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Golf architect found guilty of smuggling illegal wildlife items, faces up to five years in prison

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Golf architect, Keith Foster, admitted on Wednesday that his now-closed business, The Outpost, had been illegally smuggling items made from exotic and endangered animals.

Foster’s shop, located in Middleburg, Va, had been selling the likes of crocodile skin wallets, giant sea turtle shells, blades made of sawfish, mounted brown owls and ostrich feather dusters. The 66-year-old confessed to the infringements, and as well as his shop having been closed down, he also agreed to forfeit $275,000 as well as 175 wildlife products.

Foster, whose famous course designs include The Quarry in San Antonio, Dark Horse GC in Auburn, Shepherd’s Crook in Zion and Coral Canyon in St. George, made no secret of the illegal items that he was selling, openly promoting them on both the shop’s website and Instagram account.

According to court records, Foster told the agent of his sawfish blades “In truth, I shouldn’t be bringing those in..I’m the only fool in the States that probably wants to risk it,” per a Washington Post report.

Foster also disclosed to the agent that his method of deviance involved hiding the illegal products in falsely labeled shipping containers when sending them back from abroad.

An employee of The Outpost, Lauren Rhodes, told the undercover agent according to a search warrant that the shop “only ever had one thing caught, which I think is pretty good.” But ultimately the shop was raided by the authorities and closed several months ago.

The golf architect pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act, a 1900 federal law that prohibits trafficking in illegal wildlife. He is set to be sentenced on March 8, 2019, and faces a maximum of five years behind bars.

(h/t Ethan Zimman on Twitter)

 

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Speedy

    Dec 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Golf chum.

  2. Cruella Daville

    Dec 24, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Whatever, we’re not talking about White Rhino horns here. Dude got screwed, but he knew he was playing with fire.

  3. Mario

    Dec 24, 2018 at 1:13 am

    I heard that the straw that broke the camels back was the Dalmatian Puppy coats that he was smuggling.

  4. joro

    Dec 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Never heard of da bum

  5. Jamie

    Dec 21, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Death penalty? Start with yourselves for suggesting such. 5 years and never working in golf architecture again will suffice.

  6. Rich Douglas

    Dec 20, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Jerk.

  7. Dave

    Dec 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I’ve played Dark Horse a couple times. It demonstrated to me that this guy is a mean person. Just kidding.

  8. FiftyOneFifty

    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    I’ll take 2 sawfish jawbones, a sea turtle shell, couple elephant tusks, a rhino horn, and top it off with some lion mane fur. Cause ya know, I need that stuff, for my collections..

  9. Jose Pinatas

    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    WTF…..

  10. A. Ward

    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Humanity will be judged by how we treat animals. This is shameful and he deserves jail time. We will never shop there again.

    • Mower

      Dec 20, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      Can’t believe this d-bag! If he has any tiger fur, he needs to be put down… like six feet down.

  11. Terry, this is not a Game

    Dec 20, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    5 years? Too bad it’s not the death penalty. Scumbag

    • David Lehmann

      Dec 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      DeathPenalty. Don’t even get that for Killing unborn Humans!!

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Ryder Cup Rundown: Saturday Morning Foursomes

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A funny thing happened between 2018 and 2021: Europe forgot completely how to play foursomes golf. The format that gave the Old World its greatest triumphs has seemingly slipped away from its consciousness. For the second consecutive day, Team USA won three morning matches where each player hit half his normal complement of shots. This wouldn’t matter if the European squad had countered in fourball matches, but they didn’t, or haven’t yet. They’ve one afternoon left to turn the tide, or their flight home will be about one bottle of ketchup lighter — the official weight listed for the trophy on the @RyderCup website.

Here’s our rundown of the third band of matches at Whistling Straits.

Match Nine: Rahm/García vs. Koepka/Berger

Sporting of the Spaniards to spot the Seminoles the morning’s first three holes, wouldn’t you say? For an hour, fans of Team USA seemed certain that the powerful Iberian pairing had finally met its match. Wins on holes 1 through 3 and 5, countered only by a lost-hole 4, gave the RWB a three-up lead. What had happened overnight, many wondered. Wonder no longer. Serigo and Jon countered with thrusts of Toledo steel, winning seven of the next twelve holes, to dispatch the hopeful Floridians. Papa Padraig has to wonder why his other pairings cannot match their intensity and efficiency. Unlike Friday, when he split them up in the afternoon matches, Harrington decided to keep el duo together for afternoon fourballs.

Match Ten: Casey/Hatton vs. Johnson/Morikawa

And the band played on. The match that we all want to see, but won’t, is Johnson and Morikawa (or Johnson and anyone, really) against the Spaniards. If only the English pair had played like the English fought against the Spanish armada, it might have won against the invincible Americans. Each of the first eight holes were won: six by the American and two by the Europeans. That 4-up lead didn’t last, however, as Casey and Hatton countered. They won three holes to reduce the lead to one, including the sublime hole-out by Casey from the wastesands. In the end, the Americans parried with a 15th-hole birdie and two more pars, and held on for a 2 & 1 victory.

Match Eleven: Hovland/Wiesberger vs. Thomas/Spieth

This may have been the oddest pairing of the morning, one that punters everywhere would have avoided like ranch dressing on chicken wings. Match rookies Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger against the featured American team? It almost worked. After six holes, Team Blue had a three-up lead, but then gave it all back. By the eleventh tee, Team Red had leveled the match. The Blues grabbed the eleventh to reclaim the lead, but ran out of gas in the home stretch. The final five holes were won, one by the Euros and four by the Yanks. After struggling on Friday morning, Thomas and Spieth appear to have found their stride and caught a second wind.

Match Twelve:  Westwood/Fitzpatrick vs. Cantlay/Schauffele

The fourth match of morning the second featured much less exchange of won/lost holes. Only 10 of the 18 were claimed by either team. The Europeans led by one after six, but the Americans won four of the next five to gain a three-hole advantage. Back came the Englishmen, with wins at 12 and 16. Trouble was, the Californians also won hole 15, and the match was finished at the 17th green. Ryder Cups are won by hot putters, and no one is putting better than Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.

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Ryder Cup Rundown: Day One Afternoon Fourballs

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Team Europe needs to bow its collective heads and figure out how to win a partner match. The side has one outright victory in eight matches, and at this point, halves won’t get the job done. Give the home squad four more points today, and the Cup that Samuel Ryder himself offered up might as well be inscribed with the Red White and Blue as champion for 2021.

Always good at second-guessing the decisions of the wise, we’re fine with getting everyone on the course on day one, but some pairings should not be disassembled. For Europe, why break up García and Rahm? For the USA, pick either one of Johnson/Morikawa and Cantlay/Schauffele. Well, at least those break-ups give us something about which to write.

One pair that won’t be matched at all this year, gave us the greatest excitement in 2018, the last time these matches were played. Remember Moliwood? We sure do. Read on for more about Friday afternoon’s four-ball matches.

Match 5: Wiesberger/Casey vs. Johnson/Schauffele

When Dustin Johnson is the elder statesman on Team USA, you know that a generational shift has happened. Johnson seems to have become, at least for 2021, what the Americans needed: a horse to send out first, to which to hitch the wagon, and let all the other explorers follow with great confidence. Johnson won his second match of the day, with a different partner, by a 2 & 1 margin that never seemed that close, throughout the round. When Johnson is on, he is the most impressive driver of the golf ball we have ever seen. Longer and straighter than anyone, he puts himself in position to attack any hole location. With Olympic champion Xander Schauffele as his running mate on Friday afternoon, Johnson was at his best, and Team RWB grabbed its fourth point of the day, ensuring at least a half of the opening slate.

Match 6: Rahm/Hatton vs. DeChambeau/Scheffler

If the next match hadn’t already been determined by the time Tyrrell Hatton pulled out some last-hole heroics, how the tide might have turned! Scottie Scheffler partnered fellow Texan Bryson DeChambeau as if both had multiple international caps between them, only to have their outright victory snatched by the Englishman’s late magic. The 18th at the Straits course is beguiling and muscular, but Hatton stared it down and earned the visiting team its first credits for the afternoon slate. Alas …

Match 7: McIlroy/Lowry vs. Finau/English

4 & 3 for Team USA, from Tony Finau (who learned to win again) and Harris English (who debuted this afternoon in Ryder Cup play.) For the extremely-amateur psychologists among us, this match was a delight. The fellow who should be leading Europe at this juncture (McIlroy) seems uninspired and uninspiring. Harrington’s second Captain’s pick (Lowry) lost just as his third one (Poulter) did in the morning round. If I were Harrington, I’d pair Poults and Lowry on Saturday and say Boys, get the job done. There’s not much else to try.

Finau and English absolutely owned the middle of the golf course. They made birdies at 6, 8, 9 and 10 to wrestle away Europe’s trifling, one-hole lead (earned at the fifth with a McIlroy eagle.) They added one more at the 13th to make victory seem inevitable, then road the par train for two more stops. For Finau, Fall 2021 has to have been the most satisfying and relieving stretch of his career. For the European side, more questions than answers.

Match 8: Cantlay/Thomas vs. Hovland/Fleetwood

Successful Ryder Cup pairings captivate us in a way that can partly never be explained. Seve and Xema (José María Olazábal) were the finest ever, and no matter which side you cheered on, you knew something special would ensue. The same happened in 2019, when Tommy Fleetwood partnered Francesco Molinari to four victories in France. Sadly, Molinari is not on the European side this year so it was up to Viktor Hovland to spark the bearded Englishman on to victory. For a time, the magic was there. The Euros won four holes on the outward half, to seize a three-up lead and give hope for an entire point. In the end, they gave all of them back and the unshakable Patrick Cantlay found a way to get Justin Thomas on the scoreboard. From the ninth hole on, the visitors managed just one birdie between them, and that won’t get any job done, especially one on the world stage. Time to get those putters working.

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Ryder Cup Rundown: Day One Morning Foursomes

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The world still feels topsy-turvy, with Team USA winning the morning foursomes by 3 matches to 1. Foursomes has been Europe’s specialty over the years, and has often led to a fast start in recent matches. If it weren’t for the dashing Spaniards, Europe would have found itself in a 0-4 hole. Not quite as big a hole as this one, but still a hole. Let’s have a look at the four morning matches.

Match One: Rahm/García vs. Thomas/Spieth

Thomas and Spieth have been lobbying to play together since before Spieth’s resurgence. Well, Spieth took care of the resurgence, but Rahm and García had other ideas for this match. The Basque and the Valencian won seven holes on the day, including 15 and 17, to dispatch the USA power couple. It seemed that each time the Americans won a hole, the Euros won a pair. That type of trade-off is never a good one, and in the end, it was 3 & 1 in favor of the Iberian Peninsula.

Match Two: Casey/Hovland vs. Johnson/Morikawa

Nearly the inverse of match one, the USA side stopped the European momentum in its tracks with a 3 & 2 victory. The long-hitting South Carolinian and the straight-driving Californian made an impressive partnership, winning six holes on the day. Casey and Ryder rookie Hovland had two birdies in the first four holes, which earned them the lead. The pair next won a hole at the 13th, which served only to delay the inevitable. Team USA cashed one final birdie on the 16th, and put the first red-side point on the board.

Match Three: Westwood/Fitzpatrick vs. Koepka/Berger

Berger is such an underrated player, and his collegiate history with Koepka made this pairing a near shoo-in for victory over the English duo. Padraig Harrington took a chance on placing two serious veterans on his team this year, in Westwood and Poulter, and neither one delivered a point Friday morning. The Euros had a decent front side, with a trio of birdie keeping them square after the American’s hot start. No birdies on the inward half usually means a loss, and that was the fate of the English patients, as birdies at 10 and 11 for the Florida State duo were enough to front them a 2-hole lead, which ended at a 2 & 1 advantage.

Match Four: McIlroy/Poulter vs. Cantlay/Schauffele

If any match was supposed to be a gimme for the Euros, it should have been this one … in July. Then, Schauffele won a gold medal. Then, Cantlay dominated the FedEx Cup. This California pair looked to be unstoppable, and they were. They opened birdie-par-birdie-par-birdie … and assumed a five-up lead after a quintet of holes. Mac and Poulty played the front side in three-over par, and were fortunate to be just five-down after nine. They rallied a bit on the inward half, but the American sawed them off with birdies at 12 and 13, preserving a three-up advantage. Two more birdies for the RWB at 14 and 15 ended the day early for both sides. Five-under for 15 holes, including birdies at the last four. Now that’s a statement.

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