Frustration with traveling drops in 08

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 14, 2009, 5:00 pm
RICHMOND, Va. ' Frustration with traveling has dropped off sharply, according to the latest installment of Access Americas Travel Frustration Index, a quarterly barometer of travelers angst. The results of the latest survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in December 2008, reveal that Americans consternation with just about all aspects of travel dropped significantly when compared to data collected earlier last year, as well as during the same period in 2007.
 
A familiar resident at the top of the list of frustrations for travelers is the cost of gas. More than half (51%) of Americans say they find this aspect of travel frustrating. However, that number is down a staggering 35 points since August of 2008, and 27 points from the same period in 2007.
 
It appears that frustration with costs have been significantly diffused in the last four months, perhaps because the price of oil is now a fraction of what it was during the summer. In fact, just two in 10 Americans (22%) say that cost issues, specifically gas prices (18%), are the most frustrating aspects of traveling. Compared to December 2007, the proportion of Americans who say theyre most frustrated with the price of gas is down six points and down 13 points from August 2008.
 
The cost of travel, which is greatly impacted by the cost of oil and gas, has been the major source of frustration for the last year, said Mark Cipolletti, vice president for marketing and communications at Access America. But now with cheap gas and airline tickets, consumer frustration has plummeted ' so much in fact that people dont even appear to be upset about baggage fees and the loss of free in-flight amenities.
 
Other aspects of travel that Americans are less frustrated with, compared to a year ago, include airline/airport service (44%, down 10 points), the cost of airline/cruise/train tickets (46%, down 3 points), the cost of lodging or attractions (41%, down 6 points), and homeland security and safety (35%, down 6 points).
 
By creating an index of frustration among those who have traveled in the last three months, Ipsos and Access America have identified the aggregate level of frustration that exists among American travelers. The results have been tallied, and Americans are much less frustrated, overall, than they were a few months ago when it comes to traveling. The index currently registers at 42.6, which is drastically lower than the frustration factor in August of this year (55.1) or even at the end of last year (53.3)
 
The index also allows for comparisons among various demographic groups:
  • Those living in the Northeast (44.6), South (43.6) and Midwest (42.5) are more frustrated with traveling, overall, when compared to those living in the West (39).
  • Those with children (45.5) are considerably more frustrated with traveling than are those without children (40.6).
  • Interestingly, those who are not married (46.0) are more frustrated by travel than are married individuals (41.3).
  • The gap in frustration between business (41.2) and leisure (42.6) travelers has been closed.
     
    Comparing the different modes of traveling, it appears that the calculated level of frustration is still higher when it comes to car travel (score of 44.3) than with air travel (score of 38.4). Car travel appears to be particularly frustrating for those with children (48.8) than for those without (41.3).
     
    Despite a drop in annoyance, fewer Americans report having traveled during the last three months of 2008, compared to the same period of time in 2007. One in ten (10%) say theyve traveled within the last week of taking the survey (down 4 points from a year ago), 8 percent have traveled two to three weeks ago (down 3 points), 8 percent one month ago (down 2 points), and 11 percent two to three months ago (down 2 points).
     
    About the survey:
    These are some of the findings of an Ipsos survey conducted December 4-21, 2008. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 827 Americans who had traveled in the past three months was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within 3.41 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been surveyed. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
     
    About Access America:
    Access America is the consumer travel insurance brand of Mondial Assistance. Access America travel insurance and assistance products are purchased by millions of travelers each year, through leading travel suppliers including resorts, airlines, travel agents and more. Access America and Mondial Assistance are part of the Allianz (NYSE: AZ) family of companies. Visit www.accessamerica.com.

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    Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

    Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

    Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

    It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

    "Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

    Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

    But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

    As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

    The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

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    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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    Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

    A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

    The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

    There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

    As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

    This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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    Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

    There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

    Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

    Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.


    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


    Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

    The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

    Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.