Cut Line: Rumors and false reports harder to dismiss in abnormal times

April 19, 2024

In this week’s edition, we celebrate the champ, study the PGA Tour’s move to a for-profit model and condone the baseless rumors that haunt the professional game.

The champ. Scottie Scheffler’s whirlwind since Sunday has included a flight home to Dallas, a pitstop at a dive bar to celebrate and a dizzyingly quick turnaround to prepare for this week’s RBC Heritage.

Before Scheffler arrived at Harbour Town there were rumors that he might withdraw to recover from last week’s victory at the Masters, not to mention the torrid run he’s been on the last month that’s included three victories and a runner-up finish, and to spend time with his wife who is expecting the couple’s first child in a few weeks.

That, however, never crossed the world No. 1’s mind.


“I made a commitment to this tournament,” Scheffler said. “I like coming here and playing the golf course. Yeah, I’m a bit tired right now, but I’ve got all afternoon today to continue to rest and get ready for the week.”

That Scheffler would honor his commitment to play the Heritage was no surprise to those who have watched him evolve into a dominant player. “Scottie is tremendously talented and a hard worker and sadly, a better person. I wish I could hate him,” Max Homa said.

The Sarge. Every Tour event is worth more than the sum of its parts, which is why the circuit’s move to a for-profit model has created concern in communities that depend on the charitable dollars tournaments produce. The RBC Heritage is a timely example.

The charitable organization that runs the Heritage has teamed up with the Congaree Foundation to restore the Sergeant Jasper Country Club, a public course in nearby Ridgeland, South Carolina, that has been a part of the Lowcountry community since the 1960s, but was in danger of closing.

The “Sarge,” as it’s known to locals, was recently purchased by the Congaree Foundation and the overhaul of the nine-hole course began last summer with four new green complexes, improved drainage and a practice putting green.

“It’s so relatable, we’ve all grown up at a place like that and it’s such an important part of the community. It was the place to be during the summer,” said Ben Grandy, the executive director of the Congaree Foundation. “We wanted to keep a place in the community that’s been there since the ’60s. It was not just important to keep the game alive but it’s the only public facility within 40 minutes in any direction.”

The restoration of the Sarge is a gentle reminder that the financial fatigue professional golf is experiencing is not the complete story.

Sargent, 20, will still be able to take up a PGA Tour card next summer following the 2025 NCAA Championship.

That was the decision Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent announced on Thursday. “Not quite done yet. Excited for another year with the guys! #anchordown,” he wrote on Instagram.

It was a compelling decision to defer his exemption on the Tour via the circuit’s new PGA Tour University Accelerated program until next spring when he’ll be able to play out the remainder of the 2025 season and then he will have status for the entire ’26 season.

“My dream is playing on the PGA Tour,” Sargent told “With having the same status if I come back to school for one year, it was kind of a no-brainer. I can still take advantage of another year of school, be with my teammates, get my degree and continue to get better.”

For fans, who many believe are tired of hearing about guaranteed contracts and equity shares and ballooning purses, Sargent represents a part of the game that’s been missing for too long.

The ringer. The hands of commerce continue to turn behind the scenes with no conclusion in sight, but there was a telling moment at Tuesday’s Player Advisory Council meeting.

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from former Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, who joined Fenway Sports as a senior advisor in February.

Fenway Sports is behind the Strategic Sports Group which invested an initial $1.5 billion into PGA Tour Enterprises, the circuit’s new for-profit arm, and according to multiple sources, Epstein’s presentation lasted more than an hour and he outlined how Major League Baseball was able to attract new fans and a younger demographic with rule changes and initiatives that made the game faster and more appealing.

While the MLB probably