TUESDAY  | APRIL 2, 2019
by John Hawkins

The greatest sporting event on earth isn’t played in a stadium with a retractable roof or an arena subsidized by $500 million in taxpayer dollars. It takes place on a brilliantly disguised piece of property in Augusta, Ga., across the street from the Publix at National Plaza. If you’re standing at the intersection of Washington and Berckmans on the northern edge of town, heaven is just a flip wedge away.

Not that the folks who run the Masters want you to notice them. In an age when excess is confused with success, they basically refuse to hyperbolize their purpose or their product. Beyond the staggering beauty of the grounds, the membership at Augusta National Golf Club clings to its anachronistic sensibilities, as if to suggest that it’s still OK to leave well enough alone.

 



by Mike Purkey

It feels as though they’ve taken our rules, our language and our civility. You can putt with the flagstick in. It’s not a hazard; it’s a penalty area. You can’t halve a hole any longer; it’s a tie. And people play music – play music! – while playing a round of golf.

This is 21st-century golf. It’s critical that We Who Are A Little Older accept this youth-anasia of our game. We must holster our complaints that we’re losing our traditions and how the game is on the verge of changing beyond recognition.

 


Blame Garcia and nobody else
The only person at fault in the Matt Kuchar-vs.-Sergio Garcia fiasco was Garcia (“Match Play reveals a few warts on Tour,” April 1).

Kuchar didn't show the compassion of Jack Nicklaus when Nicklaus conceded to Tony Jacklin in the 1969 Ryder Cup, but Kuchar had no reason to do so. Garcia has proved time and time again that he will allow his temper to get him into trouble, and that's exactly what happened in the quarterfinals of the WGC Match Play.

 


7

Number of playoff holes that Kevin Sutherland needed to outlast Scott Parel and win the Champions Tour’s Rapiscan Systems Classic. Sutherland and Parel had tied at 7-under 209 after 54 holes at Fallen Oak in Biloxi, Miss., and they remained deadlocked after five extra holes when darkness intervened Sunday.

 


Qualified: Justin Harding and Shane Lowry, for the Masters, based on their position in the Official World Golf Ranking. No. 48 Harding, of South Africa, and No. 49 Lowry, of Ireland, earned top-50 exemptions based on the final world ranking before next week’s Masters.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: A flap over 4 inches
Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude tear into the debacle involving Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar at the WGC Match Play.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Pinehurst No. 2 repeated as the top course in North Carolina in the North Carolina Golf Panel’s 2019 rankings. Seventeen Pinehurst-area courses were listed among the top 100 in the state, including No. 4 Pine Needles and No. 5 Country Club of North Carolina’s Dogwood Course.

 

Troon has been selected to manage Hunting Creek Country Club in Prospect, Ky. The private club, founded in 1964 and set on a bluff near the Ohio River, will be overseen by Troon Privé, the management company’s private-club division.

 

Puma Golf has announced the apparel lineup for its three representatives at next week’s Masters. Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland will be wearing pieces from Puma Golf’s Summer ’19 Collection, including the new Union Camo gear.

 

Club Champion, with its Science and Motion PuttLab technology, aspires to fit golfers so that they can save strokes on the greens. Club Champion’s fitters analyze SAM PuttLab metrics to fit a golfer’s stroke to the proper equipment. A tour-level putter fitting costs $100 and takes about one hour.

 

Magnolia Green, an active-lifestyle community in Moseley, Va., announced three new members to its leadership team. General manager Tim Bello joins head golf professional Marc DeSisto and sales director Alissa Tarr at the community, which features Magnolia Green Golf Club.

 

All four semifinalists at the recent WGC Match Play wore cleated footwear, including the winner, who prevailed in FootJoy Tour-S golf shoes with Champ Pivix cleats. The winner of the Tour’s other event, the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic, also wore cleated shoes: the Asics Gel Ace Master model, with Champ Stinger cleats.

 


CALENDAR
April 3-6
Women’s amateur: Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Champions Retreat and Augusta (Ga.) National GC

April 4-7
LPGA: ANA Inspiration

Mission Hills CC (Dinah Shore Tournament), Rancho Mirage, Calif.

PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open

TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks), San Antonio

April 5-7
Symetra: Windsor Golf Classic

Windsor (Calif.) GC


      
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