Hend tops Que for Hong Kong title

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2014, 12:06 pm

HONG KONG – Scott Hend beat Angelo Que of the Philippines in a playoff to win the Hong Kong Open on Sunday and become the first Australian to win the event since Greg Norman in 1983.

Que and Hend both ended the final round tied on 13-under 267 to force a playoff on the par-four 18th hole of the Fanling Course at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Hend held his nerve to win on the first playoff hole with a par putt from five feet having watched Que bogey after failing to reach the green with his approach shot.

''I felt quite calm on that playoff. We were wondering how to play that hole because the pin was placed in a tricky position and you can easily make a bogey. It would have been nice to win with a birdie and on a positive note but I will take it,'' said Hend.

It was the biggest win of the 41-year-old Hend's career that includes five victories on the Asian Tour. With the tournament being co-sanctioned by the European Tour, it will allow the Florida-based Australian to play next season on the more lucrative tour.

''This victory is to be treasured,'' said the delighted Hend as he kissed the trophy won previously by several accomplished players including Tom Watson, Norman, Jose Maria Olzabal, Bernhard Langer, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Rory McIlroy.

Hend had begun the day one shot behind sole leader Marcus Fraser of Australia who was on 11 under. With the chasing pack never far behind, neither was able to build much of a lead.



Fraser lost his lead immediately when he double-bogeyed the first hole allowing England's Mark Foster, who had started on nine-under, to grab the lead with two birdies from his first two holes.

The lead then changed hands again with Que, who had also started the final round on nine-under, rolling in three birdies on the 12, 13th and 14th to jump to a one shot advantage on 12 under.

Hend regained the lead at 13-under before Que pulled off a magnificent approach shot to within a foot of the pin from the edge of the woods lining the 18th fairway that allowed him to birdie the last hole and also go to 13 under.

''That was the shot of my career. My goal today was to just go under par but this is even better,'' said Que after carding a 66.

He then waited as Hend in the final group came in. The Australian didn't blink and finished his regulation round also on the same score forcing the playoff.

Ireland's Kevin Phelan finished third on 11 under while Foster was fourth on 10 under.

Four-time major winner Ernie Els, struggling with a sore right hip, could only manage two birdies in his final round to end his first appearance at the Hong Kong Open on a disappointing note, tied fifth, after carding a one-under 69 to finish on nine-under 271.

''It is very disappointing, I didn't play well at all this weekend,'' said Els who had led by two shots at the halfway mark. ''I'm having trouble with my hip and the lower I go down, the more a nerve or something catches. If I can sort my hip out I have got a game good enough to win a tournament before the end of this year.''

Els is on a month-long Asian swing and will play at the Macau Open next week before heading to China and Malaysia.

''My hip has been bothering me for a while and it will not keep me out of playing in the rest of the tournaments. I will bite the bullet and hope an elbow can improve my condition. Maybe I might even do some Chinese acupuncture,'' Els said.

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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.