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Caddy Races banned from WM Phoenix Open

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And they’re off!

No, really, they’re off. In “you’re gonna poke someone’s eye out” motherly fashion, the PGA Tour has banned the caddy races.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has been donned “The Greatest Show on Grass.” The climax of the show occurs at the par-3 No. 16, which resembles more of a fraternity tailgate party than a golf event. It’s standing room only with 20,000-plus sports fans packed into stadium seating and skyboxes surrounding the 162-yard hole. They spend the day drinking beers, making bets and cheering on the competitors.

In recent years, fans began gambling on which players’ caddy will reach the putting surface first. This led to caddies, lugging 45-plus pound golf bags, running from the elevated teeing area through grass and desert sand to the green trying to beat their fellow loopers. It was a scene unlike any other.

In a game built upon reverence and respect, it’s fun to see grown men acting like kids. However, the adolescent behavior from the spectators, players and caddies caused an unsettled feeling in the not-so-pleased, over-protective parents.

[youtube id=”Wb4EWPybZjo” width=”620″ height=”360″]

A caddy, who was in the lead in one of the 2013 races, tripped over a grass hill and took a tumble. The golf bag and clubs flipped over his body, and the two other caddies sprinted past him. Rowdy fans cheered and jeered as the caddy somersaulted.

[youtube id=”F0MJGLZEHMo” width=”620″ height=”360″]

The PGA Tour, however, apparently wasn’t amused and has prohibited the contest.

The tournament host itself showed nothing but support for the comical tradition. It even developed an app where the fans can guess which caddy would prevail in each group. The fan with the most correct guesses would earn tickets to the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The caddy races have been outlawed, but you can bet the 20,000 inebriated fans will come up with another juvenile game to gamble on.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Troy

    Aug 16, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Come on PGA, Loosen the top button and breathe. For a sport that is diminishing and tends to put TV viewers asleep on Sunday afternoons; you might be taking away the one venue that some non die hard golf fans enjoy. Put down the fine China and 100 year aged bottle. Grab a few bud lights and some buddies and go have fun!

  2. Kevin

    Aug 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Cmon PGA… let the caddies decide. God forbid we get any fun traditions happening in USA golf other than a green jacket…

  3. Rich

    Aug 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

    let’em run for Fun!

  4. Randy

    Aug 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Sounds like somebody’s momma is worried that her waddle marsmewwo could get hurt and no one would be there to tiss his boo boo. Or her boy lost and its not fair that some one can run faster. Talk about WUSSIFYING something fun ya panzies.

  5. Jhm

    Aug 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    So they give out (few) penalties for slow play, and now they outlaw fast play….
    Seriously, “mashed potatoes” is a far worse issue.

  6. Brenden Grant

    Aug 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Hey: i just think the tour is like the rest of society today in that they are being very protective so they won’t have to pay out for medical or law suite if a caddie or two get’s injured. It should be do it at your own rist policy. Thanks

  7. ndog

    Aug 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Smart move PGA! Piss off an angry mob!

  8. J

    Aug 13, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Yea! Great idea!

    Get rid of fun.

    Kudos PGA… All the screaming on tee boxes and your focused on getting rid of a simple foot race….

    • DB

      Aug 13, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Agreed J. The WM is that one event all year that is completely different. Having been there once it is more like a rock concert more than a golf tournament. That being said I think there are alot of players that love playing in it. Not a fan of banning the caddie races. I guess the PGA tour’s philosophy is if you can’t beat um join um. Instead of fighting the anchoring ban, they ban caddie races. Time to grow a backbone. They are the biggest presence in the game, not the USGA or PGA of america. Grow the game! Pull the stick’s out of your…

  9. Arthur J

    Aug 13, 2013 at 8:34 am

    As per the comment above, in a rather more serious tone, the Tour does need to sort out all the shouting milliseconds after impact.

    Get the focus right.

    P.s. reading in the news on the East side of the pond that the PGA Tour are seriously looking to take over in Europe – personally I think this is a great idea (even as a European) and would be interested in any GolfWRX insider knowledge on the subject?

    We have so many great courses, players and fans willing to support events over here where more big names are present, I think it can only be a good thing. A bit like creating a World Golf Super Tour, getting rid of some ho-hum events in the States and making most Tour weeks equivalent to WGC or Major fields.

  10. Danny

    Aug 13, 2013 at 7:51 am

    This is a slippery slope. Next thing we know they are going to try to ban Baba Booooey!!!

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Tour News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Bill Haas injured in fatal car crash in Los Angeles

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Bill Haas was involved in a fatal car crash in Pacific Palisades, Calif., site of the Genesis Open, Tuesday night.

The 35-year-old was riding in the passenger seat of a Ferrari driven by a member of the family with whom Haas is staying this week. According to LA County fire officials, the Ferrari collided with a BMW driven by a 50-year-old woman. Haas and the driver of the BMW were transported to a local hospital. The 71-year-old male driver of the Ferrari was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Ferrari also reportedly “clipped” a vehicle driven by actor Luke Wilson prior to the rollover. Wilson was not injured, per a police report.

Per PGATour.com, Bill Haas’ manager, Allen Hobbs of Players Group Management, released the following statement Wednesday morning.

“Last night in Pacific Palisades, California, Bill Haas was involved in a serious car accident in which the driver—a member of the family with whom Haas and his family were staying for the Genesis Open—was killed. While Bill escaped serious injuries and has been released from the hospital, he is understandably shaken up and—more importantly—his deepest condolences go out to the host family during this tragic and difficult time.“

“Bill will withdraw from the Genesis Open and plans to head home to Greenville to recover. He appreciates the support of friends, family and the golf world as a whole, and he has asked for privacy as he processes what has happened.“

Geoff Shackelford tweeted this video of the KTLA coverage of the crash.

Bill Haas’ father, Jay, spoke with Todd Lewis on Golf Channel’s morning drive earlier in the day, saying his son was “very fortunate.” Beyond swelling in one of his legs and pain, Haas sustained no serious injuries, according to his father.

See the discussion in the forums here

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