Gender clause out
The LPGA Tour voted to remove the "female at birth" requirement from its constitution, responding to a lawsuit filed by a 57-year-old California woman who had her sex changed five years ago. Tour commissioner Michael Whan said players voted Tuesday night at a year-end meeting to amend the constitution. He said steps will be taken in the coming weeks to make the change. Lana Lawless, a former police officer who had a sex-change operation five years ago, filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco in October claiming the "female at birth" requirement violated California's civil rights law.
The Rules of Golf are under review, and Ian Poulter has a suggestion involving a player who tries to replace his ball on the putting green, only to have it slip out of his hands inches above the ground, land on his marker and move it ever so slightly. There was no intent for the marker to move. There was no advantage to be gained. But there was a one-stroke penalty. "It puts the focus on another stupid rule," Poulter said. Poulter speaks from experience. He was on the second hole Sunday of a sudden-death playoff with Robert Karlsson at the Dubai World Championship and went to replace his ball on a 40-foot birdie putt at the par-5 18th when it fell from his fingertips, hit the edge of the coin and made it flip.
Drop not over?
Tiger Woods fell only one spot in the World Golf Ranking this year despite not winning a tournament. He could fall a lot more next season. Woods remains No. 2, mostly because of his performance in 2009. Points gradually fall off each week, however, and Woods has lost more (381.294) this year than any player has earned. If the world rankings were based on one year, Woods would be about No. 58. He could fall as low as No. 4 by the end of the year. If he were not to earn any points, he would fall out of the top 10 around the Masters, the top 20 by the U.S. Open. But Woods has said he is not driven by losing his No. 1 ranking nor motivated by talk that he'll never dominate as he once did. "That's not why I play the game," he said. "My dad has always been adamant, all throughout my childhood, 'Only play the game of golf and go after what you want to go after, don't let anyone else influence you, play from your heart and soul.' That hasn't changed."
PGA in 3-D
Sony Corp. announced it has extended title sponsorship of the Sony Open in Hawaii by three years through 2014 and will broadcast the PGA Tour event in January live in 3-D. The upcoming tournament will be the first PGA Tour co-sponsored event televised live in 3-D, said company and tour officials who have been testing the technology at several events this year. The Masters was aired in 3-D. Sony estimated 83 million households in the U.S. have 3-D-compatible TV sets.
This week on tour
PGA: Chevron World Challenge, Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, Calif. TV: Today-Friday, 4-7 p.m., 8-11 p.m., Golf Channel. Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m., Golf Channel
PGA Tour school qualifying: Panther Lake and Crooked Cat Courses, Winter Garden. TV: Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m., Golf Channel; Monday, 12:30-4 p.m., Golf Channel.
LPGA: (see story)