Sports Betting Legalization Effort Lagging, Only Six States In So Far

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Given golf’s interest in legalized sports betting, the early returns from states that were all in combined with lagging efforts by most states, suggests the expected windfalls may be slow to come, writes Timothy Williams of the New York Times

It’s well worth reading if you know anyone banking on sports betting windfall. The PGA Tour has largely positioned their interest on fan engagement via fantasy leagues and the mobile experience, so the early struggles with sports books as outlined by Williams may pertain less to golf. Then again, if legalization only happens in a few states, that will slow the inclusion of any expansion on any platform.

The reluctance of state lawmakers, gambling analysts say, is based on a growing consensus that legal sports betting may not bring the windfall that economic forecasters predicted only a few months ago.

“There were a lot of people who didn’t know what they were talking about,” said Allen Godfrey, the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, which oversees the sports betting ventures around Tunica.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision last May, which raised the prospect of hundreds of millions in new tax revenue, just six states have given final approval to allow legal sports betting. In a seventh state, New Mexico, Native American tribes have begun offering sports betting with federal approval.

Our Long National Nightmare Ends: World Ranking Points Will Be Awarded At The Tour Championship

While we await the bizarre new format to decide the FedExCup and then await its replacement, your prayers and thoughts have helped deliver precious official world ranking points to the field after a policy board approval.

I’m not sure anything is less interesting to the golf fan than world ranking points, but to the players it can be the difference between a nice guarantee at the season’s start, a place in majors or endorsement bonuses.

From Doug Ferguson’s AP story explaining how the new system would have worked last year—Tiger fans, cover your eyes :

Under the new system, Woods would have started at 2 under as the 20th seed, and thus finished at 13 under. Instead of winning and getting 62 ranking points, he would have finished second. Rose was at 6 under, but he would have started at 8 under as the No. 2 seed and finished at 14 under.

The world ranking could not have given Rose points for “winning” when his real score had him tied for fourth.

The Tour Championship has such a strong field that not awarding ranking points could have cost players endorsement money, because most contracts have an incentive tied to the world ranking. It’s even more critical now because of how tight it is at the top.

I’m pretty sure fans would be more intrigued by the endorsement contract ramifications than the FedExCup leaderboard.

Rossi, if Justin makes birdie here, he’ll finish T14, putting him over the edge for that $125,000 Bonobos bonus for finishing the season world No. 1. What’s he got?

"Money driving PGA Tour gravy train"

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Part 1 of Ron Green Jr.’s eventual two-parter looking at sports betting coming to golf is worth checking out to understand what the PGA Tour has in mind.

Two things stood out to me in Part 1, starting with this on sports betting in the U.S.:

Of that estimated $150 billion wagered, approximately 2 percent – $3 billion – is bet on golf.

Monahan said making money off legalized sports betting is not the main reason the PGA Tour is invested in what will be a new world order. The hope is to get one-quarter of 1 percent of the money wagered on the PGA Tour. That’s approximately $7.5 million annually if the estimates of what’s being bet are accurate.

That seems like a modest goal and modest amount given how the Tour has invested in various programs in anticipation of legalized sports gambling. Hardly a gravy train, but maybe this is the most conservative estimate?

Then again, if it’s about living under par, i.e. engagement…

“What that’s going to do is give fans the ability to not only bet on the winner and the low score of the day but you’re going to be able to bet much more granularly,” Levinson said.

“You’re going to be able to bet shot by shot. You’re going to have a situation where fans are going to be locked in and engaged throughout the competition. It’s going to be a fun way to bet.

“Our sport is unique in that we have 72 balls in the air at any given moment as opposed to one. For people who like to engage in sports betting and may not be interested in the PGA Tour golf, this is going to be a really fun sport to get engaged with.”

Levinson is one of the tour’s sharpest minds, so I trust that he’s seeing things to make them believe shot-by-shot betting will be fun and functional.

Our first glimpse into the merging of a match and stats came at last fall’s match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. As slow as golf is, the match did not seem to move slowly enough to assess a shot and the player’s stats before placing a bet in time. But that may change with better-designed apps that react by crafting a wager immediately after a shot has come to rest, sending us a phone notification of the
”opportunity” and making the bet option fun and fast.

USGA Names Jason Gore Senior Director Of Listening To Players Complain

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Congrats to the former Wave, Walker Cupper and all-around nice fellow Jason Gore on accepting the unenviable task of listening to pro golfers gripe about course setups and the rules they haven’t read.

For Immediate Release…

USGA Expands Player Relations Capabilities in Naming Longtime PGA Tour Player Jason Gore as Senior Director

Four-Time U.S. Open Competitor, 1997 Walker Cup Team Member Will Lead Player Relations Team, Engaging with Elite Amateur and Professional Players Across the Game

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Mar. 22, 2019) – Following an extensive search, the USGA has appointed longtime PGA Tour player and four-time U.S. Open competitor Jason Gore as its first senior director, Player Relations.

The appointment launches a comprehensive program aimed at sharing information and strengthening engagement with players in areas of importance to the USGA. These include initiatives to grow and advance the game, research critical to the game’s health, and continuing to incorporate the players' perspective in its work to advance the sport.

Gore’s primary role will be to interact with professional and elite amateur players across the game, particularly focusing on competitors in the USGA’s Open and amateur championships. He will lead a team of full-time staff dedicated to player relations, including Liz Fradkin, who assumed her player relations role last fall. Previously the manager of the USGA’s Curtis Cup Team and a member of the U.S. Women’s Amateur staff, Fradkin has already been a fixture at several LPGA Tour events. 

They will be joined by Robert Zalzneck and Ali Kicklighter, who will manage USGA player services with an emphasis on onsite services at the USGA’s four Open championships. 

“Jason is a dynamic individual who has a great passion for the USGA and the game of golf and is widely recognized and respected by Tour players and staff, as well as industry influencers,” says John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. “Filling this role has been a strategic priority for the organization for some time and in Jason, we have someone who will bring us player insights and share our position on matters of importance to the game.” 

A Southern California native, Gore, his wife, Megan, and their two children, will relocate to New Jersey in the coming months. A brief bio is below:

 Jason Gore

  • Graduate, Pepperdine University (2000 – psychology); 1997 NCAA Division I team champions

  • Member of the 1997 Walker Cup Team

  • Competed in the U.S. Open in 1998, 2005, 2008 & 2010; final Sunday pairing with Retief Goosen at Pinehurst in 2005

  • Competed in the U.S. Amateur in 1992, 1993, 1995 & 1997

  • Competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur in 1990

  • Captured 12 professional wins: One PGA Tour win (84 Lumber Classic in 2005) among 16 top-10 finishes; all-time record seven Web.com Tour wins; four additional professional wins

  • Amateur wins: 1996 Sahalee Players Championship; 1997 Pacific Coast Amateur; 1997 California Amateur; 1997 California Open (as an amateur)

  • Competed in more than 500 events on the PGA Tour (291) and Web.com (233) tours

  • Served on the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council (PAC) nine times

“I have the utmost respect for the USGA and proudly tell everyone that my experience in the 1997 Walker Cup was the highlight of my golf career,” said Gore, 44, who won the PGA Tour’s 84 Lumber Classic in 2005 and played in Sunday’s final pairing of the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. “I’m incredibly honored to have been invited to play this role and can’t wait to get started.”

Added Bodenhamer: “While we’ve often engaged with players on a variety of projects and enjoy many longstanding relationships, this is the first time we have dedicated a team of full-time staff members to serve as year-long ambassadors for the USGA, as well as a voice for players. We’re excited to see what has been a long-term priority coming to fruition.”

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.