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“To me, to change something that big and to cost manufacturers millions of dollars, you’ve got to have some pretty good facts,” Simpson said. “Just because some of us are winning majors or winning tournaments with the belly putter, I don’t think that’s a good reason to say, `Hey, we’re going to take them away.’ So that’s my real take.”


RED SOX NATION: As the defending PGA champion, Keegan Bradley was responsible for hosting a dinner for past champions on Tuesday night. He also had to provide the champions a gift, and the New England native stayed true to his roots.

He got each of the champions a Boston Red Sox cap and a 100-year anniversary baseball.

The gift package was topped off by a personalized Red Sox jersey, with the player’s name on the back. They were assigned numbers corresponding with the year they won the PGA Championship _ 91 for John Daly, 97 for Davis Love, 5 for Phil Mickelson.

Tiger Woods didn’t get four jerseys. He got No. 7, the year of his most recent PGA Championship. Other multiple winners at the dinner were Vijay Singh (2004 was his most recent) and Dave Stockton, who last won the PGA in 1976.


ELS AND HIS CADDIE: Ernie Els has been using two caddies over the last couple of years _ his regular looper, Ricci Roberts, and former NHL player Dan Quinn, who lives in south Florida and recently won a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada.

They split the earnings no matter who was on the bag, and they typically trade off majors.

But not this week.

Roberts, the South African who has been on the bag for all four of Els‘ majors, is working again this week at Kiawah Island.

“We all had a bit of a chat last week and we decided to bring Ricci back here for the PGA, and probably through the FedEx,” Els said. “I think Dan is going to take over when I go to Asia and play Fry’s and so forth. I think Ricci earned his spot here for the PGA this week.”


KIAWAH MEMORY: Jose Maria Olazabal, now the European captain, is the only player at the PGA Championship who competed in the Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island in 1991. He and his late mentor, Seve Ballesteros, were 3-0-1 in their team matches.

Olazabal was asked for a memory of Ballesteros at Kiawah, and the story he shared spoke of how Ballesteros never gave up.

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