Ludicrous money calculations wont deter Thompson

By Randall MellOctober 31, 2010, 12:57 am

LPGA Tour _newAlexis Thompson won $336,472 playing six LPGA events as a professional this year.

Nobody can take that away from her.

Well, nobody but the LPGA.

When LPGA officials calculate non-member money winnings at year’s end, the 15-year-old phenom won’t get credit for the $314,842 she won tying for second at the Evian Masters and tying for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open this year.

For non-members, the LPGA only counts money won in “LPGA co-sponsored domestic tournaments with fields of 75 or more.”

The U.S. Women’s Open is not a co-sponsored LPGA event, according to the LPGA, and the Evian Masters is not a domestic event.

Though the $336,472 Thompson won would rank her 29th on the LPGA money list this week if she were a member, her non-member earnings as calculated by the LPGA would only amount to $21,632.

Alexis Thompson
Thompson tied for second at this year's Evian Masters. (Getty)
Calculating non-member earnings that way, Thompson would rank 129th on this week’s money list. It’s meaningful because non-members who would fall within the top 80 of the tour’s money list at year’s end are eligible for tour membership.

The non-member money calculation is potentially significant with Thompson looking more and more like she will petition for tour membership and a waiver of the LPGA’s rule that requires members be at least 18 years. Thompson’s agent, however, says it would have no impact on Thompson’s plans as he explores the possibility of a creatively designed petition.

“How they calculate non-member money winnings is really irrelevant,” said Bobby Kreusler of Blue Giraffe Sports. “The [$336,472] is a measurement of what she’s done against world-class players. To say you are not going to consider the money she won at the U.S. Women’s Open and Evian is ludicrous. If you’re trying to measure where she stands, you have to consider what she’s done against the best players in the world. You can argue the U.S. Women’s Open and the Evian Masters are the two best women’s events in the world with the best fields.”

While Kreusler stops short of saying Thompson will, in fact, petition for a waiver, signs strongly point to a filing before year’s end. Kreusler said how the LPGA calculates non-member money winnings wouldn’t impact his efforts as he explores a petition he hints would be different from any the tour’s ever seen.

“Lexi’s performances are her performances,” Kreusler said. “I’m not going to get into the intricacies of the LPGA’s rules. Honestly, some of the rules are so archaic as to be funny. Not counting the U.S. Women’s Open and Evian Masters, it’s beyond my comprehension. This young girl’s proven she can compete against the best players in the world.”

Whether Thompson would have to attend Q-School if granted a waiver is among issues that remain unclear. Thompson did not attend sectional qualifiers this fall. Again, Kreusler said a uniquely designed petition may be in the works.

LPGA spokeswoman Heather Daly-Donofrio said Friday that the tour wouldn’t be able to address details of Thompson’s petition for a waiver until she actually petitioned.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

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 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.