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Golf Talk: English-Only LPGA a No-Go; Woods Wastes Water

By    |   Tuesday, 09 September 2008 08:25 AM

  • English-Only LPGA a No-Go

  • Vijay Has Bad Reputation

  • Tommy Bolt Had Quick Wit

  • Woods Makes Water-Waster List

    English-Only LPGA a No-Go

    LPGA Tour Commissioner Carolyn Bivens' decision to rescind the plan to make players learn English might have been influenced in part, not only by the near-universal backlash from golfers, fans and sponsors, but also by potential legal issues the rule raised.

    "After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the business opportunities for every tour player," Bivens said in a statement.

    The LPGA includes 121 international players from 26 countries, including 45 from South Korea. Asians won three of the four majors this year.

    California State Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat, had asked the legislature's legal office to investigate whether the English policy violated state or federal anti-discrimination laws. If it was found to be legal, Yee said he would have sought for legislation banning such policies in California.

    The LPGA Tour plays three events in California, including its first major championship.

    "I'm very pleased that the LPGA saw the wisdom of the concerns that we raised," Yee said. "It's a no-brainer for those of us who have been the recipient of these kinds of discriminatory acts."

    Vijay Has Bad Reputation

    While Vijay Singh may appear all smiley and friendly during television ads for the products he endorses, his reputation on the PGA Tour is one of a rude, self-centered man.

    He did nothing to dispel the idea with his recent post-tournament antics at the FexEx Cup's BMW Championship.

    Singh finished 44th, but by virtue of Camilo Villegas's first victory on the PGA Tour, Singh, the winner of the first two events in the season-ending series,will capture the FedEx and the $10 million just by turning in four rounds at the Tour Championship. He can even finish dead last by a hundred strokes if he so chooses.

    What did Veej have to say about his fortune? Nada, nothing, not a word. Singh declined interviews with NBC, the Golf Channel, and print reporters. He didn't even bother to thank oh, say, FedEx or BMW or the PGA Tour or to give a nod to Villegas.

    After completing his round, Singh told a Tour media official that the tournament was not over, and that he had nothing to say on camera or in the media tent.

    To some, his attitude comes as no surprise. At the Open Championship in 2000, he tried to cut his own cups into the practice putting green at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, and was incensed when an official of the R&A forced him to stop.

    Tommy Bolt Had Quick Wit

    Tommy Bolt, who died Aug. 30 at the age of 92, was better known for his temper than his golf game even though he won 15 PGA Tour titles, including the 1958 U.S. Open where he smoked the field by four strokes.

    Bolt was also a founding force behind the PGA Senior Tour, winning three events on that circuit.

    Although it's true that he had a legendarily volcanic personality, he also had a phenomenal golf swing, although he didn't make it to the PGA Tour until he was in his 30s. Ben Hogan once said, "If we could've screwed another head on his shoulders, Tommy Bolt could have been the greatest who ever played."

    Bolt, an Oklahoma native, was known for his many quips as well as volatile on-course personality.

    Here are some of the more memorable:

  • "Pro golf is dull. It's a chorus line of blond towheads you can't even tell apart."

  • "If you are going to throw a club, it is important to throw it ahead of you, down the fairway, so you don't have to waste energy going back to pick it up."

  • "Somebody asked me once, 'Who's better? Jack Nicklaus or Ben Hogan?' Well, my answer was, 'I saw Nicklaus watch Hogan practice. But I never saw Hogan watch Nicklaus.'"

    Woods Makes Water-Waster List

    Tiger Woods may be gold when it comes to endorsements, but he sure isn't green when it comes to water conservation.

    Woods used 107,000 gallons of water at his south Orange County home in April, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel in a series on the Central Florida water supply.

    NBA stars also were major transgressors.

    Grant Hill used 263,000 gallons in May, and the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard was charged for 189,000 gallons in July.

    Each of the three has had monthly water bills of nearly $1,000 and sometimes much more. In comparison, most households use less than 10,000 gallons and pay less than $20 a month.

    The problem with the wasteful habits of Woods and others is that the water supply for that region of Florida is rapidly diminishing and will force water prices to skyrocket for everyone as utilities will have to spend large amounts of money to pump from distant or dirty rivers and maybe even the ocean.

    "Somebody ought to go to those people and say, 'I know money doesn't mean anything to you, but water means something to us,'" said Jake Varn, a Tallahassee lawyer who specializes in water issues and is a former director of Florida's environmental agency.

    The 25 biggest residential customers of Orange County Utilities include Woods, who's near the top of the glutton list, according to the newspaper. He has averaged 129,000 gallons a month since last summer. The 25th customer on the list has averaged 84,000 gallons.

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    Tuesday, 09 September 2008 08:25 AM
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