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MORNING BRIEFING

LPGA's actions speak louder

September 02, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

The LPGA's controversial plan to require proficiency in spoken English, even though Koreans account for more than one-third of the LPGA Tour's 120 players, has sparked worldwide reaction -- most of it negative.

It was left to Robert Green, editor of Golf International, to make a point that seems lost on the LPGA hierarchy.

Green wrote in England's Observer newspaper that in 2009, "the Tour will visit not only Korea but also Thailand, Singapore, China and Japan. American players there will not be required to speak the local language. Furthermore, revenue from Korean television is the LPGA's biggest single source of annual income.

"A cynic might say the message seems to be: 'We like the way your money talks but not the way you do.' "

Trivia time

When former Texas quarterback Vince Young had his No. 10 jersey retired over the weekend, he became only the fifth Longhorn to be so honored. Who were the other four?

Pioneers

The death last week of Phil Hill -- one of only two Americans, along with Italian-born Mario Andretti, to win a Formula One world championship -- has reduced the ranks of the sport's pioneering champions to three.

Of the 11 men who won the driver's world championship from 1950 to 1969, only Jack Brabham, 82, John Surtees, 74, and Jackie Stewart, 69, survive.

Small feat

Russian boxer Nikolai Valuev, the WBA heavyweight champion, says he likes his new trainer, Alexander Zimin.

"The new coach is much better," Valuev said. "He works on me being quicker, and in the corner he is much better -- he doesn't insult me."

Insult him? Valuev is 7 feet, 322 pounds and covered in hair. Who insults that?

Pole position

Writing in the New Yorker, Anthony Lane said that it all became clear to him while watching Poland's Tomasz Majewski win the shotput gold medal in Beijing, leaving the U.S. to settle for silver.

"For the first time I understood the binary appeal of the discipline; the brute thrust of Majewski's firing arm, uncrooked and locked, versus the delicate skip of his swiveling feet below.

"If the U.S. wants to do better in London, four years from now, it had better start sending some bison to ballet school."

Hockey, anyone?

Women's hockey seldom hits the mainstream, but that might change if Nikki Hudson, co-captain of Australia's Olympic team and a Sydney 2000 gold-medal winner, continues such musings on her Facebook page.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, among several racy comments by Hudson was this one: "Nikki thinks the running of the bulls should be changed and we should be chased by the Spanish men's hockey team. I would definitely make sure I got caught. . . . "

Hockey Australia said it was not amused.

Trivia answer

Earl Campbell (No. 20), Bobby Layne (No. 22), Ricky Williams (No. 34) and Tommy Nobis (No. 60).

And finally

Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote doesn't like the Marlins' postseason chances. "Baseball began using instant replay this week," Cote wrote, "but even upon further review, Florida doesn't look like a playoff team."

--

grahame.jones@latimes.com

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