Natalie originally became ill in Singapore and she was treated and medically cleared to fly home. Natalie continues to be treated at home and is expected to be at full strength in three weeks.
Natalie’s well-being is a top priority for both the LPGA and IMG, and steps continue to be taken to ensure the well-being of Natalie and all the players on the LPGA Tour now and for future events. LPGA doctors have been consulted and believe she is on appropriate medications, under great care, and her prognosis is excellent.
The LPGA is also offering free malaria screenings in Phoenix on Wednesday for players, caddies and family members.
Paula Creamer and her caddie, Colin Cann, sustained minor injuries in a car accident Sunday night when they found themselves in the middle of a five-car pileup on their way to the Bangkok airport after the Honda LPGA Thailand event.
In addition to Creamer and Cann, Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen were also involved in the five-car pileup on the highway. According to Mell, Miyazato's car was in the accident, while Pettersen and her mother narrowly missed it.
Creamer was in the front seat of a VIP car, and though she was wearing a seatbelt, she said her air bag did not deploy. She and Miyazato visited a hospital in Singapore after their flight landed for this week’s HSBC Champions. Creamer said doctors told her she did not suffer a concussion, but she did suffer moderate whiplash and has a sore shoulder.
Creamer reported Cann, who was in the back seat, has a sore neck and shoulders.
“I will probably be sore for several weeks,” Creamer tweeted. “We were very lucky. Hope to be able to play this week.”
On our way to the airport we were in a car accident! Paula , Ai , my mum and myself with the rest of our entourage! We were driving on the highway pretty fast and at times maybe to ruff. Meaning , no room for errors what so ever ! And it was just a matter of time we must say before something actually happend! Don’t know how it all went down, but in a split second the entourage of our 5 cars was all crushed together! Paula said she felt like a ping ping ball being hit from both ends pretty hard! I was in the last car and manage somehow to just miss the rest! Out of all the cars , the car I was in was the only car suited to take us to the airport! We are just happy no one got more seriously injured from the impact! Ai and Paula and some of the guys had some pain in their necks! It was a scary split second, where u realize how quick it can go!
I took a picture in the car just before the incident, not knowing what was just about to happend! We were all lucky this time;)
"With great concern for the players, caddies and families involved, we've been working through the necessary channels to gather available and accurate information beyond the original wire report... although follow up information trickled in slowly as players traveled from Thailand to Singapore. At this point, we've now been in contact with each of the players involved and their representatives. We're glad to report that there are no serious injuries. Paula and Ai have been seen by doctors, x-rays have checked out ok, and each is receiving excellent follow up care. All players say they are hopeful of competing this week at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. We will update as necessary."
Keegan Bradley won the 2011 PGA Championship at East Lake in Atlanta with an anchored putter. (Robert Beck/SI)
In a recent survey, two-thirds of PGA of America members said they were against banning anchored putters due to concerns over the ban's effect on the growth of the game and the lack of any data to suggest that anchoring is an advantage.
The PGA of America, which represents more than 27,000 teaching professionals and hosts the PGA Championship, shared the results of the survey in a letter to USGA Executive Director Mike Davis and USGA President Glen Nager. Davis announced the USGA's proposed ban on anchored putters in a joint teleconference with R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson on Wednesday morning.
"We believe that golf is the greatest of all games," the PGA of America's letter stated. "We also believe that we need to continue to do what is necessary to preserve all that makes it unique and, consistent with our mission, take actions to grow the game. Therefore, as you near decisions regarding a potential ban on anchoring, we wanted to be sure that you were aware of the polling results as our PGA members are truly the tangible connection between the game and its participants.
"As Mike mentioned in his presentation to us at our PGA Annual Meeting in Baltimore earlier this month, there does not appear to be any data that suggests that anchoring a golf club results in an unfair competitive advantage. In the absence of such data and based on the polling of our PGA members and all of the exciting progress the industry has made through Golf 2.0 and other related initiatives to make the game more fun and, quite frankly, more enjoyable and welcoming to a broader and more diverse audience, we respectfully ask you to consider our concerns."
"While the USGA and The R&A have kept us updated on this proposed rule change, we only recently have been able to review the final language and have not until now had the opportunity to share it with our Policy Board and membership," the PGA Tour's statement said. "As with any rule change, we will go through our normal process of evaluating the potential impact this will have to all our constituents. It will be discussed at our next annual player meeting on Jan. 22 in San Diego, and it is anticipated that it will be reviewed by our Policy Board during its March meeting. During this review process, we will provide periodic updates to our stakeholders."
Davis said Wednesday that the PGA of America, the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour are all consulting members of the USGA's Rules of Golf committee and were involved in the discussions about anchored putters, although he declined to say whether PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem agreed with the ban.
"I think it would be fair to say this question would be better answered by Tim himself or a member of the Policy Board, but certainly the Tour is aware of what's going on and they have a process they have to go through," Davis said.
“The LPGA has consistently conducted our official events in accordance with the Rules of Golf as defined by the USGA and the R&A. We certainly respect golf’s governing bodies and their long-standing desire to protect and promote the best interests of the game.
“The proposed new Rule 14-1b prohibiting ‘anchoring the club’ in making a stroke is not yet final and the LPGA will wait with interest while the USGA and R&A consider further comments and suggestions from the golf community.
“In the meantime, we will continue to discuss this proposed change with our players and provide our input and thoughts directly to the USGA and R&A.”
The European Tour is a member of the R&A's Rules of Golf committee. The USGA is the governing body for golf in the United States and Mexico; the R&A is the governing body for the rest of the world.
Speaking for the R&A, Dawson said the European Tour is expected to adapt the rule change without any issue, and recalled a saying of former European Tour official Ken Shofield.
"When he was executive director of the European Tour, he said the European Tour are rules followers, not rules makers," Dawson said. "I think from some remarks attributed over the past two or three days to George O'Grady, that sentiment lives on on the European Tour."
The Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational, now in its 41st year, is the only event in golf that features players from the PGA, LPGA, Champions and Web.com tours all competing against each other.
The field includes a wide variety of players, including big names like Annika Sorenstam, Fred Funk, Juli Inkster and Jonas Blixt; new pros like Cheyenne Woods and Luke Guthrie; and 324 amateurs, according to the The Herald of Monterey County.
"I'm really looking forward to competing in this year's Callaway Invitational at Pebble Beach," said Sorenstam, who'll have her husband Mike on the bag as caddie. "Callaway has been a wonderful partner of mine for my entire career and now beyond, and the Monterey Peninsula is one of our favorite places to spend time."
The tournament, which uses a tee placement system based on the average length of shots on each tour to give each player a fair chance at the $300,000 purse, will take place Thursday through Sunday at Del Monte, Spyglass and Pebble Beach. There will be a cut after Saturday's round, and the top 40 golfers will advance to a final round at Pebble.
This week, the LPGA Tour will make its last stateside stop of the season in Alabama, before heading over to Asia for the last four weeks of the year.
It's only fitting: Asian players have already made themselves quite at home on tour this season, winning the LPGA's last nine events. After Jiyai Shin's win at the Women's British Open, Asian-born players now make up eight of the game's top 10.
Slumping World No. 1 Yani Tseng -- who has missed three of four cuts, and hasn't had a top ten since May -- needs a change, which is bad news for another caddie.
According to Emily Kay of SB Nation, Tseng has fired caddie Basil van Rooyen, just weeks after sacking longtime caddie Jason Hamilton in July. Tseng has reportedly replaced Rooyen with Patrick Turley, whom we wish all the luck in the world.
Here's where the locker room drama comes in: Hamilton, who looped it for 16 of Tseng's wins, starts his new gig at this week's Safeway Classic caddying for U.S. Women's Open Na Yeon Choi, who's currently ranked fourth in the world. Shane Joel, Choi's usual caddie, has stepped away from the bag for personal reasons.
Ah, July 5th. How tough it is to overcome that midweek hangover that inevitably follows our annual celebration of the Greenbrier Classic's Wednesday Pro-Am.
But Rumors never rests. And if you needed proof, there's this video, presented without context or explanation:
While that video inspires more questions than answers, let's take a shot. That's Cindy Lacrosse (La-boss) hyping up the runway, Tiffany Joh firing off the verse (with occasionally impressive fluency), and, of course, Michelle Wie dancing around with torn up bits of paper.
The song, as every golf fan surely knows, is DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win," off his album "Victory," released on his label We The Best Music. 10-4, Khaled. Message received.
From what we gather, that's a chartered flight headed to Kohler for the U.S. Women's Open and -- just guessing now -- the plane wouldn't take off until everyone's hands went up, and they stayed there.
The U.S. Women's Open starts Thursday at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisc. At this point, any jokes about winning are too low-hanging to actually carry humor. So just remember this while watching the action over the weekend:
Wonder why it's different on the LGPA?! 'Cause Wie-Wie's dancing like a weirdo all up on the Jetway!
What do the players think about that? "It's fine," Michelle Wie said. "I think even when you didn't allow them, they were still out there. As long as everyone just turns them off, it doesn't really bother us that much. Just take pictures, but turn the sound off."
That's a far cry from the brimstone forecasts predicted on the men's side. If Phil needed a second reason never to compete in the Women's Open, this is it.
There will be some restrictions: Phones must be (gasp!) silenced, no photography, videography or audio recording will be allowed. Which, unfortunately, rules out making more music videos. Calls, though, can be made in assigned areas. But email and text messages may be sent anywhere, except "in the precense of a player who has addressed her ball."
It's a fair guess I wouldn't get service out there, anyway.
How to count to 100: In the cloud of dust and ratings Tiger Woods kicked up at last week's AT&T National - where he notched his 74th PGA Tour victory - the Tour itself took to Twitter to congratulate Tiger on his 100th professional victory. Which seemed odd.
By counting two wins from one tournament (1999 World Cup). By counting seven wins from the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a 36-hole exhibition for major champions. And by counting a World Cup with David Duval that featured alternate shot for two of the rounds.
The most peculiar decision is the World Cup. Before the PGA Tour took it over and tried making it a World Golf Championship, it was stroke play in which both scores counted. Woods was medalist in 1999 in Malaysia (one win), and he and O'Meara won the team total (another win).
So it's technically correct, maybe. If anyone would count that double, it'd probably be O'Meara. But there you have it. The way Tiger is playing, there's little reason to manufacture the path to milestones. Wait a month. But hey, why put off for tomorrow what can be Tweeted today?
Dottie's out of the dog house Adding some spice to the 2013 Solheim Cup, Dottie Pepper is back with the U.S. team as an assistant captain, five years after causing a firestorm by inadvertently describing the American team as “choking freakin’ dogs” during a Golf Channel Broadcast of the 2007 cup.
Pepper, 46, was in tears Wednesday saying how grateful she was for this opportunity to return to the team.
The announcement opens the door to the possibility Pepper will one day become the U.S. Solheim Cup captain. For a time, that didn't seem possible.
“I just felt it was enough,” Mallon said of the alienation of Pepper. “It was just Dottie’s passion; it wasn’t ill will. I felt like Dottie needed to stop carrying this burden around.”
Pepper regrets her comment caused such a maelstrom.
“I don’t know if any broadcaster in sports hasn’t said something they regret, whether they intended it for air or not,” said Pepper, who is currently an on-course reporter for Golf Channel on NBC. “It was hurtful. It hurt both ways. I was hurt, players were hurt.”
Pepper was, well, essentially telling the truth at the time. It took a serious singles rally on Sunday for the U.S. team to take the cup after a rough start. But the comment caused serious damage to Pepper’s rep with the squad. Little matter that she played in six Solheims herself, and ranks third in points won for the American side.
If anything, the comment suggests that she’ll make a great assistant captain. Pepper was acting like a fan – a very frustrated, very patriotic fan. Pepper, who went so far as to dye her hair red for the ’94 contest, was too engrossed in the competition to keep from cheering in the press box. About time to let her out of it.
Tweet of the Day:
Made it to the Greenbrier in West Virginia for Greenbrier Classic. Finally. Thought getting to Abu Dhabi was tough.
Tiger Woods may join the likes of Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald this coming October in Turkey. You read that correctly, according to reports from Derek Lawrenson of The Telegraph over in the UK, the country with exactly zero golfers on the PGA Tour is set to host some of the world’s elite in a lucrative match-play event where the purse will be $5.3 million and this year’s winner is slated to take home $1.5 million! Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood round out the field.
Naturally, attracting those eight to the first Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals does not come cheap. Last place will be worth $300,000 (£191,000), while the winner will take home $1.5million (£957,000). Next year, they intend to hike the amounts to a $2.5m (£1,595,000) first prize, the richest in golf.
Intriguingly, Woods will receive an extra fee. I understand a tie-up for the next three years will be announced with Turkish Airlines, with the American clearly seen as a key component of the country’s Olympic bid.
Istanbul is vying for the 2020 Summer Olympics against Tokyo and Madrid.
But Robert Lusetich at Foxsports.com tweeted that Woods playing in Turkey was not a done deal.
Mark Steinberg says still in discussions with Turks. Event week of Frys.com. "Tiger endeavors to get back to Frys in the future"
No Summer Trip to the Cape for the Golfer-in-Chief Martha’s Vineyard golfers can take a sigh of relief. President Obama and his Secret Service convoys will not be cluttering the links this year as the President will forgo his usual summer vacation to spend more time focusing on his re-election campaign, according to a report from The Boston Globe's Brian Macquarrie.
The first family has spent time at a 28-acre estate in Chilmark, Mass. each of the past three summers and the President, a reported novice who played his 100th round of golf since taking office on Father’s Day, has in the past been spotted at Vineyard Golf Club, Farm Neck Golf Club as well as Mink Meadow Golf Club.
There’s no word on whether money normally spent to replace all of the President’s missing golf balls will be redirected to his Super PACs.
Introducing Slammin’ Sam Beer
Although not quite in time for the actual Fourth of July festivities, golf fans and beer aficionados can come together this weekend at the Greenbrier where a new premium lager inspired by the late Sam Snead is set to make a splash onto beer lists at 19th holes everywhere.
Debuting this week at The Greenbrier Resort in conjunction with the centennial of Snead’s birth, Slammin’ Sam features a refreshing taste with an exceptionally balanced finish that makes it the Smoothest Beer in Golf. It showcases a proprietary recipe developed by Ray Klimovitz, recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Life Service Award from the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.
“Mr. Snead is an international sports icon, and our first priority was to create an amazing beer that honors his legacy,” says Casey Bierer, Founder and CEO of Slammin’ Sam Beer Company and a former producer-reporter with Golf Channel. “Through the assistance of a beer industry legend and remarkable craft brewery, we’re proud to present a thirst-quenching premium lager that golfers and all active lifestyle consumers will truly enjoy.”
Cell Phones Permitted at U.S. Women’s Open Somewhere Phil Mickelson is cringing. Lefty, who you might remember is suspected of withdrawing from the Memorial due to frustration with fans using cell phones, cannot be pleased by news that cell phones will be permitted on the grounds of Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisc., this weekend where the 66th U.S. Women’s Open is set to take place.
Although LPGA events typically allow spectators to have phones on the grounds, this is the first time they will be permitted at a USGA event leading to the suspicion that this might be a trial run for a similar allowance at next year’s men’s championship.
According to the tournament website, while there will be designated areas for calls, text messaging is permissible everywhere. Volume must be maintained at silent or vibrate, and photos are only allowed during the practice rounds.
Tweet of the Day
@DeronWilliams how did those meetings go? Do we need a couple more rounds of golf?