Cut Line Slow Play Slow Learner


Consider this week’s “Cut Line” the year’s tortoise edition as one of the longest seasons comes to a sluggish conclusion. From slow play in Bermuda to a slow learner in Las Vegas what golf needs now more than ever is European Tour official John Paramor’s stopwatch, or a fast-forward button.

Made Cut

Links golf. It’s always been one of life’s true mysteries, like Lady Gaga and stroke-and-distance penalties, that the Scottish Open has been played on a distinctly parkland layout for the better part of two decades.

But that idiosyncrasy seems certain to change thanks to ongoing financial troubles at Loch Lomond, the event’s current venue, and the sponsor’s desire to attract a better field the week before the Open Championship.

“Barclays would like us to play the event on a links course in the hope of attracting a more world-class field,” European Tour director Keith Waters said. “Even though we have an agreement with Barclays up to and including 2012, we know they want to go beyond that. So if we can move quickly the 2011 Scottish Open will be played elsewhere.”

Now, if only someone would explain Lady Gaga to us.

Memorials. It’s been an emotional few days for PGA Tour types.

On Oct. 14 Bubba Watson’s father, Gerry, died after a lengthy battle with throat cancer, and early Thursday morning Shaun Micheel’s mother, Donna, passed away due to complications from lung cancer.

“Every day that we have her on this earth is a blessing,' Micheel said at the John Deere Classic earlier this year.

Nothing puts golf in perspective like losing a loved one.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

WGC-HSBC Champions. Next week’s Shanghai stop seems to have it all – a stellar field that will include Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, a $7 million purse and a cozy spot within the World Golf Championship fold.

The event’s official money asterisk, however, continues to loom. Although an HSBC victory is considered official, money earned does not count toward a player’s Tour earnings.

Officials made the distinction because holding such an event the week before the Tour finale at Disney could cause upheaval on the money list, but HSBC deserves better. Either find a better date for the event or count it toward next year’s money list and leave the gray area to the lawyers.
Missed Cut

Slow play. When a fourball of the game’s best players, none of whom were named Kevin Na or Ben Crane, can’t cover 18 holes on an otherwise deserted golf course in less than five hours it’s time to stop pointing fingers and start coming up with solutions.

Ernie Els, Martin Kaymer, David Toms and Graeme McDowell needed five hours, 16 minutes to play the first round at this week’s PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda without another soul on the golf course and an army of forecaddies helping them along.

Note to the PGA of America, which runs the Grand Slam as well as the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship, if you really want to grow the game it’s time to do something about slow play. You’re on the clock.

Tweet of the week: ogilviej (Joe Ogilvie): “Skycaddie saves 15-20 minutes off a round of Tour golf. No brainer. Golf hates technology, I get it, but also a realist. Downside is zero.”

Enablers. We addressed this in last week’s edition but felt it was worth revisiting as golf’s Fall Classic gets underway this week at first stage sites from Kannapolis, N.C., to Santee, Calif.

For the fifth consecutive year John Daly is poised to finish outside the top 125 in earnings and for the fifth consecutive year the big man has taken a pass on Q-School.

“I don’t know why you wouldn’t (play Q-School),” David Duval, who played Q-School last year, told the Associated Press.

“You do what you need to if you’re serious about playing great golf. I’m sure at some point, the people at these tournaments who decide on sponsor exemptions look at who goes to Q-School and tries to do it themselves. Because they know you’re working, you’re going. You’ve got to make an effort on your own. Some people don’t even try.”

Daly, hardly the only Tour type to shun Q-School but easily the most high profile, is culpable of indifference at best and self-entitlement at worst, but tournament directors who continue to dole out exemptions to the likes of Daly also deserve part of the blame. We believe the term is enabling.

Anthony Kim. We’ve seen this act before. So had Robert Allenby, which is why he referred to AK at the 2009 Presidents Cup as the “current John Daly” and suggested Kim had been out until 4 a.m. the night before the duo’s singles match at Harding Park.

We’ve also seen Kim denounce the high life for the straight and narrow before, all of which makes this week’s late-night lapse in Las Vegas seem sadly familiar. According to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal Kim was admonished for being loud and rowdy at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino late Monday night.

“Anthony Kim is an animal 115 bottles then to top it off a 25k bottle of Dom, which he showered the dance floor with,” Palms Casino’s DJ Exodus tweeted at 3:02 a.m. Tuesday.

Kim, who later withdrew from this week’s Las Vegas Tour stop citing a lingering thumb injury, is a grown man and can live his life however he wishes, but the sad sequel seems like such a waste.