Notes Woman Trying Q-School

By Associated PressOctober 12, 2004, 4:00 pm
PGA TourIsabelle Beisiegel tried to Monday qualify at two PGA Tour events at the start of the year, wanting to test herself before the LPGA season began and to prepare for her ultimate goal - competing against the men.
After one mediocre season on the LPGA Tour, Beisiegel is ready to give it a shot.
She has paid her $4,500 entry fee for the PGA Tour qualifying tournament, which starts Oct. 19 on the Greg Norman Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
Beisiegel is believed to be the first woman to enter Q-school.
'I'm going to keep trying to qualify until I do make it,' Beisiegel said from her home in Norman, Okla., where she played college golf for the Sooners. 'My chances are very good.'
Annika Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour at the '03 Colonial. Michelle Wie came within one shot of making the cut at the Sony Open in January. Laura Davies, Se Ri Pak and club pro Suzy Whaley are among women who have competed against the men in the last two years.
Beisiegel didn't come close to qualifying for the Buick Invitational or the Nissan Open in February. She also tried unsuccessfully last year to qualify for the Canadian Open and two Nationwide Tour events.
As an LPGA rookie, Beisiegel had only one top 10 in 24 tournaments, a tie for seventh at the Kellogg-Keebler Classic outside Chicago. She missed her last five cuts of the season, but still finished 79th on the money list with $120,586 to secure her LPGA card for next year.

She already has been to PGA West and says she can handle the 7,156-yard par 72.
'You can fit three of our LPGA fairways on one fairway. It's pretty open,' she said. 'I've played all these holes all year. We've had holes that were 485 yards; obviously, they were par 5s. But how many times was I in position to putt for an eagle?'
Beisiegel is eighth on the LPGA Tour in driving distance at 265.6 yards. Still, she has always believed golf is more about mental challenges than brute strength.
'I'll be ready to break that mental hurdle,' she said. 'There should be a lot more women trying this.'
Along with wanting to be Ryder Cup captain, Nick Faldo is interested in another job that will keep him in the spotlight - television analyst for ABC Sports.
Faldo worked for ABC at the American Express Championship in Ireland, and said he could see himself working television on the PGA Tour for a dozen or so tournaments.
'The timing is very good for me,' the 47-year-old Englishman said. 'It's good to keep in touch with golf. I want to slow down on playing. Obviously, television is a good way to guarantee your face is there on the screen. When you finish 60th every week, nobody knows you're there.'
Faldo also worked as a TV analyst during the British Open, where he was on air for eight hours in the final round with only a 20-minute break. He treats television the same way he did his golf swing, analyzing everything.
'The hardest part is you're constantly switched on,' he said. 'It's left-side dominant. Whether you're speaking or not, you've got to be thinking. The trick is you've got to say something really great in as little time as possible.'
What would he have said of Jean Van de Velde's follies on the 72nd hole at Carnoustie?
'It would be a question of what he was doing. It was a catalog of mistakes,' Faldo said. 'But he got such an unbelievable bounce, hitting the railing and going backward. The odds on that were a million to one. That's when you sit back and say, 'Looks like you're destined not to win this one, mate.''
Mark O'Meara has been unable to play the last month because of a broken bone in the palm of his left hand. He has slipped out of the top 125 on the PGA Tour list, and likely will apply for a minor medical exemption to try to keep full-exempt status next year.
Peter Malik, his agent at IMG, said O'Meara injured his hand in the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. He withdrew the next week from the Canadian Open, and he tried to play in the 84 Lumber Classic but was unable to get through a practice round.
Two doctors prescribed rest, which could sideline O'Meara the final three weeks of the season.
O'Meara was exempt this year because he is in the top 25 in career money, and he can take another one-time exemption for being in the top 50. But O'Meara turns 48 in January, so he might want to hang onto that exemption.
If he gets a minor medical exemption, O'Meara would have as many as eight tournaments next year to make up the difference between his '04 earnings ($543,866) the equivalent of 125th on this year's money list, which likely will be no more than about $57,000.
Vijay Singh has been awarded a Companion of the Order of Fiji, one of highest honors in the Pacific nation. The award was conferred by president Ratu Josefa Iloilo, although Singh did not receive it in person.
According to a citation published in Fiji's Government Gazette, Singh was honored for 'eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Fiji or to humanity at large.'
Singh has won eight times on the PGA Tour this year, broke the single-season earnings record at nearly $9.5 million and replaced Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world ranking.
The 41-year-old Fijian lives in Florida and has rarely visited his homeland since joining the PGA Tour in 1993.
Tiger Woods has until Friday to commit to the Funai Classic at Disney. It is the only regular PGA Tour event he has played every year since he turned pro in 1996. ... Olin Browne received one of four sponsor's exemptions to Disney, which will be his 29th tournament of the year. Browne was 130th on the money list last year, and had to rely on a combination of exemptions, top 10s, and tournaments that had space available. ... Vijay Singh is going home to Fiji next year to design a golf course that will be part of a golf academy. 'I'm going to take a lot of time, and I want to make it a good one,' Singh said.
Brad Faxon has not had a three-putt since the final hole of the PGA Championship, a streak of 324 holes.
'We're definitely residing in Florida and I don't see any reason why we should leave - especially with zero income tax.' - Tiger Woods.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings and Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy

Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.

“We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”

“The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”

The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.

(All Times Local)

Monday, June 18                    Austin, Texas              (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, June 19                    Houston                      (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)

Wednesday, June 20               Jacksonville, Fla.        (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Monday, June 25                    Orlando, Fla.               (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Wednesday, July 4                 Washington D.C.        (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)

Monday, July 9                       Edison, N.J.                (Topgolf, Time TBA)

Wednesday, July 11               Lake Tahoe, Nev.       American Century Championship (On Course)

Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.

NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.

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USGA-player relationship at a breaking point?

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 8:00 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – For seven days each year, the American game’s preeminent governing body welcomes the best players in the world with open arms. They set up shop at one of the premier courses in the country, and line it with grandstands and white hospitality tents as far as the eye can see.

The players arrive, first at a slow trickle and then at a steady pace. And once they’ve registered and clipped their player medallions over their belts, they’re told how this year is going to be different.

How this time around, be it in a Washington gravel pit or on a time-tested piece of land on the tip of Long Island, the USGA will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That the process of identifying the best players in the world will not veer into the territory of embarrassing them.

Like a college sweetheart in search of reconciliation, the powers-that-be preach a changed attitude and a more even-handed approach. Then, inevitably, they commit the same cardinal sins they promised to avoid.

So year in and year out, the scar tissue builds. Charlie Brown keeps trying to kick the football and, for most of the players not named Brooks Koepka, he ends up on his butt in a cloud of dust and fescue.

After letting Shinnecock Hills plunge into avoidable yet all-too-familiar territory over the weekend – before being doused back to life – one thing is clear: in the eyes of many players, the USGA can’t be trusted.

“When are they going to get it right? I just feel like they disrespect these historic golf courses,” said Scott Piercy, a runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open who got swept away this week during a crispy third round en route to a T-45 finish. “I think they disrespect the players, I think they disrespect the game of golf. And they’re supposed to be, like, the top body in the game of golf. And they disrespect it, every aspect of it.”

Piercy, like several players in this week’s field, had a few specific gripes about how Shinnecock was set up, especially during the third round when USGA CEO Mike Davis admitted his organization lost control in a display that echoed the mistakes of 2004. But this was not an isolated case.

Players went with skepticism to Chambers Bay three years ago, only to encounter greens that were largely dirt and got compared to produce. Mismatched grass strains, they were told. Whoops.

The next year the USGA threw a dark cloud over a classic venue by allowing much of the final round at Oakmont to play without knowing the leader’s actual score as a rules fiasco reached a furious boil. Last year’s Erin Hills experiment was met with malaise.

At this point, the schism runs much deeper than a single error in setup. It threatens the core competency of the organization in the eyes of several of the players it looks to serve.

“They do what they want, and they don’t do it very well. As far as I’m concerned, there is no relationship (between players and the USGA),” said Marc Leishman. “They try and do it. They do it on purpose. They say they want to test us mentally, and they do that by doing dumb stuff.”

By and large, players who took issue with the USGA’s tactics had a simple solution: put more of the setup choices in the hands of those who oversee PGA Tour and European Tour venues on a regular basis. While some of those personnel already moonlight in USGA sweater-vests for the week, there is a strong sentiment that their collective knowledge could be more heavily relied upon.

“I know (the USGA) takes great pride in doing all this stuff they do to these golf courses, but they see it once a year,” Brandt Snedeker said. “Let those guys say, ‘Hey, we see this every week. We know what the edge is. We know where it is.’ We can’t be out there playing silly golf.”

That’s not to say that a major should masquerade as the Travelers Championship. But the U.S. Open is the only one of the four that struggles to keep setup shortfalls from becoming a dominant storyline.

It all adds up to a largely adversarial relationship, one that continues to fray after this weekend’s dramatics and which isn’t helped by the USGA’s insistence that they should rarely shoulder the blame.

“They’re not going to listen, for one. Mike Davis thinks he’s got all the answers, that’s No. 2,” said Pat Perez after a T-36 finish. “And when he is wrong, there’s no apologies. It’s just, ‘Yeah, you know, we kind of let it get out of hand.’ Well, no kidding. Look at the scores. That’s the problem. It’s so preventable. You don’t have to let it get to that point.”

But this wound festers from more than just slick greens and thick rough. There is a perception among some players that the USGA gets overly zealous in crafting complicated rules with complex decisions, a collection of amateur golfers doling out the fine print that lords over the professional game on a weekly basis – with the curious handling of whatever Phil Mickelson did on the 13th green Saturday serving as just the latest example.

The gripes over setup each year at the USGA’s biggest event, when it’s perceived that same group swoops in to take the reins for a single week before heading for the hills, simply serve as icing on the cake. And there was plenty of icing this week after players were implored to trust that the miscues of 2004 would not be repeated.

“To say that the players and the USGA have had a close relationship would be a false statement,” Snedeker said. “They keep saying all the right things, and they’re trying to do all the right things, I think. But it’s just not coming through when it matters.”

It’s worth noting that the USGA has made efforts recently to ramp up its communication with the top pros. Officials from the organization have regularly attended the Tour’s player meetings in recent months, and Snedeker believes that some strides have been made.

So, too, does Zach Johnson, who was one of the first to come out after the third round and declare that the USGA had once again lost the golf course.

“I think they’ve really started to over the last few years, last couple years in particular, tried to increase veins of communication,” Johnson said. “When you’re talking about a week that is held in the highest regards, I’m assuming within the organization and certainly within my peer group as one of the four majors and my nation’s major, communication is paramount.”

But the exact size of the credibility gap the USGA has to bridge with some top pros remains unclear. It’s likely not a sting that one good week of tournament setup can assuage, even going to one of the more straightforward options in the rotation next year at Pebble Beach.

After all, Snedeker was quick to recall that players struggled mightily to hit the par-3 17th green back in 2010, with eventual champ Graeme McDowell calling the hole “borderline unfair” ahead of the third round.

“It’s one of the greatest holes in world golf, but I don’t really know how I can hit the back left portion of the green,” McDowell said at the time. “It’s nearly impossible.”

Surely this time next year, Davis will explain how the USGA has expanded its arsenal in the last decade, and that subsequent changes to the 17th green structure will make it more playable. His organization will then push the course to the brink, like a climber who insists on scaling Mount Everest without oxygen, and they’ll tell 156 players that this time, finally, the desired balance between difficult and fair has been achieved.

Whether they’ll be believed remains to be seen.

@bubbawatson on Instagram

Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 5:40 pm

Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.

Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.

Got autographed by defending @usopengolf Champ @bkoepka!! #NeverShoweringAgain

A post shared by Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) on

And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.

Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.

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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).