can associate with the FedEx Cup, a moment that will make them say, `Oh, yeah, I dont want to miss that.
 
The Playoffs dont have to be as meaningful as major championships and still have meaning.
 
With the re-setting of FedEx Cup points shifted this year from the beginning of the playoffs to just before the Tour Championship finale, theres a better chance well see a meaningful finish. Of course, with Woods highly motivated, theres always a chance he wins it all in a rout.
 
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  • 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.

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    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm