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PGA Tour Confidential: The PGA's international ambitions, Rory's 2014 prospects and golf's sacred rule book

Amanda and Jason Dufner
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Jason Dufner and his wife Amanda get acquainted with the Wanamaker Trophy after Jason won the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

Every Sunday night, conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

1. The PGA Championship might be played internationally “once or twice a decade” to help grow the game, according to PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua. What do you think of the idea, and if the PGA is played overseas, where should it go?

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): It's a horrible idea -- last I checked, it's the PGA of America. There are already tournaments with World in the title. These need to get the hell out of Tucson and Akron and become the global events that were promised.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@GaryVanSickle): I like the idea of an international PGA so much that I suggested it several years ago. Australia would be one obvious choice. Europe would be another. In fact, 2016 would be a great time to move the PGA to Europe, because the Olympics is going to foul up the golf schedule and you could squeeze the PGA in maybe two weeks after the Open Championship, making it convenient for Tour players.

Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine (@JoshSens): I don't like it. We've already got the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup and oodles of other events around the globe. The game seems to be growing fine overseas. Where golf really needs help growing is in the United States. Keep the PGA Championship here.

Joe Passov, senior editor, courses and travel, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): I don't get it. Many other tournaments can be employed to "grow the game."

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, (@EamonLynch): The Open Championship boasts of being a global major, which is true only if you think the World Series is a global competition, too. Bevacqua is one of the smartest guys in the game and making the PGA Championship the first truly global major can only elevate its stature. Take it to Royal Melbourne, a stunning venue with a storied history. Hell, take it to China. The fans might need etiquette training -- just ask Stacy Lewis -- and most of the courses are mediocre, but it’s been played in worse places.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, (@Jeff_Ritter): They should just have fans vote to select the country, like how they selected that final-round pin position this year.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I think it's a great idea. The borders have been coming down for years in golf (and most everywhere else) and we in the U.S. are the last to recognize it. I think Pete Bevacqua is one of the most original leaders in the game, and he shows it again here. Where to go? India, China, Vietnam, for starters. It really doesn't do anything for me, but a billion or golfers and sports fans likely have a different opinion. Playing true world-class courses is a must, and a challenge. If the PGA went seaside, that would be deeply cool.

2. Golf had another rules flap this week, this time at the Korean Open. Kang Sung-hoon won after leader Kim Hyung-tae got a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a hazard on the 13th hole. Agree or disagree: The rule book is sacred.

LYNCH: Of course. It's flawed and ought to be streamlined, but it's all we have.

PASSOV: Amend the rules -- make ’em easier to follow.

VAN SICKLE: The rule book is sacred. Maybe I don't agree with all of them, but they're the rules. Any player knows that as soon as he sets foot inside a hazard, he's got to be careful. At least, any player SHOULD know that.

SHIPNUCK: Agree. It could use a little streamlining, obviously, but following the rules is sacred to the sport.

SENS: As long as a rule is in place, it should be enforced, so no disagreement on the Korean Open decision. But that doesn't mean the rule book itself is sacred. Why not make everything a bunker, as opposed to a waste area, to avoid confusion? There are a number of oddball rules that deserve a closer look: out-of-bounds is one, I think. And did Craig Stadler really deserve to be penalized for a putting a towel down all those years ago so he wouldn't get his pants dirty? As for Tour events: should a player really have to go through the ritual of signing a scorecard in an age where every stroke is being calculated by so many others?

RITTER: It's like the Constitution. It's sacred, but can be further improved with amendments that reflect the times.

BAMBERGER: Non-golfers will look at this one in Korea (to the degree they pay any attention to it at all) and say, "There they go again." Some of the rules should be revisited, no question. But on a day-to-day basis, the players and the officials can do nothing but adhere to the book with utter strictness. A gray and murky area would leave a stain on the whole game. The starting point for professional golf is we believe the scores the players post. If we don't, we don't have golf anymore. Or not golf as we know it.

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