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Acushnet chief says technology debate healthy
Question of the Day
That doesn’t mean the two sides do not _ nor should not _ disagree on technology issues.
“I really think we need to let the ruling bodies define the issues and the manufacturers, in the spirit of those ruled upon, need to continue to provide the tension, which ensures the dialogue is open and progressive,” Uihlein said.
He spoke last week at the Bay Club, where he introduced Acushnet’s new ownership, a Korean consortium called Alexandria Holdings. The new Acushnet chairman is Gene Yoon, who said that all operations at Acushnet's headquarters of Fairhaven, Mass., will stay the same.
The debate between tradition and technology has been around more than a century, and that is not likely to change. Uihlein said he can make an argument “for or against bifurcation” _ different equipment rules for pros and amateurs _ although that should not be an agenda that any manufacturer could promote.
“We still have a commercial genesis to that thought process,” he said. “We can’t argue that we have the best interest in the game. We can make that argument, but the fact is we represent the commercial landscape. And so, it doesn’t matter how noble our argument is. It’s still going to be seen as to some degree commercially prejudiced.”
Uihlein said it’s up to the R&A and the USGA to not only set the rules, but to assume greater responsibility in the game’s future.
“If not, who does?” he said. “There’s always going to be that question of whose game is it, and who’s responsible for its perpetuation and sustenance.”
PRESIDENTS CUP: Brandt Snedeker has made the biggest jump without winning in the FedEx Cup playoffs, going from No. 18 to No. 5 with a tie for third at The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship. He also has made a swift climb in the U.S. standings for the Presidents Cup, and now is only the equivalent of $28,016 behind David Toms at No. 10.
There was some movement in Boston, but not enough to clarify everything. The top 10 players earn spots on the U.S. team before Fred Couples doles out his captain’s pick (one already goes to Tiger Woods).
Jim Furyk finished sixth, moving him up to No. 9 _ but he is only $15,809 ahead of Toms, and $43,825 ahead of Snedeker (each dollar counts two points in the standings). Toms is $28,016 ahead of Snedeker _ that’s how much 44th place earns at the BMW Championship, which is the last qualifying event.
Charles Howell III at No. 23 is as low as anyone on the list with a mathematical chance of qualifying.
Rickie Fowler might have hurt his chances the most. He started the final round only three shots out of the lead, but closed with a 77 and tied for 52nd, leaving behind big points. He now is $700,287 behind the 10th spot and would have to finish alone in second or win at the BMW Championship to assure playing his way onto the team.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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