Birdie barrage earns Armour share of lead

By Associated PressFebruary 21, 2010, 3:28 am
Champions Tour

BOCA RATON, Fla. – If anybody could use a victory at the Allianz Championship this weekend, it would be Tim Simpson.

Simpson, who had brain surgery nearly five years ago to alleviate a hereditary tremor in his left hand, shot 7 under 65 and was tied with Tommy Armour III for the lead at 13 under after the second round of the Champions Tour event on Saturday at Broken Sound.

After posting his sixth birdie of the day on the 17th to reach 11 under, Simpson eagled the par-5 18th to move into a tie with Armour, moving him closer to a big payday that would help defray the costs of mounting medical bills.

Two months ago, Simpson had to have out-patient surgery to install a new battery in the neurostimulator that connects to an electrode in his brain to help alleviate the shaking.

“To change a battery is $53,000 and climbing,” Simpson said.

Winning the Allianz Championship sure would help with that. The champion takes home a $255,500 paycheck.

He’ll have to overcome Armour, and hold off an accomplished group right on his heels, to do it.

Armour put together a stretch of five straight birdies on the back side to finish with an 8-under 64.

Bernhard Langer shot 65 and John Cook shot 66 on Saturday and were a stroke back entering the final round. Nick Price and Joey Sindelar both shot 65, and Loren Roberts and Tom Lehman both shot 67 to finish at 11 under.

The burly Simpson started to notice the hand tremor after contracting Lyme disease on a hunting trip in 1991.

Debilitated by the condition and the narcotics prescribed to try to control the tremor, a depressed Simpson walked away from golf in 2000.

That’s when his second wife, Leigh Anne, an MRI technician who worked for neurosurgeons, set about finding a medical answer that would allow him to play golf again.

Simpson was awake while he had the surgery, which implanted an electrode in his brain that is connected to a neurostimulator in his upper chest to control the tremors.

Despite being told the surgery could cause a stroke or kill him, Simpson eventually decided it was worth taking the chance.

“Sure, I’ve had successful brain surgery but I still shake, so it’s not an even playing field out here,” Simpson said.

Armour, who finished second behind Fred Couples at his first Champions Tour event last week in Naples, birdied six holes on the back nine to shoot a 30. Armour had five straight birdies from Nos. 12-16 and ended the day with a 64.

Armour plans to play a couple of PGA events, but said he already feels at home on the senior tour.

“I know everybody here,” Armour said. “Out there, (on the PGA Tour), I go, ‘Hi, how are you?’

“Out here, I know the wives’ names, the kids’ names. I’ve seen their kids grow up.”

Even though Simpson will be looking for his first Champions Tour title on Sunday, he didn’t sound intimidated.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Simpson said. “Win, lose or draw, I’m going to go down swinging. Nobody can ever say they saw me giving up.”

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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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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

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.