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Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Eagle-itarian Sport

Egalitarian (adj): Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people. (Definition courtesy of thefreedictionary.com)

Bald eagle photoThe powers-that-be spend a great amount of time and money trying to prove that golf is for everyone. Today I shall (hopefully) wax eloquent about a blight threatening this aspect of our sport, one that might destroy the very nature of the game and besmirch the names of our best players.

I refer of course to the apparent belief on the professional golf tours that eagles, though no longer an endangered species, are fair game for their players despite remaining protected by Federal law.

For example, Rocco Mediate has shot no less than three of the defenseless creatures in as many rounds at the Frys.com Open -- a hole-in-one on #3 Thursday, a hole-out from the fairway on #4 Friday, and another hole-out on #15 Saturday. (That's one on a par-3, one on a par-4, and one on a par-5, for those of you keeping track.) His brazen disregard for our feathered friends has given him a three-shot lead over his nearest competitors, all of whom seem unwilling to risk imprisonment. (Alex Prugh, five shots back, accidently shot one on #17 Saturday, but was seen talking to a lawyer afterward.)

The LPGA has shown even less concern for the legal implications of their actions. Three players are tied for the lead at the CVS... and all three of them are guilty! Beatriz Recari shot one on #11 Friday, Il-Hee Lee on #11 Saturday, and Michelle Redman had the nerve to kill one right on #18 Saturday in full sight of the gallery! Even Cristie Kerr succumbed to the slaughter, nailing yet another one on #11 Friday. (Is there a nesting area on that hole? Where's the Audubon Society when we need them?!?)

Even Asian eagles aren't safe. At the Iskandar Johor Open on the Asian Tour, Padraig Harrington -- yes, my friends, dear sweet wouldn't-hurt-a-fly Paddy Harrington -- has slaughtered three of these innocents... and he's got his clubs out now, even as I write this!

Ironically, the lowest scores of the week are massacre-free rounds. Brittany Lincicome's 61 on Friday spared our national symbols. And at the Portugal Masters on the European Tour, where a 59 watch was launched early Saturday (so early, in fact, that the TV cameras didn't even catch it), Jeppe Huldahl calmly carded his own 61... and not so much as a single eagle died in the process.

However, this fact seems lost on the great unwashed masses of the professional circuit.

Whatever are we to do, dear readers? How many senseless avian deaths will we see in today's final rounds? There is but one thing left for us to do -- we must all gather around our TV sets today and catalog the names of every offender on every tour who dares to smite these poor avatars of freedom, merely for the sake of a number on a scorecard.

It appears that equal rights are not for the birds, my friends, and we must act now to demonstrate the eagle-itarianism of our sport before they rejoin the endangered species list! The very future of the game may be in our hands!

I wonder how many viewers will phone the networks to report this travesty of justice? ;-)

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