H.J. Kim leads Marathon; Ko 3 back

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2016, 10:13 pm

SYLVANIA, Ohio - Hyo Joo Kim had five birdies in a six-hole stretch and shot a 7-under 64 on Saturday at Highland Meadows to open a three-stroke lead in the LPGA's Marathon Classic.

''I hit good drives, good tee shots and iron shots,'' Kim said. ''I managed to get up and down and I made good putts. It was good.''

Kim had shares of the lead the first two days, opening with a 66 on her 21st birthday and shooting a 68 on Friday. The South Korean player won the season-opening event in the Bahamas for her third career title.

''I just feel happy right now,'' Kim said. ''I will be happy again tomorrow. Every day I'm happy.''

Kim began the birdie run on the par-4 fifth, parred the par-3 sixth, then ran off four straight on the par-5 seventh, par-3 eighth and par-4 ninth and 10th holes. She added birdies on the par-3 14th and par-5 17th and parred the par-5 18th to finish at 15 under.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko and Alison Lee were tied for second.

Ko, the 2014 winner, had a bogey-free 67. She missed a short birdie putt on the final hole.

''I let one - it was a very dumb one - slip on the last hole,'' Ko said. ''I've got to take the positives. There were so many putts that were so close but didn't end up falling, so hopefully a few more fall tomorrow. Hyo Joo played great today, holed a lot of putts, put herself in really good positions. Obviously, I'll be trying to track her down tomorrow, but there's still a lot of golf to be played.''

Ko won in consecutive weeks in Southern California this year, the second the major ANA Inspiration. The 19-year-old New Zealander tied for third last week in the U.S. Women's Open in California.

''At the end of the day, I've just got to focus on my game,'' Ko said. ''If I can put some good shots and put myself in good positions to make birdies and put good strokes on it, that's all I can do.''

Lee, the 21-year-old American who has struggled in her second season on the tour while still attending classes at UCLA, birdied Nos. 15-17 in a 66.

''Feels like I'm playing golf again,'' Lee said. ''I'm actually having a great time out there and committing to the shot and watching the ball go where I want it to go. I feel really confident going into tomorrow. It's definitely been a while since I've felt like this, but it was worth the wait.''

Stacy Lewis and Ariya Jutanugarn were 11 under.

Lewis birdied six of the first 13 holes in a bogey-free 65.

''I played really solid today,'' Lewis said. ''It was probably one of the most solid rounds of the year, just ball-striking-wise. I felt like I could hit any shot I needed to, was killing my driver.''

Born in the area, the Texan is winless in 55 starts since taking the North Texas LPGA Shootout in June 2014 for her 11th tour victory. She has 11 runner-up finishes during the drought and 24 overall.

''I want to enjoy this one today because that was probably one of the easiest rounds of the year,'' Lewis said. ''I just need to keep trusting what I'm doing. That's kind of been my motto the last week or so, just believe in it and trust it, and that's what I keep trying to do.''

Jutanugarn birdied the final three holes for a 66. The long-hitting Thai player won three straight events in May.

''I hit my tee shots really good, really a lot better than yesterday,'' Jutanugarn said. ''I get more comfortable with my putting, so my putting is getting better.''

Brittany Lang, coming off a playoff victory over Anna Nordqvist in the U.S. Women's Open, was tied for 13th at 6 under after a 68. Nordqvist was 2 under after a 69.

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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.