x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

PGA’s lack of judiciary balance to be laid bare in Vijay Singh case

Depending upon the timbre of a judicial hammer, the Vijay Singh case against the PGA Tour could soon get very interesting. And, for the world’s richest tour, potentially embarrassing.

Vijay Singh of Fiji is suing the PGA for what he views as unfair fines and treatment. And he may have a point. Christian Petersen / AFP
Vijay Singh of Fiji is suing the PGA for what he views as unfair fines and treatment. And he may have a point. Christian Petersen / AFP

Depending upon the timbre of a judicial hammer, the Vijay Singh case against the PGA Tour could soon get very interesting. And, for the world’s richest tour, potentially embarrassing.

Four years ago, as a result of documents revealed during the discovery process tied to another legal case, the thick disciplinary file of John Daly was aired, and the impotence of the PGA Tour’s disciplinary policies were laid bare for all to ridicule. Over 18 years of withdrawals, arrests, trashed hotel rooms and lunkhead stunts, Daly had been fined less than US$100,000 (Dh367,000) by Tim Finchem, the commissioner.

Singh, suing the tour in civil court over a drug suspension and claiming he was unfairly sanctioned, compared to others, has asked the New York Supreme Court to order that documentation of other cases be provided so he can prove his point.

Finchem’s policies are shrouded in secrecy and sanctimony. Most professional organisations, including the European Tour, routinely disclose the details of sanctions in disciplinary matters. It is called behaviour modification – and the public wants atonement.

The PGA Tour defiantly refuses to discuss disciplinary matters in public as Finchem doles out punishment with complete autonomy and no disclosure, underscoring the impression that rules are applied differently – if at all – depending on the player in question.

Singh is one of the most polarising figures in the sport. But in this instance, he has lots of people rooting for him.

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