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38 comments

Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
I agree, the very notion of having this as a 5th Major is absurd, plus the fact that 3 of the other Major's are in America make is even more unfair, if there is to be another Major ( please no, 4 is enough ), then surely another Country should have that honour.
Golf has already been spoilt by longer drives, clubs, petulant prima donna players earning way too much money, etc, lets leave well alone.
I am not biast in my opinion, I am a Scot brought up with golf, my fav golfer is Sandy Lyle, it would be lovely to think of my fav player obtaining another Major, but I am sure Sandy would rather have won it on merit, not by dubious, underhand, reclassification.
Ann.
03/20/06 @ 11:24
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
I certainly don't think it should be made a major.

However there is one point I take issue with.

If it were classed a major, wouldn't it just be classed that way from the day that it became a major ie. previous players championships wouldn't be considered as majors.

Let's say from 2007, you have 5 majors, and the previous years they were 4. That is the way I think it would be done.

However, I certainly don't think it will be done, and it certainly should not be done.

By the way, if they were reclassing some tournament as a major and using Shanks method of counting previous years, then they should pick something that Monty has won.
03/20/06 @ 12:04
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Johnny,
That is the only way Monty could ever win a major, plus it would have to be from another country, lets see, Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, unless they can class skins wins as a major.
Perhaps he will shock us all and win The Players Championship at the weekend, och think I am dreaming again, and I can say this, was born in Glasgow just like him.
Ann.
03/20/06 @ 12:29
Comment from: kel [Visitor]
I don't think that the Players should become a 5th Major. I (and they)would rather everyone talking about making it the 5th Major. That is more fun.

My question is:

What's age got to do with it?

When did the Masters become a Major?(ok, that's another question) I am pretty sure it was much younger than what Shanks says The Players is now. Otherwise that would mean the Masters didn't become a major until 1967.
03/20/06 @ 12:34
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Good comments from all. My brother - E - and I have been having this discussion all morning. The 4 Majors have been designated as Majors from universal recognition in the press. There is no golfing body that can say "Now, this tourney is a Major." As far as when the Masters became recognized as a Major, I don't really know, but it was probably in the 50's or 60's when Palmer & Nicklaus inspired the idea of the modern Grand Slam. Then people really started counting Major victories. And that intensified as Nicklaus approached and then passed Bobby Jones record for Major wins. Of course, the press is now discounting the Major Amateur wins and focusing on the pro Majors.

But whenever the designation became accepted, the press went back to the very first Masters and counted them all, regardless that some weren't contested with the pomp & circumstance of what we now have. I say that since it was history in the making, those wins are grandfathered in. Otherwise we'd have to take away wins from all the early years of the 4 Majors and it would be a very subjective thing to do. For instance, should the first Open Championship be discounted because there were only 12 participants? The Masters likewise had a smaller field initially.

And that is why I'm shouting NO right now about the Players. Besides the fact that it's unfair to the early greats INCLUDING Palmer & Nicklaus, we have in place a universally agreed upon manner to determine the greatest players in history. Why screw it up with something new?
03/20/06 @ 12:58
Comment from: One-Putt [Visitor]
Forget about it!
03/20/06 @ 13:58
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Kel,
I believe the Augusta Master's was first created in 1934, it was 1949 the green jacket was introduced, the great Sam Snead was the first recipient.
The British Open was 1860.
Ann.
03/20/06 @ 14:38
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
The Players' Championship has the best field in golf bar none. Since the term "major" has no significance other than as the recent creation of sportswriters,the Players' is considered as the premier tournament worldwide by golf aficionados and will continued to be thought of as such. The Masters' field is thin by comparison and , of course, the Open(British)field is positively anorexic when matched against that of the Players'. My apologies to Ann, Queen of Scots.
03/20/06 @ 19:12
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Sir Alex, Nothing to apologise for. I agree, the Open is now positively anorexic, but wherein lies the fault, American players who will not get on a plane and fly to Britain, the one and only Jack Nicholas berated them, the magnificient Tiger also did the same, as did many others, it breaks your heart to see these players one by one pull out of the Open, they are too cosseted, a little too comfortable in their environment, make too much money, don't have the same history as players from Sam Snead to Seve, the Open is a difficult to play, by the sea, wind, natural bunkers, not smooth velvet grass, or could it be because of Carnoustie, 1999, I was there, and the Americans were perplexed, to say the least, but this is the Open, they should make the effort to be there, no matter what, anybody else agree, or disagree?.
Ann, Queen of Scots.
03/21/06 @ 09:09
Comment from: Johnny N. [Visitor]
Alex,
Sorry, your commentary on the Players is complete hype.
"the Players' is considered as the premier tournament worldwide by golf aficionados and will continued to be thought of as such".

Any professional player, and I would bet any professional player, would rather win any major, than win the Players Championship. No doubt about that.

03/21/06 @ 09:19
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
I have to disagree with you guys a little bit. All of the best players in the world play in the Open Championship. It's only at the middle to lower end of the field that there may be some players missing. In recent memory, the only really good player to not play is Scott Hoch. And he doesn't have much chance on a links course because he always hits it high.
03/21/06 @ 09:19
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Oop's, sorry about my mistake, must be the cold Scottish weather that is affecting my brain cells, I meant Jack Nicklaus, not Jack Nicholson the actor.
First of all to me the British Open will always be the premier major, followed by the Masters, and the reason the field at the middle and bottom is a bit sparse, is because it is an Open, and anyone can qualify, except myself of course. seeing as I have a handicap of 9 million on a good day.
Many American players don't even attempt to qualify for the Open in their own backyard.
I agree with Johnny N, any professional would rather win a major than the Players Championship, leave it at 4, why do we need another major, the Player Championship is sensational to watch, mainly for the 17th hole, but a major it most certainly is not, and I hope it never will be.
So why do all the players seem to be at the PC, and not at the Open?, anybody any idea?
Ann.
03/21/06 @ 12:02
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Since 1st prize is $1.44 million and a 5 year exemption onto the PGA Tour, every US player eligible tries to play in this event. But there are only a handful of non-US players in the field who aren't members of the Tour. And those players are also in the country because the Masters is just 2 weeks away.

There are basically one reason that some of the middle-tier US players don't go over to play in the Open: money. It is expensive to make the trip for just the one tournament. Meanwhile, there is a PGA Tour event in the US going on the same week of the Open. These players hope to make a good check or win while the best players are away for 2-3 weeks and thereby secure their card for the next year. Very few of the best US players don't go. If they don't, it's because they either don't like links golf or, more likely, don't think their game is well suited for it.
03/21/06 @ 12:30
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
The term "Major" as refers to golf tournaments was a relatively recent creation of sportswriters. Just as the original "Grand Slam" as won by Bobby Jones did not include the Masters', which didn't exist at the time, or the USPGA, the Players' doesn't need to be tagged as some sort of mythical "Major" to be considered the premier event on the planet. Several other tournaments have deeper fields than either the Masters' or the Open(UK). Apologies again to Lady Ann of Glasgow.
03/21/06 @ 13:22
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Lord Alex, As the sportwriters, newspaper columist, Golf mags, tv pundits, often tell us, ad nauseum, " the best player never to have won a major ", Monty, springs to mind, unfortunately, surely this is the pinnacle of any golfers career, just as an athlete at the Olympics strives to win a gold medal, ( you can forget about Scotland, most of our athletes have two left feet ), so surely a golfer yearns to win a major, or whatever they are called, years later when the old magic has deserted them, who will remember the Dubia Open, or the Buick Open, but they will always be remembered for winning The Open, The Masters, USPGA, US Open?, I am sure if they were asked, surely each and every one of them would have loved to have one major under their belt?.
I don't think in years to come if Rod Pampling does not win a major, he will be walking down the street and someone will say to a friend " look there goes Rod Pampling, he won the Bay Hill Invitational ", but if he won a major....??.
I go to Dallas ( well somebody has to I suppose ), to visit my sister, the fare is about $900, a drop in the ocean surely to middle of the road golfers, look at the 70's, 80's, golfers such as Ian Woosnam, Seve, Sandy Lyle, Langer, had very little money, I am only quoting the European players, I don't know about starving US golfers, and they travelled from country to country, staying in cheap accommodation, or clapped out vans, the monies at that time, practically non existant, if you desperately want something badly enough, would you not find a way to get it.
My tip for the non major, never to be I hope, John Daly to win the PC, great guy and golfer, for the Masters, Padraig, he has the talent, but does he have the bottle to do it, Sandy Lyle to win the British Open again, ( well I am allowed to dream ha! ), Tiger to win the remaining two.
Ann.
03/21/06 @ 15:04
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
It's not likely, in response to a query about Major wins, that anyone (Adam Scott for example) has ever said "No, but I won The Players Championship and it's better than a Major." Despite Alex's infatuation with a full bottom half of the field in a tourney held on a quirky golf course, TPC should never be considered in the same class as Major Championship. Sorry.
03/21/06 @ 15:21
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Ann, you are soooo right about those eligible players not taking a shot at the Open. I believe that most of them in their older years will rue those lost opportunities. It's a no-brainer. How about Brad Faxon going over just to take a shot a qualifying last year? I was rooting harder for him than any other Yank. You can bet I will address this topic when the Open nears.
03/21/06 @ 15:28
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Lady Ann, Another creation of the sports media here in the US is the term "Triple Crown" with respect to thoroughbred racing. So pervasive is this brainwashing that on more than one occasion I've met folks who actually think that the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes are the ONLY horseraces run all year anywhere in the world. These three races only define the triple crown of three-year-old racing. Of course, the real devotees of the sport know of the Twenty-one Guineas, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the Jockey Gold Cup, and the Arlington Million. These races are where the championships of mature racing are decided. A corollary with the hype with the so-called golf "Majors" can be drawn here.
03/21/06 @ 15:41
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
That horse-racing analogy is ridiculous. Major championship fields in golf don't exclude ANY of the best players in the world. They all have the opportunity to qualify. The ones that don't make it just haven't been playing very well.
03/21/06 @ 15:53
Comment from: kel [Visitor]
To me there should be a set of "modern" Major championships because today, you really can't compare the courses played today to those played 60, 120 or as Ann has mentioned 146 years ago. And then, of course, there is the eqipment used.

Sure, keep the classic Majors. They should never die or be forgotten. But maybe a rota of courses built in the last 30 or 40 years that could determine the best players of the the time. You could build the rota slowly, adding a course every 4 years. Every 4 years when it is determined that a course no longer fits the courses of the time, change to a newer course.

Just an idea I have had. Haven't worked all details.
03/21/06 @ 16:23
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
This is why it is called the Open, open to everyone, and yes Shanksy I agree, Brad Faxton in my estimation last year stood 10 feet tall, a giant amongst men, and the British adored him for it, and I can tell you, the crowds following him were huge, yes I was there as well.
The BBC who cover the event were full of praise for him.
I cannot comment on the horse racing Lord Alex, don't know anything about it, though I do know newspapers hype many things up, and you always have the people who believe what they want to believe.
I cannot understand all this furore over the PC, why do they want another major, who wants it, has anyone ever asked the players if they would like this to be added to the list?, and if it is accepted as a major, what next, why not have a sixth, how about the Ford Championship at Doral, or even the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, the list is endless.
Anyway back to enjoyable golf spectacle on Thursday, Mrs Monty Doubtfire's face always tripping him, Garcia flinging his toys out of the pram when shots go awry, John all my ex's wear Rolex's, giving us hours of enjoyment, ( he should be America's national treasure ),can we have him, and you can have Monty?.
Ann.
03/21/06 @ 17:13
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Folks, several on this board are missing my point. The gist of my position is this: The sports media can create a mystique around a certain player, event or series of events by incessant repetition and hype. By repeating something over and over again, the sports pundits can get a sizable portion of their readers and watchers and listeners to believe just about anything. A pioneer in the business of sports hype was Grantland Rice who created such sports mythologies as "the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", the "Seven Blocks of Granite", the "Galloping Ghost", and the "Manassa Mauler." He and others like him cast Jesse Owens as being jeered and loathed at the 1936 Olympics and being snubbed by Adolf Hitler after his victories. Before his death, Jesse was insistent that nothing like that ever happened; that he was treated well at the Berlin Games and that Adolf didn't even give the German athletes much of his time. Yet, to this day this myth, in direct contradiction to Jesse's own avowals, not only exists but is gaining in credence, an example of egregious creativity by the sports propagandists. Right at this time , golf fans are being conditioned to accept Michelle Wie as the salvation of the sport, the greatest thing since sliced bread. By reading some of the postings on these blogs, it's easy to see how many have taken the bait.
03/21/06 @ 22:57
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Lord Alex, no I don't think anyone was missing your point, and you put a very good point across may I add.
The sports media, tv, radio whichever media you want to listen, to or read are very dangerous, in Britain for instance they are notorious for building a sports person up on a high pedestal, then take the greatest pleasure of knocking that said person down, be it sports, politics, personality etc.
I for one don't believe the hype, I have seen it happen so often, how many times have we heard " the next Tiger Woods ", I just think to myself, oh sure, lets wait and see, same with Michelle Wie, for her too much pressure, too soon, are they waiting for a fall, if it was Britain, most probably, I have seen it too many times over the years.
Ann.
03/22/06 @ 03:05
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Agreed on your point, Alex. That is why I will sound off against TPC getting Major status. If those voices who support the notion go unopposed, eventually the press will have TPC designated as the fifth Major. And IMHO, that would be a crime.
03/22/06 @ 09:40
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Shanks, the bit I wrote concerning thoroughbred racing was not meant as an analogy. It was meant to underscore the ability of sports media to hype a subject with intensity to the exclusion of common sense. I did some cursory research on the subject of "Major" golf tournaments. The term only started to come into vogue about 35 years ago at the dawn of the Nicklaus era when Jack had followed his Masters' and US Open wins with victories in the Open(UK). At that time, those tournaments had the deepest fields and the largest purses, so the prestige went along. Incidentally, the Masters' DOES exclude many of the world's best golfers. With a field that includes several amateurs, several international players by invitation, and ALL former Masters' champions regardless of age and/or ability however declining, and with the number of entrants limited to 93 or thereabouts, by necessity many of the world's best including a few 2005 PGA event winners will probably not be invited. It will depend on the status of some of the older former champions. There is nothing wrong with this method of invitation, it just means that several top-notch players with real expectations will not be competing.
03/22/06 @ 09:42
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Alex, my point is that all of the very best golfers in the world will be competing at the Masters. Your objection is with the golfers outside of the world's top 60-70 that are not invited ... I would not call those players the best in the game. If you look at the qualfying categories to get in, you will see that every effort is taken to get the cream of the crop in the tournament. It is called The Masters for a reason.

In your opinion, what great player will NOT be playing at Augusta this year?
03/22/06 @ 09:54
Comment from: Ju-Lu [Visitor]
Ann please, don't even ask for that
trade....as much as I love everything
British (my mother is Welsh, but I prefer to visit Scotland every time
over) I/we have no desire to trade
John for Monty. Besides, my friends
and I are starting to resemble Daly
more and more!
03/22/06 @ 14:09
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Shanks, terms like "great" are relative and subjective so I prefer the term "competitive." Two outstanding pros I can think of off the top of my head, both PGA tour winners in the last calendar year, who haven't yet been invited to the Masters are Tim Petrovic, winner of the 2005 Greater New Orleans event and over $1M in that single tournament, and JB Holmes, 2005 "Q" school medalist and winner of the 2006 FBR Open and well over $1M since the first of the year. Camilo Villegas is another hot property not yet invited. Old pros Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon also aren't in the field. Examples of golters definitely not in the great category but invitees to the Masters are Dillon Dougherty, Clay Ogden, Kevin Marsh, and Edoardo Molinari, all amateurs. And old pros Ray Floyd, Doug Ford, Gary Player and Billy Casper among others are still on the list. With the cut at 60 plus ties out of a field in the low nineties, just about every active PGA pro in the field is practically guaranteed to make the cut, something that no other full field PGA event can provide. For these reasons, the depth and even the quality of the Masters field is circumspect. Again, I find nothing objectionable with this method of selection and invitation, it's just that it doesn't provide the best possible field. The Tournament Players Championship DOES provide the best possible field. As far as TPC being dubbed a "Major", that is just a matter of semantics and has no bearing on the quality of the field or reputation of the tournament.
03/22/06 @ 15:16
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Petrovic? Get serious. He has missed 5 of 7 cuts so far this year. Faxon & Andrade? Please. They're #115 & #171 on the money list this year. Villegas isn't a slam dunk for the Masters either. He wouldn't have even gotten into TPC, but got lucky yesterday when DiMarco pulled out with injury.

Holmes is the one you would think should be in the Masters. By getting a gift win last week, Pampling just bumped him out of 10th spot on the current money list (which would get him invited). So blame Greg Owen. Holmes' problem is that since his win, he hasn't done much. He missed one cut and barely made 2 others. He can still get in with a nice finish this week. And if he can't manage that, so what, it won't diminish the Masters one iota.
03/23/06 @ 07:56
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Shanks, You conveniently didn't mention the amateurs and the way over-the-hill old timers, at least twenty invitees without the slightest chance of finishing in the top fifty. You are obviously a fan of tradition and nostalgia. And that is admirable. I like those things myself. But if one wants the strongest field with the best competition, the TPC will provide thdse qualites. Later this year, I will be a spectator at the Memorial, as I have been several times recently. That event also always has a deeper field than the Masters. Please don't get me wrong; I love the Masters and all the surrounding tradition. However,its field is not close to the best on tour.
03/23/06 @ 08:18
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Alex, it doesn't matter to me if the cut off for the best players in the world is the top 60-70 or 100 .... so long as the very best are there. You seem to be hung up on lower ranked players getting in. Even your favorite tournament (TPC) has only 82 of the top 100.

And I do not worry about the players in the tourney who can't win like amateurs, past champions etc. They have earned their place in the field by pre-determined criteria. Each Major is a little different, and that's a good thing. Expanding the field to include players such as Craig Barlow & Tag Ridings in the name of "deepest field" doesn't really enhance the event in my eyes.
03/23/06 @ 08:45
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Alex, I am a great fan of tradition and nostalgia, I for one, don't want to see any changes to the Open, or Master's, when you start changing, traditions are spoiled, I love to see the old timers tee off, they reserved the right to do that, don't abase the amatuers, they also deserve their place in these tournaments, they were good enough, and came through the ranks.
Tell me who is your favourite player?.
Ju-Lu, glad you enjoy my Country, shame you don't want to swap, cannot understand why ha!, you say you and your friends are starting to resemble Daly, does that mean you are full of fun, enjoy life, and have been married many times.
03/23/06 @ 09:37
Comment from: Ju-Lu [Visitor]
Ann,

I/we don't just enjoy your country,
we love going there. I have been
many times, starting in 1976 with my
first wife (maiden name Keir). Our
group of eight will hopefully return
in June of '07 for another golfing
vacation.
Yes...we are full of fun, enjoy life,
and I'm on my third marriage! Wonder
if that has ANYTHING to do with my
"trips" with the BOYZ!!??
03/23/06 @ 12:11
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Shanks, It's a good thing that you didn't include the name of Stephen Ames with those of Barlow and Ridings when you pooh-poohed their games. When Ames smoked a classy field by six shots only then did he receive an invitation to Augusta. And Faxon also had an excellent TPC, out scoring most of the world's top players. Those results would seem to prove my point, that ANY of the golfers in a really strong field like that in the TPC have a decent chance to win, whereas at least one-third of the so-so field at the Masters' are either over-the-hill or hopelessly outclassed.
03/27/06 @ 14:05
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Anytime a line is drawn for qualification, somebody is left out who could possibly win. Look at John Daly in the 1990 PGA at Crooked Stick. He was something like the 6th alternate. The point is that you've got to draw the line somewhere. Each Major tournament invites the very best players in the world, whether it is the top 60, 70, 100 or whatever. After that there are some invitees who qualify by other pre-determined means. So what if they have little or no chance of winning. That doesn't affect the outcome and still leaves the best of the field to fight it out over a Major championship course and conditions. If players don't earn their way in over the year-long period to do so, they have nothing to gripe about. They can play better the next year and get in. Ames doesn't have to worry about. He earned his way in.

P.S. Although your boy Faxon had a great week (for him) to jump from 115th on the money list to 79th with his 16th place finish, he was never a factor at TPC. Anyway, he doesn't deserve to be in the Masters field based on one week's results.
03/27/06 @ 15:05
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
Shanks, Brad Faxon is not my "boy" nor does he belong to anyone else. I've had the pleasure of being introduced to the man. He's many years my junior but he has my respect as an all-around nice guy and quite a generous person. I doubt he has an enemy in this world. Nobody was a factor in the TPC except Ames after the third round.
03/27/06 @ 17:41
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Alex, I love Brad Faxon and wish that all pros on the PGA Tour had his attitude. But that doesn't mean he should be in the Masters field this year.

And the term "my boy" or "your boy" is not derisive in any way. It just means that you favor the guy.
03/28/06 @ 07:41
Comment from: Ju-Lu [Visitor]
Shanks,
(By the way....a total misnomer this
year!).

Too bad "our boy" didn't do a bit
better, eh? Hope he rounds out by
giddy-up time at Masters.
03/29/06 @ 14:58

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