THURSDAY  | JUNE 27, 2019
by Dan O’Neill

Forgive the expression, but Major League Baseball is taking some lumps over fan safety. Another spectator, a 14-year-old girl, was hurt by a foul ball on Sunday in Los Angeles. Last August, a woman died after being struck in the head by a ball at Dodger Stadium.

That’s not to single out Dodger Stadium. Serious incidents have taken place at other ballparks. After several fans were injured in 2017, all 30 stadia expanded protective netting to at least the far ends of the dugouts. But the line drive that struck the girl on Sunday flew beyond the extension, prompting demands to expand netting further.

 


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by Adam Schupak

Shortly before the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, CBS Sports anchor Jim Nantz was asked to do a radio interview with Detroit news station WJR-AM (760) to promote the upcoming Rocket Mortgage Classic. Nantz asked for a list of the early commitments. When he scanned the list, the top three names were Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland.

“I thought, Woodland is the No. 3?” Nantz said. “Holy smokes. He’s a good player, but he’s not a guy who sells tickets like Rickie. Then he goes and wins the Open. I should’ve flown to Vegas the minute I thought that and bet the house on Gary.”

 


Par (like points for a field goal) is just a number
Fans like to see long drives and greens hit, rather than guys hacking the ball out sideways from knee-deep rough. But, the USGA wants scores close to par to win the U.S. Open. It seems as if the easy solution would be to change par at the “classic” courses for the week of the U.S. Open and other major championships.

Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court justice, correctly opined in the Casey Martin case (PGA Tour v. Martin, 2001) that all rules in sports are inherently arbitrary. Where in the cosmic universe does it say that you are out after three strikes, that a field goal in football counts as three points, or that par on a U.S. Open course has to be the same as par for play by mere mortals? These are all arbitrary rules set by governing bodies for their sport or event.

 


Secured: Berths in next month’s British Open, by 14 players via the Official World Golf Ranking, the R&A announced.

 


3

Number of victories in the 2018-19 PGA Tour season – one apiece – among the 7:35 a.m. EDT pairing today at Detroit Golf Club’s 10th tee for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Rickie Fowler won the Phoenix Open, Charles Howell III claimed the RSM Classic in the fall, and Kevin Kisner won the WGC Match Play.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

The Grill Room Golf Show
Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss the Travelers Championship and Chez Reavie, who overcame career struggles for his first victory in 11 years. The hosts also recap victories by Hannah Green and Jerry Kelly, and preview this week’s U.S. Senior Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Morning Read’s Alex Miceli joins Bubka to talk about Michelle Wie’s situation.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge announced a new stay-and-play package for the resort in Orlando, Fla. The Perfectly Palmer Golf Package includes two nights’ accommodations at The Lodge at Bay Hill, with breakfast, lunch and golf daily, plus other amenities. Prices begin at $330 per person, and the package is available through Jan. 15.

 

Golf Channel announced its tournament coverage plans this week for play on four major professional tours. The network and/or its parent NBC Sports will televise the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, the LPGA’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, the Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship and the European Tour’s Andalucia Masters.

 

Julie Cole has joined the Golf Learning Center at Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head Island, S.C., the resort announced. Cole, a former LPGA player who won 12 times worldwide, recently had been the master instructor at Ballantyne Golf Academy in Charlotte, N.C.

 

Giants Ridge’s The Quarry course has been ranked the best public course in Minnesota by Golf Digest and No. 4 in the state among all courses. The Jeff Brauer-designed course sits on the site of a former sand quarry and iron-ore mine in Biwabik, Minn., in the Mesabi Iron Range.

 

Construction has begun on a 10-hole par-3 course at Forest Dunes in Roscommon, Mich. Architects Riley Johns and Keith Rhebb will oversee the project, which is expected to be finished by summer 2020. Forest Dunes features a Tom Weiskopf-designed course plus Tom Doak’s The Loop, a reversible course.

 


CALENDAR
June 25-29
Men’s amateur: North & South Amateur

Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort

June 27-30
PGA Tour: Rocket Mortgage Classic

Detroit (Mich.) GC

Korn Ferry: Utah Championship

Oakridge CC, Farmington, Utah

Champions: U.S. Senior Open

Warren GC, Notre Dame, Ind.

European: Andalucia Masters

Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain

June 28-30
Symetra: Prasco Charity Championship

TPC River’s Bend, Maineville, Ohio

LPGA: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Pinnacle CC, Rogers, Ark.


      
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