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Rumors: The Captainess won't back down, Ian Poulter is 'bored' by environmentalists, Doug Barron is coming back

Much ado about LisaBetween her part in the Corey Pavin/Jim Gray spat and her risque (though only by golf standards) cover shoot for Avid Golfer magazine, Lisa Pavin has definitely stepped into the spotlight this year. Now the only question is whether she'll become a sideshow in Wales next month. Neither of the Pavins seem to think so, but Robert Lusetich of foxsports.com doesn't seem as convinced.

Lisa Pavin’s become the most high-profile captain’s wife in the history of the Ryder Cup, and to hear her tell it, she has no idea why.
“It’s taken on a life of its own but I really don’t deserve this much attention,” the attractive 36-year-old says.
“I laugh because I think, ‘Wow, I haven’t done anything to have so many people talking about me.’”
For that to be true, however, would require a very loose definition of “haven’t done anything.”
The “captainess” — a term she and her husband both embrace — has been intimately involved in every detail of the American Ryder Cup campaign.
She speaks confidently of her “business mind,” of wanting to help “build the brand” of the Ryder Cup and of not wanting to be remembered as just a golfer’s wife.
While acknowledging that his wife’s garnered a lot of attention, Pavin doesn’t think she will turn into a distraction at Celtic Manor next week, even if he knows the Fleet Street tabloids will try their best to make her one.
“It’s much ado about nothing,” he says.
Normally I'd say it's a bit of an overreaction to worry about how much of a distraction Mrs. Pavin could possibly be to the Cup team, but there is definitely some danger there. As we learned in 2006, the European tabloid press can be downright shameless (just ask Elin). If Lisa (or any of the other Tour wives, or for that matter any of the players themselves) does anything that could be considered remotely untoward, she's likely to end up, at best, on the wrong end of some brutally funny headlines. Should we be worried about that happening? Depends on how the Americans are received. Still, Lisa reminds me of those old WWF managers. She'll stand by the ropes and cheer on her husband, but if things start getting rough, she's not above grabbing a folding chair and hopping into the ring. And yes, that's a compliment. Ian Poulter: Friend of the environmentLast week we gave you the ups and downs (mostly downs) of Ian Poulter's Twitter war with broadcaster Johnny Miller. This week Poulter is taking on an even more controversial opponent: the entire planet. His Twit-path by way of John Strenge:
Twitter continues to provide an endless source of amusement, to wit the grief that Ian Poulter apparently took for posting video of his flight, via private jet (a Gulfstream G4), from Atlanta to Orlando, apparently a five-minute flight.
"Be home in 5 mins I will post take off and landing when I'm on wireless loads of footage," he wrote.
Apparently, he began hearing about the carbon footprint he had made for the five-minute flight, to which he replied via Twitter: "Tree huggers stop it your boring me, I guess i should have set off 5 days ago and gone on my push bike."
Clearly Paul Azinger smelled blood in the water, because he decided the best idea was to throw in some extra chum:
Paul Azinger, who follows Poulter (and vice versa) on Twitter, weighed in with this: "AL GORE the ultimate hypocritical tree hugger set the standard high for private air travel. Friendly skies to you Ian."
Generally, I could care less what Poulter does with his time and money, but I'd recommend he tread a little more lightly with some of his comments. Hippies watch golf too, and, more importantly, golf course designers have a difficult balancing act with environmentalists, who see golf as a waste of natural resources. Poulter seemed to realize this with a followup Tweet, this one about the use of eco-friendly LED lights in his house, so hopefully he was just trying to razz his followers and went a half-step too far. I think the real answer to Poulter's latest PR problems may be even easier: stop Tweeting! Barron on the comeback trail sans testosteroneRemember Doug Barron? Dan Wolken from Memphis' Commercial Appeal has an update on the first player suspended under the Tour's new performance-enhancing drug policy, who's now working his way back through the mini-tour circuit.
When Doug Barron wakes up for his 6 a.m. workouts, he does not jump out of bed like a 41-year-old man should. He works out religiously but does not hold muscle weight. He does not have the focus, energy or sexual function he believes a man his age should have.
He says he has lower testosterone levels than his 65-year-old father.
But for more than a year, Barron has ignored the advice of his physician to get a testosterone injection. He's ignored it and all the problems it would solve just so he could get to today, when he will officially resume a golf career that was put on hold last fall when the PGA Tour suspended him for violating its performance-enhancing drug policy.
"The only goal," Barron said, "is to get my PGA Tour card back."
In an era where golfers actually look like pro athletes and routinely crush 350-yard drives, it was a true shock when Barron became the first golfer to be suspended for use of a performance-enhancing drug. An exceedingly likable Memphian who has made more than $2.7 million in his career, Barron has never been a long hitter by PGA Tour standards. He was probably best known by casual golf fans for going into a water hazard shirtless at the 2006 Chrysler Championship, revealing a physique that wasn't exactly Tiger Woods-like.
And yet, by the letter of the law, Barron did violate the PGA Tour's anti-doping policy, which went into effect in July 2008.
I highly recommend reading the entirety of Wolken's profile, which rehashes why Barron was suspended and gives his outlook for the future. I can't really comment on whether the Tour has been unfair to Barron (at least not until we've seen the evidence from his trial that might explain what separates him from Shaun Micheel, who does have a use exemption for low-testosterone), but if nothing else, this story has been tragically under-reported. Hopefully as his suit against the Tour comes to a close and his career gets back on track, Barron can be even more forthcoming about what it's been like to play the role of scapegoat for a likely imperfect drug policy.

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by Kevin Cunningham