After the Dec. 21 issue, Morning Read will not publish again until Jan. 2
by Gary Van Sickle

Looking back, the 2018 golf year had one player’s name stamped all over it. I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with Liger.

Yeah, that was a layup. If you didn’t deduce the answer, go back to reading Bowling Digest. Tiger Woods had a surprising and memorable year. He made an unlikely comeback from back issues and stamped his pawprints all over golf. Instead of reliving Woods’ greatest hits, though, let’s examine 2018’s major championships and rank the best 16 majors.


Relaxed divot rule would unearth new problems
Is a seeded divot repair still a divot if the grass has grown but not to maturity? Is a divot area where the sod from a shot has been replaced a divot? Is the seam where the divot sod has been replaced a divot? What about in the rough ... divot relief there, too? When is it a divot and not an area where grass is patchy? What about an unraked bunker “divot”?

If readers accurately believe there are cheaters and/or people who manipulate the rules for their benefit (Tiger Woods doesn’t know when he double-hits a shot), imagine the arguments that will take place. Think that will increase pace of play? And how is the “field” protected in any event when groups interpret the rule differently?


Announced: By Braden Thornberry, that he has turned professional and will forgo the spring season of his senior year at Ole Miss. Thornberry, 21, of Olive Branch, Miss., won the 2017 NCAA title and the Haskins Award as college golf’s top player. He also won the 2018 McCormack Medal as the top-ranked amateur in the world and leaves Ole Miss with a school-record 11 tournament victories. He tied for 74th in the recent Tour Qualifying Tournament and holds conditional status for the developmental tour.



Number of strokes by which American David Lipsky won the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Sunday in Malelane, South Africa. Lipsky recovered from a double bogey at the par-3 16th hole at Leopard Creek Country Club to birdie the par-5 18th for a 4-under 68 and 14-under 274 total. Scotland’s David Drysdale (67) placed second at 12-under 276. It was the second victory on the European Tour and first since 2014 for Lipsky, 30, a Californian and Northwestern alumnus.



Hawk & Rude: Rules school
In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts discuss the upcoming changes to the Rules of Golf with USGA official Craig Winter.


Short Par 4 has teamed with 2 Undr to offer a discount on men’s athletic underwear. Subscribers of Short Par 4, a box subscription service for branded golf apparel, can receive a 20-percent discount at


December 18-21
Women’s amateur: Dixie Women’s Amateur

Woodlands CC (East), Tamarac, Fla.

December 19-22
Men’s amateur: South Beach International Amateur

Miami Beach (Fla.) GC

December 28-30
Men’s amateur: Orlando International Amateur

Orange County National (Panther Lake, Crooked Cat), Winter Garden, Fla.

Women’s amateur: Arizona Silver Belle

Talking Stick GC, Scottsdale, Ariz.

December 28-31
Men’s amateur: Patriot All-America

Wigwam Golf Resort, Litchfield Park, Ariz.

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