While Thursday’s opening round of the Honda Classic saw Rickie Fowler poke some fun at the rules of golf in an amusing way, it also saw a disqualification which has the unfortunate title of being the first DQ of its kind since the updated rules of golf came in to play.
Alex Cejka is the professional in question, who was deemed to have been using a green-book which did not adhere to the new rules of golf. Cejka had been using last year’s green-book for the Honda Classic throughout the opening round, which contained larger scales of diagrams of the greens than are now allowed on the PGA Tour.
Following the DQ, PGA Tour rules official Robby Ware who informed Cejka of the decision after his 14th hole of the day, stated (per a Golfweek report)
“It was brought to the committee’s attention that Alex might possibly be using some old greens reading materials. Alex was basically using an old yardage book and old greens reading materials that did not fit the size to scale limit. He knew he was using an old book. He told me that. I don’t know that he was completely understanding of what the scale limits are.”
The issue was brought to Cejka’s attention by playing partner Cameron Tringale who noticed the old green-book which the 48-year-old was using, and the latter then called in an official.
Speaking after completing his round, Tringale said
“I saw it and told my caddie. I mentioned it to (Cejka) but was unfamiliar how exactly to proceed. I told the first official I saw what I had seen. I was perplexed. That doesn’t look right. Did I really see that? When we finished the 14th hole, I went to use the bathroom and when I came out I saw (Cejka) riding off in a cart.”
Interestingly, the green-reading book which Cejka had been using during the opening round detailed the greens of PGA National before they were re-vamped following last year’s Honda Classic.
Cejka was level par for his round, and before his DQ, the longest putt he made was from 8′ 6″ on his third hole of the day. Tringale and Palmer completed their opening round of the Honda Classic as a two ball, finishing their rounds one-under par and level par respectively.
Greg Norman praises ‘rebel’ players ready to compete in controversial Saudi International
There has been much speculation as to whether the new Greg Norman-led Asian Tour will be able to snipe some of the world’s best golfers during the 2022 season.
As reported by Golf Digest Australia, it appears Norman is confident in doing just that.
Yesterday, organizers of the Saudi International, which is set to take place at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club from February 3-6, confirmed 25 of the golfers who will be making the trip to Saudi Arabia.
- Related: Asian Tour Chief: Misconception over new Saudi investment, but Greg Norman does want future ‘Super League’
The list of stars is quite long and headlined by Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Dustin Johnson. Additionally, many of golf’s European Tour stars will be joining the field, including Adam, Tyrrell Hatton, Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey.
In response to their commitment, Norman praised the “rebel” players for standing up to what he called “anti-competitive threats” in a memo sent to the golfers:
“I want to share my undivided support and endorsement for the stance taken in announcing your participation in the Saudi International,” he wrote.
“You are standing up for your rights, as professional athletes, and for what is right and best for the global development of the sport of golf.
“Without this change, you will never realise your individual and collective value, or elevate the game to the levels it deserves. Simply put, the anticompetitive threats and actions these professional bodies have taken are designed to prevent fair competition, limit the game’s growth, and harm your ability to realise your true value.
“I wanted to reach out directly to share the respect I have for you and the strength of your actions, and also to voice the level of support you have from so many sectors of the industry, who are greatly encouraged by your leadership and the new horizons in golf’s future.”
The Saudi International will be played directly opposite to a brand new DP World Tour event, the Ras al Khaimah Championship, scheduled to take place in the UAE the same week.
Golf pioneer Lee Elder passes away at age 87
One of the pioneers against segregation in golf, Lee Elder, who will be mostly remembered for his appearance as the first black golfer to take part in The Masters, was reported to have died on Sunday, aged 87.
Having moved to Los Angeles at a young age, Elder took jobs at local golf courses before being encouraged and tutored by Joe Louis and Ted Rhodes before making his mark in the United Golf Association Tour for African-American players, at one stage winning 18 of 22 tournaments.
He reached the PGA Tour in 1968, losing a play-off to Jack Nicklaus at Firestone but always faced an uphill battle against the prejudice that existed.
Per Golf Channel’s report, during a tournament in Memphis one of his opponents, Terry Dill, saw a spectator pick his ball up and discard it, only for him to receive death threats at his hotel.
Further to that and similar episodes, at the 1968 Monsanto Open, Pensacola, Elder was amongst many black players forced to change in the car park as members would not allow non-white players in their clubhouse.
Six years later, Elder was to win in Pensacola, paving his way to that first initiation to The Masters, and whilst he received “up to 100 death threats” he confirmed some 40 years later that, “Every green I walked up on, the applause was just tremendous, I mean every one of the people shouted, ‘Go, Lee! Good luck, Lee!’”
In 1979, Elder became the first black player to qualify for the Ryder Cup and became a crusader and spokesman for injustice against racism at golf clubs, as well as speaking out against social discrimination and forming the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund, aiding low-income families seeking a place at college.
Elder eventually became a member of the PGA Champions Tour winning six of his first 22 starts and a total of nine tournaments.
As Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters, Elder was on hand to witness the cheers. “You would have thought I was winning the golf tournament,” Golf Channel report Elder to have said. “To be there, to see what Tiger did, that meant the world to me.”
Indeed, Tiger himself stated that “I wasn’t the pioneer. Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder and Teddy Rhodes paved the way,” said Woods. “I was thinking about them and what they’ve done for me as I was coming up the 18th fairway. I said a little prayer and a thanks to those guys. They are the ones who did it for me.”
Last April Elder was appointed an honorary starter (alongside Nicklaus and Gary Player) for the 85th Masters declaring that it was ”one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever witnessed or been involved in…..it is certainly something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Masters chairman Fred Ridley gave Elder the ceremonial first-tee honours while adding that Elder will “make history once more, not with a drive, but with his presence, strength and character.”
Lee Elder is survived by his wife, Sharon, and will surely go down in history as one of the most influential players to break down racial barriers within the sport.
‘OMG’ – Pro golfers go wild over Tiger Woods’ swing video
If you are a fan of golf, there’s a good chance you have seen the most recent video of Tiger Woods hitting a golf ball on the range posted to his twitter account yesterday.
Making progress pic.twitter.com/sVQkxEHJmq
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 21, 2021
As ecstatic as golf fans are about seeing Tiger Woods effortlessly swing a club again, players on Tour seem to be just as fired up about Tiger’s video.
Here we’ve rounded up some of the best tweets from Woods’ fellow PGA Tour players:
It is great to see @TigerWoods swinging a club again. Can’t wait for his comeback!
— Bryson DeChambeau (@b_dechambeau) November 22, 2021
But, I think I love this more ?????? https://t.co/t3gSw2KEAc
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) November 21, 2021
I wonder if Tiger and his crew laugh right before they post a swing video knowing the entire free world is about the lose their damn minds #golf
— max homa (@maxhoma23) November 21, 2021
And just like that the Player impact program number 1 spot is taken ??
Great to see the Big Cat back swinging the sticks! https://t.co/8o5RihG575
— Tony Finau Golf (@tonyfinaugolf) November 21, 2021
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG https://t.co/wM9UJXfiUE
— Christina Kim (@TheChristinaKim) November 21, 2021
As I’m hanging in Montana, it’s great to see Tiger swinging a golf club again. I know he can’t stand me holding a single record so I’m guessing HE wants to be the oldest to ever win a major. I’ll just say this. BRING IT!
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) November 21, 2021
The PGA Tour is in a great place, with many young superstars on the rise and interest in the game at all time high. Even still, yesterday was a reminder that nothing moves the needle in the sport of golf like Tiger Woods. If more evidence is needed, the video Woods tweeted currently has 6.8 million views in under 24 hours.
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