Cut Line Controversy Ave

By Rex HoggardJanuary 30, 2010, 6:48 am

SAN DIEGO – If PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem thought his press conference earlier this year in Hawaii was a tad edgy, wait until next week’s players meeting in Los Angeles.

From legally questionable wedges to logically challenged policies on Tour members playing overseas, the commish may be longing for the warm embrace of the press by the time the rank-and-file are finished with him. Because as “Cut Line” has learned this week, there are no easy answers on the modern Tour.

Made Cut

John Daly. Nope, those rounds of 79-71 at Torrey Pines weren’t nearly good enough to keep the big man around for the weekend, but his moment of emotional clarity Friday afternoon was a welcome addition to a turbulent career.

“I’m tired of embarrassing myself. I just can’t do it anymore,” Daly said Friday while filming an upcoming episode of the Golf Channel series “Being John Daly.”

If you believe JD is going to hang up his FootJoys we’ve got some underwater SoCal real estate, both financially and geologically, that we’d like to show you. Daly has far too much talent to call it career and, let’s be honest, not a vast amount of marketable skills outside the ropes.

He did, however, show an encouraging sign of humility and reason when he was asked about playing next month’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on a sponsor exemption.

“I’m not going to take that spot from anybody else,” Daly said.

No, he’s not finished. In fact, it seems Daly could finally be getting it.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish

Ping Eye 2 wedges. Never in the history of the game has 20-year-old technology caused such a buzz.

What largely seemed to be a non-issue ignited when Tour veteran Scott McCarron said Phil Mickelson’s use of the Ping Eye 2’s, U-groove clubs which have been grandfathered into use via a legal settlement between the PGA Tour, U.S. Golf Association and Ping, was akin to cheating.

In golf the “c” word doesn’t wash off very easily, and on Friday McCarron didn’t back down, “I didn’t say Phil was cheating. I said anyone using one of those clubs is cheating.”

On Tour the issue has a “healthcare” edge to it, dividing the circuit into two camps – those who are disappointed Mickelson is using the club and those who are angry with the Tour for not doing something about an arcane rule.

“I don’t have a tenth of the talent that Phil has and I would never even consider using that club,” Jay Williamson said.

While Tom Pernice Jr. was among the latter, saying: “Finchem needs to have everybody playing under equal guidelines. . . . It’s not the player’s fault by any means. Everybody is playing within the rules.”

Either way, Torrey’s Poa greens aren’t the bumpiest things Mickelson has had to navigate this week, but in Lefty’s defense there’s no reason to think he is trying to gain a competitive advantage. Truth is, anyone with an eBay account has access to the same technology. At least while supplies last.

Conflicting event releases. Next week’s inaugural meeting of this year’s Player Advisory Council promises to be a lively meet and greet.

After the Ping Eye 2 issue, expect players to tackle the Tour’s policy on conflicting event releases which came to a head last week when nine Tour members, including Anthony Kim who grew up at PGA West, were granted releases to play the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Championship opposite the Bob Hope Classic.

Nine players were also granted releases for this week’s European Tour stop, including Kenny Perry, while this week’s stop at Torrey Pines, which has struggled to secure a long-term title sponsor, has just two Americans ranked inside the top 21 in the world (Mickelson and Lucas Glover, No. 21).

“(Finchem) has a magic wand but is reluctant to use it,” Joe Ogilvie said. “You have a sponsorless event in need of players and it kind of slaps your partner in the face (by giving releases).

Ogilvie said European players, like Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, should be allowed releases, but Americans like Kim and Perry should not. Instead he suggests the Tour should give these players special attention in marketing material to make up for lost revenue from the money they would have received in appearance fees.

Sounds like a slippery slope, but drastic times may require a little sliding.

Missed Cut

Jim Thorpe. The Champions Tour icon was sentenced to one-year in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in income taxes, and the disconnect between the three-time Tour winner’s plight and that of Doug Barron is concerning.

On one hand we have a journeyman who underwent testosterone treatment because his testosterone levels had dropped to that of an 80-year-old man. As a result he was suspended from playing any major tour for a year.

On the other hand we have Thorpe who has been sideways with the IRS before and is now bound for prison. But the reality is the senior scofflaw will likely be back between the ropes long before Barron.

On the PGA Tour, justice truly is blind.

Accenture. Hard to blame the financial services company for its fall from golf grace, but it’s still impossible to ignore how far the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship has tumbled.

Last year the event was the center of the golf universe when Tiger Woods made his much-anticipated comeback after knee surgery. This year it looks as if both Woods and Mickelson, Nos. 1 and 2, are out.

At this rate officials should rename next month’s Match Play, golf’s version of the “Big Dance,” the NIT.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


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