Tseng and Hull set pace at Womens British Open

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2010, 3:27 am

Ricoh Women

SOUTHPORT, England – Yani Tseng shot a 4-under 68 in the opening round at Royal Birkdale on Thursday, and is tied for the lead as she pursues her third major title.

The rising star from Taiwan shot a bogey-free round that included a birdie and an eagle on the two finishing holes, putting her in a tie for the lead with Australian Katherine Hull.

“I played really, really solid. I hit all greens but one today and I putted pretty well,” said Tseng, who already has won the Kraft Nabisco Championship this season to go with the LPGA Championship she won in 2008.

“The last two par-fives were just like long par-fours with the wind, so I stayed relaxed and tried to make birdies,” Tseng said. “It was pretty good

Hull was among the last players on the course and also made an eagle on the 18th hole – in front of nearly deserted grandstands – to join Tseng at 4 under. Hull dropped a stroke at the fourth hole before rattling off three birdies in a four-hole stretch beginning at No. 7.

“I hit a drive and a hybrid onto the last green and holed from 60 feet, a great way to finish,” Hull said. “I had a long talk with my caddie last week and unearthed a secret to improve my game. I had become lazy with my routine and the improvement made all the difference.”

Anne-Lise Caudal of France took the early lead with her round of 3-under 69, and she was matched later in the day by South Korea’s Kim Lang and Sun Young Yoo, along with Brittany Lincicome of the United States.

“I’ve never played links golf before, only two practice rounds this week” said Caudal, the 2008 Portuguese Open winner. “I played really well today.

Like Caudal, Yang had only one bogey during her round, while Lincicome was in for a much more interesting trip around Royal Birkdale. She dropped three strokes on the first two holes before playing the rest of her round in 6-under par.

“I putted really well after four-putting the first for double-bogey,” she said. “Afterwards I hit a lot of really long putts, which is unusual for me, but nice.”

“Being a long hitter helped today as well, having wedges onto greens instead of mid-irons.”

Fellow American Michelle Wie opened with a 2-under 70, as did In-Kyung Kim of South Korea.

“I felt good all the way round today,” Wie said. “I hit some good putts, they just didn’t go in until at the end.”

Julie Inkster opened with a 71, along with Jiyai Shin, the South Korean star who won the Evian Masters in France last weekend. England’s Laura Davies shot a level-par 72, LPGA champion Christie Kerr shot 73 and reigning U.S. Open champ Paula Creamer had a 75.

Defending champion Catriona Matthews was at 3-over 75 after the opening round.

“You need to know how to get the ball round this hard golf course in tough conditions,” Davies said. “Experience counts for a lot in this sort of championship.”

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.

Getty Images

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).

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm