One season ended with a dramatic announcement on Wednesday, the same day the roadmap for another season was laid out. The PGA Tour’s new schedule and the end of the 2013-14 road for Tiger Woods highlight this week’s Cut Line.
No “I” in T-E-A-M. This was shaping up to being a classic staring contest between U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson and Woods.
On Monday, Watson seemed to reverse course when it came to the possibility of making Woods one of his three picks for this year’s matches saying, “He brings a lot to the team, if he has the ability to play and he's healthy. I'd be a fool not to consider him.”
Less than 72 hours later Woods made Watson’s decision for him, saying in a statement, “While I greatly appreciate Tom (Watson) thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I must take myself out of consideration. I’ve been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed. They’ve advised me not to play or practice now.”
Not having Woods on the U.S. team in September will hurt. Conversely, not having the distraction of whether to make him a pick will only make the American side stronger.
Ross revisited. It’s been more than a half century since Donald Ross designed a golf course, but his finger print endures at the game’s highest level with both the PGA Tour and LPGA holding events on Ross designs this week.
Sedgefield Country Club is hosting the Wyndham Championship for the seventh time and the classic layout continues to draw players despite an awkward spot on the schedule for the final regular-season event.
Even more impressive is how Monroe Golf Club is rewarding diverse styles of play at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Consider that Lexi Thompson and Meena Lee shared the first-round lead at the year’s fourth major championship and rank first and 139th, respectively, in driving distance.
Modern architects have been straining hamstrings for the last decade trying to find an answer to increased distance gains. It seems Ross had it figured out over a half century ago.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)
Travel advisory. The Tour unveiled its 2014-15 schedule on Wednesday with few surprises, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any double takes.
Atop the curious list of schedule changes is the transition of the WGC-Match Play away from Dove Mountain near Tucson, Ariz., a widely unpopular venue among Tour types, and the West Coast swing to Harding Park in San Francisco in early May.
While the venue and the new format are solid upgrades, the new spot on the schedule will necessitate a 2,798-mile journey for players from San Francisco to Jacksonville, Fla., for The Players Championship which will be held the following week.
There is also the issue of how this will impact the Wells Fargo Championship, which was shifted to the week after The Players and has been one of the circuit’s top events.
The Match Play makeover is an improvement, but Camp Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., still has some work to do if they are going to get it right.
Tweet of the week. @Chris_Kirk “I guess I need a new head shot!”
Kirk was responding to Jimmy Fallon’s spoof on “The Tonight Show” that used various Tour player headshots to dole out “superlatives.” Kirk won “Most likely to say, ‘Enjoy your stay. They all do . . .” when handing over your hotel room key.”
Storm warnings. The final round at last week’s PGA Championship was arguably the year’s most compelling, and entertaining, theater. Lost amid the excitement, however, were a surprising number of curious decisions.
The PGA of America’s decision to not adjust Sunday’s tee times with more rain bearing down on the Louisville, Ky., layout led to a nearly two-hour rain delay and more than a few questionable rulings.
“They didn’t do a very good job with the rules in my opinion. I saw two rulings that were completely incorrect, never seen them before, don’t know how you can do it,” Jason Bohn told GolfChannel.com. “I couldn’t really do anything because an official was telling me what to do.”
The race against darkness also led to a questionable decision to have the final two groups essentially play up as a foursome. There are plenty of times in professional golf when groups are allowed to “play up,” but according to various sources it was officials, and not the players, who made the call at Valhalla.
That’s not the way it is supposed to work.
Nobody wants to hang around until Monday to finish a tournament, but when the sprint impacts play it may be time to slow down.