HANEY IN THE NEWS

Time for American women golfers to play better

Time for American women golfers to play better

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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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Celtics defeat Mavericks, 106-88. Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images.

Jayson Tatum put his hands behind his head, with TD Garden fans standing on their feet cheering around him, and took it all in.

Walking to the bench, he wrapped both arms around Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla.

The journey was complete.

The Boston Celtics again stand alone among NBA champions.

Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and the Celtics topped the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 on Monday night to win the franchise’s 18th championship, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history.

Boston earned its latest title on the 16th anniversary of hoisting its last Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008. It marks the 13th championship won this century by one of the city’s Big 4 professional sports franchises.

“It means the world," Tatum said on stage after the team received the trophy from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "It’s been a long time. And damn I’m grateful.”

Jaylen Brown added 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and was voted the NBA Finals MVP.

“I share this with my brothers and my partner in crime Jayson Tatum," Brown said after the 107th career playoff game he and Tatum have played together — the most for any duo before winning a title.

Jrue Holiday finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Center Kristaps Porzingis also provided an emotional lift, returning from a two-game absence because of a dislocated tendon in his left ankle to chip in five points in 17 minutes.

They helped the Celtics cap a postseason that saw them go 16-3 and finish with an 80-21 overall record. That .792 winning percentage ranks second in team history behind only the Celtics’ 1985-86 championship team that finished 82-18 (.820).

Mazzulla, in his second season, at age 35 also became the youngest coach since Bill Russell in 1969 to lead a team to a championship.

“You have very few chances in life to be great,” Mazzulla said.

Luka Doncic finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas, which failed to extend the series after avoiding a sweep with a 38-point win in Game 4. The Mavericks had been 3-0 in Game 5s this postseason, with Doncic scoring at least 31 points in each of them. He said the chest, right knee and left ankle injuries he played through during the finals weren't an excuse for Dallas struggling throughout the series.

“It doesn’t matter if I was hurt, how much was I hurt. I was out there,” he said. “I tried to play, but I didn’t do enough.”

Kyrie Irving finished with just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting and has lost 13 of the last 14 meetings against the Celtics team he left in the summer of 2019 to join the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving thinks better things are ahead for the Mavs.

“I see an opportunity for us to really build our future in a positive manner, where this is almost like a regular thing for us and we’re competing for championships,” he said.

NBA teams are now 0-157 in postseason series after falling into a 3-0 deficit.

Mavs coach Jason Kidd believes Doncic and his team will grow from this NBA Finals experience.

“I think the first step is just to be in it. I think that’s a big thing,” he said. “Yes, we lost 4-1, but I thought the group fought against the Celtics and just, unfortunately, we just couldn’t make shots when we had to, or we turned the ball over and they took full advantage of that.”

Boston never trailed and led by as many as 26, feeding off the energy of the Garden crowd.

Dallas was within 16-15 early before the Celtics closed the first quarter on a 12-3 run that included eight combined points by Tatum and Brown.

The Celtics did it again in the second quarter when the Mavericks trimmed what had been a 15-point deficit to nine. Boston ended the period with a 19-7 spurt that was capped by a a half-court buzzer beater by Payton Pritchard – his second such shot of the series – to give Boston a 67-46 halftime lead.

Over the last two minutes of the first and second quarters, the Celtics outscored the Mavericks 22-4.

The Celtics never looked back.

Russell’s widow, Jeannine Russell, and his daughter Karen Russell were in TD Garden to salute the newest generation of Celtics champions.

They watched current Celtics stars Tatum and Brown earn their first rings. It was the trade that sent 2008 champions Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in 2013 that netted Boston the draft picks it eventually used to select Brown and Tatum third overall in back-to-back drafts in 2016 and 2017.

The All-Stars came into their own this season, leading a Celtics team that was built around taking and making a high number of 3-pointers, and a defense that rated as the league’s best during the regular season.

The duo made it to at least the Eastern Conference finals as teammates four previous times.

They finally reached the finish line in their fifth deep playoff run together.

After both struggling at times offensively in the series, Tatum and Brown hit a groove in Game 5, combining for 31 points and 11 assists in the first half.

It helped bring out all the attributes that made Boston the NBA’s most formidable team this postseason – spreading teams out, sharing the ball, and causing havoc on defense. And even chipping a tooth, like Derrick White did after he was landed on by Dereck Lively II.

“I'll lose all my teeth for a championship,” White said.

And it put a championship bow on a dizzying stretch for the Celtics, that saw them lose in the finals to the Golden State Warriors in 2022 and then fail to return last season after a Game 7 home loss to the Miami Heat in the conference finals.

Tatum vowed that night to erase the sting of those disappointments.

Standing in a sea of confetti Monday night he was reminded by his 6-year-old son, Deuce, of what he'd accomplished.

“He told me that I was the best in the world,” Tatum said. “I said, ‘You’re damn right I am.’”

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