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Girls track, boys golf and the Masters

April 18, 2013 - Troy Banning
Good grief. I feel horrible for the athletes on the Webster City girls’ track team and their co-head coaches Theo Clark and Kristy Manson.

Think about it ... they’ve been practicing since early March. That’s roughly six weeks and they’ve had a grand total of one — ONE! — meet, the BVU Indoor in Storm Lake on March 16.

The latest setback was the cancellation of Thursday’s Lynx Invitational – the team’s fifth outdoor meet that has been shelved because of the weather.

But what can you do? When it’s 35 degrees, raining and sleeting, meets simply aren’t going to happen.

The Lynx misfortune means they missed out on qualifying for the Drake Relays altogether. The cutoff is Thursday at midnight, and with nothing to report, there’s nothing to qualify.

Two words: That sucks.

I’m excited to get my first look at the Webster City boys’ golf team in the upcoming weeks.

It’s no secret that the Lynx have struggled in recent years — I can’t remember the last dual-meet victory prior to earlier this month — but head coach Dave Brighton and his team appear to have turned the corner.

Sophomore Logan Yates is playing like a leader, and freshmen twins Alec and Avery Fuhs don’t seem to be intimidated by the jump up to the varsity level. It seems like someone else is stepping in and filling that fourth spot every night, which is a sign of depth.

Seriously, don’t sleep on this team. And the best part: The Lynx will be better next year than this year, and better still two years from now.

Speaking of golf, I’ve been asked by several people (non-golfers) to explain the Tiger Woods debacle last week at the Masters.

I’ll admit, I didn’t have a clue about the specific rule he broke and I’ve golfed my entire life. I had to take tests on the rulebook and everything during my high school playing days.

The “should he or shouldn’t he withdraw” debate seemed to bring about the most controversy.

The “he should” group pointed to the long history of golf being a gentleman’s game where players call penalties on themselves and do everything in their power to uphold the integrity of golf.

The “he shouldn’t” group went with the idea that there was wiggle room with the signing of an incorrect scorecard. Two years ago a rule was added that gave tournament officials the option of disqualification or simply a penalty when this error occurred.

Did Tiger break the rules? By the convoluted rulebook – have you ever looked at that thing? – then, yes, he did the crime. But it was just as much the fault of the tournament officials when they originally decided he did nothing wrong. It was only after Tiger openly admitted what he did that they decided to penalize him.

My biggest issue with the whole thing was, once again, a television viewer called into the tournament and ratted on Tiger for the infraction. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves in sports.

A rules official walks with each and every group, and there’s yet another group that reviews any questionable call during a round. That should be enough.

Tiger gets more TV airtime than anyone, so is it fair to him that every one of his shots can be scrutinized by millions while the Thorbjorn Olesen’s of the world catch a break because they get no TV time?

Fans don’t call in and point out holding penalties in football, or missed balls and strikes calls in baseball, so why are golf fans given this power? It’s ridiculous.

Personally, I think the right call was made. Tiger shouldn’t have withdrawn. The whole “integrity of the game” speech goes right in one ear and out the other. This is big-time sports where millions of dollars are on the line.


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