Chalmers gets first PGA Tour win at Barracuda

By Associated PressJuly 4, 2016, 3:46 am

RENO, Nev. - Greg Chalmers won the Barracuda Championship on Sunday at Montreux for his first PGA Tour title, making an eagle on the final hole for a six-point victory in the modified Stableford scoring event.

The 42-year-old Australian broke through in his 386th start after entering the week as the active player with the most events without a victory.

A point ahead of Gary Woodland and needing at least a par on the par-5 18th to wrap up the victory, Chalmers made an 8-foot eagle putt after hitting a 320-yard drive and 230-yard approach. A few minutes earlier in the group ahead, Woodland three-putted for a bogey on 18.

Chalmers had a four-point round to finish with 43 in the system that awards eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie and deducts a point for bogey and three for double bogey or worse. He also had two birdies and five bogeys, the last two on Nos. 15 and 17.

The left-hander earned a two-year Tour exemption and a spot in the British Open at Royal Troon. With only conditional status, he split time between the Tour and the Web.com Tour this year. The two-time Australian Open and Australian PGA champion missed the cuts in his previous five starts on the big tour.

Because of the West Virginia floods that led to The Greenbrier Classic being canceled, a British Open spot was transferred to the leading player not already eligible at Montreux.

 

Woodland, the 2013 winner, also had a four-point round to finish second.

In standard scoring, Chalmers finished a stroke ahead of Woodland and third-place finisher Colt Knost, closing with a 1-over 73 for a 15-under total.

Knost had a 10-point round to reach 35. He has three top-four finishes in his last five events, the first a tie for third in The Players Championship.

Tim Herron was another point back after a 13-point round.

Brendan Steele and Steve Wheatcroft tied for fifth with 32 points. Steele birdied the last four holes in an eight-point round, and Wheatcroft birdied three of final four holes in a five-pointer.

Rhein Gibson had the shot of the week, holing out from 175 yards for double eagle on the par-5 18th. He set up the albatross with a 370-yard drive.

Barracuda will donate $100,000 to a charity in Gibson's name. The only other albatross in tournament history was by Shiv Kapur in the second round in 2010, when the hole played as No. 9. Gibson tied for 25th with 24 points.

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

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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