McIlroy, Westwood, Kaymer in the mix at European Masters

By Associated PressSeptember 2, 2011, 5:28 pm

CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland – Rory McIlroy shot a 2-under 69 Friday to share the lead after the second round of the European Masters.

The U.S. Open winner, who had an eagle two and a double-bogey 7, is 8 under along with Englishmen Gary Boyd, Simon Dyson and Jamie Donaldson of Wales.

McIlroy missed a 4-foot putt for birdie at the 18th.

“I really wanted to make that to get into the lead on my own,” the Northern Irishman said. “All in all, I’m tied for the lead and it’s not a bad position to be in.”

Morning leader Nick Dougherty of England ended his 21-tournament streak of failing to make the cut, shooting 72 to finish 7 under.

Dougherty has not reached weekend play since the Singapore Open in November 2010.

Joining Dougherty one stroke behind the leaders were Martin Kaymer of Germany, Jaco van Zyl of South Africa, Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay and Danny Willett of England.

World No. 5 Kaymer and sixth-ranked McIlroy can climb to third with victory here.

Second-ranked Lee Westwood also shot 69 and is two shots back on 6 under with nine other players.

Starting his round after lunch, McIlroy hit possibly the day’s best shot when driving to the pin at the 339-yard fifth, fading right over trees to bypass the dog-leg fairway.

He sank the 2-footer for an eagle he described as “pretty special,” but gave back both shots on the 629-yard ninth.

McIlroy pushed his second shot right onto the 10th fairway - drawing a bemused glance from Kaymer striding in the opposite direction - and eventually three-putted from 4 feet.

“I was pretty frustrated heading into the back nine,” McIlroy said, “but I played OK. There’s been a lot of traffic on (the greens). You start becoming a little tentative.”

McIlroy steadied himself and only a birdie at the 15th interrupted his sequence of pars.

Kaymer had his own double bogey at the par-3 16th, taking four shots from the green edge after his tee shot found a small hole.

“Sixteen was a joke,” said the 2010 U.S. PGA champion, who criticized the putting surfaces. “The greens have become really bad in the afternoon. There are a lot of other guys who got stuck at seven or eight under.”

Kaymer cheered up at the prospect of challenging McIlroy for the title and a higher ranking.

“Maybe we can play with each other on Sunday for the victory—that would be fantastic,” Kaymer, a former No. 1 said.

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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.