TUESDAY  | MARCH 19, 2019
by Mike Purkey

When the PGA Tour persuaded the PGA of America to move its major championship from August to May, it meant the Tour could conduct its FedEx Cup playoff events in August and have the season wrapped up by Labor Day. The aim is to keep the Tour’s biggest events from competing – unsuccessfully – with college football for TV eyeballs.

And the Tour could move its flagship event, the Players Championship, back to March, which many people – including the players – thought was its rightful place. The maneuvers were hailed as a stroke of genius for newly minted PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

But there was collateral damage, and it’s not clear whether it was unintended or, if it was, the decision was made to ignore it and hope that no one would notice.

 


i

by Ted Bishop

Indiana and Kentucky enjoy a spirited sports rivalry, with basketball at the heart of the border states’ quest for bragging rights. Though high school golf doesn’t draw nearly the attention as hoops on either side of the Ohio River, the sport does generate a solid following. A recent decision on the southern side of the river has gotten plenty of attention.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association drew the ire of players, coaches and parents – and even Justin Thomas and Steve Flesch, both Kentuckians and PGA Tour winners. The KHSAA’s Board of Control voted to decrease its field size at the state high school golf championship (“In the news,” Feb. 21). In the past, schools played five golfers and counted four scores. A new rule eliminates the fifth player, reducing the overall field size to 144. The KHSAA decision apparently was implemented before seeking feedback on the format change from other golf entities in the Bluegrass State.

Indiana took a different approach.

 


Simpson needs tighter-fitting shirts ... but not gray
On Sunday at the Players Championship, Webb Simpson broke Rule 9.4b. The rule states, in part: “If the player lifts or deliberately touches his or her ball at rest or causes it to move, the player gets one penalty stroke.” Unless the ball is on the green.

Simpson was standing on the fringe at the 14th hole at TPC Sawgrass when the end of his long putter got snagged on his shirt and caused his ball to move. He was given a one-stroke penalty.

 


8-1

Odds for Rory McIlroy to win the Masters Tournament next month, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. McIlroy, 29, was installed as the favorite after his victory Sunday in the Players Championship.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Players Championship wrap
John Hawkins and Jeff Rude discuss an exciting Players Championship won by Rory McIlroy, who picked up his 15th PGA Tour victory seven weeks before his 30th birthday.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Avis Budget Group has been named the preferred rental-car provider for Troon, the club-management company announced. Troon and Avis will collaborate to offer Troon customers and members of Troon-managed private clubs special rates and offers for their golf travel.

 

Champion Hills in Hendersonville, N.C., has retained The Design Gallery, a nearby interior-design company, to oversee the look of the club new clubhouse. The renovation, which began Jan. 2, is scheduled to be revealed March 21.

 

Three clubs in the Gulf Shores, Ala., area are offering discounts to college students on spring break through May 26. Craig Farms Golf Resort, Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club and Rock Creek Golf Club are offering 50 percent off greens fees for the spring breakers, according to Honours Golf, which manages the facilities.

 

Cliff Drysdale Tennis has been selected to manage tennis operations at Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Ga. The Chateau Elan Racquet Club features three hard courts, two clay courts and four pickleball courts.

 

V1 Sports, which produces golf swing-analysis software for teaching pros and golfers, released an updated version 2.3 of its V1 Golf iOS app. The release is the first of many software updates planned by V1 Sports this year.

 

Club Champion has opened a fitting studio in Owings Hills, Md., the company announced. The 3,000-square-foot store, at 10090 Reisterstown Road, offers lessons and club-fitting services.

 

The winner of the recent Players Championship wore shoes featuring Champ Zarma Tour cleats, according to PrideSports, which manufactures the product. PrideSports noted that 27 of the top 35 finishers wore footwear with replaceable cleats.

 


CALENDAR
March 21-24
European: Maybank Championship

Saujana G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

PGA Tour: Valspar Championship

Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, Fla.

LPGA: Bank of Hope Founders Cup

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Wildfire GC, Phoenix

Web.com: Chitimacha Louisiana Open

Le Triomphe G&CC, Broussard, La.


      
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