Champions Tour moving major to Shoal Creek

By Associated PressAugust 23, 2010, 7:11 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Champions Tour is moving one of its majors to Birmingham’s Shoal Creek, the club that sparked controversy at the 1990 PGA Championship for what was then an all-white membership.

The Regions Tradition will replace the Champions Tour’s Jeld-Wen Tradition and the city’s Regions Charity Classic. It will be held May 2-8 at Shoal Creek Country Club, the first of five majors.

The venue hosted the PGA Championship in 1984 and 1990, but the media spotlight on the club’s all-white membership and remarks by founder Hall Thompson that his club wouldn’t be pressured into accepting black members sparked a controversy.

That prompted major golf organizations to adopt membership policies for tournament sites. Hall Thompson, now 87, later apologized.

“It was 20 years ago,” Champions Tour president Mike Stevens said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. “Shoal Creek’s membership policy complies with all the applicable laws and regulations relative to the PGA Tour. So it’s not an issue. It was 20 years ago, but I’ve said repeatedly that despite the situation that happened back in 1990 – and trust me, it was not a good statement – but what it caused golf to do is kind of look inside itself.

“The positives for golf that have come out of that are tremendous for the number of private golf courses that have opened up their membership for various minorities across the country, including Shoal Creek.”

Mike Thompson, Hall’s son and the tournament’s chairman, said the club has extended membership offers to 16 blacks in the community and five have joined. He said two others have said they hoped to eventually join the Country Club, which has some 600 members.

Landing the Champions Tour event, he said, is “a big deal.”

“We have waited 20 years for professional golf,” Mike Thompson said.

Shoal Creek eased back into the national golf scene by hosting the USGA’s 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. The Southern Amateur was held on the course in July.

The USGA’s decision to hold the 2008 event “was kind of a signal to the major golf bodies that they wanted to come back,” Mike Thompson said.

Before that, Shoal Creek had “very serious” talks in the late 1990s about hosting the 2002 PGA Tour Championship, he said.

He said Stevens met with club officials in May with the offer to host the Tradition.

“He says, ‘How about you guys doing an event one year from now?’ And we just about fell out of our chair,” Thompson said.

The event was held the past four years at Sunriver Resort’s Crosswater Golf Club in central Oregon. Jeld-Wen is ending its relationship as title sponsor.

“I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for today,” Stevens said. “This took a lot of time, a lot of work. But quite honestly this is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to the Champions Tour.

“Bringing a major championship to a major championship golf course is big for the Tour,” he added.

Lee Trevino said he “screamed” when his wife told him the Tradition was moving to Shoal Creek, where he won the 1984 PGA Championship.

“I looked at her and said, ‘We are back. We are finally on the Senior Tour, we are finally going to a golf course that is worthy of a Champions Tour event and a Champions Tour major,”’ said Trevino, who attended the announcement. “Players are so excited about being here.

“This is just going to be unbelievable.”

Stevens said he expects about half the players who won prize money at the PGA Championship in 1984 to participate, and seven who made the cut in the ’90 event have won on the Champions Tour this year.

“The idea was to create an event that would be considered the best on the Champions Tour, indicative of the Masters,” he said. “This announcement today will allow this dream to absolutely continue.”

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.


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Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.



“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”