|Thursday Oct 14, 2021|
The golf world is mourning the loss of one of its great voices and gentle figures. Renton Laidlaw died this week at 82 and leaves behind a most distinguished career in journalism. The soft-spoken Scot covered the first of his 165 majors in 1959 when Gary Player won at Muirfield. Laidlaw went on to work in broadcast journalism and became known as the voice of the European Tour. His smooth, friendly delivery was music to the ears of American golf fans who tuned into the European Tour broadcasts on the Golf Channel. He retired from broadcasting in 2014.
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Alex Urban, executive director for the PGA Tour's Sentry Tournament of Champions, reveals what makes the year-opening event so successful and which legendary band he's a huge fan of.
The First Call: In one sentence, describe what you do for a living.
Alex Urban: I lead a team that stages the Sentry Tournament of Champions each January.
TFC: What is your handicap index?
TFC: What time do you wake in the morning, and what time do you typically start the workday?
AU: I wake up around 6-6:30 a.m. and start work 7:30-8 a.m., depending on the day.
TFC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader?
AU: The key elements of leadership is to always be listening — your team as a collective will always be more efficient and smarter than any one person.
TFC: What changes, if any, have you made based on the events of the past year?
AU: As you might imagine, we have been closely working with local and state government officials, as well as the PGA Tour, since the onset of the pandemic to make sure our event is staged in the healthiest and most successful manner.
TFC: What's the secret to the tournament’s success?
AU: The secret to our success is a great passion for the sport, the industry, our event and our island. Having an incredible team and sponsor are key to making this event the very best it can be.
> Golf photographer Fred Vuich made the perfect shot — and he's still doing it
[Karen Kadilak | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Read]
> North Carolina high school sophomore Macy Pete shot a 14-under 57
[John Dell | Winston-Salem Journal | Read]
> Tour golf courses in Northwest England, narrated by Renton Laidlaw
[Hidden Links Golf | YouTube | Watch]
An SI.com study of publicly available data shows that Rickie Fowler is still the peoples' champ. He's one of ten PGA Tour players in line to earn a share of Player Impact Program money, despite falling out of the top 125 in the world rankings.
"The more I practice the luckier I get."
PGA Tour: CJ Cup
Site: The Summit Club, Las Vegas.
Television: Today-Sunday, 5-8 p.m. (Golf Channel).
European Tour: Estrella Damm Andalucia Masters
Site: Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain
Television: Today-Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to noon (Golf Channel).
PGA Tour Champions: SAS Championship
Site: Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, N.C.
Television: Friday, 2-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2:30-5 p.m. (Golf Channel).
LPGA Tour: Idle. Next week at BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea.
25-28: PGA Merchandise Show, Orlando, Fla. | Info
5-10: GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, San Diego, Calif. | Info
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