TUESDAY  | JUNE 5, 2018
by Alex Miceli

Many golf fans would contend that the U.S. Open stands out because it truly is an open competition. Maybe not as open as it was back at the second national championship in 1896, when Shinnecock Hills Golf Club hosted the first of its four U.S. Opens. If you were among the 869 players at 11 sectionals to tee it up on Monday, you likely would say that the 36-hole crucible was open and stressful.

For a player to own a major championship or other PGA Tour victory means nothing at a sectional qualifier. Former Masters champion Adam Scott, who had never been to a sectional qualifier, and Shane Lowry, who won a World Golf Championship among his three worldwide victories in the past decade, got no special considerations.

 



by Alex Miceli

Golf is one of the most traditional sports, but on Monday it made a major leap into digital reality. The PGA Tour and Discovery announced a 12-year strategic alliance for global TV and multi-platform live rights outside of the U.S.

The $2 billion deal, which expands the PGA Tour international foothold starting in 2019, includes linear coverage of nearly 2,000 hours of content per year. All tours under the PGA Tour umbrella and more than 140 tournaments annually provide the appetizer to a new over the top, or OTT, service that eventually will be available worldwide, with the exception of the U.S.

 


by Alex Miceli

When the Memorial Tournament announced Sunday that Judy Rankin will be the tournament’s 2019 honoree, the decision was highly warranted.

At 73, Rankin has done practically everything in golf, from winning tournaments, to successfully captaining a U.S. Solheim Cup team, to covering golf for ABC and Golf Channel and being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

 


What’s behind Asian dominance on LPGA?

I read with interest the article about the LPGA and the number of Asian women on the tour (“Asian invasion leaves Americans in dust,” June 4). The article points out the obvious but offers no information about the “why” and “how” of the situation.

Clearly, the South Korean education system as it pertains to golf is different from the American system somehow. I would love to see another article that points out why the South Koreans and other Asians are so successful. 

 


12-1

Odds for co-favorites Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy to win the U.S. Open, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Johnson, 33, the 2016 U.S. Open champion, recently slipped to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind Justin Thomas, who was the co-No. 3 choice to win the Open, with Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, at 14-1. Tiger Woods, a three-time U.S. Open champion, was a 16-1 pick, with former major champions Justin Rose and Jason Day. The Open will be played June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., on Long Island (odds).

 


Damaged: La Reunion Golf Resort, the site of the Latinoamerica Tour’s annual Guatemala Stella Artois Open, by the eruption of the Fuego volcano on Sunday, according to a PGA Tour news release. No injuries were reported at the resort in Alotenango in Guatemala’s central highlands, and no further information was disclosed about conditions at La Reunion. At least 65 deaths have been confirmed by Guatemalan emergency officials, with an unknown number of residents missing and hundreds injured. On March 18, Ben Pollard won the fifth annual Stella Artois Open.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Tiger at Memorial

In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts discuss Tiger Woods’ latest hot-and-cold performance and assess his chances at next week’s U.S. Open.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

GDO Sports, a U.S. division of Japan’s Golf Digest Online, will acquire a majority interest in Golftec, the companies announced. The transaction is expected to be completed on July 2. GDO had held a minority stake in Golftec, the world’s largest provider of lessons and club fittings.

 

PGA Golf Club has received a Leadership Recognition Award from the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County, Fla., the club in Port St. Lucie announced. The award, handed out at the EDC’s leadership dinner last month, recognizes PGA Golf Club’s economic contributions to St. Lucie County.

 

Kolter Homes will play its charity golf tournament on June 21 at Bear’s Best Golf Club in Suwanee, Ga. Kolter Homes develops master-planned, active-adult communities in the Southeast.

 

The winner of the Web.com Tour’s recent Rex Hospital Open played Nippon shafts, the Yokohama, Japan-based equipment manufacturer reported. He used Nippon Shaft N.S. Pro Modus Tour 130 X-flex steel shafts in his irons, the company said.

 

K-Motion Interactive reported that Minjee Lee used the company’s biofeedback trainer K-Player in preparation for her recent victory at the LPGA Volvik Championship. K-Motion produces wearable human-motion training applications for golf and other sports.

 

Puma Golf introduced its autumn/winter line of apparel and accessories. The products feature the company’s new FusionYarn fabric, a cotton-polyester blend.

 

Apparel maker Ahead will be staging the merchandise tent at this week’s Principal Charity Classic, a Champions Tour event at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa. Ahead had staged similar operations during the PGA Tour’s most recent stops: last week’s Memorial Tournament and, a week earlier, at the Fort Worth Invitational. The tent, to be located near Wakonda’s 14th hole, will feature merchandise with the tournament logo.

 

Mauna Lani Resort, located on the northwest side of the big island of Hawaii and dozens of miles from the active Kilauea volcano, issued a reminder to visitors that the Kohala Coast is open for business. Air quality in the area is good, according to media reports, and flights are operating normally.

 


CALENDAR
June 5
Industry: Women’s Golf Day
June 6-9
Men’s amateur: Dogwood Invitational

Druid Hills GC, Atlanta

June 7-10
PGA Tour: FedEx St. Jude Classic

TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.

Web.com Tour: Rust-Oleum Championship

Ivanhoe Club, Mundelein, Ill.

European Tour: Shot Clock Masters

Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, Austria

June 8-10
Women’s amateur: Curtis Cup

Quaker Ridge GC, Scarsdale, N.Y.

Symetra Tour: Four Winds Invitational

Blackthorn GC, South Bend, Ind.

LPGA: ShopRite LPGA Classic

Stockton Seaview Hotel and GC, Galloway, N.J.

Champions: Principal Charity Classic

Wakonda Club, Des Moines, Iowa


      
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