No matter who wins or what the scores are, the Northern Trust tournament this week at Glen Oaks Club will be historic in one way: It will be the first time the PGA Tour will allow spectators to take video, audio or photos of the action with their mobile devices.
Fans still will have many restrictions on what they can do with their phones — no flashes, no commercial use, no streaming from shot to shot; calls can be made only in designated areas and devices must be kept on silent mode. Still, the policy that will be introduced this week represents a new protocol in golf’s evolving issue.
Tournament organizers have been studying what to do about phones, with mixed conclusions. Until now, official PGA Tour policy allowed images to be taken away from play (although people often have disregarded the rule). At the PGA Championship last week, run by the PGA of America, spectators were not permitted to shoot anything within 100 feet of play. At the Masters, mobile devices are not allowed on the grounds at all.
The PGA Tour is trying a relaxed approach to make the FedEx Cup playoffs more fan-friendly, acknowledging the importance that most people place on their devices. The policy was announced on Tuesday. Details will be printed on the back of every ticket and can be found at pgatour.com/ticketterms.
While this year’s event is the first at Glen Oaks and the first with a new sponsor, it also marks the tournament’s 50th anniversary. The sites have changed and the names have been altered, but it has been held every year since 1967.
Jack Nicklaus won the first installment of what was then the Westchester Classic on Wednesday, August 30, 1967. He scored a one-stroke victory over Dan Sikes in midweek after the Friday through Sunday rounds were postponed by rain. “Nicklaus never panics, he always hangs in there,” Sikes told reporters after the round.
Sergio is out
Masters champion Sergio Garcia will not be in the field, having decided to skip the playoff opener for the third consecutive year . . . Adam Scott also will miss it as he awaits the birth of his second child.
A friend helps out
Kevin Riordan of Smithtown realized even before his group began its tour of nine Scottish courses in seven days recently that the Old Course at St. Andrews would be a highlight. In fact, he had a special assignment there. He was asked by the children of a friend, Martin Pedersen, to scatter some of his ashes there, which Riordan did, the night before he played.
“Maybe there was a different kind of assist,” he said, referring to the next day’s round. Riordan birdied the first hole, which was fine but nothing unusual. Then on the par-4 ninth, he hit his drive with a low draw and lost track of it. “But the caddies were transfixed and said, ‘Really good,’ ” he said. Sure enough, the ball was on the green, eight feet from the cup. He rolled it in for a vintage eagle that he never will forget.
Darrell Kestner, head pro at Deepdale Golf Club, finished with a 3-under-par 68 and won the Met PGA Senior Championship at Patriot Hills Golf Club in Stony Point . . . Kyle Brey of Farmingdale missed by one shot the chance to advance to the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur at Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles.
Long Island Cares, the Harry Chapin Food Bank, will hold its outing Sept. 25 at the Bridge in Bridgehampton. Visit licares.org/thebridge . . . The Glen Head Lions Club Fall Classic, supporting Foundation Fighting Blindness and other charities, will be Sept. 28 at Glen Cove Golf Club. Call (516) 674-3252 . . . An outing for the Kilimanjaro Initiative, an effort to expand golf in Africa, will be held Oct. 19 at Cherry Valley Club, Garden City. Call Ed Kelly at the pro shop.
Chris Bringmann, Bethpage Blue, third hole, 196 yards, 9-wood
Mike Spieler, Cherry Valley CC, 13th hole, 210 yards, 4-iron
John Donnarumma, Cherry Valley CC, fifth hole, 168 yards, 8-iron
Mike Wagner, Spring Lake GC Sandpiper, sixth hole, 112 yards, pitching wedge
Steven Denkberg, Lake Success GC, 11th hole, 169 yards, 4-hybrid
Shashi Patel, Old Westbury G&CC Overlook, eighth hole, 168 yards, 3-wood
Jackie Hammond, Engineers CC, 14th hole, 91 yards, pitching wedge
Marvin Levine, Engineers CC, third hole, 148 yards, 3-wood
Mark Wasserman, Pine Hills CC, third hole, 155 yards, 5-iron
Ryan Hembury, Rolling Oaks GC, fourth hole, 103 yards, pitching wedge
Doug Graham, Heatherwood GC, first hole, 144 yards, 6-hybrid