FRIDAY  | JANUARY 25, 2019
by Gary Van Sickle

I had multiple thoughts after I climbed aboard FinnCycle, a single-rider golf cart that looks enticingly like an honest-to-gosh motorcycle, and listened to a solid six seconds of driving instruction.

Thought 1: Don’t fall off. Everyone’s looking. Plus, you’re breakable.

 



Saudis aren’t worthy of hosting European Tour
It sickens me that the European Tour chooses to host tournaments in the Arabian Peninsula. Morning Read should be ashamed for its promotional article that fails to mention that these are brutal places that practice Sharia law and are ruled by iron-fisted monarchs (“Saudis turn to golf for cultural growth,” Jan. 24).

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the first- and second-most intolerant countries on earth, and you think it is OK for the European Tour to host golf tournaments there? Do you know the brutal human-rights records of these countries?

 


Filed: By the PGA Tour, a $1.9 million lawsuit against Digital Ally, alleging that the company failed to make payments required in its contract to title sponsor a Web.com Tour tournament, according to a report in the Kansas City Business Journal. The Tour contends in its Jan. 22 filing in U.S. District Court in Kansas City that Digital Ally, which is based in Lenexa, Kan., and produces digital video imaging and storage products for law enforcement, reneged on its five-year contract for the 2015-19 tournaments, failing to make two payments totaling $340,000 in 2017. The Tour is seeking $1.9 million in damages for all unpaid sponsorship fees owed through this year’s tournament, which has been renamed the KC Golf Classic and scheduled for May 9-12 at Blue Hills Country Club in Kansas City, Mo.

 


2

Number of eagles that Spain’s Jon Rahm made in shooting 7-under 29 on his opening nine Thursday en route to a 10-under 62 and the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. Starting on the back nine at Torrey Pines’ North Course, Rahm made eagle on both par 5s, Nos. 10 and 17, and added three birdies. After a misstep with bogey at the par-3 third, he ran off four birdies in a row, on Nos. 5-8. England’s Justin Rose and American Doug Ghim, also playing the North Course, shot 63 to share second place. Tiger Woods, who is making his 2019 debut, birdied all four par 5s and shot 2-under 70 on the South Course, site of eight of his 80 Tour victories, including the 2008 U.S. Open, his most recent major championship (scores).

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

The Grill Room Golf Show
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss the PGA Merchandise Show, known as the “major of golf business.” Feature interviews from the show include Stephanie Zinser, co-owner of Lynx Golf, and Eddie “Lil’ Pro” Merrins. Other topics: Adam Long's recent victory in the Desert Classic and this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.


Hawk & Rude: A sit-down with a standup guy
In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts are joined by longtime swing coach Hank Haney, who discusses former client Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, among other topics.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Lexi Thompson, a 10-time winner on the LPGA, has signed a two-year endorsement deal with Short Par 4, the company announced. Short Par ships brand-name golf apparel and gear to subscribers.

 


CALENDAR
January 22-25
Women’s amateur: Jones/Doherty Women’s Amateur

Coral Ridge CC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

January 23-25
Industry: PGA Merchandise Show

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

January 24-27
PGA Tour: Farmers Insurance Open

Torrey Pines (South) GC, San Diego

European: Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Emirates GC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


      
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