HANEY IN THE NEWS

Time for American women golfers to play better

This past Wednesday, the day before the women's U.S. Open teed off, longtime golf instructor Hank Haney was suspended from his SiriusXM radio show for comments he made about the LPGA. Here is what he and his cohost Steve Johnson said.

Johnson: "This week is the 74th U.S. Women's Open, Hank."

Haney: "Oh it is? I'm gonna predict a Korean."

Johnson, laughing: "OK, that's a pretty safe bet."

Haney: "I couldn't name you six players on the LPGA Tour. Maybe I could. Well … I'd go with Lee. If I didn't have to name a first name, I'd get a bunch of them right."

Johnson: "We've got six Lees."

Haney: "Honestly, Michelle Wie is hurt. I don't know that many. Where are they playing, by the way?"

Later in the show when informed there were complaints about what he said they had this exchange.

Haney: "I read some deal where, on the scoreboard, there's a lot of girls — isn't there a lot of girls on the LPGA Tour with the same name, right?"

Johnson: "Yeah. They have exactly the same name and they call them, like, there's six of them. They've got a Lee no. 1, a Lee no. 2, a Lee no. 3. One of them was on the leaderboard a few weeks ago, she was the no. 6 Lee."

Many in the golf world reacted as you might expect.

Michelle Wie tweeted this:

As a Korean American female golfer, these comments that @HankHaney made disappoint and anger me on so many different levels. Racism and sexism are no laughing matter Hank....shame on you. I don't ever do this, but this must be called out.

Tiger Woods said Haney got what he deserved with his suspension. (Tiger should have recused himself though. Haney wrote more than a few disparaging remarks about him in his tell-all book.)

Christine Brennan was one among many that called for SiriusXM to take action against him. They did. They suspended him the next day.

Only one problem: while Haney was condescending and insensitive, he was right. He predicted a Lee would win. A Lee won. And it was the one who has the same exact name as 5 other players on tour.

Well, not exactly the same. To differentiate amongst them they've assigned numbers to each.

Jeongeun Lee1

Jeongeun Lee2

Jeongeun Lee3

Jeongeun Lee4

Jeongeun Lee5

Jeongeun Lee6.

I was unaware of this phenomenon until Saturday afternoon when I checked in on the tournament. The leaderboard had the names up and in 4th place that day was Lee6. I honestly thought FOX had made an error in its graphic but later Joe Buck explained it and then it dawned on me. Hank Haney and Steve Johnson weren't kidding. This is a real thing.

That I was unaware of it is even more damning. I am a golf fan. I play as much as possible and watch golf almost every weekend.

I rarely ever watch women's golf though but that's not because I'm misogynistic. It's because they're rarely ever on TV. Ever. Don't get me wrong. It's not an unwatchable product. There are plenty of really good players playing very well. It's just unwatchable here in the U.S. because Americans aren't going to watch foreigners dominate their sport which means they can't get sponsors and without sponsors they can't get on television.

It's a lot like tennis. Quick, name one tennis player not name Venus or Serena Williams. I can name two: the Bryan brothers. I'm basically a tennis savant because I know who the Bryan brothers are. Otherwise the sport is void of Americans and for that reason you can't watch tennis because none of the 4 networks will broadcast it here.

Name one popular sport in America that is dominated by foreigners. Football basically has none. Basketball has Euros but they make up a small percentage. Baseball has a bunch of hispanic players but it's still mostly Americans and oh by the way, our country is made up of a bunch of hispanics. Hockey has a bunch of Canadiens and Russians but no one can tell the difference and there aren't many people watching anyway. Soccer is growing on us as a nation but we don't watch our league. We watch the European leagues because they're better.

The PGA and LPGA are OUR tours.

The PGA has its share of Euros and Aussies with a few New Zealanders mixed in but they speak our language and they're not dominating the tour. The USA has the top 2 golfers in the World in Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson and of the top 28 men's golfers, 16 are Americans. That's why the PGA is on national television virtually every weekend of the football offseason.

The women have 4 Americans in the top 28 and our best, Lexi Thompson is 8th. That's why the LPGA is in the witness protection program.

This isn't a Hank Haney problem. This is an American women's golf problem. If you want Americans to care about your sport, play better. If you want television networks to broadcast your events, play better. If you want bigger purses (they're a fraction of the men's), play better. If you want media coverage of your events, play better.

Hank Haney is a golf guy. He has one thing to cover: golf. He should have known more about the women's game but it's hard to blame him for not caring.

He's not alone.


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Houston's winning streak moves to six

Eighth-inning rally powers Astros to series sweep over Rangers

Yuli Gurriel brought in the go-ahead run late in Sunday's game. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Winners in the first three games of this series and their last five games overall, the Astros continued their climb towards the A's for first place in the AL West. They completed the four-game sweep, ending a successful homestand on a positive note before heading on the road.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 2

Astros' Record: 24-17, tied for first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Brooks Raley (2-2)

Losing Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez (1-2)

Astros strike first, McCullers Jr. goes six scoreless

After the Rangers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, Houston grabbed an early lead off the bat of Alex Bregman. He provided the third single of the inning, a one-out RBI to put the Astros in front 1-0, a score which would hold steady for a while. Another run didn't come across until the bottom of the fifth when Houston would load the bases with one out when Carlos Correa would get an RBI groundball to double the lead to 2-0.

Lance McCullers Jr. did well with the small lead, backing up his recent eight-inning gem with a quality start against Texas. He allowed a couple of hits each in the third and fourth but would erase the runners with no damage allowed. The Rangers threatened in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double before the runner moved to third on a wild pitch, putting him in a great position with no outs. McCullers Jr. would come away unscathed, finishing the inning and his day by retiring the next three batters. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 95 P.

Rangers tie it against Scrubb

First out of Houston's bullpen was Andre Scrubb, and he would not fare as well as the Astros starter. A leadoff single turned into a two-run game-tying homer, making it 2-2 before Scrubb would sit down the next three in order. Still tied in the top of the eighth, Brooks Raley had a terrific inning, striking out the three batters he faced.

Houston rallies ahead in the eighth for the four-game sweep

The top of Houston's order mounted a threat in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with one out to try and regain the lead. Yuli Gurriel would come through with the go-ahead at-bat, getting a sac fly to put the Astros back in front 3-2. A two-out walk loaded the bases again, setting up Chas McCormick to provide two insurance runs on a two-RBI single.

Myles Straw added one more on an RBI single, making it a four-run game at 6-2 heading to the ninth. Enoli Paredes made his long-awaited return from the IL, appearing for the first time since April 8th to try and close things out in the ninth. He tossed a scoreless inning, finishing off the four-game sweep, extending Houston's winning streak to six games, and keeping them in step with Oakland for the AL West lead.

Up Next: After a day off on Monday, the Astros will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday. They'll kick off a three-game set in Oakland against the A's at 8:40 PM, an exciting matchup to determine who will head into the weekend atop the division. While Cristian Javier (3-1, 3.08 ERA) is the expected starter for Houston, Oakland has not yet determined their rotation for the series.

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