Lincicome maintains lead at Wegmans LPGA

By Associated PressAugust 16, 2014, 11:18 pm

PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Brittany Lincicome beamed. She had fought off the jitters while leading an LPGA major and it felt oh-so-good.

Lincicome, who hadn't held a second-round lead since 2009 and never in a major, shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday at the LPGA Championship to finish the third round at 10-under 206. That was one shot better than Suzann Pettersen (67) of Norway and defending champion Inbee Park (69) of South Korea as the fourth major championship of the season heads to the final round.

''Nervous is probably an understatement. My stomach was in knots,'' Lincicome said. ''When it came time to eat lunch, it just wasn't happening because I haven't been in this position in a while. Hopefully, going into tomorrow it's out of my system.''

Mirim Lee of South Korea was alone in fourth at 7 under after a 69, while 17-year-old Lydia Ko (71) of New Zealand was another shot back along with South Korea's Meena Lee (71) and Gerina Piller (69).


Wegmans LPGA Championship: Articles, videos and photos


The long-hitting Lincicome began the day at Monroe Golf Club with a three-shot advantage over Park and Lexi Thompson, who finished with a 74 and was at 4 under.

Lincicome won the 2009 Kraft Nabisco for her lone major title and has five LPGA victories. The United States is seeking to win its fourth straight major.

The long-hitting Lincicome is 11 under on the generous par 5s at Monroe Golf Club, a distinct advantage over most of her challengers and surely the reason Park wasn't looking down from the top of the leaderboard.

''I hate talking about it. I feel like I'm going to jinx myself,'' Lincicome said. ''If I can hit it on the fairway, get it on the green and two-putt, it's stress-free. I feel like my tempo the last couple of days has been really, really good. We're going to be more aggressive (Sunday).''

Lincicome birdied all four par 5s on the opening round and added two more to go with an eagle on Friday.

''This golf course is not exactly for short hitters,'' said Park, who won three majors last year. ''She was probably 50 yards ahead of me. I haven't really played that well on the par 5s. I only made one today, none the first day. That's a big difference. If I had made a couple I'd be up. It feels like a little bit of a disadvantage. It's an easy birdie for her.''

Pettersen has five top 5s in her last eight majors, including a victory last year in the Evian Championship, and she continued her solid play when it matters most, reeling off four birdies on the back nine.

''I seem to like the back nine. I like what I see,'' Pettersen said. ''I managed to make a move. It's nice to make a charge. I actually could have had a couple more.''

Pettersen birdied Nos. 10 and 11 and had a chance to forge a tie at the par-5 14th hole, but her eagle try slid just past the cup and she settled for a birdie that moved her into a tie with Park at 8 under.

Moments later, Lincicome recovered from an errant second shot that landed in the rough on the par-5 12th hole, pitching to 5 feet and making birdie to regain a two-shot lead.

Pettersen continued her rush, nearly holing a fairway shot at No. 15 and reached 9 under with a tap-in birdie. When Lincicome lipped her par putt at No. 13, the two were tied at 9 under.

Lincicome regained the lead with a birdie at the par-5 14th hole and nearly made it a two-shot advantage, but her long birdie try at No. 15 stopped at the lip.

The closing three holes at Monroe rank among the four most difficult on the course and Pettersen parred all three to keep the pressure on.

Lincicome saved par at the par-3 16th hole after driving a fairway bunker. Her tough 12-foot par putt broke ever-so-slightly right to left and barely dropped in, eliciting a big smile from the American, who parred the final two holes to maintain her slim lead.

Lincicome got some breathing room early when Thompson started badly. Thompson had a three-putt bogey at the opening hole, lipping out a short putt for par, and followed with another bogey at No. 2 to drop five shots behind.

A gusting 25 mph wind strafed the course all day Friday, sending leaves and bits of bark onto some greens. There was only a slight breeze with a light rain on Saturday.

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