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Golf notebook: LPGA tweaks dress code

--The LPGA Tour sent an email to its members at the beginning of the month outlining details of a strict dress code that goes into effect this week in the Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio.

According to, the dress-code memo came from LPGA Player President Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, who said there would be a $1,000 fine for each violation.

The new rules include:

-Racerback (shirts) with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no racerback).

-Plunging necklines are NOT allowed.

-Leggings, unless under a skort or shorts, are NOT allowed.

-Length of skirt, skort and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over.

-Appropriate attire should be worn to pro-am parties. ... Unless otherwise told "no," golf clothes are acceptable. Dressy jeans are allowed, but cut-offs or jeans with holes are NOT allowed.

-Workout gear and jeans (all colors) NOT allowed inside the ropes.

-Joggers are NOT allowed.

The LPGA Tour said in a statement: "The dress code requires players to present themselves in a professional manner to reflect a positive image for the game. While we typically evaluate our policies at the end of the year, based on input from our players, we recently made some minor adjustments to the policy to address some changing fashion trends. The specifics of the policy have been shared directly with the members."

An LPGA source said some players provided feedback on the dress code.

--A set of TaylorMade RAC TP Forged Irons once owned and used by President Donald Trump recently sold at auction for $29,798.13, according to RR Auction of Amherst, N.H. The minimum bid on the clubs was set at $2,500.

Trump gave the clubs as a gift to his personal caddie, Andrew Lombardo, who works at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster Township, N.J.

"The set of TaylorMade TP Rac's with (D. Trump) engraved on them were given to Mr. Trump by the TaylorMade CEO Mark King at the TaylorMade Media Day we had at Trump National Golf Club -- Bedminster when we became a TaylorMade club and the clubs were used by Mr. Trump for the rest of the season," Lombardo wrote in a notarized letter of provenance that accompanied the clubs. "The clubs were put in our bag room for the winter and next season Mr. Trump had a new set of clubs from TaylorMade.

"I knew the first set of irons were special and so beautiful, they were the only set of forged blades, the first set that TaylorMade gave to Mr. Trump and the only set that had (D. Trump) engraved on them, all the sets after that I saw were cavity backed with (DJT1) engraved on them. I waited for the right moment to ask Mr. Trump for the clubs, I personally asked Mr. Trump and he told me to ask the head pro (Mickie Gallagher), which I did and he said yes. I had the irons in my possession for about 11 or 12 years."

Each iron features a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft with red-and-black Golf Pride Dual Durometer grip, and the hosel of each clubhead is engraved, "D. Trump."

Reportedly, they are in fine condition, with light signs of use.

The clubs also were accompanied by images of Lombardo posing with Trump, LPGA Tour star Natalie Gulbis, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others of Trump on the golf course.

A spokesman for RR Auction said the buyer wishes to remain anonymous.

--Trish Johnson of England led virtually all the way and captured the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship by three strokes over Michelle Redman on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind.

The 51-year-old Johnson, who claimed three of her 25 career victories on the LPGA Tour and 19 on the Ladies European Tour, coasted to victory despite posting a 1-over-par 73 in the final round.

"I'm often asked what my favorite course in the world is, and I always say St. Andrews, but I think this place has taken over," said Johnson, who also won the 2016 Legends Tour Championship at French Lick. "It feels fantastic. This is the reason you play golf, to try to win something like this. It is going to be a very, very fun evening.

"I hit my driver so well all week. I was quite long, so I was hitting a lot of short irons in. Some of these greens are pretty wicked, so if you have short clubs in, that is a major advantage."

Johnson, who claimed her second victory on the LPGA Legends Tour, finished with a 54-hole total of 4-under 212.

Redman was unable to close ground because she made two double bogeys while also closing with a 73.

Dame Laura Davies of England, a four-time major champion who opened with a 79, finished five shots back in a tie for third with Helen Alfredsson of Sweden and Wendy Doolan of Australia.

Liselotte Neumann of Sweden was six back in solo sixth, followed two strokes further back by Nicole Jeray. Lorie Kane of Canada was one more behind in eighth.

Jean Bartholomew wound up 10 down in a tie for ninth with Martha Nause, Barb Mucha, Cathy Johnston-Forbes and Carolyn Hill.

--William "Hootie" Johnson, former chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, died Friday at the age of 86.

Johnson's chairmanship at Augusta National covered a little more than eight years before he stepped down in 2006.

"At all times, Hootie selflessly served as my personal mentor on matters here at Augusta National and the Masters, as well as in business and life," Billy Payne, the current chairman at Augusta, said in a statement. "He impressed upon me his obsession for constant improvement and a love for Augusta National that will forever remain unmatched."

Under Johnson, Augusta National made many changes to the course, including lengthening the course and adding tall trees, in an effort to protect the layout as the modern golfer began hitting the ball farther and farther.

Some called this "Tiger-proofing," and Tiger Woods won the Masters four times between 1997 and 2005.

Also during Johnson's reign, Augusta National received widespread criticism for its all-male membership. Martha Burk, former chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, pressed Johnson about whether or not the club would budge on the issue

Johnson responded: "Not at the point of a bayonet."

Augusta National finally allowed women members in 2012, one of the first being former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

--Trump International Golf Links in Balmedie, Scotland, probably will not be hosting the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in the near future, the tournament's title sponsor said.

President Trump said in 2015 visit to Trump International, "The Scottish Open is coming," but apparently it's not going to happen.

"Politics aside, Trump (International Golf Links) would be an ideal venue, but you can't put politics aside," said Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Scottish Open sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management. "That is the issue, so we will wait and see.

"Trump (International), I don't need to tell you, is a great golf course, but there are issues if we went there. The worst thing would be if he came. No decision has been made, but, look, there are clear issues, shall we say."

The U.S. Women's Open was played last week at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster Township, N.J., despite opposition some from LPGA Tour players. Trump reportedly threatened to sue if the tournament was moved.

Golf has been dealing with the Trump issue over some of his comments about women and minorities since he owns several world-class golf courses.

Trump Turnberry in Scotland hosted the British Women's Open in 2015, soon after his comments about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign.

Later that year, the PGA of America canceled its Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, and the PGA Tour event at Trump National Doral in Miami was moved to Mexico City this year.

Turnberry is in the rotation for the Open Championship and is waiting to hear from R&A if and when it will host the oldest championship in golf again.

--Michelle Wie withdrew from the U.S. Women's Open because of a lingering neck injury after two holes of the second round at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster Township, N.J.

The 27-year-old Stanford graduate has experienced neck pain throughout this season after sustaining whiplash during a minor car accident during the offseason. She re-injured her neck two weeks ago during the final round of the KMPG Women's PGA Championship.

"The U.S. Women's Open is by far one of my favorite tournaments. ... I so badly wanted to play today and the rest of the week," Wie, who won the tournament in 2014 at Pinehurst No. 2, said Friday in a statement. "I have been battling a neck injury and have been receiving treatment every day to play.

"Unfortunately based on the short turnaround from last night's round to this morning, I haven't been able to recover enough to play to my full potential today. I am confident with continued treatment I will be at 100 percent for the Scottish and British Open. Thank you all for your support and well wishes."

Wie almost withdrew after a rain delay in the first round, but she received treatment on the 14th tee while playing partners Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Brittany Lincicome went ahead of her.

Wie rejoined them on the green and finished the round at 1-over-par 73. She was 2 over for the tournament when she walked off in round two.

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