Cut Line Celebrations and Revelations

By Rex HoggardNovember 7, 2009, 1:08 am

For the second consecutive week there will be no cut on the PGA Tour, an anomaly brought to you by the FedEx Cup and unfavorable forecasts. In the media biz, however, the last seven days easily qualify as a heavy news week with enough celebrations and revelations to fill the void left by two anguish-free Fridays.

Made Cut

World Golf Championships. OK, this week’s HSBC Champions won’t be doling out official money or FedEx Cup points and, after Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, is missing a few “who’s” from America’s “who’s who” list of top players, but after a largely insular existence this week’s stop in Shanghai is a good start for the WGC concept.

The WGCs were in danger of losing “world” from the preface considering just six of the 33 official-money world events had been played outside the friendly confines. But there are 1.33 billion reasons why this week’s event at Mission Hills has potential.

“Growing the game” was this season’s buzz words and China’s estimated population (1.33 billion) leaves a lot of room for growth.

World Golf Hall of Fame. Despite the curious conflict with Doug Barron’s performance-enhancing drug bombshell, the induction ceremony on Monday was emotional and enlightening, particularly Arnold Palmer’s recollections of meeting and playing golf with Hall o Fame inductee and former president Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Golf’s Hall of Fame may still have room for improvement – one suggestion to move the induction event to the week before the Players Championship was particularly interesting – and may not be Cooperstown just yet, but it’s still a good show. And considering Monday’s fireworks, that’s saying something.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Viking Classic. The only viking that was classic last week wears purple, is older than dirt and ripped the heart of the Green Bay faithful.

But then there wasn’t much Tour officials could do with more than 20 inches of rain in the last 20 or so days – don’t storms that big normally come with a name? Yet with a “bye” week this week and so many season-ending money list implications on the line couldn’t officials have delayed their decision a few days.

Essentially, the Viking Classic had a 14-day window to play 54 meaningful holes and things have gotten better at Annandale Golf Club since the Tour bolted. On Thursday, officials at the golf course said it hadn’t rained since Saturday and the golf course was reopened to members on Wednesday with no restrictions or adjustments to the layout.

Nobody wants to spend a few extra days in Madison, but with so many players vying for their livelihood it seems like it was worth the wait.

Loopholes. It’s beginning to seem like the PGA Tour policy book has more small print than a credit card application. Consider the plight of Jamie Lovemark, who lost in a playoff two weeks ago at the Frys.com Open but had to forego an invitation he earned via his Frys’ top 10 into the Viking Classic in order to play the first stage of Tour Q-School.

When the Viking was washed out, however, Lovemark was awarded a spot in next week’s Children’s Miracle Network Classic based on his Frys’ performance.

Nothing against Lovemark, a fine player who is simply playing the hand he was dealt, but it appears as if he’s getting a mulligan while players like Matt Jones (No. 129 in earnings) sit out the season finale on the sidelines.

We suggest a loophole solution, expand the field by one to make room for Lovemark, who deserves the spot and a clear conscious.

PEDs. Without any further insight from either Barron or the Tour, Monday’s news that the 40-year-old journeyman had become the first to run afoul the circuit’s performance-enhancing drug policy is a victory of process, if not common sense.

The Tour has invested a small fortune, estimates bring the circuit’s anti-doping bill to about $2 million per year, to prove it is above the doping questions that dog other sports and Monday’s announcement seems to support that notion.

Besides, the image of a shirtless Doug Barron begs the question: If this is the face of doping on Tour, is it really a problem?


Missed Cut

Black Monday. On the same day doping innocence died on the PGA Tour, democracy took a header on the European circuit. The tour announced in an internal memo to players that because there were only four nominees for the four open positions on the circuit’s policy board officials would forego elections.

Just a minor point of parliamentary procedure here, but shouldn’t the rank and file get a chance to decide if they want Player X calling the shots?

Who is running the European circuit’s polling process, Katherine Harris, the former Secretary of State for Florida during the infamous “chad” episode?

Senior Players Championship. Change the name, change the layout, change the land if you like, but TPC at Avenel by any other name is still a bad swap for the Champions Tour from Baltimore Country Club, site of this season’s Senior Players Championship.

On Wednesday, Champions Tour officials announced the Senior Players was moving from Baltimore CC to Avenel in 2010, noting it is a one-year switch but not so subtly pointing out “Baltimore Country Club . . .  has one year left in its site agreement.”

Nothing against TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm – the oft-maligned nip-tucked track that not so long ago hosted the Tour’s Washington, D.C.-area stop – but Baltimore CC is a keeper, even for an event dubbed a “fifth” major.

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

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


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