Langer, Lehman continue battle for Schwab Cup

By Associated PressOctober 11, 2012, 8:39 pm

CONOVER, N.C. – The first impression Tom Lehman had of the Greater Hickory Classic course came from looking at past tournament scores.

The 53-year-old thought it was an easy course.

Then after he played his first practice round earlier this week on the course designed by Robert Trent Jones, the former British Open champion quickly changed his mind.

''I was seeing a bunch of low scores here, so I figured this course must be easy,'' Lehman, who has four PGA Tour victories in addition to his 1996 British Open title, said Thursday. ''But I've found the last two days that it's anything but easy. It's playing fairly long and the greens are really fast. The other players are saying the greens are the fastest they've ever seen them play.

''It's quite a test. ... I like it. To say I'm impressed is a real understatement.''

Lehman enters this week's Champions Tour event, which begins Friday, trailing Bernhard Langer by 69 points in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.

Langer, 55, took over the points lead after rallying from six strokes down to win last week's Champions Tour event in Cary, N.C., ending Lehman's eight-week run as the leader.

''I've actually played very solid throughout the whole year,'' said Langer, a two-time Masters champion who has 16 career victories on the 50-and-over tour. ''I've been very consistent; it's probably been one of my most consistent years.''

Both players are looking to win the Charles Schwab Cup and its $1 million annuity for the second time in their careers. Lehman is the defending champion and could become the first player to win the title in back-to-back years, while Langer won the prize in 2010.

However, with just two tournaments remaining – in San Antonio in two weeks, followed by the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz., Nov. 1-4 – after the Greater Hickory Classic, a bad weekend here could let Lehman close in or Langer pull further ahead.

''There isn't any way you can lock it up, no matter who you are,'' said Lehman, who has one win (at Shoal Creek, Ala., in June) and 10 top 10s in 16 events this season. ''But you can certainly do yourself a favor by playing well.''

Both players head into this weekend's tournament on a roll. In addition to winning twice, Langer has finished in the top 10 in 11 of his last 12 starts, while Lehman has seven top 10s in his last eight tournaments.

''I'm not afraid of'' a letdown, said Langer, who ended a 17-month winless stretch with his victory at Blaine, Minn., in August. ''I'm just going to play my own game and hopefully continue to play well. If Tom or somebody else plays that much better, then hats off to them.

''I can't control anybody else; I'm just trying to play as good as I can, Langer said. He added that if he can play like he did in the final round at Cary, when he shot a 9-under-par 63, ''I can compete with anybody at the highest level.''

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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.