The USGA Has A Sponsor For The Women’s Open. Will A Men’s Major Be Auctioned Off Next?

There is much to welcome in the announcement that the purse for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open will increase to $10 million, not least that it’s a rare example of riches being promised professional golfers from sources other than a murderous regime. After years of golf’s great and good proving themselves content to sign expressions of noble sentiment about investing in the women’s game, they are finally signing checks.

The U.S. Women’s Open prize fund is almost doubling from $5.5 million, with a commitment to further raise it to $12 million within five years. The R&A has said the purse for the 2022 AIG Women’s Open will be at least $6.8 million, more than twice what it was just four years ago. And Chevron will boost prize money by 60 percent when it debuts in April as title sponsor of the LPGA’s first major, still fondly known as the Dinah Shore, though it’s had more name changes than Zsa Zsa Gabor (Google her, kids).

But Friday’s blockbuster reveal by the USGA’s CEO, Mike Whan, has implications beyond the bank account of the last-standing lady who leaves Pine Needles with $1.8 million in June. Not least for Whan’s organization itself.

Continue reading “The USGA Has A Sponsor For The Women’s Open. Will A Men’s Major Be Auctioned Off Next?”

Backstopping Brings Out the Fire in Paul Azinger

In an era when relationships among the world’s best golfers lean more toward hugs than hostility, Paul Azinger is an unapologetic throwback to a time when Tour pros would think twice about even giving each other a Heimlich.

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 4.06.14 PM
Paul Azinger.

He doesn’t play much these days, but Azinger’s love of competition – the honor of it, as much as the thrill – remains undimmed. If only some of today’s players felt as competitive as the guy in the booth at the 118th U.S. Open Championships.

It should come as no surprise that the Fox Sports lead analyst is openly hostile to backstopping, the controversial “helping hand” practice that has been the subject of heated debate on the grounds at Shinnecock Hills.

Continue reading “Backstopping Brings Out the Fire in Paul Azinger”