Tuesday
MAY 2, 2017
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By GARY VAN SICKLE

Golf’s governing bodies made me laugh again Monday. Why? Because I read that they’re considering banning maps and other devices that help players read putts in competition.

Pace of play supposedly is one of the reasons for the possible future ban. Reducing the skill required to putt is another.

Now, name one other thing that golf’s governing bodies have done to improve the pace of play, besides the entertaining but otherwise useless “While We’re Young” campaign that gave little advice about how to play quicker.


By ADAM SCHUPAK

Don't mind Kym Hougham if he gets a little nostalgic for the good-old days. The longtime executive director of the Wells Fargo Championship started in Charlotte in 2003 and built the tournament into one of the must-play events on the PGA Tour.

"We were in kind of the dead zone between the Masters and the U.S. Open. We came out with a big purse – $5.6 million was big at the time – and we had a great course that the players adored," said Hougham, referring to Quail Hollow Club. "In 2007, we had 29 of the top 30 in the world. That was unheard of."



In the news

Issued: A joint statement regarding materials used to read greens, by the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A, the governing bodies for golf worldwide. The statement: “The R&A and the USGA believe that a player's ability to read greens is an essential part of the skill of putting. Rule 14-3 limits the use of equipment and devices that might assist a player in their play, based on the principle that golf is a challenging game in which success should depend on the judgement, skills and abilities of the player. We are concerned about the rapid development of increasingly detailed materials that players are using to help with reading greens during a round. We are reviewing the use of these materials to assess whether any actions need to be taken to protect this important part of the game. We expect to address this matter further in the coming months.”


Keeping score

4

Number of extra holes that Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith needed to defeat Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in a playoff Monday. Blixt pitched to within 2 feet on the par-5 18th hole at TPC Louisiana in Avondale and made birdie. Blixt, of Sweden, and Smith, of Australia, won the first official team event on the PGA Tour in 36 years. They earned 400 FedEx Cup points each and $1.02 million apiece and got credit for an official victory. The teams had tied at 27-under 261 a day earlier when Kisner holed a 94-foot-6-inch pitch-and-run for eagle on No. 18.

6

Number of weeks since Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, has competed on the PGA Tour. On the eve of the Masters, Johnson slipped on stairs in his rented house in Augusta, Ga., and withdrew from the tournament. He won in his three starts this season: Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico and WGC-Dell Match Play.


While we’re young, LPGA

LPGA players need to pick up the pace. Sunday’s play in Texas was glacial. I understand it was very windy and a player will need a little extra time, but the pace is painful for the fans and the coverage.

I attended in person. Five-plus hours playing twosomes is not a way to display the game. Why did Cristie Kerr's drop on the playoff hole take an exhausting amount of time?

To the rules officials: Please do something to save the game we love. It's on you and the players. 

Ken Venezio
Fort Worth, Texas



FROM THE INDUSTRY

Five players wearing the foot-suspension system made by Aline finished among the top 14 teams in the recent Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the company announced. Aline claims that more than 100 PGA Tour players, caddies and industry professionals have worked with its technical staff.

For a sixth consecutive year, Troon Golf has designated May as “Player Development Month” at the management company’s daily-fee facilities, private clubs and Troon Golf Academies. Troon expects to conduct more than 500 introductory golf sessions and “Get Into Golf” clinics this month.



CALENDAR
May 4-7
Web.com Tour: Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship
Corales GC, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
LPGA: Lorena Ochoa Match Play
Mexico GC, Mexico City
Amateur: Lytham Trophy
Royal Lytham and St. Annes, Lytham, England
PGA Tour: Wells Fargo Championship
Eagle Point GC, Wilmington, N.C.
May 5-7
Champions Tour: Insperity Invitational
The Woodlands (Texas) CC
May 9-10
NGF Golf Business Symposium
Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Fla.
May 11-14
PGA Tour: The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
European Tour: Portugal Open
Morgado G&CC, Portimao, Portugal
May 18-21
LPGA: Kingsmill Championship
Kingsmill Resort (River Course), Williamsburg, Va.
Web.com Tour: BMW Charity Pro-Am
Thornblade Club, Greer, S.C.
Champions Tour: Regions Tradition
Greystone G&CC, Birmingham, Ala.
PGA Tour: AT&T Byron Nelson
TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas
European Tour: The Rocco Forte Open
Verdura GC, Agrigento, Italy
May 21-25
Industry: ING Spring Conference
World Golf Village and Hall of Fame Museum, St. Augustine, Fla.

      
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