Notes The History of Infamous Rule 88

By Associated PressJune 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
HARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- The LPGA Tour probably didn't have Michelle Wie in mind when it created a policy that bans for one year any non-tour member who can't break 88.
 
Barb Trammell, the longtime chief rules official for the LPGA until leaving last year, traced the policy to 1990 when players from the Teaching & Club Pro division competed in tournaments. Some of them struggled, and it became a problem for regular tour members. She recalled two situations that led to what is now known as the '88 Rule.'
 
'We had a T&CP player in the field who shot 100-plus, and for the players who were paired with her, it was a distraction, as you can imagine,' Trammell said. 'The second time, it was a tour player paired with a T&CP player, who made the turn in 52 or 53. The tour player said, 'Either you're going to withdraw or I am.' And the tour player withdrew at the turn.'
 
That's when players went to the LPGA board, and the policy was adopted.
 
Alice Miller, the tournament director of the LPGA Championship and a former player, was involved in the rule. She played with Lori Garbacz and a teaching pro in Minnesota one year. The teaching pro failed to break 100, returned the next day and was on her way to triple digits again when Miller suggested they all withdraw and have lunch.
 
'She wanted to keep playing,' Miller said. 'Lori hit one shot and said, 'I can't do this anymore.' So I kept playing. For a while, they were calling it the 'Alice Miller Rule.''
 
Trammell said the LPGA landscape has changed significantly since then, even when teaching pros play sparingly on the LPGA.
 
'All their playing abilities are much stronger, much better, than they were 15 or 20 years ago,' Trammell said. 'It was never much of an issue. But I don't think at the time the rule was instituted that anybody contemplated a situation like Michelle Wie.'
 
Wie flirted with an 88 in her 2007 debut on the LPGA Tour when she abruptly withdrew at the Ginn Tribute with two holes remaining.
 
The tour waived 'Rule 88' last year for 13-year-old Dakoda Dowd, given an exemption to fulfill a wish for her dying mother. It has been applied twice already this year. Ana Laura Gomez opened with an 88 in the Corona Morelia Championship and did not return, and MacKinzie Kline, the 15-year-old who was allowed to use a cart and oxygen because of a congenital heart defect, had an 89 in the second round of the Ginn Tribute.
 
DIVINE NINE:
Annika Sorenstam is working her way back into shape after missing a month because of back and neck injuries, and that means a slight change in her bag. She has replaced the 4-iron with a 9-wood.
 
Sorenstam could not remember the last time she used a 9-wood, estimating it was five or six years ago.
 
'Hopefully, it's just temporary,' she said. 'I hope to have my strength in my 4-iron.'
 
ST. ANDREWS:
Laura Davies needs only to win a major championship to be eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame, and while she hasn't won on the LPGA Tour in six years, she likes the way the summer is shaping up.
 
Davies thinks Bulle Rock (LPGA Championship), Pine Needles (U.S. Women's Open) and St. Andrews (Women's British Open) suit her game perfectly. At least, she assumes that's the case at St. Andrews.
 
'I've never been there,' she said. 'Never been to St. Andrews, obviously, never been to the golf course.'
 
Davies doesn't play golf when she's not at a tournament, and 'I'm not about to get on a plane to Scotland.' But she has watched enough of the British Open on television that she feels as though she knows the Old Course well.
 
'I think I'm just going to smack it down the other fairway,' she said.
 
Oddly enough, Davies did television work for the BBC at the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Muirfield, Royal St. George's and Royal Troon, but that ended in 2005 when it went to St. Andrews.
 
MAJOR PREPARATION:
Jack Nicklaus doesn't understand why more players do not prepare for a major championship by going to the golf course in the weeks before the tournament, such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have done at Oakmont.
 
'Those who want to win do it,' Nicklaus said.
 
He recalled going to Oakmont twice before the 1962 U.S. Open to study the course. He wound up with only one three-putt, and beat Arnold Palmer in a playoff for his first professional victory, and first of 18 professional majors.
 
'I went in a couple weeks before to figure out how to play the golf course, and when I came back on Monday (of the U.S. Open) ... I went there to play just to make sure my game was where I wanted it,' Nicklaus said.
 
His favorite example of preparing was Gary Player, who never used to see a major championship venue until tournament week. That changed in 1965, when Nicklaus convinced his South African friend to take off the week before the U.S. Open.
 
'Gary was going to play a tournament the week before, and I said, 'Gary, give yourself a chance to win the U.S. Open,'' Nicklaus recalled. 'The week before, we went down to Bellerive and we played three or four practice rounds.'
 
Player wound up winning the U.S. Open that year to complete the career Grand Slam.
 
MAJOR PRO-AM:
And then there's the LPGA Tour majors.
 
For the first two majors of the year, the women get only one day of pure practice at Mission Hills (Kraft Nabisco) and Bulle Rock (LPGA Championship). At the Nabisco, the stars have to play two pro-ams, including one round on the adjacent golf course. They only have to play one pro-am round at Bulle Rock, but the course is booked with pro-ams on Monday and Tuesday, leaving Wednesday as the only day the course is open for practice all day.
 
Aside from the prize money, maybe that's why the U.S. Women's Open is the marquee event on the tour schedule.
 
DIVOTS:
Pablo Martin, the Oklahoma State star who won a European tour event this year, turned professional Monday and will make his professional debut this week in Memphis. Martin qualified for the U.S. Open on Monday. ... The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will feature wines marketed by golf legends Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Ernie Els and Nick Faldo at select Wine & Spirits stores during U.S. Open. ... Ernie Els is spending his week before the U.S. Open on Long Island, where he plans to relax and play some golf. 'If they let me on Shinnecock, I'll play,' he said with a laugh. Els was in the final group of the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills and shot 80, and later joined the chorus of complaints about the way it was set up.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Four of the seven players who won a U.S. Open at Oakmont were no more than 26 years old.
 
FINAL WORD:
'What I've learned the most in the last 10 years, which I never realized, is how lucky I am.' -- Se Ri Pak.
 
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 146th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

    Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

    The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

    “Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

    Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

    But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

    Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

    “It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

    There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

    It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

    “It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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    Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

    According to Weather.com, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

    Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per Weather.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

    Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

    Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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    Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

    Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

    Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

    “I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

    Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

    “Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

    Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

    On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

    “These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

    Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

    More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

    Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

    Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

    “He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

    Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

    He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.