Notes: Masters may consider official with every group

By Doug FergusonApril 17, 2013, 12:50 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rules officials from golf organizations around the world work at the Masters, most of them assigned various parts of the golf course. But it remains the only major championship that doesn't have a rules official walk with every group.

Even more peculiar is that the Masters has the smallest field. With only 93 players this year, there were only 31 groups all four days – threesomes Thursday and Friday, and twosomes Saturday and Sunday for the 61 players who made the cut.

Could that change in light of the ruling involving Tiger Woods?

Woods took an incorrect drop on the 15th hole after hitting into the water in the second round. Fred Ridley, chairman of the competition committee, responded to a TV viewer calling in the violation and didn't immediately recognize the mistake based on video evidence. It was only after Woods said in an interview said he dropped it 2 yards farther back did Ridley review the tape again. Woods was given a two-shot penalty, but not disqualified. Ridley invoked Rule 33-7, which gives the committee discretion not to disqualify. In this case, he felt Augusta erred by not presenting the evidence to Woods before he signed his card.

Ridley would not say if the Masters would have officials will each group next year. That likely would be up to Masters chairman Billy Payne.

''If there's one thing about the Masters tournament ... we look at everything,'' Ridley said. ''And do that with the competition, so we'll be looking at this situation. What could we do in the future? Is there any different processes we could employ? We look at the entire competition every year and try to get better.''

Then again, having a walking official doesn't solve every problem.

The U.S. Open had a walking official with every group in 2001 at Southern Hills when Lee Janzen returned Friday morning to complete the first rround. There was dew near his ball, and he wiped off the area with a towel. Only after the round was over was it discovered he violated Rule 13-2 by removing dew in the area behind or to the side of his ball. Janzen signed for an incorrect scorecard, though he was not disqualified because an official was in his room and didn't notice the violation.

It didn't matter. That two-shot penalty caused him to miss the cut.

Golf Digest magazine wrote on its website about the case of Dow Finsterwald in the 1960 Masters, who discovered in the second round he was not allowed to practice putting at the conclusion of a hole. He had done that in the first round, and the Masters committee chose not to disqualify him, instead adding two shots to his score.

Finsterwald, the 1958 PGA champion, was working at Augusta last week, wearing a blue blazer as he officiated from the first hole.


ROOKIE CHANGES: Martin Kaymer is no longer eligible to win Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour.

The PGA Tour board voted at its last meeting to change the eligibility. Previously, a player's rookie season was the year he became a member (including special temporary members) and played in at least 10 tournaments as a member. The new regulation states that new members – such as Kaymer – will not be eligible for the Rookie of the Year award if they had played in more than seven PGA Tour events as a pro in any previous season.

''There have been cases throughout the years when a highly ranked, veteran player who has not been a PGA Tour member previously has been eligible for the award – a situation that can be confusing for fans and seems to go against the spirit of the award,'' the Tour said in its newsletter to players.

It chose the seven events because that's the limit for sponsor's exemptions for players who are not members.

The most confusing situation was in 2010, when Rickie Fowler won the award over Rory McIlroy, even though McIlroy had the stronger credentials (starting with a victory at Quail Hollow). It was seen as a pro-American vote by the players, although it was confusing because McIlroy had played in all the majors and World Golf Championships the previous year.

Under the new definition, McIlroy would not have been eligible for the award in 2010.

Previous rookie winners have been Trevor Immelman in 2006 and Carlos Franco in 1999. Both won Rookie of the Year after having played in the Presidents Cup.


BEST WITHOUT A MAJOR: Lee Westwood can officially be considered the best player to have never won a major.

Sergio Garcia is right behind.

Westwood now has played 60 majors without winning, the most of anyone among active players. He has seven finishes in the top 3, including runner-up finishes in the Masters, British Open. He also missed a playoff by one shot in the 2008 U.S. Open and 2009 British Open.

He tied for eighth in the Masters this year.

Garcia has played in 58 majors without winning, and he has the distinction of the longest active streak of consecutive majors played at 55. Garcia lost the 2007 British Open in a playoff, and he was runner-up twice in the PGA Championship. He also tied for eighth at Augusta, despite a 66 in the first round for the outright lead.

Both are closing in on Tom Kite, who played 63 majors as a pro before he won the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach when he was 42.


USGA RETIREMENT: The USGA is losing 50 years of experience and passion when Rhonda Glenn retires on May 9.

Glenn's affiliation with the USGA began in 1963 when she played the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur, the first of her 11 USGA events, which included five U.S. Women's Amateurs. Over the years, she has expanded her role as a writer, broadcaster and historian, and she later became a fixture running interviews at the U.S. Women's Open.

Perhaps her most impressive feat was helping to pull together the Mickey Wright Room for the USGA Museum. Glenn is a longtime friend of Wright, considered by many to be the greatest female ever. It was the USGA Museum's first room to honor a female player.

Glenn became the first full-time female broadcast for a national network when she went to work for ESPN in 1981. She won the USGA International Book Award in 1992 for ''The Illustrated History of Women's Golf,'' and she is working now on a biography on Nancy Lopez.


DIVOTS: IMG has acquired IGP Sports & Entertainment Group, which manages the Honda Classic. Tournament director Ken Kennerly will join IMG's golf division and be in charge of the agency's North American golf events. IMG also runs the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the Father-Son Challenge. ... Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark tied for sixth at the Masters and earned $278,000, pushing over the amount to make him eligible to be a special temporary member on the PGA Tour. He will have 60 days to take membership, making him eligible for unlimited exemptions the rest of the year. ... Vijay Singh now has gone 27 rounds without breaking 70 at the Masters, dating to a 67 in the first round of 2006. ... A 54-hole lead in the Masters is no longer as safe as it once was. Adam Scott became the fourth straight winner who trailed going into the final round, the longest streak for the Masters since 1984-1987.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Dating to the 2010 Masters, every major champion except for Martin Kaymer (No. 33) and Darren Clarke (No. 230) remain inside the top 25 in the world ranking.


FINAL WORD: ''A phone conversation isn't going to do it for us. We are really close, and I'd love to share a beer with him over this one.'' – Adam Scott after becoming the first Australian to win the Masters, on what he would say to Greg Norman.

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Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.



The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:28 am

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 3:18 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.

The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.

Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.

She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.

Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


“Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”

Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.

Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.

Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.

On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.

Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.