Thursday
APRIL 20, 2017
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By DAN O`NEILL

A little more than four years ago, Walker Cup captain Jim Holtgrieve lobbied for the inclusion of mid-amateurs in the event. Future USGA president Tom O'Toole Jr., who caddied for Holtgrieve when he won the inaugural U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at St. Louis’ Bellerive Country Club in 1981, believed in the cause.

It wasn't about St. Louis ties, friendships, favors or politics. It was about the spirit of amateur golf, the intentions of George Herbert Walker when he initiated the competition, which began in 1922. In January 2013, the USGA announced a minimum of two mid-amateurs (players 25 or older) would be part of the 10-member squad to compete against Great Britain and Ireland. 


It takes a village to raise a Tour player

I agree that reprimanding players for their slouching, grumpy and outright disrespectful disposition is something someone needs to do, lest we all (including our children) get the sense this is the right way to behave in golf. I also agree that Jason Dufner should not be the poster child, either (“When it comes to sportsmanship, Dufner is a slouch,” April 17, bit.ly/2nWXI9T).

I've volunteered for tournaments and watched enough glimpses of bad behavior by players. Yes, it is a frustrating sport, and, yes, I've seen frustrated golfers on my home course before, but in the media, when people are spitting on things, letting cuss words fly, etc., the cameras have panned away quickly rather than exposing the misbehavior.



In the news
Kevin Robert Fitzgerald

Wanted: On felony charges relating to the downfall of Roddy Ranch Golf Club in Antioch, Calif., Kevin Robert Fitzgerald, who was general manager of the club. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office alleges that Fitzgerald, 46, of Brentwood, Calif., “conspired to commit loan fraud, file a false police report, commit insurance fraud, divert construction funds and defraud an elder,” according to www.northerncaliforniamostwanted.org. The club closed operations last summer. Arrest warrants have been issued and bail set at $775,000 for Fitzgerald and an alleged accomplice, Mark Mattson, 56, of Escondido, Calif.

Diagnosed: With Lyme disease, Jimmy Walker, who disclosed the ailment during a news conference Wednesday at TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course, site of this week’s Valero Texas Open. Walker, 38, who had been sapped by a loss of strength and energy since late last year, said he received the diagnosis two weeks ago. Walker is undergoing further blood tests before he expects to be treated with antibiotics. Lyme disease, a bacterial infection, is commonly transmitted by a tick bite.


Keeping score

2

Number of starts on the PGA Tour, both as an amateur, for Curtis Luck, who will make his professional debut today in the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course. Luck, 20, of Australia, won last year’s U.S. Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur and World Amateur Team (with Aussies Harrison Endycott and Cameron Davis) titles en route to the No. 1 spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He tied for 46th in the recent Masters after having missed the cut in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

4

Number of Web.com Tour graduates who won on the PGA Tour in the year after being named player of the year on the developmental tour: Stewart Cink (1997 Travelers Championship), Zach Johnson (2004 AT&T Classic), Jason Gore (2005 84 Lumber Classic) and Wesley Bryan (2017 RBC Heritage).



FROM THE INDUSTRY

The fourth annual KemperClub Championship will be played Sept. 2-4 at two renowned Pacific Northwest courses, KemperSports and KemperClub announced. Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 U.S. Open, and The Home Course, the host of numerous regional and national championships, will test 40 two-person teams in a 54-hole, four-ball format flighted by handicaps.

Golftec will introduce a new in-center design scheme, enhanced club-fitting program and advanced in-bay teaching technology, the golf-lesson provider announced. The changes are being rolled out in 30-plus locations during the first half of the year and across the entire international network of more than 190 sites by 2018.

Five golf-ball models from Bridgestone Golf have been honored with the highest ranking of “gold” awards in Golf Digest’s 2017 “Hot List” in the magazine’s May issue, the manufacturer announced. The models honored were the Tour B330, B330-S, B330-RX, B330-RXS and e6 Soft.



CALENDAR
April 19-22
Junior: Sage Valley Junior Invitational
Sage Valley Golf Club, Graniteville, S.C.
April 20-23
European Tour: Shenzhen International
Genzon GC, Shenzhen, China
Web.com Tour: United Leasing and Finance Championship
Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Ind.
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course)
April 21-23
Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge
Top of the Rock, Ridgedale, Mo.
Symetra Tour: Sara Bay Classic
Sara Bay CC, Sarasota, Fla.
April 25-26
National Golf Day
Washington
April 27-30
Web.com Tour: El Bosque Mexico Championship
El Bosque CC, Leon, Mexico
LPGA: Volunteers of America Texas Shootout
Las Colinas CC, Irving, Texas
PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New Orleans
TPC Louisiana, Avondale, La.
European Tour: Volvo China Open
Topwin Golf and CC, Beijing
April 28-30
Symetra Tour: Symetra Classic
Atlanta National GC, Milton, Ga.
Industry: Haggin Oaks Golf Expo
Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, Sacramento, Calif.

      
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