World Ranking Points System Coming Under Increasing Scrutiny, Providing Unintended Comic Relief

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There’s actually much to laugh at in Doug Ferguson’s AP story on the world ranking points system coming under increased scrutiny of late. Comedy and the OWGR are not usually mutually exclusive, but this has to be one of better giggles you’ll get today:

Against a field as strong as some majors, Tommy Fleetwood shared the lead after 18 and 36 holes, played in the final group and was still in the mix at The Players Championship until a tee shot into the water on the 17th hole. His three-way tie for fifth was worth 16.53 ranking points.

Earlier that day, Guido Migliozzi won his first European Tour title at the Kenya Open, which until this year was a Challenge Tour event. The strength of its field was slightly weaker than the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on the Asian Development Tour in January.

Migliozzi received 24 ranking points, the minimum for the European Tour.

Of course this is no laughing matter given the reliance on the OWGR to determine major fields, including two weeks from now when the Masters invites the top 50 not already exempt.

2019 Valspar Another Beneficiary Of Strength Of Field Rule

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Gary Van Sickle at MorningRead.com explains how the Valspar Championship managed decent star power despite a tough post-Players date, with 37 top 100 players, including Dustin Johnson.

Johnson played only 20 tournaments in the 2017-18 season. So, he owed the PGA Tour an appearance at an event that he doesn’t regularly play. Johnson chose the Valspar Championship.

“I had a few to pick one, and this fit the best in my schedule,” Johnson said. “Of the courses I had to choose from, I like this [Copperhead Course] the best, if you’re playing well. The golf course is tough, but I feel like my game is in good form, so it’s a good course for me.”

Johnson nearly avoided the Valspar on a technicality. When he won in Mexico, it was the 20th victory of his career. Twenty is the threshold to become a PGA Tour life member, and the strength-of-field rule doesn’t apply to life members, or to players 45 or older.

The timing coincided nicely with Valspar announcing a sponsorship extension through 2025. Included is a better date next year.

USGA Hiring A Tour Liaison?

That’s what Michael Bamberger reports for Golf.com in his weekly 7 Best Things column:

The USGA is in the final stages of making a hire for a new and senior employee who will oversee and seek to improve the USGA’s relationship with the PGA Tour and the LPGA. A guess is that if you are reading this you will know the person’s name when it is revealed, which should happen well before the Masters.

There is no such job listed at the USGA website but the idea is an interesting one given the state of affairs between pro golfers and the governing bodies. Communication was a big theme in Jay Monahan’s late-Players week comments to Global Golf Post’s John Hopkins, including this:

My concern is there is all this discussion about rules, when we have so many great things happening inside the ropes in our tournaments every single week…we don’t write the rules. We are a partner to the organizations that do but it ends up being a sizable distraction.”

The Real Reason Nothing Is Done About Slow Play: Players, Executives Don't Ever Pay To Watch Pro Golf

Eamon Lynch explored the lack of movement on the slow play front even Rory McIlroy called it an epidemic last week. Furthermore, the 2019 Players was not able to get the field around Thursday and the broadcast ran 20 minutes long Friday to show the conclusion of a star group.

He writes:

Like a persistent rash, pace of play was again an irritant at the Players Championship. When the first round was called for darkness — despite daylight saving time — Anirban Lahiri still faced a short putt on the final hole. He had to return Friday morning to finish up. The Tour’s invariable stance is to insist there’s nothing to see and that everyone should just move along (at their own pace, of course).

“They don’t do anything about it. It’s become somewhat of an epidemic on Tour,” Rory McIlroy said after his second round, which took more than five hours to complete. “Look, it’s our livelihoods and people are going to take their time, and as the course dries up and gets firmer and gets tougher, guys are going to take their time. But the fact that someone didn’t finish yesterday … I mean, that’s unacceptable.”

“Honestly, I think they should just be a little tougher and start penalizing shots earlier, and that would be an easy way to fix it,” he added.

Even easier? Make executives and players pay to watch golf in person. They’d learn the art of standing around watching others stand around and other tedious acts like not-ready golf.

The conclusions they would reach are summed up in this Tweet from Steve Flesch, who attended last week’s Players:


PGA Tour Is Not Going Into The Rulemaking Business Anytime Soon

While we had another bizarre rules moment Thursday at The Players, Harold Varner’s troubles had little to do with the new rules, just a complex and freakish run-in with an old rule related to club adjustability.

But it’s worth noting that even after a bizarre violation we are not seeing the usual outpouring of grief over the change. That’s a direct result of PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan reiterating and expanding on a recent memo making clear the PGA Tour has no desire to make golf rules.

My Golfweek story on that, and the key kumbaya quote after a two hour five familes meeting.

“We have two fantastic professional governing bodies of the game,” he said Wednesday. “We have always played by their rules and we will continue to play by their rules. And we are not going to be playing by our own rules. We think that the game is best served with everybody playing by the same rules and the same standards. We think it’s a source of inspiration for the game.”

Sports Gambling: Day's Early Bay Hill Exit Highlights Looming Conundrum Over Injury Disclosure

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GolfChannel.com’s Rex Hoggard filed a broader look at gambling in sports and the various issues that may arise for a sport that has always enjoyed a peculiar relationship with wagering.

Increasingly, a sport viewed as gambling friendly is beginning to anticipate issues, including one that arose at Bay Hill when Jason Day WD’d mid-first round. Turns out, he had an MRI last week on his back. As Hoggard notes in another item, this is information that bettors would love to have known. More problematic for the pro golf tours, it’s information that others on the inside might have known and capitalized on. Some players understand but may others, who don’t even want to talk about a swing change, do not like the possibility.

“It’s nobody’s business,” said Kevin Kisner, co-chairman of the Tour’s Player Advisory Council. “I mean, are we out here to gamble, or are we out here to play golf? I don’t really give a s*** about the DFS guys. You should have picked someone else. If he had shot 65 and he had a hurt back, those guys wouldn’t have said anything.”

Kisner’s blunt assessment likely reflects a majority of opinions on Tour. There are plenty of variables players must account for on a weekly basis just to keep their cards, let alone worry about the ones that impact gamblers who may never step foot on the course. But as sports gambling becomes more prevalent, the scrutiny surrounding player injury status will only increase.

As with so many grey areas in golf, injuries or illness certainly do make for an intriguing discussion. We all know you have to be wary of the sick golfer, and nagging things can be problematic.

But in the case of Day, an MRI would suggest something far more serious and will be information bettors will expect to know. Yet if the reaction of players is similar to that of Kisner’s—understandable given the independent contractor status of pro golfers—then Jay Monahan’s job has gotten a lot more difficult in the sports betting era.

Monahan: Need To "Make Certain Our Players Give Us Constructive Feedback"

AP’s Doug Ferguson looks at the bad look all round for golf with players and governing bodies squabbling over the rules.

Though as he notes, the USGA’s mistaken Tweet trolling of Justin Thomas at least prompted PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan to finally intervene.

Monahan says USGA chief executive Mike Davis left him a message saying he would call Thomas to apologize. On Tuesday, the USGA corrected itself with another tweet - lacking an apology - saying that Thomas did not cancel any meeting or dodge any discussion and that it valued all the players' opinions.

So maybe the USGA deserves some credit. If not for the original tweet, odds are Monahan would not have sent the memo to players.

The message still needed to be delivered.

"It was important to remind the membership of the role we play, how important their voices are and to continue to make certain our players give us constructive feedback we need to have a proper discussion with the governing bodies," Monahan said Tuesday at Bay Hill.

We discussed the importance of Monahan’s memo on today’s Golf Central…

 


PGA Tour Commish Issues Memo To Reign In The Lunatic Fringe

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I was starting to wonder if PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan enjoyed seeing his players bash the governing bodies over the new rules given his public stance against the R&A and USGA over distance. A position which has added to the disharmony as it suggested to players that the governing bodies are looking to take your hard-earned distance and hard-earned endorsement dollars away.

Maybe he saw Charl Schwartzel unnecessarily berating a PGA Tour official at the Honda or read some of the absurd player comments directed at the new rules.

Maybe he read Eamon Lynch’s Golfweek column on what a bad look it is for the pros to be whining about rules that do not effect 99.9% of the population or rules that were enacted with good intentions to help the pro game. Sure, some things really stink like the drop rule, but as Lynch writes…

The problem is that Tour players seem less interested in providing insight than in shifting blame.

Maybe it was Justin Thomas’s Twitter exchange with the USGA.

Maybe Michael Bamberger’s admonishment of all involved did the trick.

Just ask yourself, before you open your mouth or Twitter account: Are you about to make the game better? Are you putting the game first, or yourself? Fowler failed on Thursday. The USGA failed on Saturday. It was all so inane it makes you want to scream.

Maybe the accountants finally delivered an updated estimate on Foster and Partner’s new PGA Tour HQ building and realized there’s nothing left to administer the rules, much less enforce them?

Maybe Monahan was touched by R&A Ambassador Padraig Harrington’s defense of his friends in the rules world or the comments of Thomas Bjorn, a Ryder Cup winning captain who knows everything after guiding Europe to victory.

Maybe he saw this fight among grown men in flip-flops at a South African course over cheating and realized it looks a little like his players squabbling with the governing bodies?

Or maybe he read the absolute gibberish being churned out by some of his players on Twitter.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, for instance:

I believe Matthew is saying PGA Tour referees are supposed to ignore the rules as written. What could go wrong!

And this exchange involving Patton Kizzire, followed up by some particularly odd logic from Andrew Landry, could have done the trick:

Yes, Patton not getting in the U.S. Open is exactly the reason to throw out the new rules! Brilliant!

Whatever it was, Monahan issued a memo to PGA Tour players reported on by GolfChannel.com’s Rex Hoggard essentially telling the lunatics in the asylum to pipe down.

This should quiet things, assuming the players actually read the memo:

“[The Tour] put forward a lengthy list of recommendations to improve the rules in many ways, including the removal of numerous penalties, and virtually all our suggestions were incorporated,” the memo from Monahan read. “We also had the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed rules prior to implementation, which resulted in modifications for the final version.”

The full document Tweeted by Hoggard:

Average Age Of 2018-19 PGA Tour Winners (So Far): 32.3

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Vijay Singh nearly raised the average age of 2018-19 PGA Tour winners into the mid-30s with a Honda Classic run at age 56. But it was Keith Mitchell who prevailed over Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler to win the 2019 playing.

At 27, Mitchell lowered the 2018-19 average age winner on the PGA Tour to 32.3.

In 2019, the average age of winners through the Honda is 33.6.

So while the average age of PGA Tour players has been going down, winning still seems to be reserved largely for those with a bit more seasoning. It’s something to remember in the rush to push players into professional golf at younger ages or when some question why players under 30 why they didn’t win.

"Nothing unites Golf Twitter like protestations about the CBS telecasts"

From Alan Shipnuck’s Golf.com mailbag:

If the CBS telecast were a person would they have dinner at 4:00 pm in a Bob Evans? Would they also wear a sweater in July in Boca Raton? -@HouseSacco

It’s true that the CBS telecast retains the sensibilities of Ken Venturi, who would now be pushing 90. I dare say that, except for slow play, nothing unites Golf Twitter like protestations about the CBS telecasts. The presentation and metabolism simply isn’t working with the modern golf fan. What’s interesting is that the PGA Tour knows it, because minions from the communications dept. have pushed back against some of the fiercest on-line critics. Perhaps all of this energy would be better spent helping CBS improve its product.

Players: Shorts Make Players Us More Relatable To Pro-Am Partners

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I was pleased to see that the move to shorts in practice and pro-am rounds (A) came after resistance from Commissioner Jay Monahan and (B) for the utterly moronic rationale that players will be more relatable to pro-am participants.

I have an idea! How about we just handcuff them, poor lemon drops in their eyes and spin them around on every tee shot so they shoot 95, whine excessively and make fools of themselves? That should bring these flatbellies down even more!

At least we are all in agreement that shorts concept validates the theory this look only dent the image and look of the professional golfer.

From Rex Hoggard’s GolfChannel.com story:

“It makes total sense,” Kevin Kisner said. “The Tour went about it in the correct way. They asked our sponsors and they said anything that makes us more relatable and makes pro-am groups feel more comfortable on Wednesday it’s a positive for them.”

According to Horschel it was input from various sponsors that ultimately convinced the Tour to allow shorts.

“[Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] was against it. He will tell you he wasn’t really for the shorts. But when the PGA of America did what they did and it was successful and people loved it he took notice,” Horschel said. “What pushed Jay over the edge was when he talked to the sponsors and they said they loved the shorts. They told him it brings the Tour player closer to us. That’s what Jay told me pushed him over the edge when it allowed the Tour players to become more relatable.”

I can’t relate to drives carrying 320 yards. Maybe we should bring those back, too?

Four Ways Tiger Can Make His “Invitational” Special

While most fans will not feel much impact from the Genesis Open’s new “invitational status”, Tiger Woods has an opportunity to leave a special legacy with a few moves.

He can use the example set by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer with their events, put his own twist on the Genesis, and give fans reason to believe last week’s announcement will have a profound impact on this historic PGA Tour stop.

 

Maintain The Open Status 

Last week when the new “invitational format was announced, I was a bit surprised to watch PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan unable to answer a straightforward question about whether the 94-year-old Los Anglees “Open” would retain components of its original status in the form of Monday qualifying, a spot given to the local PGA section and an amateur spot of some kind. After the new invitational format was announced, I heard from many Angelenos wondering if it meant the end of Monday qualifying. The answer we got: TBD.  And the name? Genesis Open is out, to be replaced by something clunky like Genesis Invitational, Genesis Classic or The Genesis.

The narrative for Tiger is a simple one if he agrees to maintain elements of this tournament’s past: “I love Jack and Arnold’s events but this has always been an ‘open’ event, and as long as I can remember I dreamed of qualifying before I got an invitation in 1992 to play that was vital to my career. So even as we go from 144 to 120 players, my foundation will use sponsors invitations to maintain the open nature of this tournament: two Monday qualifying spots, an exemption to the Collegiate Showcase winner, an exemption to the local PGA of America sectional qualifier, and of course, the Charlie Sifford Exemption. Those five spots will maintain ties to this tournament’s past while also not prevent any worthy players from participating. Tiger would be a hero to golf geeks in SoCal and even PGA Tour pros would have to tip their cap at him maintaining the tournament spirit and name.”

 

Hooray For Hollywood 

Tiger has the ability to attract star power like no one else in golf. Since the LA Open’s early days, stars have either been part of the week as spectators or the pro-am. This connection is an essential to distinguishing the Genesis Open going forward for marketing and atmospheric purposes.

The new Celebrity Cup brought out A-listers from screen and sport, while the Wednesday pro-am played in lousy weather brought out fascinating names from sports, business and Hollywood. From a word-of-mouth point of view, the sight of big names early in the week helps attract local television and national media attention. From a fan point of view, seeing major names whapping it around Riviera gives the stop something no other tournament will enjoy.

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Create The Western Hollywood Bowl 

If you’ve ever been at Riviera’s 18th green when a large crowd has assembled, you know there is nothing remotely close in golf. A few thousand people can fit in a very small, shockingly vertical space and the atmosphere is electric. But there is also a tradition at the 18th green dating to the tournament’s early days as a popular place to sit and watch the players come to you. Some of that tradition was built on Scotty Chisholm’s back. For decades, the tournament co-founder would announce every group and their score as they came to the 18th in his trademark kilt. He even performed a modified version in Follow The Sun (1:25 in). I say bring back an 18th green announcer—Chris Harrison and Carson Daly are Tiger/Riviera friends—and get a modern video board situated so that fans can follow the action—there was just a small PGA Tour stock board in the trees 100 yards short of the green.

The focus has clearly been on elaborate corporate structures that do look sensational, but the focus going forward should be on making the 18th green at Riviera one of golf’s most important places to be all week, but especially on Sunday. An announcer, a video board and some promotion as the February edition of the “Bowl” will work wonders for attracting even more fans.  

 Go to the 1:25 mark to see Scotty Chisholm in Follow The Sun:

Win No. 83 At Riviera

With two wins in 2019 and Tiger can return to Riviera next year looking to break Sam Snead’s record at a course where the all-time PGA Tour leader in victories won twice. It would also mean Tiger breaks the record at his event.

The script writes itself!

Hooray for Hollywood!

Chicken Legs Of The World Rejoice! PGA Tour Unveils New Shorts Policy

Prioritizing player comfort, convenience and entitlement or maintaining a sense of gravitas, the PGA Tour will now allow players to wear shorts in practice rounds and pro-ams.

Given that most of the players who’ve worn shorts have been lacking in the tanning and muscle department, I say let ‘em get their Vitamin D.

But if I were Commissioner, I’d point out that athletes in other sports are dressing better and rising up the Forbes list while golfers are dressing down and moving down the list of top-paid endorsers.

The timing is also strange given that golf pant fashion has never been better in terms of fit, quality and look, with the performance pants worn by golfers appealing to non-golfers and giving off an athletic vibe.

But hey, these big macho athletes want to be comfortable no matter how it looks. Tiger once famously embraced the policy even though he acknowledged it’s not his strongest physical attribute.

"A lot of the tournaments are based right around the equator so we play in some of the hottest places on the planet," he said. "It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

He resurfaces in Mexico City this week where daily highs in the 70s and 80s are forecast.

BTW, do you think the tournament everyone wants to be like, everyone wants to go to and every player would donate a limb to win, will adopt this policy?

Of course not.

Live Under Par's Architect Departs As PGA Tour CMO, No Word Yet On If He'll Take That Awful Slogan With Him

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The Forecaddie reports on the departure of PGA Tour Chief Marketing Officer Joe Arcuri, architect of the hellacious “Live Under Par” slogan that turns one next month.

It seems Matt Kuchar is still not clear on the difference between the slogan and the tour’s streaming television product. Which about says all you need to know on many fronts.

It's Come To This Files: Adam Scott Begs To Take A Slow Play Penalty Just So The PGA Tour Will Finally Start Enforcing Its Rules

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Over the years I’ve seen my share of slow play stories and silly quotes—mostly Tim Finchem’s infamous moratorium on penalizing slow pokes—but this takes the cake.

After the 144-player Genesis Open officially became a 120 player event in part because pace dictates a change, Adam Scott has offered to be the first player (of note) to be penalized in hopes of the PGA Tour finally enforcing its rules.

It’s come to this. And Scott isn’t even slow.

From Brian Wacker at GolfDigest.com:

Adam Scott said he recently told the PGA Tour’s chief of tournaments and competitions Andy Pazder that he’d be willing to take a penalty in order to get guys to speed up, the theory being that the tour would show that it was serious about pace of play and enforcing a penalty that is rarely enforced.

“Make me the victim,” the 2013 Masters champion and 13-time PGA Tour winner said. “I’ll take the penalty. The only way it’s going to work is if you enforce it.”

Scott goes on to explain that some of the problems with pace—like spending 20 minutes around walking to back tees—is out of the player’s hands. Some is solely a slow-poke issue. And all of it starts at Tour HQ where, for over 25 years, the idea of tainting a player’s brand with a penalty stroke has been considered sinful.

Opportunistic Whining? Tours Had A Seat At New Rulemaking Table

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You all may recall chief Keith Pelley chirping on behalf of outraged European Tour players at the sheer non-game-growing new rule that cost Haotong Li two strokes, though as I noted at the time you didn’t hear PGA Tour players griping because they clearly were more up on the new rules. And Pelley was taking his tour to Saudi Arabia, so a distraction card was also being placed on the table.

When the PGA Tour players started running into issues in Scottsdale, the inevitable cries of rulemaking unfairness were followed by the cheers from current and former players for the PGA Tour finally showing the amateurs in St. Andrews and Liberty Corner how it’s done. The PGA Tour’s statement after the McCarthy episode:

“It is clear that there is a great deal of confusion among players and caddies on the practical application of the new rule during competition, as well as questions surrounding the language of the rule itself and how it should be interpreted,” the Tour announced in a statement on Saturday. “As a result, with the full support of the USGA and the R&A, the rule will be interpreted whereby the two aforementioned situations as well as future similar situations will not result in a penalty.”

One problem, the PGA Tour and the European Tour were all in on the new rules meetings, as was the PGA of America.

Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com takes a tough but appropriate stance on any PGA Tour player and executive revisionist history.

Although the Tour has had a voice in the rule-making room for some time, the USGA and R&A agreed to give the circuit, as well as the PGA of America, more influence over potential changes when the organizations found themselves at odds during the anchoring debate a few years back. The Tour, which is represented on the rule-making front by senior vice president of competitions Tyler Dennis, may not have veto power over potential changes but it does have a prominent seat at the table.

For the Tour to dig in against the new rule, or at the least the rule’s ambiguous language, just as public opinion against it was poised to reach a crescendo, seems opportunistic if not duplicitous.

Ultimately the mistakes lie in not having a soft unveiling of these rules and perhaps a few fall events to work out the kinks, not necessarily in the rules themselves. At least, most of them.

First Female Tour Head: VP Of Marketing Partnerships Named Web.com Tour President

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The first female president of any the Tour’s tours is indeed historic and exciting, but also noteworthy is the Monahan era tendency to reward marketing experience over golf backgrounds in moving up the Ponte Vedra ladder.

For Immediate Release

PGA TOUR announces Alexandra “Alex” Baldwin as new President of Web.com Tour

Baldwin becomes first female Tour President in PGA TOUR history

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – The PGA TOUR announced today that current Vice President of Marketing Partnerships, Alexandra “Alex” Baldwin, has been named President of the Web.com Tour. With the announcement, Baldwin becomes the first female in history to lead one of the PGA TOUR’s six global Tours as President.  

Dan Glod, who has served as President of the Web.com Tour since January of 2017, has been elevated to Senior Vice President, Global Sponsorship Strategy and Development in a corresponding announcement.

“We are excited to announce Alex as the new President of the Web.com Tour in what is a watershed moment for our organization,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “In her role as Vice President of Marketing Partnerships, Alex has spearheaded our efforts to provide increased value to our PGA TOUR partners and I know she will have that same level of success on the Web.com Tour. We thank Dan Glod for his tremendous leadership with our partners, tournaments and membership over these last two years and know the Web.com Tour has a great foundation which Alex can continue to build upon.”

Baldwin joined the PGA TOUR in 2017 as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, where she was responsible for co-leading the Marketing Partnership team and overseeing key partner account teams including Morgan Stanley, Dell, Omni Hotel and Resorts and United Airlines, among others. In addition to spearheading partner oversight, she negotiated extensions and new programs with partners including Avis, MD Anderson, Rolex and Citi.

“I am thrilled for this opportunity to lead the Web.com Tour while drawing on years of experience in golf, sports and business,” said Baldwin. “The Web.com Tour is a tremendous avenue through which we’re able to develop the next generation of PGA TOUR stars, and I’m eager to learn as much as possible about our partners, tournaments and communities as we look to build on the Tour’s incredible 30-year foundation.”

Prior to joining the PGA TOUR, Baldwin was a Corporate Consulting Executive at CAA Sports in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, working with major brands on their strategy and activation plans in sports and entertainment. During that time, she worked strategically with Waste Management and the Waste Management Phoenix Open as well as Synchrony Financial, CVS Health and Concur among others.

For 10 years prior to joining CAA, Baldwin was with Boston-based Fenway Sports Management, consulting clients and driving sales efforts around premier golf properties, including the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Baldwin’s career began in 1992 as an intern with International Management Group (IMG), where she eventually rose to agent, representing the likes of LPGA stars Karrie Webb and Suzann Pettersen, as well as PGA TOUR winners Brad Faxon and Carlos Franco.

PGA Tour Orders Takedown Of Funny, Harmless And Viral Video Of Tiger Getting Rejected For Pizza

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As an eyewitness to this adorable little moment in Wednesday’s Farmers Insurance Open pro-am, I can attest that it was 100% comedy and totally innocent.

Here’s what happened: Tiger Woods tees off at the 13th and walks to the forward tee where a local pizza vendor has been commissioned to hand out pies to pro-am participants. The legendary golfer and one of the most famous people on earth is rejected because, it turns out, a health inspection was taking place at that moment and they could not hand out pizza. Tiger doesn’t know this but laughs off the rejection with Joe LaCava and his pro-am partners.

Everyone had a good chuckle at the sight of Woods getting turned away in the same way Roger Federer’s rejection from entering the Australian Open locker room last week went viral.

Brandon Stone of San Diego’s KUSI captured the whole thing and posted it on Twitter. He also wrote about the light moment here and the star-struck lad who loves Tiger but had to say no because of the inspection taking place. Stone’s video of the moment went viral, of course. But Stone also Tweeted the news of the video takedown notice from the PGA Tour.

Copies are floating out there and while I’d like to share one, I don’t want the blood of a takedown notice on my hands here.

But the bigger point: the PGA Tour runs the dreaded “Live Under Par” ad campaign encouraging fans to post photos and videos of fun things happening at PGA Tour events.

As they are getting killed by the European Tour on the social media front when episodes like this happen, you can bet the Euros would have had a blast with Tiger over this. Why common sense did not prevail, we can only imagine.

Deadspin: "Why Does A Leader Of The Indonesian Genocide Get To Play In So Many PGA Tour Pro-Ams?"

Looks like the vetting process needs to get a little tighter at PGA Tour Pro-Ams, as Deadspin reports Japto Soerjosoemarno—once leader of a far-right paramilitary group called Pancasila Youth and self-confessed murderer of mass numbers of Indonesians, is a huge fan of the pro-am. In particular, the Desert Classic.

The narrative thrust of The Act of Killing is that few of the hatchet men involved in the CIA-backed massacre of between 500,000 and 3,000,000 Indonesians ever faced consequences for the killings, and many of them don’t even harbor remorse. Their nonchalant openness about the murderers is what makes the documentary so chilling. Pancasila, which played a major role in the genocide 50 years ago, is still very much active and very much for hire for any, say, European conglomerate that wants to break up a nascent union by force. 

He played in last week’s event according to Deadspin, though his name is not listed now.

Most recently, Soerjosoemarno was one of the amateur partners for PGA Tour pros Jim Herman and Rod Pampling at this year’s Desert Classic (he shot a 201 over three rounds.) Soerjosoemarno is especially fond of playing in the Coachella Valley, where the PGA has held a January event for 60 years.

So far, no replies from the Tour…

Deadspin reached out yesterday to two Desert Classic representatives about Soerjosoemarno’s long-running involvement with the tournament, and whether or not they knew he admitted to participating in the 1965-66 genocide. They did not reply. Deadspin also asked three PGA Tour reps if they would allow Soerjosoemarno to participate in future events, and whether or not they condemned the Indonesian massacres of 1965-66. They did not respond either.

Mooch? Former PGA Tour Player Gillis Says Kuchar Paid Local Caddie Only $3k After Collecting $1.3 Million Check

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Former PGA Tour player Tom Gillis took to Twitter suggesting Matt Kuchar, 2019 Sony Open leader, former Players Champion and winner of $45 million in his PGA Tour career, might want to pay his caddie this week more than the $3000 he claims Kuchar paid “David” upon winning last fall’s Mayakoba Classic.

The win garnered Kuchar a $1.3 million winner’s check plus presumed bonuses. You may recall that David was a local caddie Kuchar used when he entered last minute and his normal looper, John Wood, had a previous engagement.

Gillis’ Tweet:

To his credit, Gillis answered and Tweeted questions from skeptics unsure of his sources or motivations.

Following his third round at the Sony, Kuchar denied the amount quoted and said it was not a story. From Rex Hoggard’s GolfChannel.com story:

“That’s not a story,” Kuchar said. “It’s wasn’t 10 percent. It wasn’t $3,000. It’s not a story.”

You may recall that the euphoria over David’s effort prompted Michael Bamberger to dig a little deeper, writing this following up for Golf.com back in November 2018:

10. In a qualifier for the tournament, Ortiz caddied for a Mexican golfer, Armando Favela, who made it into the tournament and finished in a tie for 16th, making him the low Mexican. Favela earned $108,000.

11. Asked if he made more money than Favela last week, Ortiz said, “I hope so!” He had not yet received or discussed his pay with Kuchar. He knows the standard caddie bonus is 10 percent of the winner’s share. Kuchar earned $1.3 million for his win, his first since 2014.

So far just Brandel Chamblee has come to Kuchar’s defense, suggesting the pay was legitimately fair for a local caddie.