Golf Notebook Phil Tiger Arnie More

By Associated PressFebruary 4, 2003, 5:00 pm
TIGER & PHIL: Whatever warm and fuzzy feelings existed between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson might not be around when Woods returns to the PGA Tour.
 
In an interview with Golf Magazine, Mickelson said he and Woods get along better than people believe and they don't have any issues.
 
'Well, maybe one,' Mickelson said. 'He hates that I can fly it past him now. He has a faster swing speed than I do, but he has inferior equipment. Tiger is the only player who is good enough to overcome the equipment he's stuck with.'
 
Mickelson is hitting the ball longer than ever. Two weeks ago at the Phoenix Open, he drove to the fringe of a 400-yard hole.
 
Still, it's a bold comment considering Woods has won 34 times, including eight majors, since he turned pro, compared with 12 victories and no majors for Mickelson in the same period.
 
Even more peculiar is that Mickelson gave the interview to Golf Magazine -- he has a deal with rival Golf Digest as a playing editor.
 
REGAL RETURN?: Arnold Palmer began the streak playing against Ben Hogan. He could end it next month against Tiger Woods.
 
The King wasn't planning to return to the PGA Tour until he was reminded of a golden anniversary: This would be his 50th consecutive year playing at least one tour event.
 
'I may play for that reason, to complete the circle,' Palmer said.
 
Palmer said he will play a Champions Tour event in two weeks at Tampa, Fla., then decide whether he wants to return at Bay Hill.
 
'My people are pushing hard for me to play, buy my golf has been pretty poor,' he said. 'The main thing is I can't hit it far enough any more, and that's kind of holding me back.'
 
Palmer, 73, said he is averaging about 260 yards off the tee.
 
'It's not how far I'm hitting it,' he said. 'It's how far the guys I'm playing with are hitting it. It's demoralizing.'
 
Palmer's streak began as an amateur in the 1953 U.S. Open, which Hogan won at Oakmont. Woods is the three-time defending champion at Bay Hill.
 
THE GREAT PRANKSTER: Wayne Gretzky is playing with fellow Canadian Mike Weir in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am this week, and the Great One might need reminding that they're on the same team.
 
In other words, no pranks like the one he pulled two years ago on Weir.
 
Gretzky, Brett Hull and Joe Sakic played their best ball against Weir at an annual charity event two years in Nova Scotia. Weir was tired from his flight, and went to bed early the night before the tournament.
 
'I called the front desk and told them I was Mike Weir's doctor,' Gretzky said. 'I said Mike had hit his head and suffered a concussion, and that we're worried about him falling into a deep sleep. I asked if they could they ring his room every hour.'
 
He said Weir showed up the next morning groggy and irritated.
 
Gretzky & Co. cruised to a six-stroke victory.
 
QUIET WEEK: Phil Mickelson caused quite a stir last week when he asked out of the celebrity rotation at the Bob Hope Classic.
 
Tee times were changed the day before the tournament, and Joey Sindelar and Mickelson swapped their spots. Henry Hughes, chief of operations for the PGA Tour, said there is no written policy that tee times cannot be changed once posted.
 
'Typically, they're not changed except for withdraws,' he said, adding there were extenuating circumstances with Mickelson.
 
It's nothing new for players to ask out of the celebrity rotation. Distractions are high when playing four days with the likes of Joe Pesci and Ken Griffey Jr.
 
DIVOTS: Media training isn't just for the players. A couple of PGA Tour officials are going out to Pebble Beach this week to work with tour wives, who are getting more media exposure through their charitable works. ... Newport Country Club in Rhode Island, one of the five founding clubs of the U.S. Golf Association, has been chosen to host the 2006 U.S. Women's Open. ... Nick Faldo has reason to celebrate. Along with moving up to No. 53 in the world ranking and virtually assuring a spot in the Match Play Championship, he and wife Valerie are expecting their first child in July.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Two of Mike Weir's victories have come at tournaments where the defending champion was the more famous lefty, Phil Mickelson.
 
FINAL WORD: 'I'm playing Doral even if my arm falls off. I'm getting bored.' -- Curtis Strange, who is recovering from surgery on his left elbow.

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