Share This Page

Golf notebook: USGA scraps Public Links, adds new event

| Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 12:04 a.m.

The U.S. Golf Association is adding its first championship in more than 25 years, getting rid of the U.S. Amateur Public Links in favor of a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship to meet what it says is a trend at the state and regional level.

The Four-Ball Championship — one tournament for men, one for women — will start in 2015.

Adding these two tournaments means the end of two others, however. That includes the U.S. Amateur Public Links, which dates to 1922 and has a list of winners that includes Trevor Immelman, Tim Clark and Brandt Snedeker. Also being abandoned is the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, where Michelle Wie made history in 2003 at age 13 as the youngest winner of a USGA championship for adults.

USGA vice president Thomas O'Toole Jr. said the better-ball format for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship should lend to more exciting golf. He also said it was gaining in popularity, with more than 150 tournaments using the format in state and regional competitions last year.

The USGA said there would be no age restriction for teams in the Four-Ball Championship, and that players do not have to belong to the same club, or even come from the same state or country. There will be 36 holes of stroke-play competition — counting the better score of the two players on each hole — before the field is reduced to 32 teams for the fourballs format in match play.

The U.S. Amateur Public Links is the fourth-oldest USGA event, and the winner gets an invitation to the Masters. It was created to provide a championship for amateur golfers from public courses, because at the time, the U.S. Amateur was only for players from USGA member clubs.

The last time the USGA added a championship to its roster was in 1987 with the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship.

Australian PGA moved

The PGA of Australia will move the venue of its PGA Championship, which was overshadowed last year by the billionaire resort owner's decision to position a giant robotic dinosaur outside the clubhouse and post unusual signage around the course.

PGA of Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn announced Monday that the tournament would be moved away from the Sunshine Coast region where it has been staged since 2000. The venue for the 2013 tournament has not been disclosed.

Thorburn said a “lack of flexibility of dates ... and signage matters” prompted golf's national governing body to seek alternatives to the resort owned by mining magnate Clive Palmer.

The contract with the resort had been in jeopardy since the 26-foot mechanical T-Rex nicknamed “Jeff” — placed between the ninth green and 10th tee — generated international headlines and plenty of jokes. Palmer agreed to turn off the movement sensors on the dinosaur so it didn't flip its tail or open its mouth for a menacing roar during the tournament.

He also put up more than 60 signs around the golf course to promote his business interests. Some of those signs were in the landing areas on the fairways and forced organizers of the championship, which dates to 1905, to mark those areas “ground under repair” during the tournament.

Faulk to host event

Pro football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk has been picked to replace Drew Brees as host of a celebrity golf tournament.

In December, Brees and his foundation sued tournament organizer David Miller and his firm, Integrated Sports Marketing, in San Diego Superior Court, saying he cheated benefactors of the foundation out of thousands of dollars he kept for his company.

Last month, Miller filed a motion seeking to have the suit by the New Orleans Saints quarterback dismissed.

Faulk played at San Diego State before starring in the NFL.

Some proceeds from the tournament will go to the Junior Seau Foundation and the Marshall Faulk Foundation.

The tournament is scheduled for May 16-19 at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.