Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PGA of America Can Be More Charitable

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PGA of America Can Be More Charitable

Article excerpt

So much for golf being a gentleman's game.

Thanks to a public meltdown by Ryder Cup captain Ben Crenshaw and a few players trying to bring the PGA of America into the 1990s, golf now has its biggest soap opera since Ben Wright tried to unsuccessfully spin doctor his way out of the LPGA Tour's doghouse and back into the announcing booth.

It has turned the PGA Championship into a major all right -- a major hassle for a sport that prides itself on controversy-free entertainment.

From all the name-calling and subterfuge going on among Crenshaw, PGA Tour members and high-ranking golf officials, you would have thought they moved the tournament from the Medinah (Ill.) Country Club to the nearby set of The Jerry Springer Show.

The daily updates of "He Said, He Said" have produced such an emotional vortex the television ratings for next month's Ryder Cup may set an all-time record. People will tune in just to see if the United States can regain the trophy while its team and the PGA of America stare down each other like boxers being given prefight instructions.

Talk about a good walk spoiled. What makes this Ryder Cup fiasco so incredulous is that it should have been settled a long time ago behind closed doors. Not given a lightning rod by Crenshaw, who -- in an uncharacteristic display of crass behavior -- lashed out at David Duval and Tiger Woods for suggesting that Ryder Cup members should be given money to be earmarked for their charities of choice.

Wasn't it only a year ago when people were begging Duval to put aside his seemingly drab personality and become more opinionated? Well, now the Ponte Vedra Beach resident is telling the world exactly how he feels and he's being vilified as a whiny ogre.

"The only thing David is guilty of is not being a sugarcoater," said Duval's IMG agent, Charlie Moore. "Presentation sometimes aside, he speaks the truth and the truth hurts sometimes."

It hurt at the British Open when Duval joined a chorus of players fuming about Carnoustie's narrow fairways. …

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