Steve Stricker "Still Waiting On" 2020 Ryder Cup Decision

Steve Stricker’s still the overwhelming favorite to lead America in 2020 at Whistling Straits, but given that Jim Furyk was announced on January 11th, 2017 and Europe has already made Padraig Harrington their captain, could the PGA of America be considering another option? Did the task force reconvene to rethink the master plan? Or is there simply a better announcement date in mind?

Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge with Stricker’s comments and outlook for 2019, including this:

“I would love to be a part of it,” Stricker said Tuesday ahead of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. “It’d be a huge honor and being right there in my home state would be super cool. To try to bring the cup back right there would be a great opportunity if they give it to me, and that’s the part I’m still waiting on. It’s not up to me and hopefully I get the opportunity. It’d be fun.”

First (At Least, Graphically Depicted) Look At Augusta National's Extended 5th Hole

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With no Instagram posts from Augusta National—not even a random post-Daniel Field takeoff photo—the Masters Media Guide provides our first look at the extended 5th hole. The addition of 40 yards will get most of the attention, but the question fans of Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie’s design most want to know: has the original Road hole-inspired strategy been restored?

To recap: Bobby Jones described the hole as a reverse of the Road with a carry over the left bunkers and flirtation with the lefthand forest shortening the hole and opening up an ideal angle to most hole locations. The fairway bunkers Jones-MacKenzie answer to the Roads’ Station Master’s Garden. (Here’s an old Golf World piece I wrote on the ties to St. Andrews and in particular, this hole.)

So as today’s modern heptathletes finally stopped downing Jagermeister shots and moved to Cauliflower smoothies, the club pushed forward the fairway bunkers in response. They also planted pines and essentially created a pinched landing area to offset the surge of athleticism. The left risk/reward option of Jones’s day was erased in an attempt to maintain certain distances for the approach.

Going from 455 to 495 in 2019 and our first look at the depiction suggests fairway bunkers have been repositioned. That’s backed by the description of a 315 yard carry in 2018 and a 313 yard carry in 2019. This is very exciting news, though until we see what kind of tree planting and earthwork took place, we should reserve judgement about the potential for a strategic revival.

The 2019 vs. 2018 depictions:

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Amy Bockerstette's TPC Scottsdale Par Goes Viral

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You may remember past posts (here and here) about the inspiration that is Amy Bockerstette, Arizona high school golfer instrumental in her team’s play and now college golfer.

So of course you are not surprised she got to tag along with Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar as they played the 16th hole Tuesday in Scottsdale…and nailed the opportunity. Thankfully a camera crew was on hand as was Greg Moore, who has written about her golf before, including this on following the group.

Here is the full piece, well worth your time:

Reigning Waste Management Open champ Gary Woodland said that Bockerstette’s par on 16 was “by far the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced. … I’ve never rooted so hard for somebody on a golf course.” His pre-tourney presser:

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.

Koepka On Pace Of Play: “Guys are already so slow it’s kind of embarrassing."

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Brooks Koepka sat down with Golf Monthly’s Michael Weston in that progressive haven known as Saudi Arabia to discuss various topics for a podcast. Inspired by Bryson DeChambeau’s pace last weekend in Dubai, Koepka expressed a lack of patience for slow pokes.

“I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball; it’s not that hard,” Koepka said.

“It’s always between two clubs; there’s a miss short, there’s a miss long. It really drives me nuts especially when it’s a long hitter because you know you’ve got two other guys or at least one guy that’s hitting before you so you can do all your calculations; you should have your numbers.

“Obviously if you’re the first guy you might take ten extra seconds, but it doesn’t take that long to hit the ball, especially if it’s not blowing 30.

“If it’s blowing 30 I understand taking a minute and taking some extra time with some gusts, you know changing just slightly, I get that but if it’s a calm day there’s no excuse.

“Guys are already so slow it’s kind of embarrassing. I just don’t get why you enforce some things and don’t enforce others.”

The full pod is available at the link.

Trump Organization Instituting E-Verify At All Golf Properties After Post Story

After a WaPo exclusive on Trump National Westchester firing undocumented workers who had been on the payroll—including one course maintenance worker on staff for nearly two decades—the company will be instituting the E-Verify system at all properties, starting with their golf locations, reports Jonathan O’Connell, Elise Viebeck and Tracy Jan.

“We are instituting E-Verify on all of our properties as soon as possible,” Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said Tuesday, acknowledging that the company currently uses the program only at some locations. “We’re starting with the golf properties, and we are going to be doing all of them.”

The move is the first acknowledgment by the president’s private business that it has failed to fully check the work status of all its employees, despite Trump’s claims during the 2016 campaign that he used E-Verify across his properties. At the time, he called for the program to be mandatory for all employers. 

That should liven up some Golf Industry Show conversations next week!

Pepperell On Saudi Arabia Event: World Ranking Points Take Priority

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We’ve seen players travel to far away lands in search of easy World Ranking points and sell their mother’s for year-end world top 50 status.

And now, look the other way on carved up journalists, beheadings, beatings, violent bigotry and 15 of 19 9-11 hijackers just to help the Crown Prince see the error of his nation’s murderous ways.

Eddie Pepperell is at this week’s European Tour event and clearly conflicted since he noted three other shady countries the European Tour might reconsider visiting. Ultimately, he can’t resist the points according to his latest blog post.

I can really only speak for myself, and plus, remember I’m not being paid to be here, so I’m only slightly less immoral than the top guys who have showed up. For me, if I didn’t play, I sacrifice the opportunity to play against the best in the world, I miss a chance to improve my world ranking also, which objectively speaking, does hold some importance for me, since if I fall out of the Top 50 before April then I won’t be eligible for a PGA Tour event I have scheduled to play. And that means losing flights etc and having to pay for new ones, which you might say is no problem because I’ve earned a lot of money lately, though resentment isn’t good for anybody.

At least Pepperell is honest about what drives him to tee it up in Saudi Arabia this week. If not, delusional…

On top of all of this, maybe, just maybe, the Regime out here really do want to change. Maybe they’ve recognised the perilous state of their own affairs and in particular their reliance on a fossil fuel that won’t be here forever. 

Maybe the Crown Prince will present a solar panel trophy instead of an oil derrick. Or not.

Why Have Golf's Better Athletes Only Picked Up 1.3 M.P.H. In Clubhead Speed Over The Last Decade?

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The USGA and R&A have released their annual driving distance report and the pro tour’s saw a 1.7 yard increase on top of last year’s 3 yard increase.

Given how much we’re told the recent spikes are a product of increased athleticism—not equipment innovation or launch monitors or instruction—the gain of just 1.3 mph in swing speed since the players started traveling with foam rollers, eating raw cauliflower and taking their core work more seriously seems paltry.

From David Dusek’s Golfweek story on the report:

Compared to the earliest radar data available, which came in 2007, ball speed is up almost 4 mph, drives start 0.3 higher and with almost 200 rpm less spin. At the same time, the average clubhead speed on those drives has increased from 112.4 mph to 113.7 mph. This would indicate that while the pros on the PGA Tour are swinging faster as a group, their equipment and swings are becoming more optimized and efficient.

Athleticism nice, algorithms nicer.

Meanwhile in his Golf World assessment, Mike Stachura attempts to downplay yet another increase in driving distance across the board by ascribing a percentage decline to the increase.

According to the report, the average increase in driving distance across all professional tours in 2018 was 1.7 yards over 2017. While that number is significantly higher than the trend from 2006-2016, it is more than 40 percent less than the gain seen in average driving distance from 2016 to 2017.

More than 40%! Nothing to see here!

Finally, the most interesting thing I saw in the report—besides huge spikes in drives over 320 yards powered by that 1.3% clubhead speed increase—was a yellow color coded admission that “stability through regulation” ended in 2016. Translation: our rules stopped working the last two years. Interesting choice of words.

Human Rights Reminder To European Tour Golfers: Haotong Li Still Alive, But Jamal Khashoggi Is Not

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European Tour Chief Keith Pelley finds the treatment of Haotong Li “grossly unfair” as did many of the very players heading to Saudi Arabia this week, reports Golf.com’s Dylan Dethier.

In fact, Eddie Pepperell, horrified by Li’s treatment under the rules is even making jokes about teeing it up in Saudia Arabia:

For a man who likes to read, Pepperell may want to brush up on Saudi Arabia’s record before cracking jokes.

He’s not alone, as Ian Poulter is playing a low IQ card. He is not a stupid man.

From Iain Carter’s BBC Sport report:

Most players are interested in little else. "I'm probably not the most educated man in the world to sit down and have a discussion about politics," Ian Poulter told BBC Sport.

"I tend to err on the other side and try not to go too deep into that because my IQ is not great.

"Obviously, we all know what's going on around the world, but when I see the tour trying to make good and give us opportunities then I think it is a good thing."

He went on to cite the world rankin points in play. So maybe he’s not entirely wrong about the low IQ.

Sadly, not one of the parties taking the Crown Prince’s money this week has brought themselves to condemn the person putting up this week’s purse for the hideous demise of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Or countless other grotesque acts against humans.

The Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who Pelley credited with envisioning this tournament, is the likely green-lighter of this event. So to recap: journalist murdered and dismembered in October and the European Tour forges ahead even though most world intelligence agencies pin the hideous act on the tournament host.

But the R&A for not letting European Tour referees give Haotong Li and his caddie a hall pass?

Grossly unfair!

Here’s my first take for Golfweek on Pelley’s attempt to distract from this week’s disastrous money grab as well as a plea to not throw out the new golf Rules baby with the bathwater.

Randall Mell at GolfChannel.com takes on the players participating in this event and claiming they are not politicians.

Corporations are known for their often blind pursuit of the bottom line, but tour pros aren’t blind, though they may be going to Saudi Arabia with their eyes closed.

“It is not the Saudi Arabian people who ordered Khashoggi murdered,” Kenneth Roth, head of the Human Rights Watch, told France’s AFP during the World Economic Forum last week. “It is a particular government and a particular leader.

“I think the real question now is who gave the command.”

If the crown prince were to show up to present the trophy Sunday at the Saudi International, it probably wouldn’t be a good time to ask.

2019 Farmers Insurance Open Ratings Hold Steady Based On Recent Years

With 2018’s final round running long and then going to a playoff seen mostly on Golf Channel, the best ratings comparison for the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open won by Justin Rose may be 2017, notes SBD’s Austin Karp:

Last year, CBS drew a 2.9 for Sunday’s telecast, but had to hand the finish off to Golf Channel for five playoff holes between Day, Ryan Palmer and Alex Noren. The playoff ended up finishing Monday morning. Two years ago, the final round drew a 2.1 overnight for Jon Rahm’s three-stroke win.

The 2019 edition drew a 2.2 against the Pro Bowl (5.7).

While flat in sports these days is generally good, with Tiger on course for part of the telecast the number could be seen as a tad disappointing given his recent impact on ratings.


Rules War! Pelley Wants His Referees To Have Leeway On Rules, R&A Fires Back

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In an unprecedented rebuke of the governing bodies—not coincidentally the week his tour lands in lowly Saudi Arabia—European Tour Chief Keith Pelley has blasted the Haotong Li penalty as, of course, detrimental to growing the game.

I’m about to dig in on a column about all of the things this brouhaha is really about, but in the meantime here is Pelley’s statement followed the R&A’s response that arrived 92 minutes later in my Inbox.

STATEMENT FROM EUROPEAN TOUR CEO KEITH PELLEY ON THE LI HAOTONG PENALTY 

‘There has been much discussion and comment over the past 24 hours on the two-shot penalty given to Li Haotong for his breach of Rule 10.2b (4) on the 18th green of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

‘Let me state initially that, under the new Rules of Golf issued on January 1, 2019, the decision made by our referees was correct, under the strict wording of the rules. It is my strong belief, however, that the fact there is no discretion available to our referees when implementing rulings such as this is wrong and should be addressed immediately. 

‘Everyone I have spoken to about this believes, as I do, that there was no malice or intent from Li Haotong, nor did he gain any advantage from his, or his caddie’s split-second actions. Therefore the subsequent two shot penalty, which moved him from T3 in the tournament to T12, was grossly unfair in my opinion. 

‘In an era where we are striving to improve all aspects of golf, we need to be careful and find the proper balance between maintaining the integrity of the game and promoting its global appeal. 

‘I have spoken personally to R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers to voice my opposition to the fact there is no discretion available to our referees in relation to this ruling, and I will be making additional representation to the R&A in the near future to discuss the matter further.’

I am sticking up for my players and making a lot of noise from my luxury hotel where the Crown Prince himself left me a welcome note!

STATEMENT FROM R&A CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARTIN SLUMBERS ON THE LI HAOTONG RULING

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have reviewed the Li Haotong ruling made by the European Tour referees and agree that it was correct. There has been some misunderstanding of the new Rule and I would point out that it is designed to prevent any opportunity for the caddie to stand behind the player as he begins to take his stance. Whether the player intends to be lined up is not the issue. We appreciate that it was a very unfortunate situation yesterday and I completely understand Keith Pelley's concerns when a Rules incident occurs at such a key stage of a European Tour event but there is no discretionary element to the Rule precisely so that it is easier to understand and can be applied consistently.

“We are continuing to monitor the impact of the new Rules but I made it clear to Keith that our focus is very much on maintaining the integrity of the Rules for all golfers worldwide.”

Here is our chat on Morning Drive today about this.

Pelley Says European Tour Has Done Its Security Due Diligence In Defending "Middle East strategy"

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European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley is attempting to get out front of the looming disaster that is a professional golf tournament in Saudi Arabia only months after the dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last fall. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was credited with bringing the European Tour event to his country, likely ordered the killing at his country’s Turkish consulate.

Pelley focused more on player security in spinning the decision to forge ahead with an event despite the murder. From G.C. Digital’s story:

“Our main focus is on the safety and security of our players and staff,” Pelley said Sunday on “Morning Drive”. “Like many global companies who operate in the region, we monitored the situation. … Having looked at that – and having done our due diligence in terms of the safety and security – we’re obviously moving forward and looking forward to this new chapter on the European Tour.”

Pelley’s full Morning Drive appearance starts with some fantastic stalling efforts before the dreaded topic comes up:



New Rules Cost Haotong Li: Caddies, Don't Stand Behind Your Player

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File this one under “why tour players get irritable about some of the refreshed Rules of Golf.”

Here is the language:

New Rule: Under Rule 10.2b(4):

  • The previous prohibition is extended so that, once the player begins taking a stance for the stroke, and until the stroke is made, the player’s caddie must not deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.

  • There is no penalty if the caddie accidentally stands on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball, rather than in trying to help in lining up.

Here is Haotong Li in what ended up as a penalty in the Dubai Desert Classic, reports GolfChannel.com’s Ryan Lavner. It’s a violation as the new rule reads in taking him from third to 12th:

Good rule of thumb here caddies: just don’t stand anywhere behind the player anywhere near the start of a shot and you’ll be fine.

There is a bigger picture issue here as it relates to the new rules and pro golfers being governed by amateur organizations: while this is a violation and was likely accidental, there is a danger of professionals citing this as yet another example of the rules excessively monitoring their livelihood. I’ve picked up some stray jabs and concerns this week about the new rules, and while it’s hard to tell if it’s just a product of the transitional learning adoption phase or something deeper, remains to be seen.

Honma's Mark King: Pro-Bifurcation And Lamenting Multiple Driver Launches

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Adam Schupak talks to ex-TaylorMade CEO Mark King about his role at Honma USA and more.

A couple of noteworthy quotes include his admission of abusing the annual driver release with multiple drivers unveiled in one year. But he stands by the approach of a new driver every year for the 20% who will pay.

MK: That we went so fast. My last 2-3 years at TaylorMade I don’t think the model was wrong. I think we abused the model a bit. Every time sales dipped a bit, we launched a new product. I wish we had shown more discipline. If you don’t have anything that makes the club different, you should probably wait. That said, I think one-year lifecycles when done properly is still the best way because I do think 20 percent of the golfers buy 80 percent of the equipment. Those 20 percent want to buy something unique and different ever year.

Mark him down for bifurcation, still!

AS: Where do you stand on the great distance debate going on in golf?

MK: You still have to think about the masses. I’m in the business of selling clubs to them and it’s the hardest game in the world. That’s why anything we can do to make it easier, I’m all for. That’s why I’ve always been OK with bifurcating the Rules of Golf.

More Flagstick In The Hole Fun: The First World Conundrum Presented, Adam Scott's Success And Could It Ever Be Outlawed?

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As Adam Scott flies up the Farmers Insurance Open leaderboard, his decision to leave the flagstick in the hole is paying off with his best putting in years. Scott explained to me for this Golfweek story how it’s not just the feeling of security on shorter putts to take a more aggressive stroke, but also helping him better gauge reads.

WSJ’s Brian Costa did a nice job summing up the “conundrum” golfers are facing and whether there are benefits, but this was a surprising suggestion from the USGA’s Thomas Pagel:

“If there was some kind of conclusive evidence that showed a significant advantage,” Pagel said, “I think we would have to go back and reevaluate it.”

As I note in this Golfweek video, it would be the ultimate irony if Scott were to finally find peace on the greens as a result of a rules change.

Sigh: Torrey Pines Set For $14 Million In New Irrigation, New Bunker Floor Work

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Seeing Torrey Pines so immaculately groomed for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open makes the prospect of even more gratuitous spending tougher to swallow given the projected $14 million cost. What will they get> A new South Course irrigation system, modern bunker floor capping and tweaks to two holes. All as the architecture continues to age so poorly, the facility works out of the same 2008 U.S. Open maintenance tent—TENT— and the property continues to have way too much water-wasting turf in out of play areas.

The horrendous 4th green is also now off the table in the latest round of work, but the project will still include fairway bunker shifting on the 4th and 17th holes.

The bunkers need better drainage and their shape returned to the original work after years of sand building up on the edges, Marney said. The greens will not be altered.

There will be several strategic changes with bunkers. Most notably, the fairway bunkers to the right at the par-4 fourth and 17th will be shifted to the left and closer to the cliffs. The fairway also will move left to create more of a driving challenge, especially for the pros.

You may recall that in firmer but hardly fast U.S. Open conditions, balls were not staying on the 4th fairway. Presumably with shifted bunkers and grading work, it’ll become an automatic layup shot and even more of a missed-opportunity than the current version.

Bryson Battles "Proprioception" En Route To Dubai 66

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Bryson DeChambeau struggled to the 36-hole lead of the Dubai Desert Classic despite proprioception problems.

To save you the trouble

Proprioception (/ˌproʊprioʊˈsɛpʃən, -priə-/[1][2] PROH-pree-o-SEP-shən), is the sense of the relative position of one's own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.[3] It is sometimes described as the "sixth sense".[4]

Got to love that SMU education!

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.

Farmers: Repairing Green Damage Comes To Poa Annua, Will It Matter?

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For years pro golfers have fixed ball marks in their lines, increasingly without consulting their playing partners. The governing bodies presumably have created the new green damage repair rule to allow this sometimes questionable improvement of a putting line.

Doug Ferguson of AP considers what will become of the rule now that players have arrived at the sometimes bumpier and more-prone-to-damage poa annua greens at Torrey Pines. Players are still unsure how much can be damaged.

“At Kapalua, I fixed ball marks, but I was only tapping them down because it was Bermuda,” Xander Schauffele said. “Out here, you might do a little more than a simple tap down. ... This place, late in the day, it feels like you’re playing a game of Plinko.”

Schauffele was quick to note one part of the new rule: Damage can be repaired without unusual delay.

“It could, depending on how these players take the rule to heart ... if you’re trying to fix a 40-foot putt, it’s going to be tricky with pace of play,” Schauffele said. “Rules officials will be on us. The time clock hasn’t changed. If you want to spend 35 seconds tapping down the line, you’re going to have to pull the trigger in less than what you normally do.”

I penned this item for Golfweek with Rory McIlroy’s slight concerns about what is and what is not damage. The piece also includes video of what a spikeless-shoe green can look like after a day of play. Granted, 1080p and modern contrast makes the greens look way worse than they are given how far Torrey’s surfaces have come since Tiger’s infamous bouncing putt in the 2008 U.S. Open.

To be clear: the greens are excellent. Smooth as bent in the afternoon? No. But compared to poa of 20 years ago, there is no comparison.