Twitter: GeoffShac
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

Obviously the objection to the stymie originated in the conception that each player must be permitted to play his own game free of any interference of his opponent. Why this should be an essential when the contest is man-to-man and head-to-head, I have never been able to see.   BOBBY JONES

 

  

Saturday
Sep232017

Casey Leads, Kisner Copters Out: Another FedExCup Is (Mercifully) About To End!

Outside of player accountants, I know almost none of you will have the live updated FedExCup standings page open during Sunday's Tour Championship finale at East Lake. That's because the competition you hate having to explain to inquisitive friends is about to wrap another year of...promoted pieces telling us how great the FedExCup is.

At least something that might make more sense--splitting the Tour Championship from a FedExCup final day--is in the works pending player input. Until then, we'll be held hostage to the algorithms, which makes explaining scenarios very tough sledding (Wacker/GolfDigest.com).

At least this year there was the fun of Kevin Kisner helicoptering out of Atlanta to watch his beloved Georgia Bulldogs to remind us where most sports fans would rather be (DiMeglio/USA Today). Kisner Tweeted a photo and credited Justin Thomas for helping him find the ride (Hoggard/Golfweek).

At least there is Xander Schauffele emerging as a big time player almost out of nowhere, including after a terrible start to the season. (Babineau/Golfweek).

At least Justin Thomas doesn't care where he stands when the numbers crunchers tried to inform of his Sunday scenarios (Babineau/Golfweek).

And at least there is Paul Casey to root for, who has played spectacularly in "playoff" events without winning (Everill/PGATour.com) and whose track record in final rounds does not match his talent (Murray/Guardian).

Points leader Jordan Spieth is feeling mostly powerless in the chase for the Cup after a third round 69 (Hoggard/GolfChannel.com).

Friday
Sep222017

PGA Tour Considering Shocking Plan To Emphasize Entertainment And Clarity Over Current Playoff Conclusion

I'm getting ahead of myself here because, after all, Doug Ferguson's AP report on the possible FedExCup playoff change wil be taken to the players for feedback. You know, the same players who said 72-holes of stroke play is the only way for Olympic golf to be presented.

Still, the possibility of a playoff shakeup is exciting. Sure, Steve Sands will have to retire the white board and algorithm writers may protest a Sunday finish that is straight-stroke play, but we'll deal with that when it happens.

ShackHouse listeners know I floated two scenarios this week, including an algorithm-driven elimination system that whittles the field down after 36 and 54 holes.

And while I think that would be great fun, especially by injecting life into Tour Championship rounds other than Sunday, the scenario Tour officials are considering makes more political sense. In other words, it will hurt fewer feelings.

One concept being explored is staging the Tour Championship, handing out a trophy, and then the top FedEx Cup finishers playing the next day over 18 holes to determine the winner.

That's a long way off from becoming a reality, and it includes feedback from the players. One area of dissent is that the current system works fine.

Fine=draws ratings in the mid 1's consistently!

Thursday
Sep212017

The Calamity Jane Story Updated

Really great work here by Jonathan Wall of PGATour.com to revisit the story of Calamity Jane and clarify the history of Bobby Jones' beloved putter. (The Tour Championship winner receives a replica.)

Besides explaining what the putter with 8 degrees of loft meant to Jones, Wall's piece includes a fun Q&A with Jones historian Sid Matthew at the end.

A teaser related to a Jones reunion with Jane in 1936:

Jones eventually walked away from competition at 28, on the heels of his historic victory at the 1930 U.S. Open that completed the then-Grand Slam that also included wins that year at the U.S. and British Amateurs and the Open Championship. In the years that followed, Calamity Jane would fade into the distance, but from time to time, Jones would reunite with his old friend and the sparks would fly.

As golf writer Bill Fields noted in a Golf Digest story on the famed putter, Jones brought the putter out of retirement at the 1936 Masters and promptly shot 64 at Augusta National with just 25 putts.

"It's just like an old friend now," Jones told The New York Times back then. "The ball kept going up to the cup and acting as though it had eyes."

Thursday
Sep212017

It's Come To This Files: Sources Reveal Prez Cup Pods...

Remember now, I am coming off the Walker Cup where Captain Spider Miller had no assistant captains, drove a standard-issue cart around and stayed in the background, except to meet his players on some of the par-3 tees to offer club assistance if need be.

So it's going to take me some time to adjust to the pomp and obscene bloat that is the Presidents Cup, where assistant captains will be urgently shuttling around to monitor their pods. If only Paul Azinger had trademarked pods we could have avoided this...as reported by Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com:

Sources say Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar will be in the same pod as rookies Kevin Kisner and Kevin Chappell; Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed are with Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger; and Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler are with Justin Thomas and Charley Hoffman.

Although Stricker and his assistant captains have multiple possible pairings for each player and could just as easily pair outside the pods, it seems likely teams will emerge from each group, and there are predictable pairs.

I'll sleep better this weekend knowing the pod lineups!

Now, this wacky first tee setup captured by Chris Condon did get me more excited. This has to be the most intimate and potentially intense first tee setups of all cup events:

 

My first look at the first tee at #libertynational. Going to be an epic week!

A post shared by Chris Condon (@ckcondon) on Sep 21, 2017 at 4:04pm PDT

 

Thursday
Sep212017

PGA Tour Plans To Keep Pants As The "Uniform"

There are first world crises and then there is the turbulent question of pro golfers wearing shorts in competition.

It sounds like the schlub sector of the tour has not been very vocal, perhaps after seeing way too many OB stakes masquerading as legs? Anyway, Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com talked to Commissioner Jay Monahan who reiterated that the players will be wearing pants for the foreseeable future.

“Having worked in other sports, when you get on the tee on Wednesday and you see a player playing in their uniform, the same way they are going to look over the next four days. Treating that event professionally, there’s a lot of value to that. You have to protect that.”

Thursday
Sep212017

PGA Tour Pros Say Golf Is Healthier Than The Ratings Suggest

While Nielsen ratings are by no means a measure of a sports' popularity, I do think it's fascinating to see how much players quoted in this Karen Crouse New York Times piece suggest the game is healthier than flatlining ratings indicate.

“TV ratings are really not a measure of whether golf is popular,” said Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion.

His view is widely held by the pros, who see ratings as a flawed indicator of golf’s reach. Television is the pretty packaging. The substance of golf is the indelible — and wholly organic — image from the end of the P.G.A. Championship, when Jordan Spieth and a handful of other players stuck around long after they were finished so they could be among the first people to congratulate Thomas.

The show of sportsmanship highlighted golf’s capacity for competition and friendship. It made golf look cool and fun, the Tour veteran Charley Hoffman said, adding, “I think it can’t do anything but help the game.”

And...

Topgolf, a booming entertainment franchise with roughly three dozen locations around the country and several more to open soon, is an entryway to golf for adults. It offers a more relaxed approach and easy access to the game.

Do the barefoot man and the woman in stilettos count as golfers? Paul Casey believes so.

“They are still golf fans, they are still absorbing, or taking in — consuming — the game,” he said, adding, “I don’t think the game has any issues whatsoever. I just think it’s changing and it’s organic. I think it’s cool.”

Thursday
Sep212017

Giffen Speaks As Anniversary Of Arnie's Passing Approaches

Josh Sens of Golf.com catches up with Doc Giffen, close friend, confidante and trusted assistant to Arnold Palmer as the September 25th anniversary of The King's passing approaches.

There are so many ways we miss people who were close to us after they’re gone. But is there anything in particular you miss about Arnold?

I should point out that Arnold was here in Latrobe about five-plus months a year, and in Florida the other six-plus months. And I did not spend time with him in Florida, only when he was here. Over the five-plus months, we would get together not every day but several times a week, when it was convenient. Usually around 4:30 or quarter to five in the afternoon, he’d say, "Come on up to the house and we’ll debrief." So I’d go up there, maybe with the two secretaries and another guy from the office, possibly joined by some of Arnold’s golfing buddies. We’d just sit around talk and have cocktails. A lot of the times, Arnold would make the drinks for us. Often, there was golf on television, or in some cases, a Western would be on. Arnold was a big fan of Western movies and novels

Thursday
Sep212017

R.I.P. Charles Owen, Long Putter Creator

Former sports media reporter-turned-obituary-writer Richard Sandomir tackles the fascinating life and times of Charles Owen, the most important figure in creating the long putter.

Sandomir writes for the New York Times:

Weary of the many putters that had failed him, Owens drew up plans for an extra-long one and gave them to a machinist friend. On Christmas Day 1983, at a golf course near his home in Tampa, Fla., Owens tested the machinist’s handiwork, a 52-inch putter. He held it with his left hand against his chest; his right hand clasped it about halfway down the shaft. Within 15 minutes, he knew his new putter, christened Slim Jim, would change his game.

With the putter in his bag, he won two tournaments in 1986 and more money than he had ever had — a satisfying reward for an African-American golfer who had grown up poor in segregated Winter Haven, Fla., developed a passion for a game that was reserved mostly for whites and carved his first clubs out of tree limbs.

Wednesday
Sep202017

Parsons Touts Equality Of His College Golf Sponsorship Efforts

Alana Johnson reports for Golf.com on PXG announcing partnerships with six universities to provide 10 custom-fit sets to the men's and women's programs to divy up (*story incorrectly stated).

Given that five people start for a college team, this will leave some players out of the free equipment (first) world, but that didn't stop PXG's Bob Parson's from turning what might be a negative into a positive (verbal).

In a press release, PXG's founder Bob Parsons touted the company's commitment to delivering equal support to golfers within the University Program.

"It is beyond me that the men's and women's golf teams are frequently afforded different levels of support. At PXG, we make golf clubs for golfers. Period," said Parsons. "The schools we choose to partner with will receive equal sponsorship for both the men's and women's teams."

It's certainly admirable that Parsons is taking care of women's programs as equally as the men. But also fascinating to see a company suggesting the privilege of free gear has somehow been skewed by gender to this point. I certainly could see that at smaller programs, but from everything I've seen the larger women's programs are well taken care of. Anyone hear differently?

Wednesday
Sep202017

PGA Tour: Will Smart Schedule Sense Or Playing Opportunities Prevail?

Many in and outside of golf will be watching how the PGA Tour maneuvers through the next year in re-imagining its schedule around the rest of sports.

At ESPN.com Jason Sobel looked at why the PGA Tour season seems so long and does not see the situation changing. Also featured with his piece is a snippet of Michael Collins talking with Commissioner Jay Monahan about the PGA Tour historically playing a long season schedule.

I had a different take over at Golfweek.com: Monahan is having to send mixed signals to prevent a riot, but to make a Labor Day finish work and to restore some sense of a cycle and brief downtime that golf enjoyed pre-wraparound calendar, something has to give. Will the playing opportunities of those 50th to 150th prevail? Or will the tour shed a few events to tighten up the core portion of the calendar?

Wednesday
Sep202017

Video: Stewart Cink's Payne Stewart Award Speech

If you're looking for some nice listening while paying the bills, the eloquent Stewart Cink accepting the Payne Stewart Award might do the trick.

Cink also talked to Golf Channel's Todd Lewis after his speech in Atlanta.

Tuesday
Sep192017

Need For PGA Tour's Gambling Focus Making More Sense

Between Commissioner Jay Monahan's comments and a few smart takes, we have a better sense now why the PGA Tour is taking a proactive approach to any potential gambling related matters.

The obvious issue involves daily fantasy and the potential to hop on any sports better legalization trains. From Rex Hoggard's GolfChannel.com take:

In fact, Monahan said the policy, and partnership with Genius Sports, is part of the Tour’s ongoing analysis of online betting websites like DraftKings.

“That's something we have been and we'll continue to take a hard look at, but as of right now I would say two things. One, that's not the reason we've made this move, and two, you have to continue to see how daily fantasy continues to evolve,” Monahan said. “We're intrigued by daily fantasy, we're intrigued by gaming. Fan engagement I think it’s important for any sport and you look at the activity in other sports and you look at the activity in golf, it's significant.”

This is especially significant given that Commissioner Smails has never shown much interest in using fantasy or gambling to grow the sport. But given the state of ratings, the push for legalization and the potential to use betting to retain eyeballs, Monahan is right to explore the possibilities.

Now, a less understood issue may involve the potential for match fixing or real time gambling practices,  as Brian Wacker notes in covering many sides to this for Golf World.

According to a handful of players and caddies, wagers are made regularly by those on the “inside” (caddies, for example) and often done so in real time with up-to-the-second information being used in markets where live betting is permitted.

One real-life example provided by a caddie is knowing that an injured player is poised to withdraw and therefore loading up on his opponent in a match bet. In short, it’s the equivalent of insider trading on the stock market.

Such live betting is enormously popular in the United Kingdom, among other places. It’s also gaining traction in Nevada, where some sports books already offer mobile apps to customers who are inside state lines.

Here are Monahan's comments from Atlanta:

Tuesday
Sep192017

PGA Tour's 2017-18 Schedule Last Of An Era

No real shockers on the 2017-18 schedule, though it was encouraging to see the Houston Open and D.C. stops kept on the list without sponsors. Amazingly, what's left of the Florida swing is still interrupted by the WGC event in Mexico, the strangest travel sequence on the 2016-17 schedule.

The 2018-19 PGA Tour schedule figures to be much different if the vision of a Labor Day finish is executed, so in the meantime one last go-round of the current structure.

For Immediate Release, with the full schedule here.

PGA TOUR releases 2017-18 Season lineup of 49 FedExCup events

Includes new tournaments in the Dominican Republic and Korea

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (September 19, 2017) – The PGA TOUR today released the full 2017-18 Season schedule of 49 FedExCup tournaments, representing an increase of two events with the previously announced additions of THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES at Jeju Island, Korea, and the elevation of the Web.com Tour’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. Total prize money for the season will be a record of more than $363 million.

THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, Korea’s first official PGA TOUR event, debuts October 16-22 at The Club at Nine Bridges as one of eight tournaments in the 2017 portion of the schedule, which was released in August.

The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, which was held for two years on the Web.com Tour, will debut on the PGA TOUR March 19-25, 2018, the same week as the World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Match Play. The Tom Fazio-designed Corales course will continue to serve as the tournament course.

The Puerto Rico Open, in turn, moves from Match Play week to February 26-March 4, coinciding with the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. With the addition of the two new international tournaments, the schedule includes nine tournaments in eight countries outside the United States.

Other significant changes relate to venues. The AT&T Byron Nelson (May 14-20) moves to the new Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, while two FedExCup Playoffs events change courses: THE NORTHERN TRUST (August 20-26) returns to The Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey and the BMW Championship (September 3-9) visits historic Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia for the first time, marking only the second time in the tournament’s 115 years of play that it will be held in Pennsylvania (1959 being the other).  

Additionally, the U.S. Open (June 11-17) returns to Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, for the first time since 2004; The Open Championship (July 16-22) rotates to Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland and the PGA Championship (August 6-12) will be held at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis for only the second time (first being in 1992).

One final change sees the open week during the 2018 FedExCup Playoffs shifting by one week. The first three events will be held consecutively – THE NORTHERN TRUST, the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston (August 27-September 3) and BMW Championship. Then comes the open week, followed by the season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta (September 17-23).

Tuesday
Sep192017

ShackHouse 48: FedExCup Fixes, East Lake And More

House and I are back after a brief break to talk about the Tour Championship in Atlanta and the FedExCup finals.

As always, you can subscribe on iTunes and or just refresh your device's podcast subscription page.

Here is The Ringer's show page.

Same deal with Soundcloud for the show, and Episode 48 is here to listen to right now. Or this new platform or wherever podcasts are streamed.

ShackHouse is brought to you by Callaway, and of course, the new Steelhead fairway woods along with the new O-Works from Odyssey as well.

Monday
Sep182017

Golf Datatech: Online Equipment Orders Up 50%

Mike Stachura parses the latest Golf Datatech numbers for GolfDigest.com and spots a few interesting trends, including online orders increases but also points out some numbers that suggest retailers will still sell most golf clubs for the time being.

According to the survey, online shopping for golf equipment was up more than 50 percent over a year ago. In addition, half of the survey’s respondents say they go online daily to get information about golf. In a 2016 GPAU study, when answering the question where they were most likely to make their next golf equipment purchase, respondents said an online retailer 13 percent of the time.

Monday
Sep182017

"Absent Friend Casts a Shadow Over a Rookie’s Tour Milestone"

The New York Times' Karen Crouse revisits the story of Patrick Cantlay and the friend/caddy he lost in Chris Roth, but there's an added dimension to Cantlay reaching the Tour Championship Sunday.

Crouse writes of Roth's parents trailing along in the gallery.

Roth’s parents hung back as Cantlay played the 7,208-yard layout Sunday. During his third round, they had peeled away for the exit with one hole left because, as Michelle Roth explained, “Patrick’s not here to entertain us. We don’t want to bother him.”

She added, “I’m not sure it helps him having us here, and I worry that it hinders him because it makes him remember Chris.”

Cantlay dismissed those concerns. “I’m just happy to have them here,” he said, adding, “They really just remind me of someone who was a great guy.”

Monday
Sep182017

PGA Tour Implementing New "Integrity Program" In 2018

For Immediate Release...

PGA TOUR implementing new Integrity Program in 2018

Genius Sports to monitor global betting markets, provide educational services

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (September 18, 2017) – The PGA TOUR has announced that it will implement a new Integrity Program effective January 1, 2018, to protect its competitions from potential outside influences related to gambling.

Ah, only the outside influences? What about inside ones?

While the TOUR has a longstanding policy prohibiting players from betting or related activities at TOUR-related events, the new Integrity Program is more comprehensive. It will cover all facets of competition and operations on the six Tours overseen by the PGA TOUR, including players and their support teams, all tournament staff and volunteers, the entire PGA TOUR staff and the PGA TOUR Policy Board.

There goes the Policy Board's legendary fantasy league!

The Program’s stated mission is: “To maintain integrity and prevent and mitigate betting-related corruption in PGA TOUR competitions – ensuring competitions always reflect, and appear to reflect, the best efforts of the players, while protecting the welfare of the players and others involved with the PGA TOUR – through clear policies and regulations, ongoing education and training, and effective and consistent monitoring and enforcement functions.”   

To assist with the implementation of the program the TOUR has engaged Genius Sports, the global leader in sports integrity services, to provide several key services. This includes its state-of-the-art bet monitoring system which tracks real-time betting activity and utilizes proprietary algorithms to identify potentially suspicious patterns occurring in global betting markets. 

“The bedrock of PGA TOUR competition are the inherent values of golf and the honesty and integrity of our members,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said. “We recognize, however, that no sport is fully immune from the potential influence of gambling. So, we felt it was important to move forward with an Integrity Program to further protect our competition from betting-related issues. Genius Sports will provide essential support as we roll out the Program across the entire PGA TOUR.”

The TOUR has worked with Genius Sports to develop a tailored educational program that will help players, caddies and officials to identify, resist and report incidents of potential betting corruption.

Oh those will be real barnburners.

Educational workshops will reinforce the PGA TOUR’s regulations and highlight the potential consequences related to betting corruption.

Good news: undisclosed fines and suspensions!

Additionally, custom-made e-learning modules will be available on a worldwide basis to all PGA TOUR players in multiple languages.

Mark Locke, CEO at Genius Sports Group, said: “We are delighted to partner with the PGA TOUR to drive its integrity initiatives. Protecting the integrity of sport has never been of greater importance and it requires forward-thinking organizations such as the PGA TOUR to proactively invest in both proven technology and education driven by true expertise.”

Translation: integrity isn't cheap.

The TOUR will receive important insight into global betting activity on its tournaments across the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR China, covering approximately 140 events per year. The Program will be administered by a PGA TOUR Integrity Officer, and investigations will be conducted by an independent group with experience in law enforcement.

On a serious note, this is a wise area for the Tour to address should sports betting be legalized. Given what we've seen in tennis, coupled with the bizarre trend of players blatantly assisting their peers by leaving balls down as a backstop or sideboard, getting out in front of these matters will be important in protecting the Tour's image.

Monday
Sep182017

Congressional Action: Tiger's DC Event Ends Contract With Club

You never want to see a tournament go--especially one that's provided some wonderful memories--but the PGA Tour calendar will need to lose a few events to make a Labor Day conclusion work. The sponsor-less D.C. area stop seems to be near an end after eleven playings that also included at stop in Philadelphia.

JP Finlay was first to report the letter to Congressional members notifying them to expect no tournament in 2018 or 2020.

Rex Hoggard reports some of the letter language for GolfChannel.com:

“The Tiger Woods Foundation currently has no title sponsor for their PGA Tour golf tournament. Because of that circumstance, the PGA Tour has exercised its right to terminate our facilities agreement with them for 2018 and 2020, while they seek a title sponsor for The National,” the letter from club president Richard Sullivan Jr. read.

Monday
Sep182017

Sergio's 20-Minute(!) Ruling Explained

I've heard from a few of you who were not sure what took 20 minutes for Sergio Garcia to get a ruling at the 2017 BMW Championship's last hole. In a nutshell: with a playoff spot at East Lake on the line--the pressure!--Garcia's ball in the hazard could be played except for the movable (grandstand) obstruction.

Will Gray's GolfChannel.com report explains the issues involved, in particular the difference between a movable and immovable obstruction for a ball in the hazard, with insights from the official on the scene, Stephen Cox.

While Rule 24-2 does not allow a player to take relief from a movable obstruction when in a hazard, Cox explained that the temporary nature of the obstruction made Garcia eligible to receive a free drop, provided he remained inside the hazard.

“(If) the player’s ball lies in a water hazard, he would not get relief from an immovable obstruction for like a sprinkler head,” Cox said. “We have very large structures which are situated very close to the water hazard which ordinarily wouldn’t be there, so the rules allow a player to get relief when his ball lies in a water hazard.”

While that all is fun and interesting, sadly lost to history is the conversation between Garcia playing partner Phil Mickelson and Pat Perez, held up in the group behind. Oh to have been a fly...

The video:

Sunday
Sep172017

What To Do With This Evian Championship Mess? 

I suppose the best takeaway from last week's well-documented Evian Championship fiasco is that sponsors should be careful what they wish for.

Elevated to "major" status by the LPGA Tour to sustain the sponsorship, everything has backfired. Stacy Lewis passed this year. The weather was once again awful. The play was its traditionally horrible pace (six hours Sunday!). The event was a 54-hole playing after a false start Thursday.

It all looks especially bad when coupled with the Evian's forced major status implemented after years of being a player favorite, the LPGA Tour's equivalent of The Players or BMW PGA Championship. (BTW, kudos though to winner Anna Nordqvist for surviving in awful final round conditions and playoff weather, Beth Ann Baldry writes here for Golfweek.)

The SI/Golf.com guys were not kind.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I am fine with it but then I don't consider the Evian Championship a major. Just a nice event, played at a painfully slow pace on Sunday. The women have four real majors and I will use the historic names: U.S. and British Opens, the LPGA Championship, the Dinah Shore/Mission Hills.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@alanshipnuck): Agree that the Evian is not even on par with the Players, and the latter tournament is miles from being a major. It was a bad call and the wrong one to wipe out so many scores but at least that was on Thursday. The ensuing three days featured lotsa good golf and the final round was tightly contested by a bunch of top players. So, in the end it was an okay result, if we're grading on a curve.

The mess is for LPGA Commish Mike Whan and Evian to sort out, but the bad press alone should remind companies that sometimes having a really swell event is a nice thing and trying too hard to force elevated status can backfire.

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