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Zach, Dustin Johnson doing little to toughen golf's image

American golfers pull out of South Korean tournament over North Korea's nuclear threats.
Zach johnson golf south koreaEnlarge
American Zach Johnson and caddie Damon Green discuss strategy during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson should realize that a golf course during a major tournament is about the safest place anyone could be this weekend in South Korea.

The American golfers – who aren’t related, by the way – pulled out of the Ballantine’s Championship beginning Thursday in Seoul citing increased tension on the Korean Peninsula thanks to North Korea’s nuclear threats.

“Ballantine’s has been kept fully up to date on relevant issues, and The European Tour has also been liaising with key decision makers, including the (British) Foreign Office, who have not warned of any increased risk to those traveling to or within the country,” tournament organizers said online.

The Johnsons should also know North Korea is a sporting nation.

The Hermit Kingdom’s now-deceased former leader, Kim Jong Il, set a world record for best ever round of golf in 1994.

He shot a 38-under par on a 7,700-yard championship course near Pyongyang. On 11 of the holes, he needed just one stroke of the club.

Yes, that’s correct, 11 aces for the former North Korean supremo.

It was the former Dear Leader’s first attempt at golfing and, should you believe the North Korean media, was independently verified … by all 17 of his bodyguards.

While Kim has since left this earthly realm, we all know through Dennis Rodman that Kim Jong Un is a huge sports fan like his father.

So, clearly, the North Koreans would likely wait until at least Monday to launch the apparently impending attack.

Furthermore, the Americans are doing so little to dispel the notion that golf is little more than a hobby, barely a sport played by pampered elitist WASPs wearing funky clothing.

To shore up their sport’s image, Ballantine’s organizers should replace the Johnsons with 24-year-old Swedish golfer Daniela Holmqvist.

While trying to qualify for a tournament in Australia earlier this year, Holmqvist was forced to gouge open a leg wound with a golf tee — to drain it of spider poison.

She told reporters after the incident that she felt a stabbing pain near her ankle while hitting from the rough.

Holmqvist looked down to see the distinctive red hourglass shape of a Black Widow spider.

After much fumbling with cellphones from her playing partners and caddies, Holmqvist – doubled over in pain – grabbed the tee for a little open-leg surgery.

“A clear fluid came out,” she said. “It wasn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever done, but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible.”

Heck, if Americans are going to run from the fight, North Korea is probably planning the victory parade through downtown Washington.

We can say for certain, however, they won’t be going anywhere near Stockholm.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/zach-dustin-johnson-ballantines-south-north-korea