Truth & Rumors: LPGA Hall of Famer denounces Ground Zero mosque
We normally don't like to mix politics with our pull hooks here at the Press Tent, but when an LPGA legend posts a scathing manifesto on her public Facebook page, it's hard not to take notice. Carol Mann, who won 38 times on the LPGA tour, last week used her Facebook page to post a rant against the controversial mosque that Islamic leaders hope to build near Ground Zero. Wrote Mann:
Let the Muslims erect their worship centers in other countries that are not Christian. Go away — soon!
Mann is entitled to her opinion of course, but you have to wonder if it's wise for a grand dame of the LPGA, who has worked diligently to promote women's rights and the game in general, to take such a hard and public stance on such a hot-button issue. As Stephanie Wei, who has posted a screen grab of Mann's Facebook page on her blog, notes of the golfer:
...It seems rather extraordinary that an ambassador of the World Golf Hall of Fame, which is supported by all of the world’s major golf organizations, including the Asian Tour, the European Tour, Golf Writer’s Association of America, International Assoc. of Golf Administrators, Japan Golf Tour Organization, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour, The R&A and the USGA, would carry such a view...
And what does the World Golf Hall of Fame think about one of its three special ambassador’s stance?
“It’s Carol Mann’s personal website, so we’re not going to comment,” Jack Peter, the Hall of Fame’s Chief Operating Officer, told this site in a phone interview.
Personally, I'd be more interested to know what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thinks. According to Wikipedia, Mann counts the Muslim hoops icon among her closest friends.
Monty's captain's picks fuel alleged betting scam
The British will bet on anything: dart matches, political elections, whether Kate Winslet would cry when accepting an Oscar at the 2009 Academy Awards (8-15 odds called for waterworks). So perhaps it should come as no great surprise that Colin Montgomerie's captain's picks for the 2010 Ryder Cup have sparked a juicy gambling controversy in the UK. Seems an insider with knowledge of Monty's picks (which the captain will announce Sunday) may have already spilled the beans, according to James Corrigan of The Independent:
The Tour investigated and talked to the betting exchange Betfair. In the wake of that controversy, George O'Grady, the [European Tour] chief executive, said: "We can't really believe anybody in the committee room has used this information ... but we are appalled that someone inside that room has perhaps inadvertently leaked it. The entire committee is concerned to make sure that nothing like that ever has a chance of happening again."
Naturally this news has Britain's betting parlors on edge. It's no different than an insider-trading scam, like when a commodities broker gets early word about a crop report. (Just replace corn and jicama with Karlsson and Jiminez.) At writing, SkyBet has Padraig Harrington (1-10), Paul Casey (2-9), and Luke Donald (4-9) as the three favorites to earn one of Monty's selections, but if the leak is confirmed, all bets undoubtedly will be off.
"We don't want to leave ourselves in a position whereby we can have our pants pulled down by potentially unscrupulous insiders chasing a quick buck," said a Ladbrokes spokesman yesterday.
A sentiment the European captain can no doubt empathize with.
Tiger's back! (Or is he?)
If you felt a sudden jerk sometime late yesterday morning, that was the moment Tiger Woods signed for a 65 during the first round of The Barclays, shifting the universe back on its axis. Overstatement? Not according to some news reports that seem to suggest that the old Tiger — after one impressive round — is back. Thankfully, David Whitley at AOL Fanhouse is here to set us straight:
Not so fast, Tiger fans. Your man will be back, but Elin's ex-man hasn't suddenly been transformed by a dissolution document. If that's all it took to succeed, John Daly would have won 30 majors by now.
All Thursday's round did was confirm that Woods' massive reservoir of ability is still there. But golf and mental rehab are too complex to declare that Tiger's been cured of all that's been ailing him.
We've had these false alarms before. Remember the third round at the U.S. Open? He shot a 31 on the back nine, capping it with a bombs-away approach shot on the final hole that had the gallery screaming.
The next day – pffffttt.
I actually thought Tiger was back after his first round of the year -- remember that Thursday 68 at the Masters? Given the incredibly trying circumstances, I'd rank it among his best five rounds of all time. Of course, Tiger wasn't back, not by a long shot. And chances are he's not back this week either. He's still got 54 more holes to play.
How much golf would the president have played if it hadn't rained on his vacation?