Cut Line MC for Tour Policy


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Walt Disney World cut is the axe that keeps on giving. For more than a few unlucky trunk slammers the MC at WDW means you’re out of time in 2009, out of cash flow for 2010 and out of luck for those complimentary “Park Hooper” tickets the kids love.

But before we shed too many tears for David Duval, whose 149 total dropped him out of the weekend rotation at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic and out of hope for a ’10 Tour card, keep in mind that “Double D” will get more than enough starts based on his veteran status and his runner-up showing at the U.S. Open. The rest of this week’s “Cut Line” cast, is not so lucky.

Made Cut

Tiger Woods. Sure, the Australian government paid the world No. 1 the GDP of a small nation to lure him back Down Under for the first time since 1998, but anyone who has watched this week’s action from Kingston Heath would be hard pressed to say he’s not earning his keep.

Melbourne’s streets are packed, crowds are lined 10-deep ... for a practice round, and one of the nation’s Sand Belt gems is getting global exposure. Is Woods worth the reported $3 million tab, half of which was generated through public funds, it took him to draw him back to Australia? Who is?

The question should be is he worth the investment to encourage tourism and promote the area? Tough to argue that one.

Torrey Pines. The Century Club of San Diego Invitational won the lottery last Sunday when Phil Mickelson edged Woods to win what was essentially his third start in his last four events (counting the Presidents Cup) and dutifully announced he’d see us late next January on the Seaside muni.

Although he hasn’t made it official, the former Buick Invitational, which is currently caught in sponsorship limbo after the embattled car manufacturer bailed, will likely be Woods’ first start of 2010.

Add it up, the world Nos. 1 and 2 closed the season with two Sunday duels (Tour Championship and HSBC Champions) and co-MVP honors at Harding Park. Unless Mickleson forgets Dave Stockston’s cell number or Woods decides to open a dingo farm Down Under, Torrey Pines is shaping up to be one grand opening.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

European Tour. First the global economy cost the circuit 25 percent of its inaugural Race for Dubai loot, and now it appears as if a mini player revolt is in the making.

After weeks of crossed wires, Rory McIlroy – the European equivalent of a first-round draft choice – announced he would take up PGA Tour membership in 2010, a move that will require 15 starts and likely reduce his European schedule.

Things got worse for the Euro tour when Adam Scott blasted a purposed rule change that would require players to participate in at least four of the circuit’s six marquee events.

“I think if they ask too much, then they certainly are risking (push back from players),” said Justin Rose, who will add events to his early U.S. schedule next year in the hopes of creating opportunities in Europe during the summer.

“But I'm sure they're trying to tread a very fine line between encouraging guys to play not necessarily more, but to really support the key events, Wentworth, the flagship events of the tour.”

Reminds us of an old line from a former boss, 'Never ask a question you don’t want to hear the answer to.'

Missed Cut

PGA Tour. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The circuit’s anti-doping initiative was supposed to prove the Tour was clean and pave the way to Olympic gold. It was supposed to be transparent and even handed.

Yet as the ongoing legal battle raged in a Memphis courtroom between Doug Barron’s attorneys and an army of Tour lawyers, it seems the policy was neither just nor relevant.

According to the lawsuit filed by Barron’s attorneys, the 40-year-old journeyman tried to work this out with the Tour, requesting a therapeutic use exemption which was denied, and ultimately choose the advice of his doctors, who warned him it was risky to stop taking the beta blockers and testosterone he’d been taking “cold turkey,” over that of the Tour’s lawyers.

Although most anti-doping policies do not recognize intent as a defense for a positive test, one World Anti-Doping Organization official conceded, “Victor Conte’s clients (the kingpin of the BALCO controversy that rocked Major League Baseball) didn’t ask for permission.”

Barron did.

Jose Lambiet. The Palm Beach Post columnist recently blasted Tiger Woods’ $44.5 million abode on Jupiter Island, calling the future Woods estate “a cross between a discount motel and a beachside nursing home.”

Lambiet concedes the world No. 1’s better half, Elin, is in charge at 1 Woods Place and reports the 9,700-square-foot home will feature living quarters and a gym connected by a covered walkway (what, no replica of Amen Corner?)

The aerial shots of the estate, however, tell another tale. Take it from somebody who has stayed in his share of “discount motels,” Tiger’s castle is better than advertised.