Cut Line: New Day, old court case, new media


Jason Day’s year keeps getting better, 2 1/2 years of litigation has done little to clarify Vijay Singh’s lawsuit against the PGA Tour, and the new golf year has brought with it new rules for video streaming.

Made Cut

Good year. Jason Day in 2015 won his first major, a three-stroke masterpiece at Whistling Straits over Jordan Spieth, moved to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and on Wednesday welcomed baby No. 2 to the family, Lucy Adenil.

Day, who turned 28 years old a day after Lucy was born, also won multiple Tour events (five) for the first time in his career and came up just short in the FedEx Cup race to Spieth.

And if all that wasn’t enough, the year’s not over for the Australian, who plans to play next month’s Hero World Challenge.

Not your average bridesmaid. Some would consider Kevin Kisner’s four runner-up finishes in 2015 missed opportunities, but the 31-year old figures his four also-rans are a sign of improvement.

“He has taken all the positives from playing that great,” said Kisner’s swing coach John Tillery. “He wants to win, but validation for him as a player is complete. He’s frustrated, but it’s been nothing but a confidence boost for him.”

Tillery also points out that Kisner has run into some “buzzsaws” this year, including a determined Jim Furyk at the RBC Heritage and red-hot Rickie Fowler at the Players.

It was a similar scenario last week at the WGC-HSBC Champions, when Kisner finished two strokes behind Russell Knox following a final-round 68.

It’s a matter of perspective - where some see a bridesmaid, Kisner chooses to focus on the opportunities that bring him one step closer to a breakthrough.

Tweet of the week.

His next haircut might be his last. The good news is that his first trip to the winner's circle, which came earlier this month at the CIMB Classic, won't be his last either.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Anti-doping dilemmas. As Vijay Singh’s lawsuit against the Tour slowly inches into its third year, it became clear last week via a litany of filings in the case just how nuanced the world of performance-enhancing drugs can be.

Singh was initially sanctioned to serve a 90-day suspension after admitting he used a banned substance (IGF-1), but the Tour later rescinded that suspension, with commissioner Tim Finchem explaining, “[the World Anti-Doping Agency] clarified that it no longer considers the use of deer antler spray to be prohibited unless a positive test results.”

Court documents paint a different picture. Just three days after the Sports Illustrated story was published that linked Singh to the use of the Ultimate Spray – and nearly three months before Finchem announced the Tour was dropping the case – WADA responded to a request for clarification on deer antler spray in an e-mail to Drug Free Sport New Zealand: “WADA takes a very similar approach for deer antler as we do for colostrum or some other dietary supplements . . . Deer Antler Spray is not prohibited per se, but WADA recommends athletes be extremely vigilant with this supplement because it may contain IGF-1.”

That “clarification” is just one of many examples of how Singh’s lawsuit, as well as the Tour’s anti-doping program, is far more complicated than some may think.

Caddie carousel. With few exceptions, nothing lasts forever, but some changes are more surprising than others.

While changing caddies is a part of life on the Tour, news this week that Matt Kuchar had split with longtime looper Lance Bennett qualified as a bona fide surprise.

“It’s a hard decision,” Kuchar told this week. “It’s hard to say, it was just one of those times where it was time to try something different.”

The move seems to have had a domino effect in the caddyshack, with Kuchar hiring John Wood, Hunter Mahan’s caddie, to replace Bennett.

There’s no word on where Bennett will land, or who will take Wood’s place on Mahan’s bag, but it will likely lead to more surprises in the caddie ranks.

Missed Cut

Up-stream moves. The Tour unveiled a new policy for streaming applications for this season, giving players guidelines for using applications like Periscope and Meerkat at tournament sites.

Players are allowed to stream video from practice areas and golf courses, but not during tournament or pro-am rounds. Stream any video for “commercial purposes" is also prohibited.

The Tour also added a final, heavy-handed clause to the new policy: “all media captured at, and/or emanating from, the site of a tournament, PGA Tour shall own all video streamed.”

Nothing like taking the “social” out of social media.