Corning Classic-Round One

Two over today. Plenty of work ahead mañana.

Oops! If you haven’t noticed, the field has been increased to 147 this week. This is an effort to atone for a screw-up on the Priority List. A scheduled reshuffle was performed after Morelia but was done incorrectly.

Practice, who me? Nicole Jeray shot 68 to qualify on Monday but the road to first place was not a timely one. Check out her blog for the details.

Super Shootout: It was conducted before an eerily vacant grandstand but fun none the less. Check out Tuesday’s LPGA Corning Classic Super Shootout update.

Two years running: Les Luark won the Talkin’ Jim Closest to The Pin Contest for the second year in a row. Under three feet I heard. Some type of golf equipment was promised and will be delivered. Just need to see what’s lying around in the bag room overnight. :wink: The money donated will be split between the local First Tee organization and The Rotary Club Camp STAR program.

Another year wiser: Lotta and Mark, her former caddie and good friend, celebrated their birthdays this week. The three of us dined at Tony R’s Restaurant yesterday to honor the occasion.

Tell me what you really think: Recently, a job for a Monday qualifier opened up and was offered to anyone around who wanted it. Given the reputation of the player in question, there wasn’t an iota of hesitation from one of the potential loopers concerning his interest. All he said was “I’d rather eat my own poop!”

All in the family: Laurie Rinker has her son Brent on the bag this week.

rinker_and_son

He said, she said: The details of the loss of The Corning Classic, if true, are troubling. More than one source states that the beloved Commissioner called for a pecuniary squeeze play and was thrown out at the plate. From what I understand, the Corning folks offered to maintain heir current contribution but noted that lessor sponsors were unable to do so. The event could still be held but at a reduced purse. This was rebuffed by the LPGA which demanded bumping the purse to 2.6 million and also called for the addition of more, and or better, scoreboards.

The LPGA version is that they tried everything possible to save the tournament.

After the SBS fiasco, with both sides offering contradictory stories on its demise, who do we believe? Weren’t we told by the LPGA that SBS couldn’t match the offer from J Golf? If you remember the interview with the CEO of SBS, he said the offer was never made. Does anyone see a pattern here? By the way, it didn’t take long for the PGA to pick them up as a sponsor in a long term deal for their opening event. I guess SBS had plenty of cash to spare after all.

One noted LPGA Hall of Fame member lamented recently, that if the players don’t take back the Tour within the next two years, it’s over. She is not the only one sharing that sentiment as more info comes to light about this week’s event.

If that prediction has any truth to it, why don’t the sponsors and Tournament Directors bypass the higher-ups and go directly to the players to tell their side? Have an open door policy with all the facts on the table and go from there.

More good news: Heard the folks of White Manor Country Club in Malvern PA, (we used to play there years ago) are interested in hosting the LPGA Championship but do not wish to deal with “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”.

Ass-kissin caddies: They make me want to puke! The range here is the smallest on tour. About twelve bodies is all it can hold and player’s are requested to limit their warm-up time during tournament rounds. On Monday, qualifiers had to wait to warm-up while other players (from a country I won’t name but it starts with a K) were just practicing. Their caddies knew full well about the qualifier but not a one took the initiative to tell his player to give up her spot. When room finally became available, I made sure Amy Read was next in line but that wasn’t the topper. Yesterday, we specifically went out early – just after the 8 am shotgun started – to get some range work and since it was pro-am day, no time limitations are expected. Guess what? One of the “kissers” arrived pointing at his watch and expecting us to leave. That lit my fuse but luckily, Lotta hit only a couple more and we went on our way.

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25 Responses to Corning Classic-Round One

  1. Lonnie says:

    I am shocked…but not surprised by allegations above. In a time of economic recession it might be a good idea to reduce price to stimulate demand…ie. sell more units…in this case more tournaments at reduced purses. Allow the “Cornings” to survive…lead, not follow failed policies.

    There are Fifty (five zero) Asians in this last Corning Classic. This is too many! I would bet that if you asked 50 people who have been to the Classic at least five times (golf fans) to name at least twenty of the Asians in a lineup they would be hard pressed. This is diminishing “brand identity”

    We can blame the Asian golfers for many things (slow play, rude parents, aloof behavior, cheating)…but this influx is not their fault. The doors were open…the grass green…they just kept coming on over!!!

    I am herein and forthwith proposing a limit on foreign players by CONTINENTS. Each continent get a maximum of (say) ten players. !0 for Europe, 10 for Asia, 10 for Australia and so on. If a continent doesn’t reach it’s quota…those spots are put into a pool and can be used by overflowing continents. Players must still qualify via qschool. If a continent keeps it’s quota via the money list then no new players from that continent would be allowed to qualify (except via the “overflow pool”) The first year of implementation only the top 10 from each continent would be allowed to keep privileges. Others might keep their cards via the “overflow” for example maybe there would be no players from Africa.

    Call me a “racist”…the LPGA is (has been) a North American Golf Tour. If some Asian have to go home and play…so be it. There are a couple of tours over there that will welcome them.

    I am calling this plan: The Continental Divide.
    (pass it on!)

  2. Lonnie says:

    Oh, I forgot to say…no limit on North Americans

  3. Alan says:

    Randall Mell on the Golf Channel reported that the LPGA asked for a big purse increase.. Seems a crazy thing in this economy, they should try to keep as many tournaments as possible.

    How about Annika for Commissioner?

    • lifeontour says:

      Ran into a guy this week who remembered an early interview with “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. He recalled her saying that the small markets like Corning needed to be eliminated. I think a major problem is that she is not a “golf person” and has no clue about the history of the LPGA. Towns like Corning is where it all began and still should be cultivated. There was a documentary on the Tour’s history, narrated by Jamie Farr and aired years ago, that she and all rookies need to view. You have to know where you came from before envisioning where you wish to go.

  4. Dickie says:

    Annika for Commissioner! Great for PR and better for the players. Maybe; some reasonable rule enforcement and better working conditions for the caddies would come of it.

  5. tim says:

    Lonnie! Lonnie! Lonnie!
    Where’s the love?

  6. LPGA Fan says:

    Lonnie,

    I’m shocked… but not surprised by your racist allegations.

    I’d be willing to bet if you put all 147 players at Corning in a line up and you asked 50 people who have been to the Classic at least five times (golf fans) to name at least twenty players of any nationality they would be hard pressed.

    Here’s an idea… Why don’t you start a new golf league and call it the Aryan Nation Tour Incorporated (ANTI) you know, short for ANTI-Asian? Prerequisites could include: blond hair, blue eyes, and short tempers. Personally I’d love nothing more than to watch Morgan smash her driver into her bag while Paula, Natalie, and Christie battle each other for a trophy week-in and week-out. Oh boy, what fun! With a little effort you could probably even get Jan Stephenson as acting Commissioner…

    Notions of an Aryan race thrive in the context of fascist nationalism in which “nationhood” is defined by ancestry. Which leads me to this question, “what shall we do with the “half Asians” such as, Lita Lindley, Stacy Prammanasudh, Pat Hurst, Vicky Hurst, Angela Park, etc. or the American born Koreans such as, Christina Kim, Jane Park, Hanna Kim, or the Golf Channels *Darling* Michele Wie? Should we also send them to play in Asia because they are of “Asian heritage”? Where do you draw the line Lonnie?

    When you say, “We can blame the Asian golfers for many things (slow play, rude parents, aloof behavior, cheating)…. But this influx is not their fault.” You are throwing out some serious accusations without attaching tangible evidence to substantiate your conclusion. Your accusation is nothing more than hearsay. Why should I believe you? Better yet, why should I not just dismiss your accusations as racist rhetoric?

    I truly enjoy watching the match-ups generated by the best lady golfers in the world without regard to their ancestry and quite frankly, I don’t care if they are from another planet if they can play great golf… I sincerely hope it doesn’t come down to watching Morgan (slam her clubs) Pressel, Paula (yell at her caddie) Creamer, Natalie (try some strange putting stance) Gulbis, and Christie (needs “Orbit Gum“ to clean up her dirty mouth) Kerr – play average golf each and every week.

    Don’t blame the loss of venues on the Asian golfers – place the blame where it rightly belongs – Carolyn Viper Bivens…

    Thankfully Lonnie, YOUR “brand identity” has not been diminished as you leave little doubt – you are clearly a racist.

    LPGA Fan

    • lifeontour says:

      Sorry LPGA Fan, but there is more truth to what Lonnie says than than you think. Every tour has restrictions on foreign players but the LPGA. Why is that?
      Those so called “unsubstantiated allegations that are nothing more than hearsay” are sad to say, substantiated every day. Let me give you one tiny example. Last year I worked for an American and played the practice round with one of the Koreans. They seemed best of friends and I was eventually told why. It was all about truth and trust. One day, the Korean saw my player stowing her purse in her locker and told her not to do that. “The Koreans will steal it” she said. That is coming from another Korean. Is she a racist against her own people?
      We are also finding out the extreme pressure some Korean players are under from their parents to “pay them back” monetarily for the sacrifice they and other family members endured. They’re presented with bills amounting up to a million dollars! Sounds like a form of “debtors prison” to me.
      Most are disassociated with the inner workings of the Tour. They’re told just “play golf” and we’ll take care of the rest by their parents or agents. Everything else is just a distraction. I doubt if the viability of the LPGA is of much concern to them. If it folds, they’ll go play wherever they’re told.
      I could go on and on LPGA Fan but why bother. After all, it’s only hearsay.

      • Awsi Dooger says:

        I’m sure the purse stealing story is legit. It reminds me of experiences in Las Vegas early this decade, with Koreans and other Asians, when money was front and center. A new type of bonus slot machine was unveiled, called the IGT Vision Series. Instead of random payouts you had progression toward a bonus, and it was visible how close you were to the payout, hence the Vision tag. Those machines were incredibly lucrative, since tourists didn’t understand them and would abandon the machines on the brink of the bonus. All you had to do was notice that and sit down, then leave once you achieved the bonus. People were quitting high paying jobs to play them full time. Merely walking from casino to casino it equated to a $25 per hour job, on average, and it was pure cash, no record. At your leisure. I knew guys who found high denomination Vision machines in small surrounding towns and made hundreds of thousands since there was basically no competition.

        Anyway, it was relaxing and profitable until Asians were turned onto the presence of those machines. They reportedly had group seminars, teaching the proper strategy for each type of machine. Suddenly you had hundreds of Koreans and Chinese burst onto the scene, and they didn’t play fair. I’m not bigoted at all, merely reporting what happened. I’m sure it has some similarities to the LPGA. The Asians would hawk those machines literally all day, and cut in front of you at the last second to grab the machine, even if they knew you were rightfully waiting for it. Then they would laugh at your predicament. They were sitting on the machine, so what were you going to do? Their favorite tactic was to sit next to a tourist who was on the verge of the bonus and smoke relentlessly, blowing it toward their face. That caused the tourist to leave, so the Asians could swoop in for the bonus. The casinos didn’t want to exclude the Asians since they were gamblers who would often blow the money on table games. But the situation was incredibly awkward. Every day for years there was tension between the local Americans and the Asians. Fist fights and threats. I was using the machines as a side amusement, walking around for a few hours a night while sweating my sports bets on a ticker, so it didn’t infuriate me to the same level as my friends.

        Admittedly, this is obscure. I’ve mentioned it on several sites the past 6 or 8 years. It was a big deal in Nevada and other gambling sites for several years but I haven’t seen it in the media. Eventually the casinos got rid of those machines when the floor personnel had to spend too much time arbitrating disputes and unseemly behavior. Once the numbers of machines dramatically lessened it was comical, the Asians refusing to give up and hanging around the same 2-3 machines in every casino all day. It still goes on to some extent in a handful of Las Vegas casinos, primarily downtown. Talk about obvious and desperate. But it was a good lesson toward Asian attitude and intensity, when cash and competition are involved.

  7. Kim says:

    Is there a mechanism in place to replace the Commissioner BEFORE the end of her current employment contract?

    • lifeontour says:

      I’m sure they can axe her Kim but they would probably have to buy her out. Doubt if she would accept anything less than the full amount. By the way, did you know they signed her on for another three years without a vote of the players? At least that’s what I’ve heard.

  8. Jonathan says:

    The players need to wake up and take control of their own destiny. The Commissioner works for the players. However, the players tip-toe around the issue. They need to fire the current Board of Directors, and appoint a strong group of players (and retired players) to get the track righted. This could include a new management team, or an alliance with the PGA Tour.

  9. Tom says:

    Larry,

    Obviously you enjoy caddying on the LPGA tour, but given the current situation on the LPGA tour have you considered jumping ship to men’s golf?

  10. Lonnie says:

    I would like to answer “LPGA Golf Fan” (if I may)

    First, I would like to add an addendum to my Continental Divide proposal (above) Antarctica is a continent but I am not aware of any females born there (the criteria) and until that happens and they build a Championship golf course I am declaring that continent completely out of the mix.

    LPGA golf fan questioned my credibility… as a professional tour caddie from 1989 -2004 I had a very clear view from inside (and outside) the ropes.
    My views come from experience and observation.

    Larry has written very eloquently concerning the deleterious effects of players aloof behavior towards fans and sponsors. The Asian’s do not have a monopoly on this for sure. There is no debate that the Tour’s strength should be in its’ fan base (TV) and it’s relationship to the sponsors. Whether you want to believe this or not…the LPGA Tour’s downward spiral coincides with the Asian influx. It began in Mr. Votah’s tenure with the courting of Korean sponsors and lucrative Korean television contracts…and appears to be accelerating under Ms. Blevens leadership.

    For the record…I said: “call me a racist.” I DID NOT SAY I WAS ONE! It didn’t take LPGA fan long to hang that on me. I think of myself as a realist who just happens to have blond hair and blue eyes. lol

  11. David says:

    Lonnie’s on the right lines, but doesn’t in my view go far enough. Surely any so-called American player should be required to demonstrate their heritage back to the Pilgrim Fathers. There are a lot of US players who names seem suspiciously un-American to me. Kerr, Hurst ( x 2 ), Creamer, fine. But Gulbis, Pressel, Blasberg – what’s that all about ?
    While we’re at it we should cancel the J Golf contract too – we don’t want any of that funny foreign money do we ?

    • lifeontour says:

      The LPGA has made a deal with the devil for that funny foreign money David. They’re cutting their nose off to spite their face.

  12. Ozz says:

    Lonnie, A few years ago in Hawaii, Jan Stephenson publicly stated the LPGA needed to put restrictions on foreign players, especially Asians or there will be a majority of foreign players to Americans playing.

    http://www.worldgolf.com/features/stephenson-letters.htm

    Guess what, she was hauled over the coals by the media, sporting organizations and fans for being a racist.

    Don’t forget that most of these Asian players went through the college system in the US.

    The boat has already left port and arrived, so to speak.

  13. Rhet says:

    Excuse me! Lonnie said North American. Christina Kim is North American, Nancy Lopez is North American and if you consider anyone who is a citizen of the United States as being North American, though a bit disconnected, Michelle Wie is North American. How are his comments racist?

  14. Monty says:

    No doubt there are clashes between players of different nationalities on the LPGA Tour. These have been well documented. The answer is not to restrict the tour mostly to North American players. The goal of the LPGA Tour should be to make it the most competitive women’s tour in the world with the best players. You can only have that if it’s open to the best players in the world. This is what attracts fans and sponsors.

    The answer is to provide sufficient support and training and rules to avoid these clashes. For example, put guidelines in place on the driving range on Mondays to give priority access to players in the Qualifier. Tighten up the rules, again, on slow play, particularly on the greens. Limit the role of parents if they have to. I agree that much of what Lonnie and Larry say is true. I do not agree on the solution. You can’t water down the product.

    (Point to LPGA Fan: Angela Park is not half-Asian.)

    • lifeontour says:

      It’s not about watering down the product or the best players in the world Monty. It’s having a product people are will to pay for. We’ve hear it over and over from long time LPGA followers, that they’re not interested in watching the Korean Open. If the leader board is full of Asians, off goes the TV. The LPGA needs players the fans can identify with ans Asians aren’t it. We’re in the entertainment business and fighting for a ever dwindling piece of the pie. We need something special and what they have now does not promote any interest.
      As far as the rules, there are pages and pages which are ignored in most cases and not by ignorance. They just don’t care about anyone but themselves. Unfortunately, you can’t limit the role of parents. A player can get a teacher’s credential for them and then they have complete access. You do not have to be a formal golf instructor to get one.

  15. Monty says:

    A couple of generations ago we would have been told, “long time fans of [fill in the sport] have told us they’re not interested in watching black players.” I’m not calling you racist so don’t get your hackles up, but I am saying that the world is changing. While “long time fans” may not want to watch only Korean players, the LPGA shouldn’t be marketing to just long time fans. They should be marketing to a younger and more worldwide audience. These people are more interested in watching the best golfers and don’t care if they are American, Swedish, Mexican or Korean.

    • lifeontour says:

      The LPGA is an American Tour with American roots. The fan base is in the US not all over the world. We are losing tournaments at an alarming rate. Why is that? You think only “long time fans” are losing interest? If the Ladies Korean Tour was broadcast here using English speaking announcers, would anyone watch? Hell no! I don’t care how good they are. You cannot force people to follow a sport they don’t care about. I’ve addressed this and other issues before in the following link.
      Click here.

  16. […] blogger Larry has the following- The details of the loss of The Corning Classic, if true, are troubling. More than one source […]

  17. […] Caddy blogger Larry has the following- […]

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