Els feels like hes in good shape for British Open

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2010, 4:17 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Nothing like a trip to the Old Course to get Ernie Els out of his U.S. Open funk.

Els has been looking forward to coming to St. Andrews since he stormed out of Pebble Beach, enraged he’d let a chance at a third U.S. Open title slip away. Though he missed the cut at the next two events he played, Els arrived at the British Open filled with confidence and enthusiasm.

“I’m obviously not the big story here this week, but I feel I’m playing OK,” he said Tuesday. “I feel I’ve got a good chance this week. I’ve got a lot of experience, and I think it’ll help me.”

Ernie Els
Els says his golf game is'OK' heading into St. Andrews. (Getty Images)
At 40, Els is having his best season in years – and one of the best of his career. He ended a two-year drought at the World Golf Championship at Doral, then became the tour’s first double winner of the year two weeks later with a victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It was the first time the South African had won back-to-back tournaments in seven years.

He has six top-10 finishes in 13 starts on the PGA Tour. He’s also second on the European Tour’s money list, and is sixth in the world golf rankings.

And if not for a bad three-hole swing at Pebble Beach, he might have a fourth major title.

Els birdied three of his first six holes in the final round of the U.S. Open to move into a tie for the lead. But after a bogey on the ninth hole, he hit his drive into the long grass on the cliffside of the 10th. While folks on the beach watched from below, Els finally found his ball, only to hit his third shot into the long grass around the green.

His double bogey dropped him back to even par, and he followed with another bogey on No. 11.

“I have so much experience that I know what not to do, and to hit that shot I did on 10 near the ocean there and making double there, I just couldn’t forgive myself,” said Els, who finished third, two strokes behind Graeme McDowell. “I just felt very disappointed there because I had the perfect start and I just had to keep it alive and I probably would have been, at worst, in a playoff. But I just self-destructed a little bit.”

Hard to come by at any age, major titles are a rarity for players over 40. But Els said he wasn’t bothered so much by the ticking clock as he was letting an opportunity get away from him.

“I was so in contention there, and you’d like to finish something off,” he said. “I haven’t won (a major) in eight years, and I’ve been so close so many times. You feel you just want to win one. I don’t feel like I’m running out of time yet. I think I’ve still got at least five, six years. That’s quite a few majors, another 24 or so.”

And the next one starts Thursday.

Els has loved St. Andrews since he first played it at 17. This is his fourth British Open on the Old Course, where experience can be as big a factor as talent.

“I think I still have a decent chance of playing well here this week and maybe having a chance,” Els said. “If I can get into position like I was at the U.S. Open Championship, I’d like to finish it off.”

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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.