Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - In which I review the latest golf headlines and give my immediate reactions.
PGA TOUR CONCLUDES FALL PORTION OF INAUGURAL WRAPAROUND SCHEDULE
Has much really changed? Sure we had a few more big names and winners (Webb Simpson) this autumn, but fan interest remained tepid.
It's a smart move by the PGA Tour: to add significance to the fall events by offering FedExCup points. Certain leagues effectively employ wraparound schedules (NBA, NHL), but they do so with a decided break between seasons. In contrast, the 2013-14 PGA Tour season began less than a month after the Tour Championship. As a result, the new campaign felt like the usual fall tack-on.
Both fans and pros need a break at the end of the season. If they can afford to, the best golfers are generally going to give it a rest after the summer grinds to a halt. At the moment, the wraparound schedule has done little to change that.
LYDIA KO SET TO MAKE LPGA TOUR DEBUT AS A PRO
I covered Ko's decision to go pro in a recent column ( http://tinyurl.com/oxm62ew). It was a no-brainer and so was LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan's. He allowed Ko to bypass the tour's minimum age requirement of 18. And why not?
Ko is great for the women's game and for the sport as a whole. At 16, she's the epitome of young star potential: she's effortless cool (see thick-rimmed glasses), unique, likeable, and she can play.
And why not get paid? Ko won the LPGA Tour's Canadian Women's Open twice as an amateur and missed out on $600,000 as a result. It's time to cash in on that rare talent.
SCOTT WINS TWO STRAIGHT IN AUSTRALIA
Those who think this guy is going to disappear when the anchoring ban takes effect in 2016 are nuts. They forget he won seven times on the PGA Tour before adopting the long putter in 2011.
Scott has never been a great putter, but he has one of the sweetest swings in the game and is in the midst of his athletic prime.
Aesthetically, I'm not a fan of the anchored stroke. It looks like a crutch, both literally and figuratively. I'm looking forward to Scott dropping anchor, yet sailing to more wins (likely in majors).
USGA, R&A RULE MOVEMENT OF BALL WILL BE DETERMIED BY NAKED EYE, NOT ENHANCED TECHNOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
First off, golf's governing bodies should specify the parameters of enhanced technological evidence in regards to HD video. To me, real-time HD video should be admissible in rulings, as it is comparable to the naked eye, but slow motion HD video shouldn't be allowed, as it sometimes sees things the naked eye can't.
Overall, though, I think this decision makes a lot of sense. Slow motion HD replays benefit the major team sports (although they sometimes stifle the action) because the burden of accuracy is on officials with immediate access to "enhanced technological evidence." Referees can immediately refer to HD replays and determine if a basketball touched the end line or a football crossed the plane. In golf, players don't have that high definition luxury. They have to determine with the naked eye if their ball moved and then play on. Only later, when they are called out for the infraction, do they get to see the slow motion HD replay; at which point it is too late.
SERGIO TELLS CNN HE'S A 'BETTER PERSON" AFTER TIGER INCIDENT
What if these two actually had that hypothetical dinner Sergio ignorantly joked about? I wouldn't want a seat at that table.