Amputee Iraq vet leads in Tahoe; Sorenstam T-4

By Associated PressJuly 19, 2014, 7:01 am

STATELINE, Nev. - Chad Pfeifer, who lost his left leg above the knee serving in Iraq, earned a Stableford total of 24 points to take the first-round lead over a group including former LPGA great Annika Sorenstam on Friday at the American Century Championship.

Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick finished with a total of 23 points for second place while former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien is third with 22 points.

Sorenstam finished 1 under for a Stableford total of 21 points in her first competitive round since retirement and is tied for fourth. Defending champion Billy Joe Tolliver, a former NFL quarterback, finished 4 over for a total of 16 points at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

Pfeifer, who is attempting to become the first professional tournament golfer to use a prosthetic limb, opened his round with a bogey on his first hole, but had birdies on four and five. His 18-hole score was 70.

''There was a lot of nerves, that's for sure,'' said Pfeifer, who was profiled in a 2012 GolfChannel.com article. ''Just tried to play my own game and just tried to play steady golf. I knew doubles (bogeys) are no good, obviously, but as long as I could eliminate those and play par golf, I'll be fine. I'll make some birdies and hopefully don't give anything back with bad holes.''

He birdied the par-3 17th in front of the raucous lakeside crowd. A newcomer to the event, Pfeifer won three straight Warrior Opens, a 36-hole tournament that honors servicemen and women.

He's become the feel-good story of the week, but what made him feel good was the veterans that he has been able to meet.

''I played well, but the experience I've had the last few days, had some Vietnam-era guys come up and thank me, and it's really cool to get thanks from them,'' Pfeifer said. ''They're the ones that should be getting the thanks because the way they were treated paved the way for how we've been treated.''

Sorenstam is tied with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Sakic, three points off Pfeifer's lead.

Sorenstam played steady in her first tournament golf since retiring at the end of the 2008 LPGA season, finding her rhythm on the back nine. After shaking off the rust, she's still hoping for a win on Sunday.

''I was tight early on. I mean, I felt it, I don't know, I was holding back for really no reason. Maybe because I don't play and I'm rusty,'' Sorenstam said. ''It doesn't matter where I am today, there's only one place on Sunday.''

Fan favorite Charles Barkley finished ahead of only one person, U.S. women's hockey forward Hilary Knight. Barkley totaled negative-32 points with a 34-over total of 106. Knight didn't fare much better, shooting 108 (negative-36).

The 54-hole tournament, featuring a $600,000 purse and a $125,000 first prize, will continue Saturday with the second round.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.

Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

By Rex HoggardDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

Although the Rules of Golf modernization is still a year away, officials continue to refine parts of the rulebook including an overhaul of the video review protocols.

A “working group” led by the USGA and R&A announced on Monday the new protocols, which include assigning a rule official to a tournament broadcast to resolve rules issues.

The group – which includes the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA tour and PGA of America – also voted to stop considering viewer call-ins when processing potential rule violations.

In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation.

In April, Lexi Thompson was penalized four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round. Thompson was penalized two strokes for incorrectly marking her golf ball and two for signing an incorrect scorecard.

“The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled,” Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf, said on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" on Monday. “Let’s leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament.”

The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standard.

According to that decision, which was not a rule, “so long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be inaccurate by the use of video evidence.”

The new protocols will be implemented starting on Jan. 1.

A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is currently underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.