Pregnant Diaz Clinging to Tour Champ Berth

By Associated PressNovember 9, 2005, 5:00 pm
Ladies Professional Golf AssociationMOBILE, Ala. -- Laura Diaz is in a position similar to that of a year ago entering the LPGA Tournament of Champions'except shes seven months pregnant.
 
Diaz comes into the tournament beginning Thursday at the Crossings Course at No. 37 on the money list. She needs the $138,000 first prize to make the top 30 and qualify for next weeks season-ending ADT Tour Championship.
 
In each of the last two TOCs, players have punched last-minute tickets to the Tour Championship with their earnings here. Diaz did that a year ago when she finished second to surprise winner Heather Daly-Donofrio. In 2003, Dorothy Delasin won the TOC in a playoff to get into the ADT.
 
Im just here to try and enjoy myself and see if I can get it around, Diaz said.
 
As the $850,000 tournament begins, Diaz and several other players will be attempting the last-chance climb into the top 30 to extend their schedules for one more week.
 
Sophie Gustafson is sitting on the bubble at No. 30 with $442,024, but No. 29 Karine Icher at $442,681 is the player in danger of being bumped. Even with a last-place check, Gustafson will pass Icher, who is not in the field of 43 LPGA winners and active Hall of Fame members.
 
Nicole Perrot, one of 11 players in their first TOC, is at No. 32 with $378,269 and needs to win or pick up the $85,833 second prize to pass Icher.
 
Diaz is playing for the first time since helping the United States win the Solheim Cup two months ago. She pulled out of two tournaments since then due to a rib injury and didnt make the tours Korea-Japan swing because of her pregnancy.
 
Her baby is due Jan. 18, so if she doesnt advance to the ADT, she plans to return to competition at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April.
 
My rib injury is partially due to the pregnancy and partially just a golf injury, Diaz said. Im not able to hit it very aggressively.
 
Its great to be back here for this event. I havent played in a while, so its good for my first tournament back to be at a place where I have a lot of good memories.
 
Perrot was one of the last players to get into the TOC, winning the Longs Drugs Challenge one month ago. Shes enjoying the perks that go with that victory, hoping it will lead to one more event.
 
Its been a great year for me to get my first win and get into some of the end-of-the-year events like this, Perrot said. The win has given me a lot of positive energy. I hope to play well this week.
 
This is a good golf course. You never know. I have a chance. Im either going on to the ADT or Im going back home to Chile, so either way will be good for me.
 
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  • 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.”

    Getty Images

    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