Notes Lefty Exacts Revenge Sergios New Girlfriend
Three years ago, when Bender was the caddie for Rocco Mediate, he found slugs on the cart path during a practice round at Kapalua and put some on the seat of Mickelson's cart as a joke. Little did he know that Lefty would be so engaged in conservation that he would sit down without seeing them.
Mickelson promised he would get even, and he delivered in a big way after the third round at Firestone.
Bender, now working for Aaron Baddeley, came off the course Saturday and was promptly greeted by a police officer who told him he was under arrest for at outstanding warrant. Bender's face turned white, and before he knew what was happening, he was in the back seat of a squad car.
After the players signed their cards, Mickelson and Baddeley went over to check on him. Now, Bender was in a position of trying to explain why he had been arrested. He pleaded with the officer to explain the charge.
Illegal transportation of snails on a golf course.
Bender knew he had been had.
Mickelson got his revenge.
MAKING ENDS MEET
What does the U.S. Amateur champion do for spending money? He caddies at Royal Aberdeen, for starters.
'I caddie quite a bit when I can,' Richie Ramsay said. 'Obviously, I'm playing a lot of tournaments in the summer. You know, when I can go out caddying, I do it. We've all got to make some money. ... Everybody's got to make a living and I'm still a student. Have to pay for nights out somehow.'
Ramsay said he normally charges about $50 for a loop at Royal Aberdeen.
'I may negotiate a bit higher now,' he said with a smile.
Sergio Garcia was seen at Firestone last week with Morgan-Leigh Norman, a student at Boston College. If the last name looks familiar, it should -- she is Greg Norman's daughter. 'She's a wonderful girl and we'll see how it goes,' Garcia said. ... Michelle Wie has a new caddie, at least for the next month. Golfweek magazine reported that Wie has hired Andrew Lano for the Omega European Masters on Sept. 7-10 in Switzerland, followed by the 84 Lumber Classic on the PGA Tour. Lano has spent most of his career working for Kenny Perry. ... Here's a startling checkup on the rest of the 'Big Five' from the start of the year: Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els were a combined 25-over par at the Bridgestone Invitational. ... Jack Nicklaus opened his 300th golf course last week at Sebonack Golf Club in Long Island, N.Y., which he designed with Tom Doak.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Since the U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson has finished a combined 58 shots behind Tiger Woods in the four tournaments they have played.
'If they had won the last two, would they be making this trip?' -- Padraig Harrington on the U.S. Ryder Cup team going to Ireland for two days to practice. Europe has won the last two times in the Ryder Cup.
Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
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.
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).
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 5: Dec. 12
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open
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.
Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins
Although the Rules of Golf modernization is still a year away, officials continue to refine parts of the rulebook including an overhaul of the video review protocols.
A “working group” led by the USGA and R&A announced on Monday the new protocols, which include assigning a rule official to a tournament broadcast to resolve rules issues.
The group – which includes the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA tour and PGA of America – also voted to stop considering viewer call-ins when processing potential rule violations.
In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation.
In April, Lexi Thompson was penalized four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round. Thompson was penalized two strokes for incorrectly marking her golf ball and two for signing an incorrect scorecard.
“The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled,” Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf, said on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" on Monday. “Let’s leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament.”
The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standard.
According to that decision, which was not a rule, “so long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be inaccurate by the use of video evidence.”
The new protocols will be implemented starting on Jan. 1.
A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is currently underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.