If Inbee Park’s quest to win the single-season Grand Slam falls in the Scottish forest, would anyone hear it? If American dominance in the Presidents Cup is wrong, does PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem want to be right? And finally, if the U.S. Golf Association brings its new four-ball championship to golf’s field of dreams, will the golf masses come?
All these questions and more in a “dog days” edition of Cut Line.
Cup half full. The PGA Tour is poised to unveil the new selection process for this year’s World Cup, notable primarily because of adjustments made to attract more countries to the event.
Under the new process, similar to the system that will be used for the 2016 Olympics, the 60-player field will be filled based on the world golf ranking through Sept. 23.
Countries with up to four players within the top 15 in the world ranking can send all four to the event in November. Conversely, a country with just one player who qualifies could send a single player to compete.
This year’s World Cup will feature an individual competition as well as a team component that will be determined via an aggregate score.
Oh yeah, this year’s event is being played at Royal Melbourne, so ... they have that going for them.
Early heat. While we are still not thrilled with the demise of the U.S. Amateur Public Links, give the USGA credit for opening with a strong group of venues for the newly minted U.S. Amateur Four-Ball championships.
The venerable Olympic Club will host the inaugural men’s championship in 2015 while Oregon’s Bandon Dunes – may we suggest Pacific Dunes and Pacific Trails – will be the site of the women’s event.
The folks in Far Hills, N.J., may have gone one better for the 2016 championships, with storied Winged Foot hosting the men and Florida’s Streamsong Resort, the new darling of golf course raters everywhere, will be the venue for the women.
On this the USGA adhered to the No. 1 rule in golf – location, location, location.
Tweet of the week: @KyleThompsonPGA (Kyle Thompson) “If I had to catch my own fish to eat ... I’d be really skinny.”
Feel like there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)
Status quo. According to International Presidents Cup captain Nick Price, he asked Finchem to consider a format change for this year’s matches but the commish balked.
Price asked to reduce the number of team matches to four, like they do at the Ryder Cup, instead of the six foursome and fourball matches that are played on Days 1 and 2 at the Presidents Cup.
“The Europeans put out the eight best players they can. It would be really interesting to see if the Ryder Cup was played under the Presidents Cup points system what the outcome would be,” Price said this week. “(Finchem) didn't think it needed a change. Ernie (Els) and I were really disappointed with the outcome.”
Parity, the U.S. leads the series 7-1-1, doesn’t seem to be high on Finchem’s “to do” list.
Unsolicited advice. There is nothing better than an open microphone and Gary Player. There are few who can light up an interview room like the Black Knight, but he may have fanned one out of bounds when he suggested Rory McIlroy’s struggles on the golf course this year stem from his budding relationship with Caroline Wozniacki.
“When you’re in love as a young man naturally golf seems to take second place for a while. It’s natural. love is still the greatest thing that ever happens in our lives,” Player told My Sporting Life. “But the thing is for a man like Rory with talent galore he’s got to make sure he has a woman like I’ve got, who has been married [to me] for 56 years, that has only encouraged me to do well and made sacrifices. He’s got to be intelligent and find the right wife. If he finds the right wife, if he practices and if he’s dedicated, he could be the man.”
Lost in Player’s however well intended assessment is the fact that McIlroy’s personal choices didn’t seem to be an issue last year, when he won the PGA Championship by eight strokes, dominated the FedEx Cup playoffs and was a hero for the European Ryder Cup team, all with Wozniacki on his arm.
Tweet of the week II: @andyroddick (yes, that Andy Roddick) “I'm so sick of people bagging on McIlroy and Caroline. They're both very bright and nice people. Let them live and stop looking for stories.”
Apathy. The possibility of a good old single-season Grand Slam doesn’t seem to have ignited the faithful the way it once did.
According to Golf Channel’s Randall Mell, 40 people were on hand at St. Andrews when Inbee Park began her quest for history early Thursday at the Women’s British Open. There were more fans than that in the practice range stands on Thursday as Tiger Woods warmed up for his first round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
We know it was early and cold and Thursday, but Cut Line expects better from the Scottish masses, which are normally the most golf savvy crowds in the game. Park deserves better.
Spin. Not sure it really matters to the juniors who will benefit, but Sergio Garcia’s media move to donate $1,000 for every birdie and $2,000 for every eagle to the local First Tee chapter at every host city of the event he's playing smacks of spin control.
Garcia created a media maelstrom earlier this season when he made an offensive remark about Tiger Woods at a European Tour awards dinner.
It should be pointed out that Garica’s charitable efforts back home in Spain are the stuff of legend and the various First Tee programs could certainly use the additional funding, but there is no way to ignore the notion that this most recent move is simply a blatantly clumsy attempt at changing the conversation.