Category: PGA Tour


January 24, 2013

PGA Tour threatens to revoke credentials for media members who transmit 'play-by-play'

Posted at 9:09 PM by Golf.com

The PGA Tour appears to be spoiling for a fight with some members of the golf press who have been using digital media to report on tournaments in real time.

The Tour has long objected to play-by-play coverage by non-broadcast reporters at its tournaments, whether the reporters were sending updates via Twitter or manning live blogs in the press center. However, the Tour generally allowed live blogs and Tweets that were done away from the course, with television or radio as the primary source of information.

But on Thursday the Tour sent an e-mail to members of the media that threatened stiff penalties for journalists who send "real-time, play-by-play transmission in digital outlets," even if those posts are sent from an offsite location. In addition to revoking the credential for the offending reporter, the Tour said it would revoke credentials for "all journalists affiliated with" that reporter's organization.

The complete e-mail from Ty Votaw, executive vice president of communications for the Tour:

"As you know, our media regulations prohibit the use of real-time, play-by-play transmission in digital outlets.  In order to enforce these regulations, beginning this year, we will revoke the on-site credentials of all journalists affiliated with outlets that post play-by-play coverage, whether those posts are originating from tournament site or otherwise."

The e-mail caused a great deal of grumbling among reporters at the Farmers Insurance Open, this week's Tour stop in San Diego, and on Twitter. Golf.com will continue to report on the Tour's position and will also live blog Friday's second round.

January 23, 2013

How to watch PGA Tour events on your laptop or smartphone

Posted at 3:21 PM by Mike Walker

Live network coverage of the PGA Tour is coming soon to a laptop or smartphone near you.

The PGA Tour announced Tuesday that it would offer a live stream of the CBS Sports' telecast of the Farmers Insurance Open this weekend and continue to simulcast PGA Tour events online for the rest of the season. Visitors to PGATOUR.com and CBSSports.com will be directed to a co-branded video player to watch live streaming of CBS Sports’ third-round telecast on Saturday (3-6 p.m. ET) and fourth-round telecast on Sunday (3-6:30 p.m. ET). The live streaming this weekend also will be available on PGA TOUR platforms as well as CBS Sports and CBS SportCaster applications for the iPhone, Android and iPad. CBS also will have a mobile web-based player available at m.cbssports.com.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports coverage will also be available online at next week's Waste Management Phoenix Open, although only people whose cable companies carry the Golf Channel will be able to watch the Golf Channel's coverage online. NBC Sports' broadcasts -- like the CBS Sports broadcasts -- will be available to all Internet subscribers in the United States. The online streaming will not be accessible overseas.

All Golf Channel, through TV Everywhere availability, and NBC telecasts also will be streamed throughout the 2013 season, with Golf Channel available to multichannel video subscribers, and NBC’s weekend coverage of 12 FedExCup tournaments fully available beginning with next week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Golf Channel is televising the early rounds for all 30 FedExCup tournaments on NBC and CBS, as well as all four rounds for six tournaments.

CBS Sports also covers the Masters, which does its own streaming on the Masters.com website and the tournament's associated apps.

“This is a significant milestone in the PGA Tour’s digital history,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a written statement. “We are excited to work with CBS Sports to bring live PGA Tour action online, and look forward to continuing our efforts with CBS, NBC and Golf Channel to develop ways golf fans can access live coverage of the PGA Tour from wherever they are.”

January 03, 2013

Truth & Rumors: PGA Tour officials to work without contract

Posted at 12:35 PM by Samantha Glover

PGA Tour officials will work at this week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions without a contract, according to Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard.

“We’re operating without an agreement as of Dec. 31st. They are (in Hawaii) right now and unless the Tour says otherwise they are going to work,” said Christian Dennie, an attorney with Fort Worth, Texas-based Barlow Garsek & Simon who represents the officials’ union. “These guys really take their job seriously and we’re going to try and help them as much as they can.”

After officials worked through 2012 on an extension of an earlier contract, negotiations for a 2013 deal came to a halt as the Tour and the union disagreed over many issues, including compensation and retirement plans.

PGA Tour officials, who are paid considerably less than MLB, NHL, and NBA referees, expect to gain support from Tour players, according to the report.

Tour officials with five years of service, for example, are paid considerably less ($103,000) than officials with similar levels of service in Major League Baseball ($133,000), the NBA ($124,000) and the NHL ($202,000).

The Tour officials anticipate at least some level of support from players, particularly following officiating snafus at the '11 and '12 PGA Championships, which does not use Tour officials.

November 28, 2012

PGA of America members oppose belly-putter ban; PGA Tour to review in March

Posted at 1:44 PM by Mike Walker

Bradley-belly-and-pga-reaction
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."

The PGA of America is not affiliated with the PGA Tour, which issued its own statement on the ban Wednesday:

"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 Tour put out its own brief statement Wednesday, saying the women's tour has always followed the USGA's rules:

“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."

November 27, 2012

Truth & Rumors: PGA Tour's Disney event in jeopardy

Posted at 11:15 AM by Samantha Glover

Disney_bejianCharlie Beljan won the PGA Tour's 2012 Disney event, which might be its last. (Getty Images)

The PGA Tour's Disney event is in need of a little magic or it might just vanish, according to Jeff Shain of the Orlando Sentinel.

Next year’s PGA Tour visit to Disney will take place the weekend before Thanksgiving – or not at all.

That’s the scenario facing the tour’s longtime fall staple after the Mayakoba event announced new dates of Nov. 14-17. That’s one week after the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, Ga., which follows the tour’s two-week swing through Asia.

Translation: The new fall start to the FedEx Cup wraparound schedule is running out of dates. And it only feeds growing speculation that the Disney event – which lost Children’s Miracle Network as its sponsor – might not get back to the table.

In addition to losing Children's Miracle Network as the event sponsor, the Disney event failed to draw a strong field in 2012, attracting just one player in the top 70 in the OWGR. Shain talked to Jeff Maggert who remembered the glory days of the Disney tour stop.

“Heck, when I got on tour this was a top tournament to come play,” said Jeff Maggert, the 1993 Disney champion. “Now there just seems to be a real up and down on strength of fields.”

 

November 12, 2012

Tweets of the Week: Manssero's win, McIlroy's cash, Lewis's prize and the Golf Boys return

Posted at 12:51 PM by Samantha Glover

Matteo Manassero won Barclays Singapore Open, and Rory McIlroy clinched the European money title:

 

Cristie Kerr ended a slump, and Stacy Lewis ended an American POY drought:

PGA and LPGA players thanked those who have served:

Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson on the return of Golf Boys:

October 22, 2012

Tweets of the Week: PGA, European Tour & LPGA compete in Asia and more

Posted at 1:25 PM by Golf.com

Euros travel to Asia to compete in the BMW Masters:

LPGA pros finished the second event of their Asian swing, the HanaBank Championship:

Lexi

Tommy Gainey, Bo Van Pelt and Suzann Pettersen won tournaments:

Golfers also enjoyed some downtime as the 2012 season winds down:

Ckim
October 18, 2012

PGA Tour to take control of Canadian Tour

Posted at 11:51 AM by Mark Dee

The PGA Tour is looking up and down to expand its minor league system. And that means Canada and Latin America.

The Tour took another step in that campaign on Thursday, when it announced that it will take over operational control of the Canadian Tour. Starting in 2013, it will be called the PGA Tour Canada, and will offer an avenue to the Web.com Tour for top players. The deal is similar to the Tour's arrangement south of the border, where PGA Tour Latinoamerica also leads onto Web.com.

Here's the full press release:

Canadian Tour Will Become PGA TOUR Canada in 2013

PGA TOUR-operated Tour will become an avenue to the Web.com Tour

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. and TORONTO – After lending strategic and financial support to the Canadian Professional Golf Tour in 2012 and evaluating all aspects of the business, the PGA TOUR has agreed to assume operational control of what will become PGA TOUR Canada in 2013. The conversion will begin November 1.

Moving forward, the new PGA TOUR division will provide direct access to the Web.com Tour for its leading money winners, based on the final Order of Merit. The top five players will receive playing privileges on the Web.com Tour, while the next five will be exempt into the finals of the Web.com Tour qualifying school.

The announcement was made today by PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; Pierre Blouin, Chairman of the Canadian Tour Board of Directors; and Rick Janes, Commissioner of the Canadian Tour.

“Having gained a thorough understanding of the golf landscape in Canada over the course of the 2012 season, we are confident that by fully dedicating our assets and resources, PGA TOUR Canada will be well positioned to play an increasingly important role in professional golf,” Finchem said. “With a solid foundation of existing tournaments along with outstanding opportunities to establish new events, we are confident PGA TOUR Canada will strengthen and grow in the coming years.”

 “This is the logical next step for the Tour’s sustainability and growth,” Blouin said. “The PGA TOUR provided invaluable assistance throughout the 2012 season and through its evaluation process saw strong potential. Golf is incredibly popular in Canada and PGA TOUR Canada will be a very important part of Canada’s sports landscape in the coming years. I also want to acknowledge the efforts made by Rick Janes and his staff throughout the process to assist the PGA TOUR in gaining a better understanding of the Tour.”

Details on the full schedule and the Tour’s executive structure will be announced at a later date. PGA TOUR Canada will debut with a minimum of eight tournaments in 2013 offering a minimum purse of $150,000, with the goal of eventually growing to 12 or 13 events. All tournaments will be held in Canada during the summer months.

“We have long recognized the many advantages of joining forces with the PGA TOUR,” Janes said. “It not only brings a new level of stature to Canada's domestic circuit, it ensures that PGA TOUR Canada will continue to attract the best young professionals and offer the highest level of competition. For developing young Canadian players the opportunity to compete on home soil against top PGA TOUR prospects from around the world is a tremendous advantage.”

The PGA TOUR will work with all Canadian media outlets including its television partners, Shaw/Global TV and TSN, to broaden coverage of PGA TOUR Canada. The TOUR also will highlight PGA TOUR Canada through all media resources, including PGATOUR.com and digital platforms.

Golf’s popularity in Canada is reflected in an in-depth economic impact study that showed nearly 6 million Canadians play golf, representing 21.5 percent of the population, which was more than double the U.S. participation rate. The PGA TOUR has experienced golf’s popularity first-hand with the annual RBC Canadian Open, the Champions Tour’s Montreal Championship and the highly successful 2007 Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal GC. Canada also consistently ranks second only to the U.S. in traffic to PGATOUR.com, the PGA TOUR’s official website.

“We view this as a win-win proposition that strengthens an established Tour in a country that absolutely loves golf,” Finchem said. “As the Tour continues to develop and grow, charitable contributions and the value provided to tournaments sponsors will increase, as well. As for the PGA TOUR, this expands our brand in Canada and gives us geographic integration throughout the Americas in concert with PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.”

PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, which emerged from a collaboration between the PGA TOUR, Tour de las Américas, National Golf Federations, promoters and host clubs throughout Latin America, has debuted this fall with 11 tournaments in seven countries. PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s top five money winners will receive Web.com Tour playing status in 2013.

Between PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s plan to go to a split spring-fall schedule and PGA TOUR Canada’s summer schedule, players qualifying for both Tours will have the opportunity to play a year-long schedule. Both Tours will conduct their own qualifying tournaments for membership.

“We believe that PGA TOUR Canada has an important place in professional golf and will continue to help identify and develop talented players who aspire to one day play on the PGA TOUR,” Finchem said. “With that in mind, it makes sense to give its top players direct access to the Web.com Tour.”

Former Canada Tour players have accounted for more than 110 victories on the PGA TOUR, including Canadians Mike Weir, Dave Barr, Dan Halldorson and Ian Leggatt. Other alumni who have PGA TOUR victories include Steve Stricker, Nick Watney, Stuart Appleby, Tim Clark, Bryce Molder, Jason Bohn, Brendan Steele, Craig Parry, Tim Petrovic, Grant Waite, Will McKenzie and Brandt Jobe, to name a few.

About the Canadian Professional Golf Tour

Since its inception as the Peter Jackson Tour in 1971, the Canadian Tour has evolved into a high-caliber, coast-to-coast training ground for professionals on their way to the PGA TOUR. Its alumni include not only the game's Canadian legends, but also many of its most prominent international names, who have collectively won 113 PGA TOUR titles and over $450 million in prize money. The Canadian Tour is widely considered one of the world's top developmental professional golf tours.

About PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada.

The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.

PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to approximately 715 million households in 225 countries and territories in 29 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2011, tournaments on the three Tours generated more than $121 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.7 billion.

The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

Truth & Rumors: USGA starts to sell PGA Tour players on belly-putter ban

Posted at 11:24 AM by Mark Dee

When it comes to belly putters, it appears a decision has been made. That's why USGA Executive Director Mike Davis has already started his sales pitch.

According to Alex Miceli of Golfweek, Davis spoke before the PGA Tour Policy Board in advance of the McGladrey Classic on Monday during the body's final meeting of 2012. The goal: Start to sell the belly-ban, which players in attendance believe is a done deal.

And while Davis seemed confident in his decision, many players seemed skeptical. Miceli couldn't reach Davis for comment, but players spoke up, including the Ryder Cup captain, Davis Love:

According to Goydos, Davis’ presentation indicated that the USGA has received overwhelming support in letters and e-mails from the general public to ban anchoring. Davis Love III, a Sea Island resident and the recent Ryder Cup captain, expects a different sentiment from the Tour's rank and file.

“I would be concerned if I was them because you've got a bunch of guys that are going to want to fight it,” Love said. “Not the Tour but the players individually – a bunch of players that aren't going to like it.”

Well, according to Miceli's description of Davis's reason for the anchoring ban, it's easy to see the shape attacks will take:

Davis told the Policy Board that any rule change would not be because of a competitive advantage with the stroke and would be made to address the perception about how the game should be played.

Put another way, there is no empirical or statistical evidence to prove that a player using the anchoring stroke and a long putter has an advantage over a player using a traditional-length putter. The USGA just doesn’t like the way it looks.

Miceli reported that three Policy Board members -- Jim Furyk, Paul Goydos and Love -- believe the official announcement could come in March.

(RELATED PHOTOS: Belly Putters for 2012

October 15, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Rory 'ready to be done' with 2012 season; plans lighter 2013

Posted at 11:17 AM by Mark Dee

Has his 2012 season brought too much of a good thing -- O.K., a great, occasionally transcendent thing --  for Rory McIlroy?

With obligations piling up throughout his would-be offseason, he seems to think so. McIlroy told ESPN UK on Monday that he was "ready to be done" with this year, despite having a handful of tournaments left to play, including the four parts of the Race to Dubai that ends the European Tour's season, and a heads-up exhibition match against Tiger Woods in China at the end of October.

So far, McIlroy has played 21 tournaments in 2012, not including the Ryder Cup. By the time the year is wrapped, he'll probably be up to 26 -- an event every other week. Don't expect as many Rory sightings in 2013:

"I would just love to cut my schedule back even further and I think next year I will cut it down again to a max play of 22 or 23," McIlroy continued.

"I still have got some big events left and I would love to win the Race to Dubai and repeat what Luke did also winning the money list on the PGA Tour, so I am going to give it one last push.

"It has been a great season and I am ready to be done. It is just such a long season these days. But then I feel I have got an obligation to play some of these big events leading up to Dubai."

McIlroy did add that he "won't find it hard" to motivate himself to play the year out, especially since a strong finish would likely place him atop both the American and European money lists. If he does it, McIlroy would match Luke Donald, who accomplished the same feat in 2011.

RELATED PHOTOS: Rory McIlroy career in pictures | 2012 PGA Championship win





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