Feb 23, 2016 | 09:05 am

Where’s Tiger?

Twitter reports this week claim that Tiger Woods has suffered a setback in his recuperation from back surgery. Golf writer Robert Lusetich  says "He can’t move well; painful to sit. Sits in car with seat fully reclined. No forseeable return,” while according to Secret Tour Pro (a prominent PGA Tour player who tweets anonymously to a following of more than 32,000) “He was aiming to play the Players in May but now that is completely off.” Woods’s agent Mark Steinberg dismissed the reports as “ridiculous and absolutely false,” but neither tweeter has backed off. Tiger’s caddie Joe La Cava believes his man will be back sooner rather than later and has declined job offers from other players. And Tiger himself? Mysteriously mute for the past two months. 

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Feb 22, 2016 | 11:54 am

Scalia On Golf

Those of you of a certain age will remember a famous court case a few years back, in which Casey Martin sued the PGA Tour to be able to ride a cart, rather than walk, during a tournament. In the end, the 2001 case—which went to the Supreme Court—was settled in Martin’s favor. One of the two dissenting votes was from Judge Antonin Scalia, who died last week, and his written dissent shows some of the wit and scorn he was famous for. To wit: “I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution, aware of the 1457 edict of King James II of Scotland prohibiting golf because it interfered with the practice of archery, fully expected that sooner of later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this august Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer? The answer, we learn, is yes. The Court ultimately concludes, and it will henceforth be the Law of the Land, that walking is not a ‘fundamental’ aspect of golf. Either out of humility or out of self-respect (one or the other) the Court should decline to answer this incredibly difficult and incredibly silly question.”

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Feb 19, 2016 | 06:52 am

Irish (Golf) Sweepstakes

St. Patrick’s Day might not be for another month, but here’s a good reason to dig out your “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” button now., which arranges and books golf trips around the world, is offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win a golf getaway for your favorite foursome to Southwest Ireland. The prize is a seven-night/five-round trip for four with accommodations at the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa, a rental car for the entire trip, and tee times at Waterville (shown above), Ballybunion, Tralee, Dooks, and the Killeen course at Killarney. No purchase is necessary, but you will have to answer a relevant golf trivia question on the Golfbreaks website to enter. Entries close on April 18, 2016. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Feb 18, 2016 | 11:01 am

Gender Pay Gap Between the Tours

LPGA star Stacy Lewis gave an interview published yesterday by where she addressed the pay gap between the LPGA and PGA Tours. She explained that she was frustrated with the difference in pay when “we’re doing the same thing and the only difference is the TV numbers and the TV ratings. That’s really it.” Unfortunately, that is a pretty big factor for those who determine the purse. TV ratings drive advertiser and sponsor decisions, determine coverage choices, and in turn (largely) dictate the purse for that week’s event. If an event has relatively few people watching, advertisers and sponsors adjust their budgets accordingly, and the event is unable to offer a large purse.

The men’s and women’s US Opens both taking place at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014 provides an interesting opportunity to compare events with fewer variables. The 2014 US Women’s garnered the largest purse in history up to that point at $4 million. In contrast, the men played for $9 million in their event the prior week. The USGA maintained a policy of not releasing separate attendance numbers, but it is estimated that attendance was roughly just over one third as high for the women. TV ratings for the women’s final day were a record 1.7 (71% increase from 2013) while the men earned a 3.3 (46% decline from 2013) on their championship Sunday.

Is men’s golf more entertaining to watch than women’s events? Is the problem, like Lewis says, simply a matter of gaining more exposure? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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