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Sep 22, 2014 | 06:57 AM

No Saving The Wales

Joost Luiten of the Netherlands won the ISPS Handa Wales Open yesterday by one shot. But he may be the last winner in that country for some time as the Wales Open is not coming back next year and its future beyond is in question. The tournament has been played at the Celtic Manor (above) since 2000, part of a 15-year deal that brought the 2010 Ryder Cup to the same venue. This was the last year of the contract and the resort has decided not to renew, at least not for any time soon. If there’s any good news for the European Tour from the event it was the play of a few of their Ryder Cuppers, who used the event as a warm-up for this week’s matches. Welshman Jamie Donaldson finished well in his homeland, tying for fourth. Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn finished T58, one stroke ahead of England’s Lee Westwood. But Stephen Gallacher of Scotland missed the cut. No American Ryder Cup players were in the field, perhaps remembering the team’s poor finish over the same course in 2010.

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Sep 19, 2014 | 12:48 PM

Which Women Will The R&A Admit?

Not only is Scotland not seceding from the United Kingdom, it isn’t rejecting the modern world, either. As expected, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has voted to accept women members. Overwhelmingly, in fact, with 85 percent of the male membership that responded (about three-quarters of the 2,400 members) voting in favor. That still leaves three male-only clubs in the British Open rota—Troon, St. George’s, and Muirfield—and it will be interesting to see if they open up any time soon. Interest now falls on who will be the first women invited into the R&A. Among the names being mentioned are LPGA stars Annika Sorenstam and Scotland-born Catriona Matthew, but both likely would be Honorary Members, which is not quite the same. Among Americans, noted amateur Carol Semple Thompson is a good bet. Locally, the principal of the University of St. Andrews, Louise Richardson—who has been vocal in her contempt for the R&A’s former policy—is likely to be offered membership, as her two male predecessors were. And how soon with all this happen? Well, it took the club 260 years to get this far…

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Sep 18, 2014 | 02:22 PM

After the Storm

Three days after Hurricane Odile slammed into Mexico’s southern Baja Peninsula, reports of extensive damage continue to emerge. The area includes numerous golf resorts located along a 20-mile corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo. The Category 3 storm heavily damaged the two terminals at Los Cabos international airport but the runways remain operable. Both military and commercial planes are being used to evacuate an estimated 30,000 tourists, with free flights from Los Cabos and La Paz departing to other cities in Mexico. Scattered debris and extensive damage was reported at Diamante Cabo San Lucas, home to a Davis Love III course that debuted in 2009. Details are yet to come out regarding the storm’s effect on El Cardonal, the property’s Tiger Woods design that was scheduled to open this December. The storm pushed so much sand on to Quivira (pictured above), a new Jack Nicklaus design located in Cabo San Lucas, that a grand opening scheduled for October 28th is now being rescheduled. The One & Only Palmilla, an upscale resort that includes 27 Nicklaus-designed holes, is currently slated to reopen on September 25th. Storm-related information is not yet available from other area courses, including Cabo del Sol (a 36-hole facility with Nicklaus and Weiskopf designs), Palmilla Golf Club (Nicklaus), Cabo Real (Robert Trent Jones II), Querencia (Tom Fazio) and El Dorado (Nicklaus). The restoration of power, along with cell phone and Wi-Fi service, remain an issue throughout the area.

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Sep 17, 2014 | 01:05 PM

Scotch on the Rocks

Everything you wanted to know about Scotland's vote to break away from the UK is here in this very funny video by English comic John Oliver, formerly of The Daily Show and now with his own news lampoon show on HBO, Last Week Tonight. "The UK is not a country," he says. "It's actually a political and economic union. Think of it as an archipelagic super group comprised of four variously willing members... Scotland and England have been involved in something of a 300-year marriage. I'll be the first one to acknowledge that England has been something of a [jerk] since the honeymoon." He winds up the bit begging Scotland not to go by eating haggis and having a bagpipe band and unicorn (Scotland's official animal) visit the set.

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