U.S. trails GB&I for first time in two decades

By Associated PressJune 11, 2016, 10:33 pm

DUBLIN – England's Bronte Law won two more matches and Britain and Ireland took all but one point Saturday to open an 8-4 lead in the Curtis Cup, leaving the Americans behind entering the closing singles session for the first time in two decades.

With eight singles matches left Sunday at Dun Laoghaire, the United States needs six points to retain the Cup, and Britain and Ireland needs 2 1/2 to reclaim it. The U.S. leads the series 28-7-3, winning 13-7 in 2014 in St. Louis.

''Their players obviously had a good day, made a lot of putts,'' U.S. captain Robin Burke said. ''They played extremely well. A few of my players also played well. They just made a lot more putts than we did. That's how golf is sometimes. I don't feel like they took the wind out of our sails. I think they lit a fire within us and we'll be ready to go out and play hard tomorrow.''

Law, the UCLA junior who won the Annika Award this year as the top college player, improved to 4-0, teaming with 18-year-old Olivia Mehaffey of Northern Ireland in both sessions. They beat Bailey Tardy and Monica Vaughn 3 and 2 in the morning foursomes and topped Vaughn and Bethany Wu 3 and 2 in the rain-delayed afternoon fourball matches.

''Obviously, we have a very, very strong team who are very capable of going out and winning all eight matches, let alone seven,'' Law said. ''We fought the whole day. Every single hole, we grounded out. We holed the putts that we needed to. I'm so proud of my team right now. They did exactly what Captain (Elaine Farquharson-Black) wanted us to do.''

Trying to become the second player to go 5-0 record, Law will face Mika Liu in singles. American Stacy Lewis was 5-0 at St. Andrews in 2008.

''It's not about doing something that's been done before,'' said Law, 2-4-2 in her two previous Curtis Cup appearances. ''(My focus) is to win my match for my team.''

In 1996 at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, also in Ireland, the United States trailed 6-3 after the first day and lost the then-two-day event 11 1/2-6 1/2. Since then, the only other U.S. loss was four years ago at Nairn in Scotland, when GB&I won five of the eight singles matches for a 10 1/2-9 1/2 triumph.

Wu and U.S. Women's Amateur champion Hannah O'Sullivan earned the only point for the United States, beating Ireland's Leona Maguire and England's Charlotte Thomas 1 up in the morning.

In the other foursomes match, England's Meghan MacLaren and Ireland's Maria Dunne edged Sierra Brooks, Sorrento and Andrea Lee 1 up.

In Britain and Ireland's fourballs sweep, MacLaren and Dunne beat Tardy and Mariel Galdiano 3 and 2, and Maguire and Thomas routed O'Sullivan and Liu 5 and 4. Thomas helped Washington win the NCAA title last month.

''Today is a huge day for us,'' said Maguire, a rising junior at Duke who won the Annika Award in 2015. ''The U.S. is always strong in fourballs and for us to come out and go 3-0 is huge.''

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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.