Couples in position for maiden Champions win

By Associated PressFebruary 14, 2010, 5:41 am
Champions Tour

NAPLES, Fla. – Fred Couples was in position for his first Champions Tour victory. He’ll have to hold on to the lead at the ACE Group Classic for at least 23 holes on Sunday to do it.

Couples sank a 48-foot putt from well off the green on No. 12 for eagle, then made a 12-footer for birdie on No. 13 to reach 9 under before second-round play was called due to darkness Saturday.

Dan Forsman was in second place, three shots back at 6 under. The two shared the first-round lead at 4 under after finishing their first rounds earlier Saturday.

Couples is one of 38 golfers who must come back Sunday morning to complete their second rounds at The Quarry. The tournament was pushed back after high wind postponed the first round Friday afternoon.

When the first round ended early Saturday afternoon, Couples and Forsman both finished 4-under 68 to share the lead.

Bernhard Langer is the only one near the top of the leader board to have completed the second round. He’s shot 6-under 66 and is tied for third, four shots behind Couples, along with Mike Goodes, Scott Hoch, Tommy Armour III and Ronnie Black. Langer moved up the leaderboard with an eagle on No. 12 and a birdie on No. 17.

Paul Azinger, a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour and captain of the victorious 2008 Ryder Cup team, is making his Champions Tour debut at The Quarry, the tournament’s third site in three years. He was even par with three holes left.

The 50-year-old Couples is coming off a 37th-place tie last week in the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera. He made two senior starts in Hawaii last month, teaming with Nick Price to finish third in the Champions Skins, then losing to Tom Watson by a stroke in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

Golfers were scheduled to come back at 8 a.m. Sunday to finish their second rounds, with the final round tee times from 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.

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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
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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.