September 03, 2004
Volume III, Issue 12
Wonder if he'd wear an Off the Fringe hat when he goes pro?
Amateur golf does not have the panache of the old days, when Bobby Jones dominated the game. To make your mark in the game today, you do so as a pro. But it is difficult to ignore the success of Ryan Moore this summer. After his recent U.S. Amateur victory, Moore, 21, had achieved a summer slam of amateur golf. He also won the U.S. Amateur Public Links, the Western Amateur and the NCAA Division I-A individual title. Moore will be a senior at UNLV. And if that is not enough, Moore became one of just four men to win two USGA events in the same year. The first was Chick Evans in 1916, who was the first player to ever win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open in the same year. Jones (1930 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open) and Jay Sigel (1983 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur) were the others.
We interrupt this game to piss you off....
Golf fans in the Denver area were throwing golf balls at their television sets on Aug. 15 as the PGA Championship was coming to its dramatic conclusion. Why? Because the local station they were watching was obligated to show a Denver Broncos-Buffalo Bills preseason football game. KCNC left the golf tournament with Vijay Singh and Justin Leonard about to putt on the 72nd green. Uh, that only happened to be about the most important part of the whole day. Leonard missed, Singh made and then Singh won in a three-hole playoff while those in the Rocky Mountains got to watch Mike Shanahan roam the sideline in a meaningless game. KCNC officials said the station was contractually obligated to show the entire football game, although it could have stayed with the golf another 10 minutes. Gee, thanks. The station eventually showed a replay at 10:50 PM.
His roar has become a meow...
Tiger Woods has shown us in many ways this year that he is just another excellent pro golfer. He didn't contend in the major championships, seems on the verge of losing his No. 1 world ranking -- which he's held since 1999 -- has just one PGA Tour title this year, which came back in February. Here's more evidence: six players have more victories this year than Woods. Vijay Singh has won five times, while Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Stewart Cink have each won two. Stewart Cink? Don't count Tiger out, but even he must be harboring doubts.
Martha, better lower the toilet seat when you read this...
The national champion UCLA women's team is going to take on the big boys. The Bruins women will be the only college team comprised of females at the Gold Rush College Golf Showcase, Sept, 17-18, to be played at the PGA of Southern California Golf Club in Beaumont, Calif. The women will play the same tees, about, 7,200 yards, in the 54-hole tournament that is being hosted by the UCLA men's team. UCLA women's coach Carrie Forsyth called it "a unique experience and one I think is going to be beneficial in the long run.'' There are 30 teams in the tournament, and you can be the 29 men's teams will be grinding their tails off to finish ahead of at least one team.
Before we start, let's get one thing straight. Off the Fringe couldn't care less if your clothes match or if you pull your "Vinny Barbarino" socks all the way to the knees! As long as you follow the code!
So here we go. It's time we all learned how to dress on the golf course and respect some of the traditions of the game. Hey the plaid pants identity took a long time to establish itself; we don't want to see it thrown away like Tiger's Harmon coached swing!
Here are the basics for everyone to understand:
Follow these rules, and you should never have a problem. If you don't follow them, you should expect some resistance. Clubs pros are in the business because they respect the game and its history. That includes plus-fours and wingtips. Besides, if the members of the club who own houses along the course see a golfer who is out of dress code they will complain about it and the pro will get the kibosh! Yeah, sometimes it seems silly, we know. But hey, we didn't make the rules.
- No Denim - Jeans, cut-off or otherwise
- No T-Shirts - It does not matter if it's a $300 Prada
- Collared shirts always - both ladies and men
- Sleeveless shirts are allowed for ladies, not for men
- For men, Bermuda shorts or slacks are allowed
- For ladies, Bermuda shorts, skirt or slacks are permitted
- For most courses, soft spikes are required
Styles and designs change enough to let any person feel comfortable wearing the proper attire on the course.
He says he's not a counter, but he counts in a very big way...
It wasn't that long ago that Allen Doyle's source of income was a driving range in LaGrange, Ga. It was there where Doyle grooved his hockey-style, slapshot swing and became a pretty accomplished amateur. Doyle turned pro in his late 40s to prepare for a shot at senior golf. Doyle, 56, has done quite well for himself, earning nearly $10-million. Three years ago, after winning a season-long points competition that was worth a $1-million annuity, Doyle donated it to seven charities. Recently he made another generous offer, donating $1.1-million to his alma mater, Norwich University. "First of all, who ever thought that I'd be in position to do something like that. I never had a bunch of money, so I never thought about it. But there are people in life who have money and count it. And there are people in life who have money and use it for good purposes. I'm not a counter.'' Here's hoping Mr. Doyle keeps prospering on the Champions Tour.
Monty will be bringing his rabbit ears to Detroit...
The Ryder Cup would not be the same without Colin Montgomerie. Europe needs him on the team and Monty needs to be on the team. And American fans need him there to taunt. Not that we're condoning the over-the-top behavior Monty endured five years ago at Brookline. But getting on the frumpy, Mrs. Doubtfire adds to the fun.
That said, Monty is tough at the Ryder Cup. He's arguably been the best on either side of the Atlantic during the past three matches. And that is why European captain Bernhard Langer made him one of his at-large selections for the Ryder Cup, Sept. 17-19 at Oakland Hills.
Despite constant taunting at Brookline, a situation that become so bad that the late Payne Stewart went into the crowd to try and quiet the offenders, Montgomerie battled Stewart to the final hole that day in a tense match. Stewart eventually conceded the 18th when the U.S. had clinched the Cup, and Monty claimed a 1-up victory.
Two years ago at the Belfry, Monty was the star of the European team that whipped the Americans, going 4-0-1. Overall, in 28 matches, Montgomerie is 16-7-5, with a 4-0-2 record in singles. It doesn't hurt that Monty has had his best success in the U.S. at venues such as Oakland Hills, where he tied for 10th at the 1996 U.S. Open.
"Something tends to trigger me on Friday morning (at the Ryder Cup),'' Montgomerie said. "I think there is a patriotism, but it's hating losing, really. I've always enjoyed a match-play situation more than I ever have stroke play.'' Now, if he could just block out all the insults.
What would a pro golfer do?
The Olympics are over but the controversy has yet to subside. My guess is that Paul Hamm, the U.S. Olympic gymnast, would be a national and media hero had he given back his gold medal, the one he got not only because of an excellent performance but also because of a scoring error. A South Korean gymnast finished second because of the fiasco, and Hamm is made to look the fool because of it.
Golfers are noted for calling penalties on themselves, often giving up strokes that nobody knew they took, for the good of the game and themselves. The nicest sense of personal honor displayed by golfers helps set golf apart from other sports.
But should Hamm give back his medal when he did nothing wrong? Good question.
In golf, too, players have been the beneficiaries of judges incorrect rulings that worked in their favor. Remember Ernie Els at the 1994 U.S. Open. He essentially took an illegal drop during the final round, but he did so only because the USGA official walking with his group told him he could. Later, it was learned, the official erred. Els got a huge break -- a nice lie and a better angle to the pin -- and ended up prevailing in a playoff. Should he have given the trophy back? Earlier this year, Stewart Cink was chastised for moving loose impediments in a waste bunker during a playoff. He then hit an incredible shot that set up the winning birdie. Some wondered if Cink broke the rules. But an official was right there and didn't call a penalty. Should Cink have given back the trophy?
Golfers get a retry almost every week. The Olympics are only once every 4 years and most athletes get at most 2 Olympic shots in a lifetime. It's a difficult call. But like most tough calls, making the hard choice often elevates you to a higher plane.