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Thanksgiving Turkeys

It seems like a natural thing to do, this being the weekend for ol Tom Turkey to strut. All dressed up and ready for Thanksgiving devouring, we have our own Top Ten Turkeys of this season:
  • Tiger Woods knee injury and subsequent arthroscopic surgery, which deprived us of a Tiger-Ernie Els matchup when Els was at his most potent at the Mercedes Championships. Els won that week ' and the Sony Open the next week ' before going on to win five of his first six around the world this season. Tiger, meanwhile, was obliged to sit and recoup until he won the Buick Invitational in his first action more than a month later.
  • Fuzzy Zoellers disqualification from the Royal Caribbean Classic on the Champions Tour for practicing on the course. Actually, he filmed a television spot there following his first round ' at the request of the events media director! Zoeller agreed to the filming after he was told the tour approved. The media staff approved the sixth tee for the lesson. Zoeller provided only instruction during the lesson, but afterwards the TV cameraman asked Fuzzy to hit a few balls for the segment. Again, Zoeller complied ' but was DQd for his charitable efforts.
  • Little-known Brian Kontaks effort to get into the U.S. Womens Open after Annika Sorenstam was awarded a spot in the PGA Tours Bank of America Colonial. A former Canadian Tour money leader and a non-exempt Nationwide Tour performer this season, Kontak was rebuffed by the USGA, who has a rule that competitors in the Womens Open must be females at birth. I didnt really pursue anything this year, but next year Im definitely going to go through with it, Kontak said. Another turkey for next year, perhaps?
  • The Augusta flap revolving around Hootie Johnson, Martha Burk, the Ku Klux Klan member, the Augusta members and just about everyone but the Boy Scouts. Johnson was wrong in his tyrannical attitude, Burk missed by a mile in her attempt at public relations, the Augusta membership was extremely embarrassed, and the demonstration failed to drum up much support outside of a few Georgians.
  • The sudden onset of bad golf commercials. Titleists Ian MacCallister, the supposed stickler for the rules who dresses in bad plaid; the cart driver who roars up to the clubhouse; the abysmal re-emergence of Sign Boy after a highly successful initial season ' thankfully, Ive forgotten almost all of the really awful ones.
  • Though she apologized publicly afterwards, the ill-fated attempt by Sung Ea Lee to register as a younger player in the Westfield Junior PGA Championship. Lee, a University of Washington freshman at the time, was stripped of the title that she had won. She had written June 9, 1985 as her birthdate on the entry sheet instead of the correct date of June 10, 1984. I made a mistake, and I am very sorry for it, said Lee.
  • The continued imperial attitude of Seve Ballesteros concerning his slow-play indiscretions. It happened first at the Madeira Island Open and wore on throughout the summer. It broke my concentration ' I am the only star here this week who has won a major, he said with a harrumph. His group, incidentally, had finished 27 minutes behind the group in front.
  • The disqualification of Mark Roe and Jesper Parnevik at the British Open for wrongly signing each others scorecards. Because of the DQ, Roe was sent home instead of teeing it up Sunday tied for fourth. Roe had a 67 in the third round and Parnevik an 81, but in one of golfs most outrageous absurdities, they were banished. Do you think they could possibly have been trying to cheat? Stuart Appleby had the best comment: Its a lot like the days when you stole a loaf of bread and it cost you your life, he said.
  • The LPGA rules mean Annika Sorenstam doesnt win the Vare Trophy for lowest per-round scoring average. The LPGA continued to insist on 70 rounds to be eligible for the award, though it now holds only 31 tournaments. Sorenstam played in 16 of them, 60 rounds. Her average score of just over 69 was a full point better than winner Se Ri Paks 70-plus.
  • After 25 years on the European Tour, Sandy Lyle loses his card. How can this be ' a man who has won the British Open and the Masters, who was the best player on the European Tour in the mid-80s? The irony ' at years end he was 41st on the all-time tour money list, only one tantalizing player from the 40th spot and an automatic exemption. Lyle was philosophical in accepting his fate, but still said that, Theres so much money (available) now that the system has become outdated. If it was done on points (for tournament finishes), Id probably be in the top 10.
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