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Golf Australia Express : Issue 39
At nearly three pullouts an event, the Tour is starting to look like a Kevin Na pre- shot routine. To put that into perspective, at the same mark last year there were 46 WDs and in 2010 that number was 47. That’s a 41 per cent increase in players pulling the pin since last season—a huge spike in the trend. Perhaps we should be calling them WMDs, ‘with-massive- drawals’. (Although this problem is real and can easily be found.) IT’S BEEN KNOWN for years that some players have chosen to withdraw from an event when a ‘missed cut’ appeared on the horizon. We know pros hate those two letters on their record sheet and a WD looks a lot more appealing than an MC. Another well-known trick is to get yourself DQ’d in the face of a missed cut. Signing for an incorrect scorecard has long been the favoured method of choice. Unfortunately, these kinds of tricks make those who legitimately make a mistake face unfair scrutiny from other players and a cynical media. While this issue is not a new one for golf, the increase in player WDs must be troubling for the game’s administrators. OF COURSE, NOT all WDs are suspect. In fact the majority may not be. Truth is, we simply don’t known when a player has pulled the pin to save face or when they have suffered a genuine injury. When Tiger Woods pulled out of the WGC-Cadillac with an Achilles injury in March, many accused him of quitting. He was 3-over in that final round—a whopping 10 shots off the lead—when he finally called it quits. Two weeks later he was injury-free and won the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The same man went around 91 holes at Torrey Pines with a fractured tibia and torn ACL to win the 2008 US Open. On Thursday, Mickelson said his decision to quit had little to do with his poor round. "Certainly I'm disappointed with how I played today, but I’ve got to be more big-picture oriented and think about the [US] Open, and what’s best to get my best golf out there, and I need the next few days to rest up a bit.” Still, it’s hard to accept he wouldn’t have played on had the four-time major winner posted a 65 instead of a 79. Perhaps it’s easier to keep going when a win is in sight? Or perhaps we should just trust the players entirely— after all golf is, to a degree, a self-governing game. SURELY PLAYERS HAVE an obligation to the fans, organisers, competitors and game itself to give it their all and play out an event once they’ve committed to it. Even Mickelson, it seems, agrees with that sentiment. Well, sort of. “I feel like it’s the responsibility of a player to see through your commitment and finish the tournament and so forth,” Mickelson said on Thursday. “And I'm kind of overruling that just a touch, because I'm trying to think big picture on what’s the best way for me to get ready for the Open.” When we consider the coin, adulation and respect these guys are afforded for hitting a ball around the world’s best courses, it’s difficult to let them off the hook for half- arseing it out there. Mentally fatigued? Suck it up and play 18 more holes. OTG “ I feel like it’s the responsibility of a player to see through your commitment and finish the tournament and so forth.” Anthony Kim is one of the more frequent WD culprits on the PGA Tour. The American has been battling injury and inconsistency with his game for two years now. TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS
Issue 40—The US Open