Cut Line Erik the Great



  • Erik Compton: Plenty of reasons to list the inspirational south Floridian under the Made Cut flag, not the least of which is that hes still kicking about less than a year removed from heart transplant No. 2.
    We sat down with Compton at last years WGC-CA Championship and, to be honest, did not see a world beater. He had lost weight, had a defibrillator the size of a pack of cigarettes implanted in his chest and his energy level was non-existent. Thankfully, there was more fight in this dog than we could have ever imagined.
    But Compton gets the nod this week for what he didnt do. Although Tour officials offered Compton a golf cart to do his business this week at the Honda Classic, he politely declined.
    Its more important for me to be back and healthy and hitting golf shots again, said Compton, whose third heart was put to the test on Friday at PGA National, having to play 20 holes to complete the first two rounds.
    Compton has never wanted to be known as the pro golfer with the heart transplant. How about the pro golfer with the biggest heart this side of Secretariat?

  • Webb Simpson/Scott Piercy: This is a tad convoluted, so keep up. Q-School and Nationwide Tour grads are lumped into one sprawling category and five times a season that group is reshuffled based on earnings. The first reshuffle is the most important because it allows players better access to events in the spring and a chance to build a war chest heading into the grueling summer months.
    The first reshuffle, which was last Monday, is also a good barometer of players worth watching. Simpson and Piercy were the lottery winners this time around.
    Simpson began the season with back-to-back top 10s and took over the top spot in the category while Piercy ' who began the year 15th, one spot ahead of Simpson, in the category ' finished no worse than 19th in his first three events and moved to third.
  • Sea Island Resort: The posh Georgia enclave is a favorite home base among Tour types, Davis Love III and Zach Johnson to drop just two names, but it seems doubtful at this stage it will host a Tour event any time soon.
    Reports had suggested a slot in the Fall Series was imminent, but sources close to the negotiations have indicated the search for a title sponsor has been unsuccessful and the resort will likely remove its name from consideration if a title is not found in the next week or so.
    Shame. The Frederica layout, which would likely host the event, is a ballstrikers ballpark and Bubba Garcias, the famed watering hole just outside the resorts gates, would become an instant staple.

  • One-in-Five Rule: Every few years a potential one-in-five rules gets dusted off and debated to death and the current economic downturn has caused the idea of forcing Tour players to play every event at least once every five years to gain even more traction.
    Commissioner Tim Finchem dropped the independent contractors line when asked about the rule last week, but it is contraction, not contracts, that the game, if not all of sports, must embrace right now.
    At last count, there were 46 Tour events and one TBD on the 09 lineup. Economic Darwinism, not sentimentality, should decide how many are on the docket in 2010 and beyond.

  • Match Play Meddling: Its curious how WGC-Match Play Sunday is followed by handwringing over anticlimactic finals and a general lack of buzz. The Monday-morning quarterbacking reached a crescendo this year, with many observers calling for an end to the 36-hole finale. Instead, critics suggest they cut the final to an 18-hole sprint and hold both the semi-finals and finals on the same day.
    There is a reason the majority of top players the Tour surveyed before sending its format recommendation for the 2016 Olympic Games voted for 72 holes of stroke play. Or, more to the point, Tiger Woods has lost 18-hole match play dashes before, but just one (2000) 36-hole match.
    Cue ESPNs Stuart Scott: dont hate the player, hate the game.
  • Stanford Financial Group-IMG: A New York Post story tying Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford to the sports marketing giant caused a minor stir last week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
    According to the Post story, IMG quietly agreed to steer clients looking for investment advice to Stanford Financial Group . . . According to three sources with knowledge of the situation, IMG and Stanford have a quid-pro-quo agreement under which Stanford Financial pays IMG a low- to mid-seven-figure consulting fee in exchange for IMG advising its clients.
    IMG denied any wrongdoing and two longtime player managers doubted the Post report, but did voice concern that the overall impact could cause an audit of the entire business. Stay tuned.
  • Padraig Harrington: The search for the missing major winner continues. The reigning Player of the Year hasnt finished better than 24th in four U.S. starts this year and has dropped to fifth in the World Golf Ranking.
    After going down in the first round of the Match Play, Harrington decided to change course and play next weeks CA Championship at Doral. Lets avoid hitting the panic button just yet, however. Three majors in his last six Grand Slam starts suggest the Irishman will figure it out before the azaleas are in bloom.

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