THURSDAY  | JANUARY 31, 2019
by Alex Miceli

Is it arrogance, hypocrisy or just pure stupidity? That is what the players competing this week in the European Tour’s inaugural Saudi International, which begins today, are saying about the comments by Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

In his recent pontifications on TV, Chamblee stated that the players are turning a blind eye toward Saudi Arabia’s history of human-rights violations and the killing last fall of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident. Chamblee labeled the tour and any players competing here “a ventriloquist for this abhorrent reprehensible regime.” The CIA concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the Oct. 2 slaying, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi government denied any involvement.

 



by Gary Van Sickle

The par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale has a reputation to uphold. It is the biggest bad-ass in golf.

This is no Sweet 16 during the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open. This hole might be the only place in golf where a player can get booed. Miss the green with a short iron and get booed. Miss a putt and get booed. Fail to tip your cap after an entire grandstand section chants, “Tip your cap! Tip your cap!” as you walk to the green, and you get booed.

 


Without Miller, NBC boosts Tiger Fan Club
A bunch of us were sitting around our club last fall when it was announced that Paul Azinger would be taking over for Johnny Miller as NBC’s analyst. Great, we sighed. Just another reason not to watch golf on television (“Miller to sign off this week as best in golf,” Jan. 29).

Sure, it made sense if you're NBC. Another Tiger Woods lover in the fold. But doesn't the guy already have enough industry sycophants? Hire someone who's occasionally halfway objective.

 


48

Number of cumulative strokes under par that Jon Rahm has scored in his three starts this year, resulting in three top-10 finishes. Rahm, 24, a Spaniard who played college golf at Arizona State, will have plenty of support at the Waste Management Phoenix Open when play begins today at TPC Scottsdale (tee times).

 


Promoted: To president of the Web.com Tour, Alexandra “Alex” Baldwin, the PGA Tour announced. Baldwin is the first female to lead one of the PGA Tour’s six circuits.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

The Grill Room Golf Show
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss Justin Rose, who validated his No. 1 world ranking with a victory in the recent Farmers Insurance Open. Next up: This week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Also, Bubka interviews golf instructor Hank Haney.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Hector Velazquez, who produces instructional videos for “Hector’s Shop,” has been named the winner of the 2018 Edwin Budding Award by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. The award is named for the inventor of the lawn mower and given annually to an equipment manager or related innovator who has made a significant impact in the golf and turf business.

 

The Bayer Superintendent Grant Program will send 10 members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America to next month’s Golf Industry Show, the GCSAA announced. The winners include five superintendents from areas of the Southeast that were affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael. The Golf Industry Show will be Feb. 2-7 in San Diego.

 

SubAir Systems will offer discounted prices on its subsurface aeration and moisture-management products during the Golf Industry Show next week in San Diego. Buyers can save $1,000 or more on a SubAir golf unit or up to $350 on TurfBreeze Fans with orders placed at the show or quoted through Feb. 28.

 


CALENDAR
January 31 - February 3
PGA Tour: Waste Management Phoenix Open

TPC Scottsdale (Ariz.)

Web.com: Country Club de Bogota Championship

CC de Bogota-Lagos, Bogota, Colombia

European: Saudi International

Royal Greens G&CC, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

February 1-3
Men’s amateur: Jones Cup

Ocean Forest GC, Sea Island, Ga.


      
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