TUESDAY  | APRIL 30, 2019
by Bill Fields

Frank Beard celebrates his 80th birthday on Wednesday, a milestone that those of us who grew up watching professional golf in the 1960s and ’70s might find hard to fathom. (CBS Golf Classic, anyone?) Businesslike and bespectacled, Beard didn’t stand out from the Ban-Lon brigade like his golf bag, one of those orange Powerbilt staff models.

“He looks at you,” observed Furman Bisher, the late Atlanta sports columnist, “like an assistant bank cashier who wants some identification before he cashes the check.”

 


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by Julie Williams

The Waste Management Phoenix Open hardly struggles for storylines. The hooks span environmental efforts to a rowdy stadium hole. A college player undeniably added something different to that hype this winter, though, when he brought a quirky swing and a PGA Tour-readiness to his debut in the national spotlight.

Sometimes, such as in the case of Oklahoma State sophomore Matthew Wolff, an amateur invitee steals the show. It’s becoming more common in regular-season events, as more PGA Tour tournaments make way for amateurs, whether that’s by extending a sponsor exemption directly, or by creating a way for a player to qualify, such as by winning a major amateur or college event.

 


 Morning Read's Alex Miceli likes how "opposites," Spaniard Jon Rahm of Spain and American Ryan Palmer, met in the winner's circle at the PGA Tour's only team event.
 In a nod to Brooks Koepka's career plan, three Americans finish among the top five in Morocco.
 Pay no attention to Tiger Woods and his limp. It means nothing.
 Lexi Thompson and her "thin skin" have no business being on social media.


Give dreamers a better shot at U.S. Open
John Hawkins and I seldom disagree, but on this one, we do (“NCAA champion gets what he deserves,” April 26). Why should any amateur be exempt into PGA Tour events?

I have my issue about the Official World Golf Ranking. The ranking is way overused for commercial purposes – TV rights, etc. That’s OK for PGA Tour events, but for the Opens, it’s nonsense.

 


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Percentage increase in rounds played in March compared with the same month last year, according to Golf Datatech’s National Rounds Played Report. With the slight uptick, the number of rounds played for the first three months of 2019 is down 2.7 percent from the first quarter of 2018.

 




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Club Champion has opened a retail store in Columbus, Ohio, the club fitter announced. The store, at 3644 West Dublin Granville Rd., offers lessons and club-fitting services.

 

Footwear maker Ecco has introduced its lightest leather golf shoe. The Ecco S-Lite features an outsole that is two-thirds thinner than previous models.

 

The Annika Foundation has released the first 10 women’s college teams that will participate in the 2019 Annika Intercollegiate. Defending champion Alabama will be joined by No. 1-ranked Southern Cal, No. 2 Duke, No. 5 Texas, No. 6 Arkansas, plus defending national champion Arizona, Arizona State, South Carolina, UCLA and host Minnesota. The tournament will be played Sept. 15-18 at Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minn.

 

Jim Boeheim, the longtime men’s basketball coach at Syracuse University, will join host Matt Ginella on the next episode of “Golf Advisor Round Trip.” The show will air from Turning Stone Resort, a 54-hole site operated by the Oneida Indian Nation in Verona, N.Y., and premiere at 7:30 p.m. EDT today. The Golf Channel travel series takes viewers to golf destinations around the world.

 

Footwear maker Ecco congratulated spokeswoman Minjee Lee for her victory Sunday at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. Lee, 22, of Australia, wore Ecco’s BioM G2 shoe in her triumph at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles.

 

Potomac Shores Golf Club in Dumfries, Va., recently completed a renovation led by Nicklaus Design and Troon’s agronomy team. The work included re-grassing fairways and bunker renovations, a two-phase project that lasted 10 months.

 

Joshua Jacobs, the founder of TGA Premier Golf, addressed the question of whether Tiger Woods and his recent Masters victory will spur golf participation, particularly among youngsters. TGA Premier Golf is on pace to enroll its one-millionth student in its in-school and after-school programs by the end of 2020.

 

Royal Albartross will celebrate the summer major-championship season with new lines of men’s and women’s golf shoes. The Ladies Liberty women’s shoe will be introduced in June, and a new line of the Croco men’s model will launch in July.

 

Short Par 4 celebrates its five-year anniversary this spring, the box-subscription service announced. The company ships apparel and accessories endorsed by some of the game’s top players to subscribers.

 

The winning teammates in the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans were wearing cleated footwear, according to PrideSports, which manufactures the Champ and Softspikes brands. The winners wore FootJoy DryJoy shoes with Softspikes Cyclone cleats and Adidas Tour360 Boa shoes with ThinTech EXP cleats.

 


CALENDAR
April 27 - May 1
Women’s amateur: U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball

Timuquana CC, Jacksonville, Fla.

April 28 - May 1
Men’s pro: PGA Professional Championship

Belfair GC (East and West), Bluffton, S.C.

May 1
Industry: National Golf Day

Capitol Hill, Washington

May 2-5
European: Volvo China Open

Genzon GC, Shenzhen, China

LPGA: LPGA Mediheal Championship

Lake Merced GC, Daly City, Calif.

PGA Tour: Wells Fargo Championship

Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

Web.com: Nashville Golf Open

Nashville (Tenn.) Golf & Athletic Club

May 3-5
Champions: Insperity Invitational

Woodlands (Texas) CC (Tournament)


      
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