Weir regains lead at Deutsche Bank Champ

By Associated PressAugust 31, 2008, 4:00 pm
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. ' Mike Weir holed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 4-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead Sunday in the Deutsche Bank Championship, leaving him in a familiar position with hopes of a better outcome.
 
It was the 10th time the Canadian has had at least a share of the 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR, but he has only one victory when leading going into the final round.
 
Protecting this one might be the toughest yet.
 
Camilo Villegas ignored the swirling wind and increasingly firm conditions at TPC Boston to shoot 63, putting him in the final group with Weir for perhaps his best chance at his first PGA TOUR victory.
 
Three shots behind were Sergio Garcia (68) and Vijay Singh (69), part of the playoff last week at The Barclays that Singh won to move atop the standings in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
 
And right behind them were Jim Furyk, looking for his first victory in an otherwise solid year, Ernie Els and Ben Crane, whose 63 came during the morning before the wind hit full strength.
 
Ive got my hands full, said Weir, who was at 17-under 196.
 
Ten players were separated by five shots going into the Labor Day finish, the kind of shootout the Deutsche Bank Championship always seems to produce.
 
Tiger Woods isnt around to take part in this one, and neither is defending champion Phil Mickelson. He played an ordinary round of 1-over 72 and missed the 54-hole cut, leaving questions about whether he will play next week in St. Louis in the third round of these playoffs.
 
Weir has been around the week since opening with a 61, but he was equally pleased with a 67 considering he struggled to find fairways and hit only half the greens. But he got moving in the right direction with a 7-iron that stopped just under 3 feet away on the 14th, one of only eight birdies on the day.
 
Conditions were much more difficult, but Villegas and Crane sure didnt take notice.
 
I thought a 66 or a 65 would be a great round, Garcia said. I didnt see a 63.
 
Villegas relied on a tip from Singh ' the power of positive thinking. Neither is regarded as a wizard with the putter, but Singh won last week at The Barclays after saying he would stop paying attention to negative comments about his short game and believe he was among the best.
 
Starting this year, I decided to tell myself something similar to what Vijay told himself last week, that Im a great putter and that Im a lot better than people think and people write, Villegas said. So today was a good reflection. And if you look at my putting stats for the year, Im one of the great putters on tour.
 
Which tour he was talking about remains a question, however, as Villegas is not among the top 80. But he was brilliant in the third round, taking only 22 putts, including a birdie on the 14th that he thought he left short. Villegas immediately pulled up out of his stance and walked toward the cup, stopped, then shrugged his shoulders when it dropped.
 
Equally important was judging the wind, which seemed to blow sideways on every hole and was so tricky that players had a tough time deciding if it was hurting or helping their shots.
 
One such moment came at the 12th, with the pin tucked to the right over a hazard. Villegas hit a 9-iron that turned out perfect, caught the slope and stopped 12 feet away.
 
He believes he is ready to win, but his task is no easier than what Weir, Garcia, Singh, Els or anyone else faces. More wind is in the forecast, and the TPC Boston likely will play as tough as it has all week.
 
Villegas kept watching young players win ' Anthony Kim, J.B. Holmes, Andres Romero, Sean OHair ' and wondered why he couldnt join them.
 
Its getting into me in a good way, Villegas said. Its time to step it up and give a little kick on my butt and join them. So Ive been working on that.
 
Garcia had one scary moment with a shot out of the thick rough on the 17th, in which the club stuck into a clump of grass. He said his wrist stung, but it didnt bother him on the 18th, even though he missed an easy birdie chance. The Spaniard would love another chance to win, coming off his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship and The Barclays.
 
Singh, meanwhile, has a chance to turn the second year of the playoffs into a snoozer.
 
He beat Garcia and Kevin Sutherland in a playoff at Ridgewood last week to move atop the standings, and if he can win the Deutsche Bank (he won in 2004 to become No. 1 in the world ranking), he would build at least a 9,000-point cushion after just two weeks.
 
Els feels as though he let a good year get away from him, winless since the Honda Classic. Furyk is one of only two players on the U.S. Ryder Cup team without a victory.
 
Theres great players on the leaderboard, Weir said. Some guys that are hungry to win for the first time, guys that havent won many times, and Im trying to do the same thing. I just want to keep playing my type of golf. Hopefully, I can hit it a little better and find a few more fairways.
 
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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.