Welcome to The Morning Punch Out.
The PGA Tour filed its response to swing instructor Hank Haney's lawsuit on Monday denying Haney's claims and arguing its decisions were made out of "its right to protect its brand."
Haney is suing based on what he called a "vendetta" the Tour has against him stemming from his firing from SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio following comments made last summer.
“The (Tour’s) conduct was justified because it exerted its right to protect its brand through the control of programming and the prevention of conduct detrimental to the (Tour) pursuant to its rights in the License Agreement with Sirius XM Radio,” the motion read, according to GolfChannel.com. "(The) Tour was not a stranger to the relationship between [Haney] and Sirius XM, and indeed, had a beneficial or economic interest in, or control over, that relationship, including a supervisory interest in how the relationship is conducted or a financial interest in how the contract between [Haney] and Sirius XM was performed.”
The motion stated that Haney's termination was a result of his “own actions, and not any act or interference by (the Tour)."
When the Masters comes to town, much of the native population leaves it, which is why Augusta National Golf Club is in talks with area school districts about their fall schedules and the possibility of adding a fall break the week of the tentatively-rescheduled major championship.
“Our desire is to be as accommodating as possible to our community partners and to provide our employees and students opportunities to be a part of working and or participating in this annual event,” Merry Glenne Piccolino, Aiken County Public Schools' communications director, said in a statement to The Augusta Chronicle.
“While no definitive answer about a fall break next year could be provided prior to further discussion, there is an effort underway to explore alternatives to our already established and approved academic calendar. We certainly want to be as flexible as possible to help maintain the level of community involvement that makes the Masters as special as it is to visitors as well as all who call the (Central Savannah River Area) home.”
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and LPGA commissioner Mike Whan were among the 100-plus advisers named by President Donald Trump to a council tasked with reopening the American economy.
“We have the best people in every profession, including medical and including political,” Trump told reporters. Other professional sports league commissioners such as the NFL's Roger Goodell, the NBA's Adam Silver and MLB's Rob Manfred were added to the council as well.
“I want fans back in the arenas whenever we’re ready and as soon as we can,” Trump said earlier this month. “The fans want to be back. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out on the golf courses and breath nice, clean, beautiful fresh air. I can’t tell you a date [when sports will start again], but I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later.”
The PGA of America has committed $5 million in starting the Golf Emergency Relief Fund to assist club pros, course workers and others affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns.https://t.co/c4iESHrr5C— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) April 13, 2020
The PGA of America is doing its part to help out its membership during the coronavirus pandemic by initiating a $5 million donation from the PGA of America to the Golf Emergency Relief Fund, which will be geared toward helping industry professionals who have been impacted.
The PGA of America also promised to match up to $2.5 million in third-party gifts, which was funded by salary reductions from "every member of the executive leadership team" as well as donations from members of the board of directors.
"The golf industry is in an unprecedented crisis, and our friends, colleagues and their families need our help right away," PGA president Suzy Whaley said. "We have to ensure that the heart and soul of our game - our people - are able to get back on their feet and continue to serve others down the road. Eventually, golf will return, but first we need to reach out and help people in our industry during this national emergency."