McIlroy trails fellow Ryder Cupper Hanson in China

By Associated PressOctober 26, 2012, 11:17 am

SHANGHAI – Peter Hanson shot an 8-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead on defending champion Rory McIlroy after the second round of the BMW Masters on Friday.

McIlroy shot a 7-under 65 in a round that included seven birdies to put him at 12-under 132. Hanson's Swedish countryman Robert Karlsson also shot a 64 to move another three strokes back at Lake Malaren.

A group of four including Shane Lowry (64), Justin Rose (68), Alexander Noren (68), and first-round leader Jamie Donaldson (74) were at 136.

McIlroy's fifth round of 65 this season was capped by three birdies in succession from the 13th hole.

''When I did need to make a par here or there, I was able to save those, and I'm in a great position going into the weekend,'' he said.

McIlroy hasn't won a regular European Tour event since last year's Hong Kong Open. Of his four wins this year, all in the U.S., only the PGA Championship has counted toward the European Tour money list. Yet McIlroy leads the list, and was four shots clear of Rose, his nearest rival in the Race to Dubai.

''It looks quite routine at the moment,'' McIlroy said. ''The more you put yourself in this position, the more comfortable you become with it. I like the fact that most weeks I tee it up, I can get myself in contention.

''This is just another one of those weeks, and I'll try and continue that for as long as I can.''

However, Hanson also said he was relaxed about his form and game.

Winning his fifth tour title at the KLM Open and his second straight Ryder Cup have imbued in him a high comfort level.

''The biggest difference in my career compared to earlier times, is that I am playing better in the bigger events like the majors and the World Golf Championships that has helped my confidence quite a lot,'' Hanson said.

''Also, being a part of the Ryder Cup team, and being high up the world rankings, you feel you maybe belong a bit more competing alongside the best players.''

Hanson bogeyed his opening hole but quickly rebounded to enjoy a run of nine birdies in a 13-hole span.

''It's amazing how many good rounds can start with a bogey,'' he said. ''The key to my good two rounds is that I've birdied all the par-5s which can help dramatically around this place.''

Hanson matched his lowest score on the tour for the eighth time.

Karlsson seeks to end a near two-year winless drought since capturing the season-ending 2010 Dubai World Championship.

However, the Monaco-based Swede admitted he's also concerned with retaining his PGA Tour card for 2013. He was 158th on the PGA money list and needs to be 125th by the end of the season, which was why he's entered next week's tour finale at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

He wants to avoid Q-School, which clashes with the European finale in Dubai, but doesn't think he can get around it.

''At the end of the day I am in a very fortunate position as I have another year of exemption for the European Tour,'' he said.

''There are a lot of players in a lot worse situation than I am, so I am not complaining. I haven't had a good year and you have to accept the consequences. So a good result this week, and what with the huge world ranking points on offer, will help with the confidence to put together some decent rounds.''

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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.