Hey LPGA commissioner Mike Whan, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news? Michelle Wie, aka the Chosen One, got her first win of the year, and she looked like she might want to win a few more. The bad news? You have to deal with an alleged cheating incident on your Tour with possible racial overtones.
Ryan Ballengee gives a complete account of the incident on his Waggleroom blog. The undisputed facts are these: South Korean players Shi Hyun Ahn and Ilmi Chung were disqualified on Thursday at the CN Canadian Open.
Ahn and Chung were playing with Danielle Downey. On the final hole, both Ahn and Chung hit their ball into the fairway. Each played shots into the green, with Ahn missing the green and Chung hitting it in regulation. Each player made par. Then the incident turns into a rules problem.
Here’s where things get interesting. Long-time LPGA caddie Larry Smich — attributing the account to what he “heard” — said on his Life on Tour blog that when Ahn hit her par putt, she noticed that she had played the wrong ball and talked with Chung in Korean, after which both players went into the scoring tent and signed their cards. Smich also says that Ahn told her caddie, “You didn’t see anything.” (Ahn’s caddie last week was a temp who usually loops on the Nationwide Tour, according to Smich.)
Waggleroom’s Ballengee looked into the story further, and found out that Smich’s source for the story was Ahn’s caddie. Ballengee, who’s on this one like Bob Woodward with sunscreen, also spoke to a second source who said that Downey’s caddie was going to blow the whistle on Ahn and Chung before the two women fessed up:
This is a very serious allegation and it is not the first time that Smich has speculated about Korean players cheating on the LPGA Tour. He has been accused of having a vendetta against Korean-born players. On Saturday evening, Waggle Room learned that it was Ahn’s caddie who told the story direct to Smich but may not be willing to share details publicly for fear of being shunned in the golf community.
We have learned of a second account of the situation. The second account is all the same until the green.
When Ahn and Chung realized what had happened, Chung’s caddy approached Downey’s caddy and said, “We have a bit of a problem, but I’m not saying anything.” Downey’s caddy went into the scoring tent. Ahn and Chung signed for their scores. Downey’s caddy was prepared to turn in Ahn and Chung, which then prompted their seeking of LPGA officials for a ruling and their certain disqualification.
The LPGA is investigating the incident, according to CBS Sports.com’s Steve Elling.
LPGA communications chief David Higdon confirmed Sunday morning to CBSSports.com that the tour intends to interview all the parties involved and then mull a possible course of action.
“We have treated this situation very seriously, and have or will speak to all principles involved,” Higdon said in an email Sunday morning. “Yes, we are looking very closely at it.”
More to come, we’re sure… Stray shotsSome things we noticed while thinking that four is an awful lot of wild-card picks for a 12-man team. The U.S. Ryder Cup team reminds us of our favorite poker game, Russian Revolution, where all red cards are wild. The New York Times‘ Larry Dorman says Tiger has strengthened his case for a Ryder Cup captain’s pick with his play at the Barclays, if, you know, he isn’t already on the team.
Rival Jiyai Shin paid Michelle Wie a nice compliment after being unable to catch Wie in the final round of the CN Canadian Open. “Michelle is growing up,” Shin said. “I’m only two years older than her, but she’s maturing. She was great [Sunday] and it was fun to watch her win. Her shots are steady. A few years ago she was up and down. But not anymore.” ” (Via The Winnipeg Free Press) The New York Daily News’ Hank Gola wonders whether Phil Mickelson’s window of opportunity to claim the No. 1 ranking has slammed shut.
He also questions Mickelson blowing off his post-round press conferences at the Barclays, noting that Woods got roasted for doing the same thing here last year:
“Considering that he’s a Barclays spokesman — he did fulfill a corporate obligation later — and that Woods was roundly criticized for blowing off the media twice at last year’s Barclays at Liberty National, it’s rather bad form.”
Finally, Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall has a great plan for how Team USA can win the Ryder Cup in Wales this October: “Casey and Rose are available and would probably want to beat Monty right about now!!!”