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Opinion & Analysis

Singh’s case against the Tour will be hard to win



On Wednesday, Vijay Singh filed suit against the PGA Tour over his use of deer antler spray claiming he was subjected to “public humiliation and ridicule for months.” In a press release his lawyer stated:

“Singh seeks damages for the PGA Tour’s reckless administration and implementation of its Anti-Doping Program. After exposing Singh, one of the PGA Tour’s most respected and hardest working golfers, to public humiliation and ridicule for months, and forcing Singh to perform the type of scientific analyses and review that the PGA Tour was responsible for performing, the PGA Tour finally admitted that the grounds on which it sought to impose discipline were specious and unsupportable.”

Singh claims he compared the ingredients in the deer antler spray along with the Anti-Doping Program’s banned substance list and the spray did not contain any banned substances. In addition, Singh claims to have submitted to a urine test which came back negative for banned substances.

In the lawsuit, Singh claims the PGA Tour tried to suspend him for 90 days, and only dropped its case after WADA removed the substance in deer antler spray off its banned list.

So the million dollar question is: Does Singh have a case?

Defamation or public humiliation is a very difficult case for a public figure to win. A public figure has less privacy than you or I do. Also, Singh brought this upon himself. He came out in public and announced he took the substance, subjecting himself to the humiliation of taking a “banned” substance, regardless of whether the substance should have been banned or not. If he never came out and said he took the spray, he never would have been subject to suspension and never would have been subject to public humiliation.

In addition, the Tour will likely argue, it follows WADA and WADA determines whether a substance is banned or not. Not to mention, the Tour has a strong argument — it keeps its suspensions private. In fact, it has long been a knock that players mysteriously take a tournament off for no apparent reason after committing an offense the week prior. See Sabbatini, Rory.

The PGA Tour will argue Singh’s suspension would have been kept quiet like every other suspension if it chose to suspend him. The fact that the Tour did not suspend him and dropped the case is further evidence in the Tour’s favor.

In all likelihood, Singh is going to have a pretty difficult time proving what the PGA Tour did alone subject him to public humiliation when he publicly humiliated himself by admitting to taking the substance.

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Seth is an avid golfer playing year round in Florida.



  1. Jim

    May 16, 2013 at 6:54 am

    VJ is right but wrong to waste time, money and his reputation with the suit.

    However, his next lawsuit, his ‘probable’ suit over the banning of the long putter will be the one to watch. He will instigate a ‘class action’ suit against the PGA against the banning.

  2. blopar

    May 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Vijay’s biggest problem is that he is Vijay. Have you ever heard the expression never look for trouble, let trouble come to you? Well Vijay is just the opposite….he always looks for trouble and makes it public! The tour should have kicked his a*s right at the start of this. What a nice guy–they let him off an obvious hook—-and he sues them. Total Jerk!

  3. David Sefton

    May 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    …and Finchem saw fit to support his players, including Singh, over the anchored putter rule!

  4. RH

    May 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Botttom line is he took something that was on the banned list at the time and admitted it. He should’ve been suspended right then and there, it doesn’t matter that WADA removed it from the list after the fact, it was on the list at the time. If it was a nobody on tour he would’ve been suspended,Vijay should just shut his mouth and go to the Senior tour

  5. yo!

    May 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    This is a guy that was banned from the Asian tour in the past for supposedly cheating.

  6. Geoff

    May 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    The biggest reason Singh’s case will fail is not discussed above. Every PGA tour player, per their participation contract, waives the right to sue the Tour on account of drug policy violations. His case won’t survive a motion to dismiss on this ground alone.

    • Devon

      May 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      The thing is, he didn’t violate a drug policy. The PGA violated a rule and that I believe is grounds action. Now, whether it actually makes it into courts or if they come to an agreement is a different story but I believe Singh is in the right with this one regardless of his intentions, unfortunately.

      • Geoff

        May 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        I should have been a touch clearer. I believe the PGA tour waiver is broader and prevents players for suing the Tour for anything related to drug testing, for example false positives and the like. I don’t doubt Singh’s lawyers have considered this and researched it, though. I do also agree that Singh is in the right, the Tour screwed the pooch.

  7. M Bartolomeo

    May 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Such a typical Singh response. As much as I respect him as a player, he is always making the wrong comments and the wrong decisions. All there is left to do is shake your head, and file this one away as another Singh-fu (that would be a Singh snafu).

  8. Steve

    May 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    If Singh didn’t think the deer antler spray provided an advantage, why did he spend so much money to buy it? So now his defense is that he only *intended* to use a performance enhancing substance? And because he wasn’t smart enough to actually cheat, he thinks the PGA defamed him? Wow.

    • Trevor

      May 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

      You’ve completely missed the point. It’s already been deemed non-performance enhancing but the PGA tour didn’t think to have the spray tested BEFORE calling him out as a cheater, they didn’t do ANY research into the spray whatsoever. They basically publicly humiliated and accused him of cheating without evidence.

      • Corey

        May 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm

        the fact that they didnt shouldnt even matter. he took something that he knew was on the ban list, regardless of whether it should have been. he should have petitioned for its removal, then once it was removed start taking it. also, you most likely wont win a defamation case over statements you admit to making. truth is an affirmative defense in a defamation case. hey vijay did you make the statements? vijay:”ya.” case dismissed

        • Corey

          May 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm

          Also, without getting too much into the legal elements, a public figure plaintiff has to prove falsity.

  9. Mat

    May 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    It’s not always about winning. Golfers don’t have a union; they’re ICs.

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Opinion & Analysis

How Tiger Woods lost the 2009 PGA Championship



11 years ago, the PGA Championship produced one of the greatest upsets in sporting history.

The all-conquering Tiger Woods arrived at the 2009 PGA Championship as the prohibitive favorite, having won three of his last four events. Woods then backed up that favoritism over the opening two days, picking apart Hazeltine National with extreme precision to build a four-stroke advantage by the halfway point.

It felt like such a formality that here in Ireland, our biggest bookmaker, PaddyPower declared Tiger as the winner and decided to pay out all outright bets on the World Number One after just 36 holes.

It proved to be a big mistake.

Next week will be the 11th anniversary of the monumental upset, and here I’ll take a look at the factors behind Woods’ unthinkable loss that week to Y.E. Yang.

Tiger’s Ultra-Conservative Saturday

On a scoring Saturday, Woods was too content to play it safe. Why not? After all, the ultimate closer had won so many majors by forging a lead, aiming for the middle of the green, two-putting for par and watching his opponents slowly falter one by one.

Only this time was different, and even Tiger with a two-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round as much as admitted he was too conservative during round three, saying after his round:

“They gave us a lot of room on a lot of these pins, six and seven even from the side, so you can be fairly aggressive. I just felt that with my lead, I erred on the side of caution most of the time.

“If I did have a good look at it, a good number at it, I took aim right at it. Otherwise I was just dumping the ball on the green and 2-putting.”

The incessant safety first, lag putting strategy of Saturday even transformed into a tentativeness at the beginning of Sunday’s final round.

On the par-five seventh hole, with Yang in trouble, Woods had 245 yards to the pin for his second with a huge opportunity to make a statement eagle or textbook birdie. He inexplicably layed up, hit a poor wedge and once again lagged for par.

Horrific Sunday Putting

To say Tiger’s trusty Scotty Cameron betrayed him during Sunday’s final round would be underselling it. Putt after putt just refused to drop when he needed it most.

In the end, Woods’ seven-foot birdie effort on the 14th hole is the only putt of any note he managed to make on the day.

Tiger played Sunday’s final round in 75 strokes. Thirty-three of them were putts.

Yang Stood Up To Tiger

Critics of Woods have long claimed that in his prime, Tiger would crowd his opponents as an intimidation tactic, or rush off the green to the next tee leaving his competitors to putt out while the crowd dispersed.

Regardless, nothing was going to faze Yang that Sunday.

In fact, during the early stretch of the final round, Tiger’s indecision and tentativeness led to the pairing being behind the pace of play. It forced on-course officials to remind the two that they needed to speed it up—and of course, they only stressed that Yang needed to do so.

How did the Korean respond? By pointing at Tiger and saying “Not me. Him.”

The Pivotal Two-Shot Swing

Many look back on Yang’s chip-in eagle to take the lead at the 14th hole on Sunday as the significant turning point of the Championship. However, Yang was always likely to make birdie on the short par-four hole, and the previous hole may well have been the tipping point for the upset.

On the par-three 13th hole, Yang found the bunker, while Woods hit a beauty to eight feet. The two-shot swing in Tiger’s favor looked even more likely when Yang failed to get his bunker shot inside Woods’ ball.

But when Yang buried his par effort, and Woods let yet another putt slip by, the two remained all square.

Woods’ reaction following his putt was telling; his frustration poured out despite him still being in a share of the lead. It was a show of exasperation that may have given the Korean all the encouragement he needed to turn Tiger’s 54 hole major lead record of 14-0 into 14-1.

Asked following his round when he felt his control on the tournament beginning to loosen, Woods said:

“But as far as the tournament switching, 13, I stuffed it in there. He made a mistake, hit it in the left bunker. He blasted out. I missed my putt. He made his. And then he chipped in on the next hole.

“So that two-hole stretch turned — if I make my putt, he doesn’t chip in, you know, he doesn’t make his putt on 13.”

The 2009 PGA Championship preceded a ten-year barren spell for Tiger at the majors before he claimed his fifth green jacket at the 2019 Masters. He is still yet to appear in the final twosome on a Sunday at a major since the 2009 PGA.

As for Y.E Yang, the 48-year-old now spends most of his time competing in Japan and his native Korea. He has played in all 10 PGA Championships since his remarkable victory. He has missed the cut seven times.

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The Gear Dive

The Gear Dive: Brandel Chamblee is back!



In this episode of TGD brought to you by Titleist, Johnny goes in on the distance debate with a friend of the podcast, Brandel Chamblee. Also picks for the WGC, filling a hole in the bag and why the LPGA is the best place to learn how to play.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

How to warm up like a PGA Tour pro




One of the keys to playing a great round of golf stems from how you prepare for your round. When you go to the range, you’ll often see amateur golfers hitting shots quickly and sporadically without much rhyme or reason. On the other hand, when you take a look at players on the PGA Tour, each of them has a well structured and methodical approach to how they warm-up.

From watching the pros, there are a few key takeaways that you can implement in your game to improve the quality of your warm-ups.

Arrive Early

Give yourself enough time to warm up before your round. Showing up 10 minutes before you’re due to tee off is a recipe for disaster and a double bogey waiting to happen on the first hole. Allowing yourself 30 minutes to an hour should be plenty of time to get through an awesome warm-up, leaving you confident when you step onto the first tee box.

Spend More Time Putting

Whether you watch Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas or any other pro, one thing is consistent: they all spend a lot of their warm-up practicing putting, accounting for well over half their practice strokes. And why wouldn’t they? If you 2 putt every hole, you’ll be hitting 36 shots, literally half of all your strokes during the course of your round.

Practicing both long and short putts will give you more confidence standing over your first birdie putt of the day.

Loosen Up

A little bit of stretching before you start hitting shots on the range can go a long way. Stretching before you start will activate your muscles for the day ahead. Spend some time doing bending toe touches, shoulder stretches, lateral twists, and a standing forward bend stretch to maximize your range session.

Work Your Way Up The Bag

When you watch a pro like Jason Day warm-up, you’ll notice when he gets to the range that he’ll start out by hitting shots with a wedge, working up the bag. This is how most pros structure their warm-up for the most part, and they do so to establish rhythm and tempo as they move into their longer irons and woods.

Try this out yourself by hitting some wedges, and then move up your bag using all even or all odd irons. Place emphasis on your short game as you move through your bag; the shots you hit inside 100 yards will lead you to the most scoring opportunities.

Hit Fewer Drives on the Range

It’s fun to hit the driver, but it’s one of the most taxing swings you can make. Plenty of amateur golfers spend way too much time hitting their driver on the range, and wearing themselves out before they get to the first tee. By doing so, not only do you tire yourself out, but you risk throwing off the swing tempo that you’ve worked so hard on during your warm-up.

Definitely still practice hitting drives, but make them count. Try only hitting 5-10 drives, but treating them as if they were on the course.

Hit Practice Shots With Purpose

It’s really easy to get onto the range and start hitting shot after shot in quick succession, trying to get the right swing out as quickly as possible. Not only does this use up a lot of your energy, but it’s not too realistic compared to how you’ll approach your shots on the course.

Instead, take the methodical approach and try to make each shot count. Take the time to set up correctly, paying attention to alignment and ball positioning. Hitting more shots with real intention on the range sets you up for success when you hit the course.

Wrap Up

Implementing some of this structure into your pre-round routine will put you into a position to score. Practicing more putts and placing emphasis on your short game will help you save strokes where they count. These tips will help you take a better approach to golf.


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