LPGA to Start Random Drug Testing

By Associated PressNovember 14, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 ADT ChampionshipWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The LPGA Tour on Wednesday released its policy for drug testing that will start next season, making it the first professional golf organization to require randomly selected players to prove they are clean.
 
The policy is similar to the outline released a day earlier by the PGA TOUR, which will not start testing its players until July.
 
The LPGA will suspend players one year for a first positive test, two years for the second offense and a lifetime ban for any more violations. It will not discriminate between performance-enhancing drugs and recreational drugs.
 
'My hope is that we don't have any positive tests,' LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens said.
 
The LPGA first announced plans for a drug testing program last November at the ADT Championship, giving it one year to pull together a plan. It relied heavily on the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances, eliminating some drugs such as allergy medicines that it felt should not apply to golf.
 
The LPGA Tour used the National Center for Drug Free Sport as a consultant while developing its plan, but it has not decided who will administer its drug testing.
 
Jill Pilgrim, the LPGA's general counsel who will be in charge of the program, said the tour will insist that results of drug tests be available within seven to 10 days.
 
'This is all about competitive equity,' Pilgrim said.
 
She also said the LPGA wanted a program that was easy to administer to make sure that every player is treated equally. If there is a positive test, players can be asked that their 'B' sample be tested to confirm the result, and they will be offered an appeal process.
 
For positive tests, Pilgrim said the LPGA Tour would disclose the name of the player, the tournament at which she tested positive, the penalty and the specific substance involved.
 
There were no guarantees that every player would be tested this year, and Pilgrim said the tour would not even disclose which tournaments would be selected for the random tests. But she said all testing would take place at tournaments immediately after competitive rounds.
 
'We do reserve the right to do target testing if we so choose, but a truly efficient and effective program, I think, has to do it randomly,' she said.
 
Pilgrim, who joined the LPGA Tour in January, previously worked eight years as general counsel and director of business affairs for USA Track & Field, where she worked on its Anti-Doping Task Force. The LPGA said she has published numerous legal articles on sports law, drug testing procedures and Olympic Games arbitration.
 
Other details of the LPGA Tour plan:
 
  • If a winner tests positive, she will be treated like a disqualification. The runner-up will be declared the winner, and in case of a tie, the LPGA will award the victory to whoever had the lowest final round. If it's the same score, the tie will be broken by using whoever had the best hole starting on No. 18 and going backward.
     
  • For two-year suspensions, a player can only regain membership by essentially starting over. That means either a return to Q-school or getting sponsor exemptions.
     
  • Any player who receives two doping-related suspensions will be ineligible for the Hall of Fame.
     
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    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

    Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

    The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

    Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

    The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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    Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

    It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

    The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

    The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

    For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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    Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

    By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

    But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

    Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

    Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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    Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

    Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

    The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

    “There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


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    In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

    “To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

    Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

    “To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.