Laird tops Campbell McNeill in Vegas playoff

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2009, 4:36 am

PGA TourLAS VEGAS – The higher the stakes, the calmer Martin Laird became.

The 26-year-old Scot won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, beating George McNeill with a birdie on the third hole of a playoff in the Fall Series event.

Laird closed with a 3-under 68 to match McNeill (67) and former UNLV player Chad Campbell (69) at 19-under 265. Campbell was eliminated on the second extra hole.

“I don’t know whether it was because I had a nice long par on 18 to get into the playoff,” Laird said. “But when I got into the playoff I was surprised; I kind of chilled out a little. I was pretty nervous the last two or three holes in regulation, and once I got there in the playoff I kind of relaxed a little more.

“And when I stood up there on the first playoff hole and struck the ball down the middle, it was the perfect way to start the playoff.”

Laird, a former Colorado State player, earned $756,000 and a two-your tour exemption for the breakthrough victory at TPC Summerlin in his 53rd tour star. He jumped from 134th to 62nd on the money list with $1,271,254.

Three-time Las Vegas winner Jim Furyk (62) and Jeff Klauk (68) tied for fourth at 18 under, and former UNLV player Charley Hoffman (68) followed at 17 under.

Laird holed an 11-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for the victory after McNeill, the 2007 winner, hit his approach near the greenside water hazard, then lipped out an 18-foot par putt.

Campbell dropped out with a bogey on the par-3 17th.

“I didn’t play that well today,” Campbell said. “I was able to hang around and make some putts and make some birdies to get myself into the playoff. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get it done.”

Laird took the lead from Campbell and Furyk at 19 under with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. Laird parred the next six holes before birdieing the par-5 16th to reach 20 under, then dropped back with a bogey on 17.

McNeill birdied the 18th to join Laird and Campbell at 19 under, and Campbell and Laird then closed with pars to set up the playoff.

The three players opened the playoff with pars on No. 18, and Laird and McNeill advanced with pars on No. 17, while Campbell dropped out with his bogey.

Furyk birdied seven of his last nine holes in his career-best 62.

“I’m very happy with the way I played today,” Furyk said. “And 62, to kind of end the year, is super.”

Las Vegas native Scott Piercy, tied for the third-round lead, had double bogeys on 17 and 18 holes en route to a 73. He tied for 14th at 15 under.

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