Cut Line: Scott mending, Lefty ripping


Cut Line was sent back to school, or at least reaching for a slide rule, for this week’s edition complete with a confounding breakdown of Reno’s modified Stableford scoring system and a glimpse at the 2013 PGA Tour math, which seems to be a lesson in subtraction.

Made Cut

Great Scott. In his first event since his Lytham letdown Adam Scott was surprisingly forthcoming when he faced reporters this week at Firestone.

Scott, who has never seemed entirely at ease in front of a room full of reporters, said he spent the week since the Open Championship picking apart his finish in search of learning opportunities, not stewing over what could have been.

“I certainly didn't beat myself up and have to curl up in a corner,” Scott said. “The next few days were quiet, but they were just the same as after any other major. I pretty much find myself on the couch for about 48 hours after a major.”

Funny, Cut Line normally finds himself on the couch for 48 hours during a major.

The long and short of Turkey. Still no official word on whether Tiger Woods will play the unofficial-but-lucrative Turkish Airways World Golf Finals in October, but one paper in the United Kingdom has reported that players in the $5.3 million event will be allowed to wear shorts.

Although there have been multiple reports that Woods would play the match-play event that will feature an eight-man field, his manager Mark Steinberg said the deal has not been finalized.

The event is an attempt to improve Turkey’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics and will award $1.5 million to the winner. As for the move to allow shorts, Cut Line has forwarded the item to PGA of America officials just in time for next week’s championship in South Carolina, where daytime temperatures are expected to hover above 90 degrees.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Filling a Jones. The Tour is inching toward this fall’s playoffs which means it must be time to take some shots at oft-criticized architect Rees Jones, although with the BMW Championship moving to Crooked Stick from Cog Hill it doesn’t seem worth the effort.

In fact, only East Lake, which Jones restored in 1994, is on the Tour dance card this fall, but that didn’t stop Phil Mickelson from taking a jab seemingly in Jones’ direction this week when Lefty was asked about some of the changes officials have planned for Bethpage’s Black Course which will host The Barclays, the first playoff event.

“I've always been a fan of the original designer's interests in how a golf hole is designed to play from its inception, as opposed to somebody else who comes in and tries to alter it for their own benefit or ego,” Mickelson smiled.

Was it just Cut Line or does Mickelson’s “somebody” sound vaguely familiar?

Making a point. For the first time since the 2006 International, Tour types will play a modified Stableford scoring format at this week’s Reno-Tahoe Open.

The system awards points – 8 for a double eagle, 5 for an eagle, 2 for a birdie, zero for a par, minus-1 for a bogey and minus-3 for a double bogey or worse. Give credit to the opposite-field stop for trying to stand out on a crowded calendar but the contrived scoring could present an interesting dilemma late Sunday as Padraig Harrington pointed out.

“If you’ve got an 8-point lead, you could pick your ball up going down the last and just wave at the crowd,” the Irishman mused. “That would be an interesting one, wouldn't it?  I've done enough, guys. Seventy-one holes is all I have to play this week.”

And you thought the world golf ranking math could get a little crazy.

Tweet of the week: @JustinRose99 “Beautiful day here at Firestone. Little fact for ya. After the rubber workers were laid off the Firestone family used them to hand dig the great South Course to give them work.”

Um, that’s cool . . . I guess.

Missed Cut

When less is less. Give the Tour credit for trying to conjure some lemonade from the lemon that may be the abbreviated 2013 season, but as the circuit transitions to a split-year calendar next year one of the unintended consequences will be fewer playing opportunities for this year’s Tour and Q-School graduates.

The 2013 season will end at the Tour Championship in September followed almost immediately by the 2013-14 campaign that will kick off with what was the fall series, which means four fewer events for players to earn their Tour cards in ’13.

Officials are trying to mitigate the impact of the transition by expanding field sizes in as many as nine events according to The Associated Press. Some spring events are being asked to increase their field size from 144 to 156 and at least three invitational events – the Arnold Palmer Invitational, AT&T National and Colonial – will increase from 120 players to 132.

The move is expected to add an additional 90 spots, but that will do little to make up the difference. All told the Tour will lose 657 playing opportunities because of the transition (132-player field at the Justin Timberlake; 132, Open;132, McGladrey Classic and 128, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic), which means it’s a net loss of 567 playing opportunities in ’13.

Such a reduction made Cut Line curious if the Tour planned a “make good,” maybe a reduced rate for this year’s Q-School? Nope, according to this year’s application players starting at first stage will pay between $4,500 and $6,000, the same as last year.

Seems the Tour is not familiar with the word “prorate.”