Jimenez putts with wedge on way to share of lead

By Associated PressJanuary 28, 2011, 10:43 pm

2009 European TourRIFFA, Bahrain – Miguel Angel Jimenez made three birdies using a lob wedge after breaking his putter to grab a share of the lead halfway through the Volvo Champions on Friday.

Jimenez was joined atop a packed leaderboard by Edoardo Molinari of Italy and Raphael Jacquelin of France, who all shot identical 7-under-par 65s. With them on 11-under 133 at Royal Golf Club was Peter Hanson of Sweden, who bogeyed the 8th hole – his 17th – to miss taking the outright lead. Hanson shot 67.

The four leaders were only a stroke in front of Stephen Gallacher of Scotland, who shot the day’s best round of 64, Paul Casey (67), Darren Clarke (65) and James Kingston (67) of South Africa.

In all, there were 25 players within three shots of the lead after two rounds of the new European Tour event.

After the severity of the greens came in for heavy criticism from notably Casey and Ian Poulter, generous pin positions and receptive greens after a slight early morning drizzle made it easy for the professionals to aim at the flag.

But not for the 46-year-old Jimenez early on.

Disgusted with missing several short putts, the Spaniard snapped his putter in two on the 13th hole.

That should have dropped him out of contention. Instead, he found a groove with his lob wedge to make three birdie putts coming in, including a 15-footer on the 16th.

“I played so good today and I had so many chances for birdie,” Jimenez said. “I missed like 3-foot putts a few times, so I just slammed the putter and, unfortunately, the bag came in the way!

“I am now thinking that I putted so well with the lob wedge, whether I should keep it for tomorrow’s round, too.”

Molinari started with six birdies in his first six holes, then parred his way through before making a birdie on the final hole.

Jacquelin, looking for his first win since 2007 in Shanghai, was in superb form with his putter and made eight birdies and a solitary bogey in his round.

Overnight leader Johan Edfors (71) of Sweden fell into a tie for ninth place at 9-under 135, where he was joined by Edoardo’s younger brother Francesco.

The resurgent Sergio Garcia made a birdie on his final hole to join a group of six players at 136.

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.”

Getty Images

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.


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.

Getty Images

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).

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm