Thursday, August 26, 2010

Furyk Oversleeps and Is Ineligible for FedEx Cup Event

Or, as Jim Furyk discovered Wednesday, his cellphone battery could die the night before a tournament’s pro-am.

Furyk overslept and missed his tee time at the Barclays pro-am Wednesday morning at the Ridgewood Country Club. Under PGA Tour rules, that makes him ineligible for the tournament, the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events.

Furyk, who is ranked third in the FedEx Cup standings, took responsibility for his cellphone calamity. He said he set his cellphone’s alarm clock Tuesday night, but somehow the phone’s battery — which he thought he had charged fully — died overnight. He awoke at 7:23 a.m., seven minutes before his scheduled tee time, and threw on a shirt and pants.

Beltless, sockless, and with his shoes untied, Furyk rushed from his hotel to the course, but he was too late.

“I’m beside myself,” he said, his shoes still untied. “I have a way of climbing into stupid situations.”

By missing the tournament, Furyk is likely to slide toward the bottom of the top 10 in the standings for the FedEx Cup, which carries a $10 million prize. (In the worst mathematical case, he would fall to 19th, though that is improbable.)

While Furyk’s inconvenient sleepiness was a subject of fascination here Wednesday, Furyk is not the first golfer to miss a pro-am tee time.

In 2005, Retief Goosen, who was the fifth-ranked player in the world at the time, missed his early-morning tee time for the pro-am at the Nissan Open and was declared ineligible for the tournament. And two years ago, John Daly was booted out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill after he missed the pro-am. His problem was not oversleeping; rather, he showed up at what turned out to be his starting time for the first round of the tournament, not the pro-am.

In his almost two decades on the PGA Tour, Furyk said he remembered only once being late to a pro-am, also at Bay Hill. In that case, the alternate filled in for him for two holes until he arrived.

That sort of thing has not been permitted since 2004. Now, a documented injury or a family emergency are the only grounds for players to be excused from the pro-am before a tournament in which they are to compete. That rule became the chief topic (at least among matters not mentioned in this week’s edition of People magazine) here Wednesday, where the gray skies and cold drizzle better suited sitting indoors debating PGA policy than walking the course and watching the pro-am.

Furyk said he was especially disappointed because the tournament was not just an ordinary event, and he found sympathy among his peers in that regard. Ernie Els, the leader in the FedEx Cup standings, suggested that the rule regarding pro-ams be altered for the FedEx Cup.

“I don’t think anybody thought about this, to be honest with you,” Els said. “I didn’t think about it. Now that it’s happened, maybe we should re-evaluate the rules for the playoff system, maybe. Maybe penalize him some points or something.”

Phil Mickelson was the most outspoken critic of the policy. His primary objection centered on the fact that only 54 of the 122 players were slotted to participate in the pro-am.

“It applies to only half the field and yet it affects the integrity of the competition,” he said of the rule. “I cannot disagree with it more. I have no idea how the commissioner let this rule go through. It’s ridiculous.”

But earlier in the day, officials were simply concerned with where exactly Furyk had disappeared to. Slugger White, the PGA Tour’s vice president for rules and competitions, said tournament officials were looking for him a half-hour before his tee time. They became worried when Furyk’s caddie, Mike Cowan, said he had called Furyk but his cellphone would not ring through (which, in hindsight, makes sense). White said he feared at first that Furyk might have been in an accident on the way to the course.

When Furyk did show up, tournament officials had already sent an alternate out to No. 11, where Furyk was to tee off. White, meanwhile, broke the news to him.

“A commitment to play in the tournament is a commitment to play in the pro-am,” White said.

Although Furyk was clearly frustrated with being rendered ineligible and the possible consequences for his place in the standings — “I played my heart out all year,” he said — he took the news in stride.

“The rules are rules,” he said.

Time Was Not on Their Side

Way to go Pro! That's gonna sting forever... I doubt anyone will let him live this down in the clubhouse. Darn... now I kindda feel bad for him, but it is his own doing. I guess if I was playing for a million plus a tournament I might hire someone to have the single task of waking me up on time... and still set my alarm... and charge my phone.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Facebook sues site with ‘book’ in name | Chicago Breaking Business #FacebookFAIL

Facebook employees write on the Facebook "wall" following a news conference at Facebook's headquarters, August 18, 2010. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) has two employees and fewer than 20 users signed up for its free Web community. The site has yet to officially launch.

But the Northbrook, Ill.-based company, which provides tools for teachers to manage their classrooms and share lesson plans and other resources, has been thrust into the spotlight by social networking giant Facebook, which sued the start-up for using “book” in its name.

“We’ve been sitting here scratching our heads for the last couple of days,” Teachbook’s managing director, Greg Shrader, told the Tribune on Wednesday. “We’re trying to understand how Facebook, a multibillion-dollar company, feels this small enterprise in Chicago is any type of threat.”

Facebook, which was founded in 2004 and has more than 500 million users, filed its trademark infringement lawsuit in U.S. district court in San Jose last week, asserting that the “book” part of its name is “highly distinctive in the context of online communities and networking websites.”

“If others could freely use ‘generic plus BOOK’ marks for online networking services targeted to that particular generic category of individuals, the suffix BOOK could become a generic term for ‘online community/networking services’ or ’social networking services,’” Facebook argued in the lawsuit. “That would dilute the distinctiveness of the Facebook Marks.”

Suing similarly named companies for trademark infringement is well-worn territory for technology companies. EBay, for example, locked horns with an e-commerce site called PerfumeBay for years before the other company changed its name to Beauty Encounter.

“As companies mature, it becomes common that they start bringing trademark enforcement actions against people with names that bug them,” said Eric Goldman, associate professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and director of the school’s High Tech Law Institute.

Shrader said the term “book” is a natural fit for his website, since it relates to teachers and education.

But the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company felt Teachbook was unfairly riding on its coattails by using the suffix “book” to reference the larger site’s established reputation.

“It’s not that they are using ‘book’ — we have no complaint against Kelly Blue Book or others,” Facebook said in a statement. “However, there is already a well-known online network of people with ‘book’ in the brand name.”

Teachbook filed a trademark application in March 2009, and Facebook opposed the registration last year. There were “ongoing discussions” over use of the name and Shrader believed “we were working constructively with (Facebook),” but is now expecting to file a response to the California-based technology company’s lawsuit in court.

“Effectively they’re bombing a mosquito here, and we’re not sure why they want to do that,” Shrader said.

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Yup... this is a company I would want to associate with. NOT! Right on Wayne, right on Garth! Part time, excellent :)

At least Apple goes after people like David Copperfield ;)

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart