Woods Cant Win In the Augusta Debate
An old story got new legs last week when Woods was asked again ' for the hundredth time ' about the issue. He answered the question when it was brought up the first time at the British Open. The story was front-burner news for a month or so ' Tiger Waffles On Women at Augusta National, the headlines read. Then it died down, only to be resurrected again last week.
There is no new information from this quarter. Woods didnt set down and write a long position paper on the subject. He didnt promise to go up on the mountain for the women affected. He said in the past exactly what he believed, and there was nothing wishy-washy about it: No. 1, he dislikes discrimination again women; No. 2, non-members, even one who is Tiger Woods, are in no position to do anything about it.
Regardless of what youve read, this does not equate to race discrimination. Augusta National welcomes women who have gained admittance to the grounds under the accepted manner ' either wives of members or guests of members. Women played 1,000 rounds there last year, which is a good number when you consider that the club is closed from May to October, and it isnt used extensively when it IS open.
Blacks were ' and in many cases still are - routinely prohibited from using the grounds at many country clubs. By contrast, most of the members at Augusta have wives and many have daughters. All, it is presumed, had mothers. Until the past decade, there were no blacks ' mothers or daughters, fathers or sons ' who strolled the Augusta fairways.
Tiger is being asked questions that Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer arent for precisely that reason ' he is not lily white. The issue is being race-based, even though it clearly is gender-based. To try to somehow construe the two issues as one is a fallacy.
For the reason that there are many loopholes in the so-called no women allowed rule, Im ambivalent about the issue. I certainly would not belong to a club which did not allow women. But not once since the issue arose has any representative of Augusta called and asked me for my opinion. They havent called Woods, either. But just about everyone in the media has.
I go back to what Ive said before ' how about the hundreds of thousands of womans associations in our country? Theyre harmless, really. Does any man alive object to not being in the ladies' loop? No, of course not. And Augusta National, for that matter, does not object to women playing golf until their hands are bloody.
Woods is right when he says that so many people demand that he take up their cause ' yes, demand it. He is in a rather delicate position now ' people who are sure they are right want to involve him on their side. It doesnt matter that he has come out in favor of the position of women. They demand that he be anti-Augusta as well. He must see the issue exactly as they see it, or else he is a Judas. The truth is ' he doesnt.
If it were a black-white issue, the situation would be far different. But this isnt, and the argument that it is the same is just so much baloney.
This is not a defense of Augusta National. It is a defense of Tiger Woods. He is not straddling the fence. The question was one that was proper to ask, and Woods gave a response. He wasnt coy or trying to be all things to all people. It is wrong to discriminate against women, he said. But since he is not a member, there is nothing he can do to change the situation. And as a personal aside, I seriously doubt that he could change things even if he decided to boycott. Augusta National, dont forget, threw away the millions of its Masters television sponsors. Does it seem likely that Woods absence would affect them, either?
Some of the members, thank goodness, have voiced reservations about the ban of women members. But to take Woods to task because he is not as rabid as many of the protestors is clearly wrong. Its an argument that he just cannot win.
If you want a more definitive answer, then ask him a question where the two issues are more clear-cut. Clearly, Augusta National is on the way toward admitting a woman, regardless of the stance of Hootie Johnson. But dont expect Woods to equate the argument to one of race. That just isnt going to fly. This isnt a question of someone being hanged solely because he is black. Pardon me, but the links simply dont stretch that far.
Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...
Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.
Not a fun start for Rory.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 23, 2018
Golf is hard. pic.twitter.com/DLq647mbHA
McIlroy lost the third, fifth and ninth holes at Austin Country Club. Harman led, 3 up, at the turn.
Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue
Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.
However, he never saw it go in.
Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.
A Golf Channel cameraman finally gave him the news and Stefani responded with an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Trio lead Kia Classic; Davies shoots 82
CARLSBAD, Calif. - Laura Davies had a nightmare round days after contending for a title at age 54, and Caroline Hedwall, Jackie Stoelting and Hee Young Park topped the Kia Classic leaderboard.
Davies shot a 10-over 82 on Thursday at rainy Aviara Golf Club - four days after tying for second behind Inbee Park in the Founders Cup, and five days after shooting a 9-under 63 in the Phoenix event.
Fighting Achilles tendon and calf problems in her left leg, Davies opened double bogey-bogey-par-bogey. She bogeyed Nos. 9, 10 and 12, had another double on 15 and bogeyed 16. The 82 was the World Golf Hall of Famer's highest score on tour since also shooting 82 in the 2013 Marathon Classic. On Monday, she jumped 208 spots to No. 155 in the world.
Hedwall, Stoelting and Park shot 66 in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills. Ariya Jutanugarn, also coming off a second-place tie in Phoenix, was a stroke back with 2015 champion Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim and Nicole Broch Larsen.
Hedwall closed her bogey-free round with birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth. The Swede played her final 10 holes in 6 under. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of the damp conditions.
''I hit it really well and started making a couple putts in my back nine,'' Hedwall said. ''I'm really happy with how I'm playing and looking forward to the rest of the days.''
Stoelting finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th. She had seven birdies and a bogey.
''I hit a lot of fairways,'' Stoelting said. ''I don't necessarily hit if far, but keeping it in the fairway is super key this week. The rough is much thicker this year than last year.''
Hee Young Park birdied the final three holes, finishing on No. 9.
''The greens are really soft,'' Park said. ''So, easier on the second shot.''
The 40-year-old Kerr had a bogey-free round.
''I like this golf course,'' Kerr said. ''I think it's a tough golf course and you can't fall asleep on any shot. I mean, it's just a really great course. The layout. The rough is high. You got to pay attention. I think that's maybe why I play a little better here than some other places.''
Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 31 on the front nine.
''It's rain today and a little bit windy, but my irons help me a lot,'' Jutanugarn said. ''Just start to make some putts. ... It's pretty tough for me. I always feel like the course here is really hard because the greens really bumpy, and you're not going to hit far here.''
Lydia Ko and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu topped the group at 68.
Ko also played her final nine in 31. She missed the cut last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix.
''I holed some really good putts on my back nine,'' Ko said. ''I didn't hit the ball fantastic, but just being able to hole some good birdie putts was key.''
She won the 2016 event at Aviara.
''This is a pretty tough golf course,'' Ko said. ''Putting is a huge key around this course where if you do miss a green, making those clutch par putts and then making those birdie opportunities that you get.''
Jennifer Song and Jeong Eun Lee also shot 68. Brooke Henderson had a 69, and Lexi Thompson a 70.
Inbee Park was at 71 with Singapore champion Michelle Wie and 2014 Kia winner Anna Nordqvist. Top-ranked Shanshan Feng had a 72, playing alongside Park. Defending champion Mirim Lee shot 74.
With old clubs returned, Kim (and new clubs) starts strong at Kia
Almost two months after her golf clubs went missing, the same clubs she used to win last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, In-Kyung Kim was happily reunited with them this week.
She fetched them and her golf bag two days ago at the Carlsbad, Calif., police department.
A man bought them as a used set from a sporting goods store in the area, with Kim’s LPGA I.D. still in the golf bag.
Notably, Kim celebrated with a return to the leaderboard Thursday in the first round of the Kia Classic.
Kim opened with a 5-under-par 67, though she didn’t use her newly rediscovered clubs. She stayed with the replacement set that she put together after her clubs went missing. Her Women’s British Open clubs never showed up after she got off a plane in Southern California upon her return home from the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.
“It was really difficult at first,” Kim said of getting used to her new set of clubs. “I really worked hard, like worked a lot, went to the factory like a dozen times.”
Kim said she made several visits to the factory folks, trying to get the loft and lies of her new clubs just the way she wanted, close to the configuration that helped her win the Women’s British Open.
“They were like, `I.K., are you ever happy?’” Kim said.
Actually, only five of Kim’s “lost” clubs turned up with her golf bag at that sporting goods store. Still, Kim was happy to get three wedges, two hybrids and her golf bag back.
“It’s kind of good to have a conclusion,” Kim said.
Kim can thank a “What’s in the bag?” segment with Ladies European Tour TV analyst Alison Whitaker for leading to the retrieval of her clubs. Kim explained to Whitaker how her clubs went missing during the telecast of the HSBC Women’s World Championship three weeks ago.
A golf fan in the San Diego area saw Golf Channel’s telecast of that segment.
“One of his friends bought the tour bag,” Kim said. “The other friend knew about my story, and he was like, `No, dude, that's not for selling. It's stolen.’”
Kim was delighted to meet the men who returned her clubs when she picked them up at the Carlsbad Police Department.
“Just good for me,” Kim said.