Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos

A very worthy woman was Mrs. Forman, and a great favorite. There was no fault to be found either with her whisky or her bottled beer and stout any more than with her bread and cheese, while the freshness of her eggs was the subject of universal encomium.
GEORGE LORIMER

    

Monday
Sep082008

Vijay To Finally Speak About Trauma Of Winning $10 Million**

Only two days after passing on interviews with NBC or the assembled media, Vijay Singh has gathered his thoughts and is finally prepared to discuss those those heartfelt thoughts that the immediate aftermath of his T44 at Bellerive precluded him from sharing.

HASTILY ARRANGED MEDIA ALERT
Vijay Singh Teleconference

Members of the media are invited to take part in a teleconference with Vijay Singh.

DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

TIME: 4:30 p.m. ET
Monday
Sep082008

The Making Of The Horse Course, Volume 1

Now that we have a week off from the playoff excitement, I have posted my first 4-minute "video diary" from the site of a golf course project. In this case, it's Volume 1 from the Prairie Club where Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and I have layed out a par-3 course called "The Horse Course." You can read more on the Prairie Club on the page I've devoted to it (with some early construction images posted), or at the Destination Golf Ventures website.

Volume 1 centers around our trip (Gil, Jimand yours truly) to work with developer Paul Schock and his team on the clubhouse area land plan. You can view a slightly wider angle version here or hit the play button on the embedded version below.

And as you will soon see, I'm no Steven Spielberg in the editing bay and certainly no Morgan Freeman in the voiceover booth. But hopefully you'll enjoy the images and great music, which in this case appears courtesy of Lloyd Cole from his excellent album, Antidepressant.


The Making of the Horse Course Vol. 1 from Geoff Shackelford on Vimeo.
Monday
Sep082008

Faldo: "He will be in."

I think reader Colm is correct in noting that Matthew Jones makes a strong case that Nick Faldo was picking Ian Poulter no matter what, citing an interesting exchange from Gary Van Sickle's late July golf.com interview with the Captains.

As for Poulter, he was none too pleased when asked after missing another cut in Boston last weekend if handling the pressure of trying to make the team was a sign that he would be able to handle the pressure of the Ryder Cup itself. "Do you know what? I'm sick and tired of this nonsense. I'm absolutely spent, I can't waste any more energy on this. If I get the call, I'm ready to play. And trust me, I'll do my job."

If the truth will never out, it now seems that by staying in the States and turning his back on the chance to qualify at Gleneagles, Poulter was certain he was going to be picked. If you're still not sure that a deal was done, consider this exchange between Faldo and Azinger on the golf.com website when the two captains were asked who they expected would score the point that clinched the cup at Valhalla.

Azinger: "Kenny Perry."

Faldo: "Poulter."

Azinger: "Ian Poulter? He's not even on the team. You just tipped your hand. You must be picking him."

Faldo: "He will be in."

That conversation took place in July. So, now you know.
Just a little more Louisville dinner conversation for the Euros!
Sunday
Sep072008

"He is sending the tour a letter formally requesting the use of a golf cart, as Casey Martin did."

Jim Moriarty in the new Golf World files a must read profile on Erik Compton and his amazing story. Though I was surprised this was buried near the end, because it seems like we're headed for a controversy if the PGA Tour is as stubborn as it was with Casey Martin:

He is even thinking about the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School. "I know when I return to golf, it's not going to be the same as it was. People are going to be looking at me like I'm some kind of bionic guy," he says. Now, the first week of September, not even a full year after his near-fatal heart attack, Compton is already practicing, trying to recover his game. He has sent his application for Q school. Fortunately for him, the first stage is in Florida.

"You have to do something good again to get back into the game," he says. "Nobody's going to hand me anything. I'm going to have to go out and work and get good again, get my body in shape, and that's going to take some time, for sure."

At this point Compton doesn't know what his limitations will be. While his golf swing has returned, his stamina hasn't. At the suggestion of his doctors, he is sending the tour a letter formally requesting the use of a golf cart, as Casey Martin did. And, of course, passing one of the tour's new drug tests would be an utter impossibility. So much remains unknowable.

Sunday
Sep072008

Vijay Can Crawl Backwards Around East Lake And Still Win FedEx Cup

Doug Ferguson breaks the bad news to all six fans of the current FedEx Cup structure: the playoffs are over and they still have the Super Bowl to play.

With one Playoff event remaining, the FedExCup essentially is over.

Vijay Singh, who won the first two events, tied for 44th and earned enough points that all he has to do is complete four rounds at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola in two weeks to collect the $10 million payoff.

Villegas, a 26-year-old Colombian in his third year on TOUR, finished at 15-under 265 and collected $1.26 million
.
Bob Harig puts it in even more brutal perspective:
Singh can show up in Atlanta, play left-handed one day, blindfolded the next, shoot 100 during each round -- but as long as he completes four rounds he will be crowned the FedEx champion, receive a cool $9 million in cash, with $1 million deferred, and pocket some Tour Championship tip money as well.

How easily can Vijay Singh win the $10 million playoff bonus? Even if he didn't break 100 any of the four days at the Tour Championship, as long as he plays all 72 holes and doesn't get disqualified, the money is his.
But at least Vijay expressed his joy at clinching the $10 million.
Yep, Singh declined interviews with NBC, Golf Channel, print reporters. No words of thanks to FedEx or BMW or the PGA Tour or even Camilo Villegas, who won his first PGA Tour event and basically made it impossible for anyone to catch Singh -- unless he misses his tee time in Atlanta, gets disqualified or decides to stay at home and begin practicing for next year.
Speaking of next year, might this be a bad time to bring up the story I wrote last year for Golf World recommending a true playoff ending to prevent this little mini-debacle from happening? Or that I argued my case with Steve Dennis, FedEx Cup points guru who helped develop the increase volatility (which I think should stay...they just need a new way to end the fun at East Lake)?

Geoff Ogilvy was asked what he thought of the state of the FedEx Cup.
"If I make the Tour Championship I make it. If I don't, I really don't give a f...," the 2006 US Open champion said after the third round.

"I'm not going to lie in bed tonight thinking about what I have to do tomorrow to get in. It's not the Tour Championship it used to be.

"It probably meant more before than it does now, because it was a reward for 40 weeks.

"Now it's a nod to the year and making the cut at (the first two play-off events). The four weeks (of play-offs) are as important as the 40 preceding them."
Okay I'll give a little. They can just go back to last year's points to retain regular season relevancy, make East Lake an ADT-like finish and everyone wins! Including, let us not forget, charity.
Saturday
Sep062008

"Unfortunately, this is what the post-Tiger golf world will likely look like."

I've wondered when we'd see a mainstream media rant about the state of golf. It seems the LPGA's boneheaded moves combined with the PGA Tour's odd green-lighting of the media room execution chamber lit a fire under the AP's Tim Dahlberg.

Remember, this went out on the wires...a sampling:

With TV ratings plunging even before the start of the NFL season and the concept of the FedEx Cup still lost on millions of golf fans, the tour apparently thought that putting a few rows of seats behind mirrors in the media tent so people could watch the sweaty media ask a few questions to equally sweaty players would be a great way to allow fans to bond with their favorite players.
What they didn't count on was that reporters might not like the idea of being on display like criminals in a police lineup. One packed up his stuff and left, while others are boycotting the interview room all together, taking a cue from players who try to escape it whenever they can, too.
Too bad, because there's nothing like listening to Singh regale the media with tales of great 7-irons and putts that were so good they had to go in.
What a guy, that Veej, clearly enjoying himself so much that even the folks in the cheap seats could see he could barely tear himself away after five minutes of going over birdies and bogeys to head back to the range.
Imagine telling your buddies about that the next day at the office.
"He was close enough to touch, if we hadn't been behind the one-way mirrors, that is. You know, I've never noticed how he takes his visor off and wipes his brow when he sits down, either. And the look of exasperation he gave when a reporter dared ask him about his 3-putt? Priceless."
Unfortunately, this is what the post-Tiger golf world will likely look like. Boring players who make no effort to connect with the fans going through the motions only because they have to.

Here's what I don't get about the media room viewing area. It may not sound like a big deal to most, but consider that Tim Finchem did not sit in there for his chat with the media for obvious reasons. There's a bit of privacy lost. Now, players are already careful with the media as it is, but these press sessions are still where we learn the little details that humanize them to the average fan. But with an audience behind mirrored walls, the players are just a bit more unlikely to open up.

Is that something the Tour really wants?

Saturday
Sep062008

"Faldo clearly didn't want anyone in the team room with the potential to rock his boat"

John Huggan on Faldo selecting Poulter over Clarke:

Nick Faldo did exactly what we should have expected of him when he named Paul Casey and, more particularly, Ian Poulter as his two finishing touches to this year's European Ryder Cup side. Faldo's oversized ego was never going to be comfortable choosing someone with Darren Clarke's strength of character. Nor, for similar reasons, did he shed any significant tears over not picking the dreadfully off-form Colin Montgomerie.
"Faldo clearly didn't want anyone in the team room with the potential to rock his boat," points out one former Ryder Cup player who prefers to remain anonymous. "The 2004 Ryder Cup was all about Monty and his divorce; 2006 at the K Club was all about  Darren and the tragic death of his wife; Nick wants Valhalla to be all about him."

I just love how the Euros are beating themselves up. At this pace we might even have a match.

Friday
Sep052008

"If you’ve been reading the blogs, you know that it has not just been heat. We’ve also been praised for being leaders."

It's interesting to note that as soon as a major sponsor like State Farm was on the record questioning the LPGA's speak-English-you-pesky-Koreans-or-its-안녕, they rescinded their proposed penalties. Before we get to some reaction and the major question here, consider these two interviews from the last couple of days.

Michael Bush of Ad Age talked to Libba Galloway who held firm even after the State Farm comments. That was yesterday.

Steve Eubanks, in a Yahoo interview with Commissioner Bivens dated Thursday at 12:14 p.m., gets some interesting responses considering Fridays rescintion.

Bivens: Well, I’ll start by saying that, if you’ve been reading the blogs, you know that it has not just been heat. We’ve also been praised for being leaders.
See all of you who supported the commissioner in previous posts here, you provided someone comfort.

Eubanks asked about why only Koreans were targeted:
We currently don’t have any Spanish-speaking players who don’t speak English. We don’t have any Swedish players who don’t speak English, and we didn’t have any Japanese players in the Portland event, which is where we talked.
A couple of times a year, when I meet with the Korean players, they ask that I meet with the parents and guardians or their agents. That’s a group that has a unique culture and unique needs, just as the Spanish speakers or others that we don’t happen to have right now.
And here's where you have to question why she gets paid the big bucks:
Question: Were you surprised by the negative reaction this has gotten?
Bivens: Sure, when the headline is that we’re mandating English only and we’re going to suspend players, people are going to react to that. That’s not the program. Ninety-five percent of the program is about education and focus; 5 percent deals with the penalty, and we don’t expect to ever have to apply it. We’re providing all of the resources. Based on the headline and misinformation, we shouldn’t have been surprised.

This was not an announcement. This was a work in progress, and it came third-hand from a private meeting.
And wouldn't you just expect that something so clearly controversial would get out?

In an ESPN.com piece, Ron Sirak says the LPGA should have seen this coming.
This entire mess, which is embarrassing for the LPGA at best and potentially damaging to its efforts to do business in Asia at worst, could have been avoided if that "valuable feedback" had been sought before the rule was unilaterally imposed at a meeting with the Korean players in Portland, Ore., in late August. The decision to rescind the penalty was the right one, but is it a large enough eraser to eliminate the memory of the original insult?
These are huge points I don't think has been mentioned anywhere else:
The tour's single biggest revenue stream is Korean TV money. What is to be gained by offending that community?
The ultimate silliness about this entire situation is the small number of players it really affected. A well-placed source within the LPGA hierarchy said there were "perhaps a dozen" Korean players on tour who did not possess the English skills the LPGA desired. A caddie who works for a Korean player placed the number at "about five to seven."
This all seems to go back to the same point: who at the LPGA Tour is thinking about the big picture and understanding how the world might react to new policies? Clearly not Bivens or anyone she has brought in. Consider what John Hawkins wrote before Friday's news:
Blog Nation has been serving up a ton of related opinions, many of which castigate commissioner Carolyn Bivens for her sloppy handling of the matter, as if anything this administration does is executed in tidy fashion or is universally well received.

You know what I like about Bivens? Neither do I. A vast majority of the story­lines coming out of women's golf in recent years have come with a built-in negative hook, and not because the media is guilty of piling on. The language-barrier issue is a classic head-vs.-heart argument: what's good for business as opposed to what's morally right. There are a bunch of reasons not to like the LPGA's demand that its players speak English and just one obvious reason to validate the cause—so a bunch of South Korean girls can chat in the pro-am with the guy who owns the local supermarket chain.
How does she keep her job?


Sadly, for the LPGA Tour, she's a blogger's dream.That should tell the LPGA board everything it needs to know.

Friday
Sep052008

LPGA Backs Down: "관심사를 들어서 후에, 우리는 각 투어 선수를 위한 사업 기회 지원하고 강화하는의 우리의 공동 목적을 달성하는 다른 방법이 다는 것을 믿는다."

According to the AP story, the death of the penalty provisions for not passing an English exam came two hours before a press conference and a day after a California lawmaker started raising serious questions.

Here's the statement from the Commish:

Statement credited to LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens regarding the LPGA's policy on effective communication in English

The LPGA has received valuable feedback from a variety of constituents regarding the recently announced penalties attached to our effective communications policy. We have decided to rescind those penalty provisions.
After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the business opportunities for every Tour player. In that spirit, we will continue communicating with our diverse Tour players to develop a better alternative. The LPGA will announce a revised approach, absent playing penalties, by the end of 2008.
During that time we will continue to provide support under the three-year-old Kolon-LPGA Cross Cultural Program. This popular program provides all LPGA members with the best cross-cultural training in the form of tutors, translators, Rosetta Stone®, the official language-learning system of the LPGA, as well as assistance from LPGA staff and consultants.

And for our Korean-speaking readers...

계산서는 LPGA 감독관에게 Carolyn F. 신용했다. 영어로 효과적인 커뮤니케이션에 LPGA의 정책에 대하여 Bivens는

 우리의 효과적인 커뮤니케이션 정책에 붙어 있던 최근에 알려진 형벌에 대하여 다양한 성분에서 LPGA 귀중한 의견을 받았다. 우리는 그 형벌 지급을 폐지하는 것을 결정했다.

관심사를 들어서 후에, 우리는 각 투어 선수를 위한 사업 기회 지원하고 강화하는의 우리의 공동 목적을 달성하는 다른 방법이 다는 것을 믿는다. 저 정신에서는, 우리는 우리의 다양한 투어 선수에 더 나은 대안을 개발하기 위하여 교통 계속되. LPGA는 2008년 말까지 수정한 접근, 결석한 노는 형벌을, 알릴 것이다.

그동안 우리는 Kolon-LPGA 3 년 오래된 교차하는 문화적인 프로그램의 밑에 지원을 제공하는 것을 계속할 것이다. 이 보급 프로그램은 LPGA 직원과 고문에게서 원조 뿐만 아니라 가정교사, 통역, Rosetta Stone® 의 LPGA의 공식적인 언어 배우는 체계의 모양으로 제일 cross-cultural 훈련을 모든 LPGA 일원에게, 제공한다.

Thursday
Sep042008

"The stroke that followed will go down as the greatest final-hole putt in the history of major-championship golf."

This passage from Jaime Diaz's definitive account of the Tiger Woods knee saga would generate some fun debate, and since the news has been so dark lately...

The stroke that followed will go down as the greatest final-hole putt in the history of major-championship golf. There are plenty of candidates: grinding mid-rangers by Bobby Jones at Winged Foot, Payne Stewart at Pinehurst, Gary Player, Mark O'Meara and Phil Mickelson at Augusta, Seve Ballesteros at St. Andrews; no-brainer bombs by Jerry Barber at Olympia Fields, Hale Irwin at Medinah and Costantino Rocca at St. Andrews. But none of them surpassed Woods for the blend of setting, situation and reaction. And only Jones, arguably, had as much disappointment to face by missing. Never in golf has such a dramatically set stage had such a fulfilling resolution. As a final validation of a true stroke at the moment of truth, a close-up, slow-motion replay revealed that the alignment line on Woods' ball never wiggled until it fell into the hole.
I'm biased because I was standing there and thought the whole thing was pretty swell, but does Jaime have it right? Greatest final hole putt?
Thursday
Sep042008

" I don't know how you measure that, but that's good stuff."

Remarkably, Tim Finchem was peppered with questions yesterday in St. Louis and not one scribbler asked--for the entertainment of the fans next door--if the PGA Tour was considering an English speaking exam for its foreign players.

Sadly, the Commish was on his MBAspeak medicine, so we only gone one fun line ("programming inhibitions"). Even worse, I liked what he said about the FedEx Cup points volatility and Padraig Harrington's virtual elimination after two missed cuts:

I do think that the Padraig Harrington thing actually stirs up debate about this, and debate is good and healthy, and some level of controversy gets people talking about it. People around the country are having a lot more discussion on talk radio this year than last year, so I don't know how you measure that, but that's good stuff. So we'll see what happens.

Thursday
Sep042008

"This is our oxygen. It's that important."

I finally get the whole LPGA's learn-to-speak-English-or-you're-outta-here mess. The writing was on the wall and I missed it.

Carolyn Bivens is using it to distract us from the fact that anywhere from 6-9 events are in serious trouble or doomed. Check out what she told Christine Brennan of the USA Today, who supports the LPGA's policy plans:

"A pro-am is largely responsible for making LPGA events possible," Commissioner Carolyn Bivens said in a phone interview Wednesday. "It is the single largest source of revenue for a tournament. There are no domestic TV rights fees. This is our oxygen. It's that important. As recently as the past two weeks, I've had tournament directors tell me they are getting complaints (about international players who cannot speak enough English to talk to their pro-am partners). We have to be aware of that, because we've had sponsors who say they have had a bad time and might pull out because of it. That's our reality."

So the sponsors are fleeing not because the economy is in the toilet or because it's too expensive for them to support an event or they don't like their new date on the tour. They are fleeing because their pro-am experience isn't what they thought it would be.

Sure.

Wednesday
Sep032008

The Worst Seat In The House?

The spectator friendly press room at the BMW Championship does have a San Quentin feel, no? Kind of a leftover set piece from The Green Mile? I was wrong, this makes watching golf at Bellerive look exciting.

Wednesday
Sep032008

"Visually, it looks like the death-row gallery where members of the public watch executions"

Steve Elling gets it all wrong in describing the PGA Tour's idea to offer a one-way mirror for BMW Championship fans to watch slouching scribblers lobbing questions to the few remaining players willing to visit the media center. Granted it does sound like an execution chamber setup, but have you been out on the golf course yet, Steve? I doubt it, because had you studied the gem known as Bellerive, you would know that fans might just better enjoy themselves watching tepid exchanges between players and media!

Life in a fishbowl pretty closely describes the working conditions for media this week at the BMW Championship, where the PGA Tour alarmingly signed off on a plan in which fans who bought tickets to the tournament can watch the press interview players from behind the anonymity of one-way mirrors.
Here's the sneakiest and most unethical part -- tour stars and media were not informed that fans were being directed to the area while the interview sessions were being conducted in advance of the tournament, which begins Thursday.
Consider this before making a snap decision: Would you want spectators lining up at your office to watch you toil through one-way mirrors, especially if you didn't know they were there, or if you hadn’t given advanced consent?
That's exactly the scenario at Bellerive Country Club, where the tour caved to the deep-pocketed title sponsor's wish to let fans get closer to the players by selling out the media on hand to cover the event.
Personally, I think they've missed out on introducing one of the most exciting innovations in PGA Tour history. I would have set up a one-way mirror to allow fans the chance to watch the media eat. I see some great will-Spaulding-eat-his-boogers wagers as a writer finishes up his lunch and debates whether to pick up a second lemon bar before heading back to his work station to check out the latest posts on SportsJournalists.com.

Now that's entertainment.

Elling also reports that Mother Nature has issued her verdict on watching golf at Bellerive by sending the remnants of Gustav toward Missouri:

The ugly remnants from Hurricane Gustav are washing over the BMW Championship, flash-flood warnings have been issued throughout the state and if anybody plays Thursday, when the forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of rain as heavy as 10 inches, it'll be a shocking surprise.
Wednesday
Sep032008

"Allowing both parties to leverage their brand identity through various media channels and platforms..."

Reader Rod spotted this beauty of a press release from the Asian Tour.

The Asian Tour, widely regarded as the world’s fastest growing golf tour, has signed an exclusive corporate partnership with TIME and FORTUNE, allowing both parties to leverage their brand identity through various media channels and platforms that both parties have to offer.

Under this newly-inked deal announced today, the Asian Tour will be able to further enhance its profile and visibility in Asia through advertising opportunities in TIME and FORTUNE magazines, which are both part of Time Inc., the world’s leading magazine publisher.

As part of this strategic partnership, TIME and FORTUNE will now be able to maximise the on-site branding, distribution channels and pro-am playing opportunities that the Asian Tour has to offer at their events.

Wow, you buy some ads and they get some pro-am tee times. I guess that's not very sexy sounding.

Wednesday
Sep032008

“Where do you get the happy medium?”

Doug Ferguson considers the state of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup points volatility and includes this item which is precisely why I think the new points system is working (if a "playoff" is what they are after):

The biggest headache in all this is Padraig Harrington. You remember him as the British Open and PGA champion, a feat accomplished only by Tiger Woods the last half-century. Then he missed two cuts in a row and won’t get to East Lake unless he finishes fifth in St. Louis.

“Do you want a two-time major winner not in the Tour Championship?” Furyk asked.

It’s a fair question, but it’s missing the broader point.

The Tour Championship is no longer a reward for a great season. It’s a reward for a great month. That’s what the PGA Tour Playoffs are all about this year because of the volatility. And volatility is what the players wanted last year.

At least some of them.

“It’s a fight between the haves and have-nots a little bit, like in everything else,” Furyk said. “All the guys in the top 40 are complaining it’s too volatile, all the guys at the end are saying it’s great. Last year, everyone in the top 40 said, ‘This is great,’ all the guys at the other end said, ‘This (stinks).

“Where do you get the happy medium?”

Wednesday
Sep032008

"All he said was, 'Roc, I didn't pick you,' He didn't give a reason"

Some nice Ryder Cup reporting today, starting with Mike Dudurich talking to Rocco about not getting selected.

"All he said was, 'Roc, I didn't pick you,' He didn't give a reason," Mediate said. "I'm extremely sad and extremely disappointed."
Barker Davis takes exception with the J.B. Holmes selection, offering this:
Still, it's difficult to see Holmes' popularity in the Bluegrass State outweighing his lack thereof in the team room. If a random sampling of PGA players named the three least-liked guys on tour, Holmes might finish second to Rory Sabbatini. Why? Because the 26-year-old has no social skills. His boorish behavior and poor personal hygiene are running jokes on the PGA Tour. Given that Azinger was supposed to be a more connected captain than recent out-of-touch U.S. skippers Hal Sutton and Tom Lehman, the selection of Holmes seems almost comically misinformed.

"Personality matters," Azinger said at Tuesday's news conference. "If you have guys that are not getting along or whatever, it makes a difference."
Jill Painter isn't too wild about Hunter Mahan's selection after his critical comments in Golf Magazine.
The selection of Mahan would have been like Barack Obama making Hillary Clinton his running mate. She ripped him during her campaign, which makes it challenging to turn around and join his team. She supports Obama now, we get that. He won the Democratic nomination. Mahan can support the U.S. Ryder Cup, too. He just didn't need to be part of the team.

"I think we have all moved on from those comments," Mahan said on Tuesday's Cup conference call. "I'm just looking forward to the Ryder Cup. I'm going to enjoy every second of it."

How's he going to enjoy it if he feels like a slave?

On the Euro side, Larry Dorman notes this about Ian Poulter's selection:

Poulter will be under more pressure to perform at the Ryder Cup than any player in the recent history of the event. Everything he does will be scrutinized in light of his friendship with Faldo and the suspicion, vehemently denied by both, that Poulter had been assured of a berth on the team even before he decided to pass up the Johnnie Walker Championship last week at Gleneagles, Scotland, to play at the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, where he missed the cut.
Patrick Kidd talks to Sam Torrance, who explains (with examples) why Captain Faldo is making a huge mistake only carrying one vice-captain.
"I was a wee bit surprised that he has only gone with himself and Olly [Jose Maria Olazabal, the only named vice-captain]," Torrance, the 2002 Europe captain, said. "He wants to gain all the information himself about the players but he can't do that, he won't have the time.
In an unbylined Sporting Life piece, Darren Clarke tries to absolve Ian Poulter of blame but makes sure to note that Nick Faldo changed his selection criteria.
Elaborating on his belief that Faldo did not hold true to his initial plans for his captain's picks, Clarke added: "Earlier in the year, Nick had stated that he wanted his players to be on form, he wasn't going to pay particular attention to the rankings.
"I thought I was on good form, my record this year has been a couple of good wins and lots of top 10s, but unfortunately he changed his mind, and you know, I've got to bank with that.
Tuesday
Sep022008

"We've got the best product with a world presence, but we can make it better instead of waiting for it to be fixed."

Jim McCabe offers this from Deutsche Bank CEO Seth Waugh:

Waugh's assessment of what the economic climate means for the PGA Tour and the FedEx Cup in particular: "The good news is, the deals for four- to six-years are signed. I'm a little more optimistic that we'll get through this, but if the contracts were not signed and were up, you'd lose a lot of folks. We've got the best product with a world presence, but we can make it better instead of waiting for it to be fixed."

Considering he's a student of the game and a shrewd guy, wouldn't you love to know what exactly he'd like to see fixed?

Tuesday
Sep022008

"It's something we are dumfounded by"

It was only a matter of time before some of the LPGA Tour event sponsors either (A) distanced themselves from the English proficiency mess or (B) used the opportunity to suggest Carolyn Bivens needs to go. As reported by Michael Bush of AdAge, it appears the folks at State Farm took both options.

Saying it was "flabbergasted" by the Ladies Professional Golf Association's new policy requiring "effective communication in English on the part of all of our Tour members," State Farm is urging the group to reconsider -- or insurer may reconsider its sponsorship.
"It's something we are dumfounded by," said Kip Biggs, media-relations specialist at the insurer, which is a general sponsor of the league as well as of the State Farm Classic Tournament in Springfield, Ill. "We don't understand this and don't know why they have done it, and we have strongly encouraged them to take another look at this."
And considering that Bivens is suggesting that the rule is something required to survive in the modern business world, this would seem to suggest that she never actually gave those people a voice in determining whether penalties were really necessary:
Ann Wool, senior VP-director at Ketchum Sports network, said it was a mistake for the LPGA not to talk to its sponsors before announcing the policy. "When making a major policy decision it's always wise to notify your sponsors," Ms. Wool said. "I can only speculate that [the LPGA] didn't think this was going to be such a controversial issue, otherwise they probably would have. It was probably a bad move not to notify their sponsors."
I'll say. Let's see how many more sponsors distance themselves from the policy, or even better, how many come forward to support it.

Tuesday
Sep022008

Old Macdonald Update

Matty G takes time out from his ambushing bloated losers with sleeves of logoed balls to file a productive piece on the status of Bandon's Old Macdonald, and even includes a few photos of their "Hell" bunker.