Norman Calls Golf's Anti-Doping Procedures A "Disgrace;" Calls For Blood Testing
Greg Norman believes that golf's anti-doping procedures are a "disgrace," according to Will Swanton of THE AUSTRALIAN. Norman yesterday said, "You only have to look at what happened to Vijay Singh just recently to know the drugs issue is there. ... If you really want to be serious about it and find about what's really going on, we need to do blood testing. I think it's disgraceful, to tell you the truth. The golf associations have to get together and step it up. You have to have blood testing, simple as that. It's a pin prick for a player, and you find out what's going on. If you're the head of golf or any sport, if you're the commissioner for a sport, it's your responsibility to make sure your sport is clean. That should be your No 1 priority." Norman continued, "Any sportsman or sportswoman who uses an outside agency to improve their skills is cheating. It sickens me. They're putting a black eye on their sport” (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/29). Golf Channel’s Gary Williams said of the PGA Tour's drug-testing policy, “If you're going to use the model of the World Anti-Doping Agency, then you have to go all the way. You can’t say you follow their guidelines but yet you don’t do blood testing.” Williams added that the Tour has testing “by name but they don’t have it in actuality.” Golf Channel’s Damon Hack said of his problem with the anti-doping policy in the game of golf is that there is “so much smoke, so much mirrors." Hack: "We don’t know what’s going on. Even the situation with Vijay Singh, we’re talking about deer antler spray, we’re not talking about HGH. We don’t even know what’s going on with that situation. We’ve been talking about it for months and we’ve yet to have any satisfaction or a result” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 4/29).
PRESSURE SYSTEM: YAHOO SPORTS’ Brian Murphy wrote of adverse weather affecting multiple PGA Tour events this season, “Enough with the weather on the PGA Tour. It’s damn near apocalyptic.” The whole scene at this past weekend's Zurich Classic of New Orleans “felt that way, with the gators at TPC Louisiana reportedly crawling around the golf course, and play halted one day for a swarm of bees on the course.” It is like “they were filming the sequel” to “Beasts Of The Southern Wild” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/28).
FIRST THINGS FIRST: In Dallas, Bill Nichols writes the North Texas LPGA Shootout this past weekend “had almost everything a first-year event could hope for: Large crowds, a field that included nine of the top 10 players in the Rolex Rankings and an exciting finish.” Inbee Park, who won the event, said, “I didn’t expect that much of a gallery this week.” The event marked the LPGA’s “first Dallas-Fort Worth appearance since the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open at Colonial Country Club.” Tournament officials “estimated the attendance at 76,000 for the four rounds.” Weekend figures were “about 36,000 for Saturday and 30,000 for Sunday” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/29).