Notes Carts Returning to Monday Pro-Ams

By Associated PressJanuary 10, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- When the PGA Tour was fighting Casey Martin's lawsuit for the right to ride, it eliminated the use of carts for all players in Monday pro-ams designed to raise additional revenue for tournaments and their charities.
Six years later, and with Martin no longer playing competitive golf, carts are back.

'What we're doing is trying to work with tournaments to facilitate a more successful Monday pro-am,' said Henry Hughes, chief of operations for the PGA Tour. 'As long as there's not a competition, it's for charity only with no prize money, that's an unofficial event that does not prohibit them from using carts.'
Except for a hilly, expansive course like Kapalua, players still must walk during the official pro-am Wednesday, where 36 players keep score and compete for $10,000 in prize money.
Most tournaments also have a Monday pro-am for lesser-known players, or for sponsor's exemptions, that raise additional money for the overflow of amateurs that want to play with pros.
The tour argued in court that walking was an integral part of the competition, although the courts sided with Martin in a decision ultimately affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hughes said carts were not allowed in Monday pro-ams during the Martin lawsuit, largely because the tour was concerned it might harm the image of its players.
Lately, however, tournaments have had trouble filling the field for Monday pro-ams, especially on a tough course to walk such as the Reno-Tahoe Open or the Texas Open. Some players who competed the previous week could fly to the next stop, but their caddies were driving and could not get there in time.
Hughes also said the Monday pro-ams are no longer about competition -- in other words, there's no prize money.
'We didn't think it compromised anything,' he said of using carts. 'It's a social round of golf to support the title sponsor and charity. The other thing we had is when the professionals walk and the amateurs are in carts, there was no interaction among the players.'
Olin Browne was among the strongest proponents of walking during the Martin lawsuit. Browne has played plenty of Monday pro-ams the last two years, and he said carts on Monday were no reflection on tour's policy or its philosophy about walking.
'It's purely an aid to the tournament, to help them generate revenue, to make sure players are able to play,' Browne said. 'I don't think it has anything to do with competition. It has nothing to do with the tournament. I think it's more logistical than anything else.'
Browne said if amateurs walk, pros should walk. But when amateurs are in carts, the point of the pro-am is lost.
'The whole point is to interact with the group,' he said. 'If amateurs are driving down the fairway and they're 250 yards ahead of a guy, there's no chance for any interaction. In a perfect world, we'd walk all the time, everywhere. But it's not a perfect world, and we're trying to make the best of it.'
Louisiana natives Kelly Gibson, Hal Sutton and David Toms have been given the Bartlett Award by the Golf Writers Association of America for raising more than $2 million after Hurricane Katrina for victims and the disaster workers.
The award is given to professional golfers for unselfish contributions for the betterment of society.
Gibson, who lives in New Orleans, fed more than 50,000 disaster-relief officials and raised more than $400,000 for the catering. Toms, from Shreveport, raised more than $1.5 million that helped some 600 families relocate to furnished apartments. Sutton, also from Shreveport, gave $65,000 for schools to buy textbooks, and collected thousands of items of clothing for evacuees.
They will be honored April 5 in Augusta, Ga., at the GWAA's annual dinner.
The last time Michelle Wie played in the United States, she was disqualified for taking a drop that was deemed closer to the hole. Criticism has been placed on Wie for taking the bad drop, and on Sports Illustrated writer Michael Bamberger for waiting a day to confront a rules official.
The other party involved was Wie's playing partner, Grace Park, who paid no attention to Wie when she was taking her drop in the third round of the Samsung World Championship.
Brad Faxon showed how it's supposed to be done at the Mercedes Championships.
Jason Gore hit an approach that sailed over the third green and disappeared into the thick, knee-high grass. A marshal found his ball, but it was unplayable.
'I want to see what he does with this,' Faxon said as he looked on from the back of the green, 'because I'm not sure he can drop it no closer to the hole.'
After a few minutes, Gore called him over. Faxon stood over the ball holding his putter to give Gore a reference point, and they determined that a drop on the edge of the grass would not be closer to the hole.
Faxon reminded Gore that if the ball rolled beyond the drop area, he would have to place it. Then, they inspected the area a third time to make sure it was the right spot.
Gore held out his arm -- shoulder-length -- dropped the ball, and it hopped back slightly toward the thick grass, leaving him not much of a backswing.
'That's a bad bounce,' Faxon said.
'Ball in play?' Gore said to him.
'Ball in play,' Faxon confirmed, and Gore went about his business making triple bogey.
The Nissan Open at Riviera has raised its prize money to $5.1 million, up $300,000 from last year. ... One reason Stuart Appleby won the Mercedes Championships last week is that he made nine putts over 10 feet. Vijay Singh made one putt at that distance. ... Appleby was a victim of flight delays leaving the tiny Kapalua airport, and it took him six hours to get to Honolulu. 'I've got jet lag,' he said.
Jason Gore finished 36 shots out of the lead at the Mercedes Championships, the largest margin ever in the eight years at Kapalua.
'We're definitely getting off to a slow start on the Vardon Trophy.' -- Mark Calcavecchia at Kapalua, where the average score was 74.9.
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

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    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

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    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

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    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

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    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

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    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

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    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

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