Weeks at the USGA; Cooke at Brantford; Robert's response to readers

Bob Weeks is doing what a blogger should — giving insight into the U.S. Open, from the horrible traffic to Phil’s comments in the press room. Worth a daily read.

Brantford Golf & CC, which worked with Carrick Design for more than a decade, has chosen Graham Cooke Associates as its new design firm. Apparently there’s been a pitched battle within its membership about the bunker job that Ian Andrew was leading at the club. At least they know what they’ll get with Graham — tons of one dimensional oval traps, baby! Interesting that Brantford didn’t seem to want to follow the top notch work Andrew has done at other courses, like Kawartha, St. George’s and Weston. Oh, and the course wasn’t designed by Stanley Thompson, though the Stanley Thompson society continues to contend it is. I’ve got magazine ads from his brother, Nicol, talking about his new design at Brantford…

According to writer Geoff Shackelford, Andy North is a full-time dickhead. Oh, and unoriginal to boot! (I’m limiting myself to one exclamation mark per blog…)

Apparently Tiger Woods is still upset about his father’s death, but there isn’t much of an issue with Nike using Earl in new ads. Anyway, it is a tribute to fathers for Father’s Day. Hey, wait — I’m a father. I guess it is a tribute to me. But for Father’s Day I’m leaving Sydney for an hour to figure out what’s wrong with my driver. Then we’ll have breakfast and hang out. Gotta love your 2-year-old.

Anyway, here’s what Tiger had to say to USA Today:

Since 1965 the USGA has scheduled the final round of the Open on Father’s Day. Nike this week will run a television ad that features scenes of Woods and his father during Tiger’s childhood and early golf experiences.

A Nike spokesperson says it’s a brand ad planned before Earl’s death. It will be shown on ESPN, NBC, The Golf Channel and MTV.

“It’s not a tribute to my father,” Woods says. “It’s a tribute to all fathers. We’re trying to celebrate Father’s Day and make sure that all fathers are recognized and appreciated.”

Full story is here.

There’s been a ton of response to my Michelle Wie column in the Post last week. On the blog, it is mainly people disagreeing with my take.

Aptly named “Canadian Golfer” had this to say:

Why is there a different standard for this young women than for other golfers?

There are many golfers on the LPGA Tour who haven’t won yet (natalie gulbis) or haven’t won in years (Lorie Kane), yet no one seems to suggest they shouldn’t be out there. I keep reading that Michelle needs to “prove herself” on the LPGA Tour before trying PGA Tour events. Says who? Nevermind the fact she has more than proven herself with repeated top-5 finishes in LPGA majors; since when did that become a requirement for testing herself against the men?

Well, CanadianGolfer, you don’t see Gulbis out trying to figure out how to putt in a USGA qualifier, do you? Wie needs to spend some time figuring out her short game and how to win. You don’t prove anything in professional sports by coming in second. She needs to win to demonstrate that she can — and so far she hasn’t proven anything. Why is the model that Earl used for Tiger so obviously ignored in the case of Wie? She’s not the female Tiger and I bet she never will be.

Also on Wie, reader Wayne writes:

Does the headline refer to Wie’s presence on the PGA tour (and trying to qualify for the US Open) or the LPGA? There is no reason that she does not belong on the LPGA tour as she plays rarely and seems to challenge in every event which are generally majors. She has had a chance to win both of the LPGA majors of the year, even though she (arguably) didn’t bring her “A” game to either tournament.

The LPGA has got to love her being on the leaderboard – who would you rather watch – Pat Hurst, one of 56 Koreans or Michelle Wie?

Wow. Not a big fan of the Koreans? I agree that the way they are trained to play means they come off as similar, but I still think Se Ri Pak is an amazing talent and does stand out. Interestingly, when considering the Wie situation, is that Pak said she considered quitting the game last year because of the intense pressure she’s under. She told me a few months ago that she feels old, and she isn’t even 30. I don’t think the editor who wrote the headline (we columnists don’t write’em) had any issue with Wie on the LPGA Tour. I think he felt, like I do, that she should stay there — at least until she has no one left to win. And the way she is putting, that could be a while….

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Rob,

    I’m sure that Graham Cooke will do a restoration equal to, or better than, the fine job he did at Highlands Links. How can he fail, with the divine hand of Stanley Thompson guiding him?

    ….is there a smiley for facetious?

  • Nothing against Koreans, I like Se Ri as well, but what I meant was this – it doesn’t help the LPGA get bigger galleries or a richer US TV deal if the list of winners reads: Hee Won Han, Mi Hyun Kim, Seon Hwa Lee, Meena Lee, Jeong Jang, Sung Ah Yim, Shi Hyun Ahn, Joo Mi Kim,etc. (By the way all of those women are in the top 20 of the LPGA money list). Pretty much all unkown Koreans – could you pick them out of a lineup? Se Ri was the pioneer and she has had a fantastic career even though she is just at the age where she should be entereing her prime.

    The top American on the LPGA money standings is Cristie Kerr at #7. If Michelle Wie doesn’t pan out (she’s a Korean-American by the way) then how long will Americans continue to fund a tour when the American presence is shrinking down to an insignificant level.

    Of course, that will not be the case if Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis are in contention every week with the odd challenge from Morgan Pressel. Then the LPGA will thrive.

  • Chris: I don’t know if Graham channels Nicol, or just Stanley. If it is just Stanley, he might not have much luck “restoring” Brantford.

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