FEBRUARY 16, 2017

By Dan O’Neill

Players of Asian descent, especially South Koreans, have promenaded on the LPGA for years. Their names often top leaderboards. 

The explanation includes many layers. Comprehensive junior programs are available to young girls in many Asian nations and embraced by ambitious parents. The women’s game is not all about swing speed and distance. Women can hang with accuracy, consistency and dedication, traits that the Asian golfers tend to demonstrate in spades.

At the same time, the Asian women had a pilot light. When South Korean Se Ri Pak won the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open, she became an example and inspiration to girls across the continent. Although Pak emerged during Tiger Woods’ heyday, she stood out as a gender- and origin-specific heroine for young girls in Asia. Anything was possible.

So, you think you’ve had some tough Mondays …

Great article on Monday qualifying (“Long road to a Tour start often merges with Monday qualifier,” Feb. 14). However, you could have included the fact that the previous Monday at Industry Hills there was a pre-qualifier: 90 guys playing for 10 spots to get in the Monday qualifier!

The general public thinks it's all glamorous. We know differently.

I played the Senior Series in the mid-90s – the Hogan Tour of the Senior Tour. It was some grind.

Keeping score


Number of players entered in the Genesis Open, which begins today at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., who won the last time they teed it up. Hideki Matsuyama (Waste Management Phoenix Open, on Feb. 5), Jordan Spieth (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, on Feb. 12) and Sergio Garcia (Omega Dubai Desert Classic, on Feb. 5). All are ranked among the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking: No. 5 Matsuyama, No. 6 Spieth and No. 9 Garcia.

From the industry

Four of golf’s most recognizable faces will help to continue the tradition of Arnold Palmer’s namesake PGA Tour event this spring. Peter Jacobsen, Graeme McDowell, Annika Sorenstam and Curtis Strange will join Tom Ridge, a former governor of Palmer’s native Pennsylvania and a former secretary of homeland security, to help host the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 16-19 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla. Palmer died Sept. 25 at age 87. “We can’t fill his shoes, but we can carry on his passion for helping others,” said McDowell, a Northern Irishman whose family makes its home in Orlando and whose children were born at Winnie Palmer Hospital, named for Palmer’s late wife.

Langston Golf Course, which was built in 1938 in the nation’s capital by the Interior Department largely to help black golfers in a segregated society, will get a much-needed facelift. Dean Graves, the superintendent at Chevy Chase (Md.) Club, rallied area greenkeepers and business owners to donate the equipment and sand to renovate seven bunkers at Langston's short-game practice area. The project at Langston, which hosts 40,000 rounds annually and features thriving programs for juniors and The First Tee, coincides with February’s Black History Month.

Wilmington, N.C., will be able to celebrate more than its first PGA Tour event in 47 years when the Wells Fargo Championship visits the coastal city. Wilmington will introduce a new $1 million facility for its First Tee chapter. The site includes a three-hole short course and practice green, with classroom, offices and multi-use surfaces with hitting nets also in the works. The Wells Fargo event, to be played May 4-7 at Wilmington’s Eagle Point Golf Club, is relocating for one year. Traditional host Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte will be the site of the PGA Championship on Aug. 10-13.

February 16-19
LPGA: ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Grange, Australia
European Tour: ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth
Lake Karrinyup Country Club, Perth, Australia
PGA Tour: Genesis Open
Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif. Tour: Panama Claro Championship
Panama Golf Club, Panama City, Panama
February 17-19
Champions Tour: Chubb Classic
TwinEagles Golf Club (Talon), Naples. Fla.
February 23-26
European Tour: Joburg Open
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, Johannesburg, South Africa
PGA Tour: The Honda Classic
PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
LPGA: Honda LPGA Thailand
Siam Country Club (Pattaya Old), Chonburi, Thailand
February 24-26
Chicago Golf Show
Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill.
Toronto Golf And Travel Show
The International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario
February 27-28
Northern California Golf Rep Show
Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Pano Hall Lincoln, Calif.
February 28 - March 2
Philadelphia Golf Merchandise Show
Embassy Suites Valley Forge, Chesterbrook, Pa.
February 28 - March 3
Scottish International Golf Course Architects Conference
Inverness, Scotland

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