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

The audience in the theatre, looking over the footlights, view the play as do most of the gallery following the experts of golf. However, back-stage, there are a few eyes critically regarding the play from an entirely different angle. For many years I have preferred to observe golf shots from backstage, as it were. Seeing a man whack a golf ball is of little interest to me, and frequently it is a performance that had better be missed. That which concerns me most is where the ball lands and what it does after. A.W. TILLINGHAST

 

  

Thursday
Aug132009

Golf Likely Into 2016 Olympics Barring Any Scandal, Corruption Investigation Or Last Minute IOC Loopiness

Nice pun in the official release headline.

Golf Makes Cut as IOC Executive Board Recommends Two Sports for Inclusion in 2016 Olympic Games

IOC’s Final Vote on adding sports to take place this October in Copenhagen

Berlin, Germany (August 13, 2009) – Golf is one step closer to being reinstated as an Olympic sport following the International Olympic Committee Executive Board’s recommendation to add golf and rugby sevens to the 2016 Olympic Programme.

The IOC’s final vote on whether to add as many as two sports will take place on October 9 at the 121st IOC session in Copenhagen, Denmark. While the membership of the IOC is not obliged to follow the Executive Board’s recommendation, the Board’s decision is based on an extensive review process of seven candidate sports that has included formal presentations, the submission of a Detailed Questionnaire and responses to questions raised by both the IOC Programme Commission and the IOC Executive Board. The IOC Executive Board announced its decision today following a meeting in Berlin, Germany.

“We’re obviously thrilled that the IOC Executive Board has recommended that golf should be added to the 2016 Olympic Programme,” said Ty Votaw, Executive Director of the International Golf Federation Olympic Golf Committee, which has been coordinating the Olympic bid. “We believe we have presented a compelling case as to why golf should be added and we look forward to the IOC’s final vote in October.”

Golf was last part of the Olympic Games in 1904, when the United States and Canada were the only competing nations.

Throughout the process, the IGF has stressed the unprecedented unified support by international golf organisations – including a commitment by those that conduct major championships to adjust their summer schedules to ensure that their respective tournaments won’t conflict or compete with the Olympic golf competition – as well as the resounding support of golf’s top-ranked male and female players.

Player support has been highlighted in various ways, including short films that have been shown to the IOC Programme Commission and Executive Board, a customised brochure detailing the bid that includes player quotes, a letter campaign in which international players sent the brochure with a personalised letter to IOC members from their respective countries, the participation by Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam as Global Ambassadors on behalf of the IGF’s bid, and the appearance by Sorenstam and 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie at the final presentation to the IOC Executive Board in June in Lausanne, Switzerland. “We made it clear from the outset of the bid process that we absolutely needed support from the world’s leading players to have the best chance of being selected for the 2016 Olympic Games, and we have demonstrated that support,” said Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A and joint secretary of the IGF. “We also stressed the united support from the leading golf organisations throughout the world, as well as the universal nature of golf, with 60 million people playing the sport in more than 120 countries.”

The IGF’s Olympic Golf Committee, which originally included The R&A; European Tour; USGA; PGA of America; PGA TOUR; LPGA and the Masters Tournament, has been expanded to 19 organisations. It now also includes The Asian Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Canadian Professional Golf Tour; Japan Golf Tour Organisation; The Ladies Professional Golfers Association of Japan; Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association; Korean Professional Golf Association; Ladies European Tour; Ladies Asian Golf Tour Ltd; PGA Tour of Australasia; The Sunshine Tour and The Tour de las Americas.

The IGF has 121 member federations from 116 countries with the most recent additions of the Guam National Golf Federation and Cambodian Golf Federation.

In terms of Olympic competition, the IGF has proposed a format of 72-hole individual stroke play for both men and women, reflecting leading players’ opinion that this is the fairest and best way to identify a champion, mirroring the format used in golf's major championships. In case of a tie for either first, second or third place, a three-hole playoff is recommended to determine the medal winner(s).

The IGF has recommended an Olympic field of 60 players for each of the men's and women's competition, utilizing the official world golf rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top 15 world-ranked players would be eligible for the Olympics, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players would be eligible based on world ranking, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15.

Under this proposal, and based on the current world rankings from both the men’s and women’s games, at least 30 countries would be represented in both the men’s and women’s competitions, from all continents.

Wednesday
Aug122009

Hazeltine Is Here...

The major that has a Rich Beem Village and gets a big endorsement from the Angry Golfer looks like a potential winner in the making. But I think there's a lot more riding on it for the PGA than for the players.

After all, as Larry Dorman notes, Tiger's playing well, Padraig's showing glimmers of his old self, Phil is present and a few of the finishing holes will at least make this potentially more exciting than watching dreary Firestone.

A look at the lineup of future venues--as analyzed by Jason Sobel--inspires little enthusiasm for the coming years if the inland courses are going to be set up like Oakland Hills in '08. Throw in Ron Green Jr.'s suggestion that Quail Hollow is in line for 2017 and I think Hazeltine's setup will tell us a lot about where the PGA is headed. Will we see a gradual slide back into the mediocrity fueled by an excess of narrow, one-dimensional tree-lined courses where conditions are almost guaranteed to be hot and soft...interrupted mercifully by potentially interesting possibilities at Whistling Straits and Kiawah Island?

After last year's disaster--wiped from most minds by the exciting final nine--I've wondered if perhaps the PGA really hasn't changed all that much over the years? Perhaps they just looked so good next to the USGA and the Tom Meeks run of boondogglery?

But then there was Southern Hills and it's sublime setup. Was it an aberration? More a product of Keith Foster's restoration and introduction of tight turf and superintendent Russ Myers doing such an amazing job, all capped off by PGA of America setup man Kerry Haigh startling us with that 2 1/2 inch flyer lie rough? It's no surprise that despite record heat, Southern Hills produced a great leaderboard and champion.

Based on player and observer Tweets, Hazeltine is ripe for producing a surprise winner if the setup adheres to the banality of the back tee design. If Haigh finds ways to take advantage of different tees to mute the impact of the 7600 yard back tee yardage, I suspect we'll see a varied leaderboard and worth champion. Play it safe, use mostly back tees and do little to introduce some shotmaking and Hazeltine will produce a weird outcome.

Alright, about the course. Bradley Klein explains the plastic surgery that has taken place to get Hazeltine ready but doesn't tell us that there's more on the way! That's right, we're watching a lame duck design. Our second straight major to be played at a course that will be plowed up soon after the championship ends.

Anyway, thankfully the 14th hole now has a driveable option. This could inject some weekend interest based on player comments and hints from Haigh about a possible driveable scenario. So we've got that going for us.

John Huggan talks to Tony Jacklin about his memories of winning at Hazeltine and his thoughts on Dave Hill's infamous criticisms and to Geoff Ogilvy about the fourth major's stature.

"I don't view the PGA any differently," shrugs Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 US Open champion. "But what it doesn't have is the sense of 'uniqueness' the other three majors have. The PGA is a bit like a slightly more liberal US Open or a more amped-up PGA Tour event.

"What helps it is its spot in the schedule. It's the last chance for everyone. So there is a feeling of, not desperation, but that this is my last major for eight months. For me, that's where it gets its prestige.

Glory's last default major.

Rex Hoggard previewed the setup and got this from Luke Donald, which was probably intended as a compliment but is an insult if you prefer architecture with character.

“It’s a typical Midwest course,” Donald said. “Lot of long irons out there, but it’s all right there in front of you.”

And this from a caddie:

Asked his lasting impressions of the Robert Trent Jones Sr. design, one longtime Tour caddie of a top 10 Tour player mulled his answer for five minutes before admitting, “I don’t have any.”

Lorne Rubenstein warns us that this could be a short game specialist/plodder course if they insist on playing the three par-5s at over 600 yards. Intriguing and probably accurate theory. Zach Johnson would love that.

The par-3 13th playing at 250 yards has also been a hot topic and it's something Mickelson touched on in his press conference today.

Surprisingly my favorite hole is 13. I love the new tee box. It's a 250-yard par 3 with water up the left.

The reason I like it is it falls into my strategy or belief that the TOUR, the tournaments, should make the hard holes harder and the easy holes easier, because people want to see birdies and they want to see bogeys. And when you take a hard hole like 13 and you move the tee back to where it's 250 or 260 yards, you're going to see a lot of bogeys and doubles. That gives the better players a chance to make up ground to separate themselves through making par. That's one of the best holes out here.

That's exactly why I don't like moving the tee back on a hole like 7, because I believe the better players have a chance to separate themselves when they can go for that green and try and make an eagle or birdie. When you move the tee back and you force everybody to lay up, it just makes an easy hole harder. And I don't believe in that.

It's this last quote that may be the key point I'll use to justify my cynicism about Hazeltine. From Mark Soltau's Tuesday lipouts and uttered by Rich Beem:

"I hope Mr. (Rees) Jones doesn't take this offensively, but I think Mr. Jones went down to every tee box and looked down every fairway and turned around 180 degrees and just started walking. The thing is just long. I mean, it's just excessively long, and it's nowhere near the same golf course that it was. But it's the state of the modern game, I guess. It order to make it harder, just make it longer."

Add it all up and this week will tell us a great deal about the PGA of America's control over a host venue and their vision for what produces a worthy champion.

Wednesday
Aug122009

Monty And Sandy Bury Hatchet In Totally Accidental Meeting

If they get another Rich Beem winner, maybe the Hazeltine folks can put a plaque on the spot where Monty and Sandy accidentally ran into each other and buried the hatchet. From Monty's press conference:

Q. I'm almost sorry to bring this up, but I couldn't help but notice, Sandy Lyle was out front, and I'm curious if you had an opportunity to speak with him; and if so, can you give us any insight into that conversation?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, it's interesting, I didn't realize that Sandy was coming over here to commentate for our British SKY Television here for the tournament. And I had just managed to speak to Sandy just before we came in here, which was good. I can't, unfortunately, say what was said. But that matter is now closed and I personally thought it was closed four and a half years ago; it is now, believe me (smiling).

I spoke to Sandy just, what, about 45 minutes ago.

Wednesday
Aug122009

“Just so some little group of the bourgeois and the petit-bourgeois can go and play golf"

So I guess based on Simon Romero's story about Venezuelan socialist dictator Hugo Chávez taking on golf for its capitalistic bourgeois tendencies and therefore closing courses because it's not a sport of the people, this means avid golfer and alleged socialist Barack Obama is not by definition a real socialist? At least not yet?

“Let’s leave this clear,” Mr. Chávez said during a live broadcast of his Sunday television program. “Golf is a bourgeois sport,” he said, repeating the word “bourgeois” as if he were swallowing castor oil. Then he went on, mocking the use of golf carts as a practice illustrating the sport’s laziness.

Well, he's not entirely wrong about the cart part.

Wednesday
Aug122009

“We are right-sizing our hospitality for the current environment"

Leslie Wayne pens a New York Times business story on the new low-key approach to corporate hospitality, using the recent U.S. Open at Bethpage as a barometer. More importantly, you know nothing makes me happier than to pick up some new MBA jargon.

Joseph L. Goode, a spokesman for Bank of America, said that the bank decided to operate almost anonymously at the U.S. Open because it was sharing a suite with other companies, rather than pitching a tent of its own.

“Symbolism matters,” Mr. Goode said, adding that the bank’s decision not to promote its brand at the tournament was deliberate. “We are right-sizing our hospitality for the current environment and tone and mood of the country, with fewer bells and whistles.”

Right-sizing. Got that Ponte Vedra? Ah heck, they probably picked that up from you.

Tuesday
Aug112009

Clockgate Clippings

Tim Rosaforte on Tiger's defiant press conference Tuesday at Hazeltine:

There is a Machiavellian side to Woods. He wants to take the power, but he doesn't want the power given to him. And this one was given to him. As he pointed out, had Harrington enough time to think this one through, slowed down a little, made no worse than bogey, it's still a golf tournament -- a one-stroke lead for Woods going to the 17th tee box.

Thomas Bonk on the rapid fire events surrounding Clockgate, notes:

As it turns out, the PGA Tour was quick to issue a four-sentence statement Tuesday after Woods' press conference at Hazeltine National. PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said that after reading what Woods had to say on Sunday, there was no disciplinary process started. Votaw also said the tour didn't find anything that was unreasonably disparaging in Woods' comments.

Connell Barrett gives us a flavor of the lively Tiger press conference and wonders, "Who was that Swooshed man?"

Steve Elling also points out Tiger's uncharacteristic "sarcasm and cynicism" and notes this:

The last player known to have been zapped with a penalty stroke was Dillard Pruitt, now a rules official himself, in 1992. Conversely, the European Tour is much more diligent about hitting tardy players where it hurts most -- on the scorecard.

European Tour rules official Andy McFee, also on the rules staff this week at the PGA, said his tour has assessed a total of 18 one-stroke penalties over the past 11 years.

"Not a lot, but it sends a message," McFee said.

And Jim McCabe uses the occasion to point out how this episode reminds us that the PGA Tour could adopt the USGA's pace of play policy for 12 10 of its 13 championships.

Of course, they are not truly addressing the pace-of-play issue and won’t be until they explore the successful “checkpoint system” that is in place at U.S. Golf Association amateur events such as the U.S. Junior, Girls’ Junior, Men’s and Women’s Public Links.

Competitors are told what their pace-of-play is expected to be, and there are checkpoints at the fourth, ninth, 13th and 18th holes. Miss a checkpoint, and you’re warned; miss two, and you’re penalized.

Tuesday
Aug112009

"We're in unchartered territory"

Brian Murphy in the Pioneer Press looks at the state of the golf economy and notes this about sales at Hazeltine this week:

Yet as of Friday, fewer than 500 ticket packages still were available, with free admission to anyone younger than 17, for a tournament that sold out almost two months in advance in 2002, when Hazeltine last hosted the PGA Championship. Corporate hospitality sales are down almost 25 percent, and more corporations this year opted to schmooze clients around less expensive tables and chairs instead of in temperaturecontrolled chalets.

"We're in unchartered territory," acknowledged Shannon Loecher, regional director of sales for the PGA Championship.

Tuesday
Aug112009

Phil Kosin, R.I.P.

It was with great sadness that I learned Phil Kosin passed away today. Chicago golfers will remember him as a passionate advocacy of all things Chicago golf via his radio show and Chicagoland Golf. And readers of this site will know him as Four-putt. Not only was he helpful and rarely shy in setting me straight when I had something wrong, he contributed so many astute posts and insights about important issues related to the game and the ever-changing media world.

Ed Sherman broke the news and Tim Cronin filed a wonderful remembrance of the man, which included this compliment from Frank Jemsek.

All of that made Mr. Kosin a ubiquitous figure on the Chicago golf scene. His presence made a tournament press room more interesting, and his coverage of the game usually found an angle those on daily deadlines had not pursued.

"He had lots of unique ideas about golf and the business of golf," said Frank Jemsek, owner of Cog Hill and Pine Meadow. "He wasn't afraid to write something that would cost him advertising."

Here is Phil's blog and his bio page. He will be missed.

Tuesday
Aug112009

"I knew what I was up against with Tom Watson, because with the crowd pulling for him so much that I didn't want to be on the tee standing there when he walked up"

Because I was under doctor's orders to pay attention to as little of the WGC Bridgestone last week, I only perused the transcripts looking for profound "it's all right in front of you" references about the wondrous Firestone. But for our gamesmanship connoisseurs, you'll get a kick out of this and a few other items in Steve Elling's weekly Up and Down column.

One of the nicest guys on the planet, it appears that Stewart Cink has a diabolical, wily streak we never knew existed. Last week, Cink finally came clean as to why it took him several extra minutes to reach the first tee for his playoff with Tom Watson at the British Open last month. He was freezing the 59-year-old, to use the NFL term. "I knew what I was up against with Tom Watson, because with the crowd pulling for him so much that I didn't want to be on the tee standing there when he walked up," Cink volunteered. "I wanted to be the last on the tee, because if anything, I wanted him to hear some applause for me walking up there instead of the other way around. So I didn't really have to go to the restroom, but I decided to go anyway, just take a few extra seconds to go down there and then walk on the tee." For those who believe there isn't much room for gamesmanship on the PGA Tour, consider yourself corrected.

Tuesday
Aug112009

"Don't Have Sex With the Caddies"

If Paige Mackenzie doesn't make it as a player, she appears to have a future as a writer in this very funny guest blog spot at Stephanie Wei's site about the life of a single woman on the LPGA Tour.

Tuesday
Aug112009

"The most persistent criticism of Harrington has related to his pace of play. Depending on your point of view, he is either slow, very slow or a man who takes an hour and a half to watch '60 Minutes.'"

Nice work by John Strege to dig up some past references to Padraig Harrington's slow play issues.

Tuesday
Aug112009

"Unfortunately I guess we had to finish by 6 o'clock."

While we await the working press reactions to Tiger's press conference Tuesday, it's quite clear he's sticking to his story and his views on the Paramor situation. He'll probably be roasted by the commenters here, but I admire his stubborness here.

TIGER WOODS: The way I understood it, we were the only two in contention to win the event. We had separated ourselves. The winner was not going to come from the groups ahead, even though Robert played just a great round ahead of us. It was going to come from our group. And we were having a great battle.

You know, I just thought that even after Paddy had pitched the ball in the water, he then walked all around the lake, taking the drop, hit his shot over the green and pitched back up, we got on the 17th tee, hit our shots down the fairway and as we were arriving at the ball, the group ahead of us was now entering the 18th fairway. So we were not that far behind, maybe five minutes or whatever it may be from the group ahead of us.

If Paddy does not hit the ball in the water, we play up, we are right behind the group in front of us. So that's why I was -- that's why I said what I said, because that certainly affected how Paddy played the hole, and how the outcome of the tournament, he was in control of the event. He was 1-up with three holes to go and he had a par 5. And you know, when we were put on the clock, it certainly changed everything.

And...

Q. Just to go back to Bridgestone for a moment, Padraig was saying that he was not able to sleep Sunday night. I wondered if you had a lasting sense of frustration and whether you also felt that it was perhaps sending out the wrong message to supporters, to spectators who had been enjoying what was a pretty compelling duel.

TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. We had a great battle. Unfortunately I guess we had to finish by 6 o'clock. I guess that was that important. You know, we finished three minutes late, I think it was, so unfortunately we didn't get in in time and unfortunately that influenced the outcome of the event. Having a battle like that with Paddy when we go one-on-one like that and when we separated ourselves on the front nine, we were enjoying that battle, and that's why I think Paddy feels the way he does and that's certainly one of the reasons why I've said what I said because we were having such a great battle going head-to-head like that, and it got influenced from outside.

The 6 o'clock part interests me. Anyone else getting the vibe that someone actually mentioned that time to Tiger and Padraig either on the course or after the round?

Q. Going back to the timing issue last Sunday, do you in any way regret personalizing the issue by naming John Paramor in your criticism of --

TIGER WOODS: No. Because he's the one who did it.

Q. And secondly, do you have any sympathy for what he has to do and officials like him have to do under these circumstances? And thirdly where does discretion begin and end in the discussion of slow play which is really strangling the game?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, that's why I thought they would have used better judgment on that considering that, as I said, we were the ones that were probably going to win the golf tournament in the last group. We separated ourselves.

And after what Paddy went through, we were still right there behind the group in front of us. So I don't know if the group in front of us was being timed or not. They didn't look like they were rushing. But it certainly influenced us in how we played and influenced the outcome of the tournament, which that's not how you want to have the tournament come to an end.

Q. Where does discretion begin and end on the subject of slow play, which is strangling the game?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you're right. But then again, we were in the last group, and you know, we finished at 6:03.

He probably could have taken the bait on the slow-play-strangling-the-game component to the questions, no? After all, Tiger is the one who prefers limited field sizes and did take over 4 hours in just such an event even if it was Padraig.

Tuesday
Aug112009

Tiger Will Not Be Fined, But I Bet These Boys Will Be!

Tiger at Hazeltine today:

Q. Have you heard from the TOUR regarding Sunday and the fine, and also, you're not a guy that typically putts his cards out on the table, and Padraig was in here earlier saying that it was easier for you having won the tournament to say what you said, and he felt in his position he would keep his mouth shut; why do you feel you had to say what you said if you felt that you needed to, and is there a point to be made with that, put your whistles away at the end of a game and let the players decide it?
TIGER WOODS: Okay, what part of your question do you want me to answer first? (Laughter).

Q. First have you heard from the TOUR?
TIGER WOODS: Yes, I've heard from the TOUR and there's no fine that. Was an erroneous report.

Now I know they haven't hired the VP of PGA Tour Tweet Monitoring yet, but I'm getting a vibe that stuff like this will force their hand. Ian Poulter Tweeted a photo the other day and then apologized after apparently getting a lot of complaints, which is why the image and a couple of other Tweets sounding a wee bit iffy subsequently came down!

And the lovely image, not to mention wonderful plug for MarquisJet from today's Trevinos:

Tuesday
Aug112009

"There are 10 Lee Trevinos today"

Rich Lerner wonders about today's players and poses the "soft" question to Paul Goydos.

"There are 10 Lee Trevinos today," he said. "And the only time there's more depth than today is tomorrow."

Goydos makes valid points, but as Tiger keeps winning he not only burnishes his own reputation as perhaps the best ever, he also diminishes the stature of those he's beating, fairly or unfairly.

 

Tuesday
Aug112009

WGC Olympics To Learn Fate Thursday

At last year's PGA Championship, the USGA and R&A announced the U-groove rule change and the PGA Of America downplayed any suggestion that they were displeased by the news breaking at their event. As luck would have it, we'll find out Thursday if golf enters the Olympics and unless Tiger shoots 59 or says Dave Hill was charitable in his assessment of Hazeltine, the prospect of a new 72-hole stroke play WGC event at the Olympics news should overshadow round one coverage.

Veteran New York Times Olympic correspondent Jere Longman thinks golf is one of the two likely finalists for inclusion.

The Olympic men’s and women’s tournaments could take place on existing courses, and golf officials have agreed to not hold other events during the 2016 Games, according to the I.O.C. On the downside, some golf clubs have been criticized for being exclusionary toward women and minorities, and the Olympic competition would not be as important as, say, the Masters or the British Open.

Thankfully, no one involved with the Olympic process is part of any club with exclusionary practices! Whew, that's a relief. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be if that was exposed after golf got the bid?

Monday
Aug102009

Tiger Fined For Paramor Slam; Exclusive Details Here!

Doug Ferguson reports the stunning news that Tiger Woods will be fined for criticizing guest official John Paramor after Sunday's WGC Bridgestone. Ferguson writes:

Section VI-D in the PGA Tour’s player handbook reads, “It is an obligation of membership to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage tournaments, sponsors, fellow members, players of PGA Tour.”

I managed to tap a few sources in Ponte Vedra and landed a copy of Tiger's weekly fine summary, confirming our worst fears that he is indeed making a charitable donation in the name of John Paramor.

 

To: mark.steinberg@img.com, tw@tigerwoods.com 

From: Steve.Tawdry@pgatourhq.com

Subject: WGC Bridgestone Fines

Date: August 10, 2009 4:05:48 PM PDT


Gentleman,

Congratulations on another exciting win at Firestone in the World Golf Championships Bridgestone.

As always, it wasn't without offenses as enforced via the PGA TOUR© Player Handbook Rules and Regulations governing player conduct.

I know you have a quick turnaround with the PGA Championship and more importantly, the PGA TOUR© PLAYOFFS fast approaching. So without further ado, this week's offenses and fines where applicable:

- Multiple and profane usage of the word starting in f and ending in k, a.k.a. F-bomb. Six such finable offenses, as limited to verifiable offenses as outlawed pursuant to Section V-A, code 41.23: $1000 a piece, total $6000 donation to charity of your choice, as selected at year's commencement (Tiger Woods Foundation).

- Use of the Lord's name in vain, as heard by standard bearer (name withheld to protect the anonymous), 16th tee, round 2, pursuant to Section V-A, code 121.6, The Jesus Clause: $500 donation to charity of Zach Johnson choice.

- General douchebaggery in final round press conference as enforceable by Commissioner's Discretionary Clause, pursuant to but not limited by Section VI-D, code 32.91: $5000

- Gross violation of Section VI-D, code 41.7 related to disparaging comments directed at and limited to visiting European Tour rules official John Paramor: $10,000

As always, I remind you that when imposing a fine pursuant to the provisions as laid out above and detailed in the PGA TOUR© Player Handbook, the PGA TOUR© shall consider the profit gained by defendant's conduct on behalf of charity and determine whether the amount of said fine is disproportionate to the conduct in which the defendant engaged, its impact on the PGA TOUR © processing department, the defendant's place in the PGA TOUR© FedEx CUP Points Standings and any other extenuating circumstances. Should the PGA TOUR© determine that said fine is directing a disproportionate capital extension to charities as pre-selected by defendant, the PGA TOUR© reserves the right to retain 50% of collected capital for basic operations and collection processing expenses.

I'll get this week's tally ($21,500) taken out of your Bridgestone winnings and directed to the appropriate charities.

Thanks again and best of luck in the PLAYOFFS!

Yours In Discipline,

Steven C. Tawdry

SVP Fines and Conduct Unbecoming Of the PGA TOUR©

Monday
Aug102009

"Not only did it lose its shark-like persona, nor threaten litigation, but it showed all those characteristics of a long and grateful business associate: appreciation, empathy, compassion."

Rich Skyzinski looks at the difference in the PGA Tour's treatment of Buick and Ginn. I wondered about the difference last week and mistakenly thought Ginn had filed for bankruptcy. Seems that would be the difference in the tour's compassion toward Buick and its lawsuit against Ginn.

Reaction by the Tour could not have been more disparate than how it responded to Ginn’s decision six months earlier. Not only did it lose its shark-like persona, nor threaten litigation, but it showed all those characteristics of a long and grateful business associate: appreciation, empathy, compassion.

On one hand, it’s not difficult to understand why the Tour took a tough stand against Ginn. Had it permitted the company simply to walk away, the number of CEOs lining up at Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., looking for renegotiated deals to help keep their companies solvent would have stretched 50 miles down the coast.

That’s where they used to play the Ginn sur Mer Classic, and where a savvy shopper still might be able to pick up a new home for six figures.

Monday
Aug102009

"For some reason, golf fans don't want the underdog to win"

Thanks to reader Tommy for catching this John Feinstein blog post (uh, FeinsteinOnTheBrink.com?!) about Frank Chirkinian's odd but definitely correct theory that golf fans don't really root for the underdog.

"For some reason, golf fans don't want the underdog to win," he said. "They don't mind if he contends, he can even lead after 54 holes, but on Sunday afternoon they want the stars to win--the bigger the star the harder they pull for him. In other sports, people tend to root for the underdog."

Chirkinian made the comment to me in 1994. He was talking soon after John Daly had won in Atlanta, beating my friend Brian Henninger down the stretch. Henninger might as well have been invisible that day. Chirkinian was baffled. "Skinny little kid just trying to get a chance to play on tour against a millionaire who has been given a dozen chances by the public already," he said. "Nothing against Daly. He's great for us. But I don't get it."

I don't either. Chirkinian was right then and he's right now. The only player golf fans MIGHT pull for in a battle against Tiger Woods is Phil Mickelson. When Mike Weir, who was then a skinny kid trying to find his way on tour, was paired with Woods in the last round at the 1999 PGA Championship, he felt invisible too.

Isn't a big part of this the desire to have a "brand name" win at your home course or home town event?

Monday
Aug102009

"There were other players out on the course playing for large amounts of money and they still managed to play within the time schedule we set."

As expected, John Paramor's defense of Sunday's on-the-clock warning to Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods, as told to Lawrence Donegan.

By the time Harrington and Woods stepped on to Firestone's 16th tee the group in front had just left the green 670 yards ahead. After Paramor's warning to speed up, the Irishman ran up a triple-bogey eight, which turned his one-shot lead over Woods into a three-shot deficit and all but ended the tournament as a contest.

"I'm sorry Padraig hit the ball in the water. I wanted a grandstand finish like everyone else,'' the rules official said. "I was simply carrying out the policy we have on slow play. If as a consequence of me doing what I am employed to do was that Padraig hit a poor shot then I am desperately sorry for him. There is no way I wanted that to happen. In fact, I would have liked the ball to have gone in the hole because it would have saved a great deal of time."

Zing!

And this is beautiful:

To the exalted list of those who have been unable to intimidate Paramor, the world of golf can now add the illustrious name of Woods.

"When we were on the 17th fairway Tiger said to me "Are we still on the clock?" and I said to him "Yes",'' said Paramor. "He then pointed to the group in front and asked me if I could see them. I said yes, but I think he thought they were closer than they actually were. In fact, they were on the 18th hole. You can't put anyone off the clock when the group in front are a hole ahead."

Monday
Aug102009

Uh Oh! Paramor Is Talking

And it doesn't sound like the rules official who told Padraig and Tiger to pick it up is going to go quietly! Lawrence Donegan Tweets...

I'm assuming we'll see more on Donegan's blog and in the Guardian by day's end.