WEDNESDAY  | MAY 16, 2018
by Jeff Babineau

Having dominated golf’s strongest field of the season, seized one of the game’s marquee titles and pocketed one of its largest winner’s paydays ($1.98 million) at the Players Championship on Sunday, Webb Simpson saluted his inner circle, calling his victory a "total team” effort. He thanked his wife, his mother, his late father, his caddie, his coach, his trainer ... the roster was long.

As it turns out, the support team was bigger than Simpson knew. 

 



THE EQUIPMENT INSIDER

One in a weekly series of stories about golf gear to run each Wednesday.

By Gary Van Sickle

Great technological advances often create great showdowns. See Beta versus VHS, cassettes versus compact discs and cable TV versus satellite dish.

Golf presents the Battle of the EMDs (electronic measuring devices) between laser rangefinders and GPS devices. 

 


by Alex Miceli

For the PGA Tour, business opportunities seemingly flow like the water over Niagara Falls. Potential deals and partners come clamoring to work with an organization as successful as golf’s most visible tour.

One such opportunity reached officials in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in 2003 when Golf & Tennis Pro Shop signed a licensing deal with the PGA Tour.

 


Tour and gambling would be bad bet

Gambling would be bad for the PGA Tour (“Court ruling opens door to golf gambling,” May 15).

Here’s a hypothetical example: On Sunday's final round of the Players Championship, let’s say that I bet on Tony Finau to beat Daniel Berger. Finau misses two 3-foot putts and loses to Berger, 71-70.

 


Died: Doug Ford, the oldest surviving Masters champion, on Monday night of an undisclosed illness, according to the PGA Tour. He was 95. Ford won 19 times on Tour, including the 1955 PGA and the 1957 Masters. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. In 1957, his best season on Tour, Ford earned $45,379 for a year that included three victories and 24 top-10 finishes. He played in four Ryder Cups and later competed on the fledgling Senior Tour. Ford was regarded as a key figure when the touring pros broke away from the PGA of America in 1968 to gain more control over tournaments. A noted gambler who reportedly earned more in practice rounds than he did in tournaments, Ford said in his biography for the Hall of Fame: “If you want to be a good tournament player, you’ve got to learn to handle the heat. The only way to prepare for that is to play for your own dough. You play for an amount you can barely afford to lose.”

 


8

Number of years ago that Jordan Spieth, as a 16-year-old, made his PGA Tour debut at the Byron Nelson tournament in his hometown of Dallas. Spieth tied for 16th. Spieth, whose 11 Tour victories include three major championships, will be playing the Nelson for an eighth time, yet that 2010 debut marked his best finish in the event (tee times).

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

 

Hawk & Rude analyze Simpson, Woods

In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts size up Webb Simpson's runaway Players victory and examine Tiger Woods' latest performance in a week long on distance and short on drama.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Seven Dreamers announced that its driver shaft was used by a runner-up in the recent Players Championship. Seven Dreamers, a Japanese company, produces custom-made shafts of aerospace-quality carbon fiber starting at $1,200 apiece.

 

Organizers of Women’s Golf Day, which is set for June 5, invite golfers to sign up their female friends and family to participate. The celebration of women and girls in golf will occur worldwide.

 

Tagmarshal, a pace-of-play system used at golf courses worldwide, is operational at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort, the manufacturer reports. Tagmarshal reports that 70 percent of rounds played using its geo-tagging and pace-algorithm software are completed with five minutes of target times.

 

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America has funded $112,500 for turfgrass research this year. The GCSAA grants are supporting six new research projects at seven U.S. universities. Five other projects continue to receive financial support from 2017 allocations.

 

Grant Fuhr, a Hockey Hall of Fame member and an avid golfer, will be recognized with the Sports Legend Honoree Award during the Ann Liguori Foundation Charity Golf Classic on June 4. The tournament, to be played at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, N.Y., benefits cancer research and prevention.

 


CALENDAR
May 14-16
Men’s college: NCAA Division I regionals

Reunion Resort Watson GC, Kissimmee, Fla.; Lonnie Poole GC, Raleigh, N.C.; OSU GC Scarlet Course, Columbus, Ohio; Jimmie Austin OU GC, Norman, Okla.; The Reserve at Spanos Park, Stockton, Calif.; Traditions Club, Bryan, Texas

May 17-19
Symetra Tour: Symetra Classic

River Run CC, Davidson, N.C.

May 17-20
PGA Tour: AT&T Byron Nelson

Trinity Forest GC, Dallas

Web.com Tour: BMW Charity Pro-Am

Thornblade Club, Greenville, S.C.

European Tour: Belgian Knockout

Rinkven International GC, Antwerp, Belgium

Champions: Regions Tradition

Greystone GC, Birmingham, Ala.

LPGA: Kingsmill Championship

Williamsburg, Va.

May 18-23
Women’s college: NCAA Division I Championship

Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater, Okla.

May 19-23
Men’s amateur: U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

Jupiter Hills GC, Tequesta, Fla.

May 20-23
Industry: ING Spring Conference

IP Casino Resort and Spa, Biloxi, Miss.


      
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