Tour Notebook: Spieth and Scott not bothered by RioNovember 30, 2015 News & Tour
Pampling back in the Open Championship
Slumbers happy to name and shame
The present procedure on the European Tour is to post a list at every tournament of players who have either been timed or fined but those names are kept out of our gaze.
Martin Slumbers, the new chief executive of the R&A, would like to see that change, in the hope that it might encourage fewer names to appear on it.
“I think there is a fear to publish,” said Slumbers. “But I think it would be better for dialogue to publish some names and numbers in both the club and professional game.”
Interestingly it was also revealed that just 24 golfers had incurred penalty shots for slow play in the history of the European Tour. The Tour begin in 1972.
Those who had been penalized included Seve Ballesteros, Nicolas Colsaerts and Jamie Donaldson.
Spieth plays better quick
Who can remember Jordan Spieth being put on the clock at the Open this year? Neither can I.
At this week’s gathering in St Andrews to debate the problem of slow play one of the European Tour’s referees, Kevin Feeney, reminded us of how the two-time Major winner failed to quicken up after a polite nudge in the third round.
“Sergio made an effort and, on the ninth tee, I said, ‘thank you Sergio for your efforts, but Jordan you’ve made no effort whatsoever, so you are on the clock’,” he explained.
Spieth then made three straight birdies.
“He came over and thanked me after, saying it was essentially the kick he was needing,” added Feeney.
Aussie trio heading to Troon
The first three qualifiers for next year’s Open are Australian trio Matt Jones, Rod Pampling and Nick Cullen.
In the first event of the Open Qualifying Series the threesome made it to Royal Troon, Jones doing it in style by winning the Australian Open while Pampling, everyone’s favourite first-round bet, started with a bogey and finished with an eagle for a 61 and fourth place. At Carnoustie in 1999 he led after a 71 on day one and then missed the cut with an 86.
The 47-year-old said: “To know you’re in the event is fantastic. Peter Dawson let me start the event off last year and it was fantastic to have that honour.
“I’m delighted to get back there. Obviously it’s where the game started. The results haven’t shown it, but I really enjoy playing the Open. Hopefully this year, maybe I will work it out and who knows what we can do.”
The Open Qualifying Series continues at the Thailand Golf Championship from 10-13 December 2015.
Scott not exactly buzzing for Rio
Next summer golf will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 and two of the game’s biggest names have differing levels of excitement.
Adam Scott, who looks like being part of the Australian side alongside Jason Day, has little enthusiasm for Rio as things stand.
“I’ve been pretty open and outspoken that it’s not really a priority of my scheduling next year, which is based around the Majors. And if the Olympics fits in then it does. There is a gap in the schedule there. Some time off looks quite good actually.”
He added that the format of 72 holes of strokeplay had done little to enthuse him.
Jordan Spieth, on the other hand, can’t wait for Brazil to roll around.
“Just competing in the Olympics, just walking the opening ceremony, staying in the village and doing whatever it is, meeting these incredible athletes from around the world, hopefully that’s something I’ll be able to experience,” said Spieth.
“Winning a gold medal has got to be up there now in my mind with winning a Major championship. We’re going to approach it as a fifth Major, and we’re going to prepare like it is, and I’m going to go down there and try and take care of business.”
“I’ve been pretty open and outspoken that the Olympics aren’t really a priority of my scheduling next year” – Adam Scott
Matthew gets belated gong
Scotland golf’s Hall of Fame has a new inductee in Catriona Matthew. The 46-year-old, who might well be the European Solheim Cup captain at Gleneagles in 2019, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at next year’s Scottish Golf Awards.
Previous recipients include Paul Lawrie, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle and, most recently, Bernard Gallacher.
It’s not that we don’t trust you, it’s just that, well, we don’t trust you…
As from January 1 the USGA have announced that scores shot while playing on your own will no longer be acceptable for handicap purposes.
Though it’s not quite as clear as you might think.
What does ‘playing alone’ mean?
As long as someone accompanies the player during the round
(eg fellow competitor, opponent, caddie, marker for a tournament, friend riding along in a cart) the player is not playing alone.
How many holes can a player play alone to post the score?
The player must be accompanied for at least seven holes for a nine-hole score or 13 holes for 18-hole score. For the holes played alone (not accompanied), the player would treat these as not played under the Rules of Golf and post according to “par plus” any handicap strokes the player is entitled to receive.
Golf Canada made their feelings clear on the announcement by not adopting the new rule.