Wie eyes another win

By Associated PressSeptember 10, 2010, 2:45 am

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ROGERS, Ark. – With a pair of wins in the last 11 months, Michelle Wie is finally turning potential into success.

This week, the big-hitting former prodigy will try for her second straight LPGA Tour victory, part of a loaded field at the P&G NW Arkansas Championship. The 54-hole event begins Friday and also includes money leader Jiyai Shin, the defending champion, and world No. 1 Ai Miyazato.

In fact, 14 of the top 15 players in the Rolex rankings are entered, with only 10th-ranked Paula Creamer (thumb injury) missing. Wie, ranked No. 7, is coming off a victory late last month in the Canadian Women’s Open.

“I felt like it was a frustrating season for me so far because I felt like I played a lot better than what my scores were,” Wie said. “I guess that happens when you win it – everything just kind of falls into place, and hopefully it will happen again this week. … I see all the top players are here. I think it’s really great for the tournament.”

Wie has made all but two cuts since the start of 2009, her official rookie season, and she earned her first career victory in November at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

She won in Canada by three strokes – her 12th top-10 finish in the last two seasons.

Last year in Arkansas, outlasting Angela Stanford and Sun Young Yoo in a sudden-death playoff. This is the fourth year for th4 event at Pinnacle Country Club, and with nothing else on the LPGA Tour schedule until Oct. 7, the sport’s top players have come to northwest Arkansas for the $2 million tournament, which is presented by Wal-Mart.

“First off, it’s a great purse and a great sponsor in P&G, and you know, great golf course and area, and those are all the things that you look for for a major golf tournament in drawing the top players in,” said Cristie Kerr, the world’s No. 2 player. “They have a good date on the schedule, for us – maybe not for the weather, but for us they have a good date on the schedule.”

Ah, yes. The weather.

In 2007, the tournament’s inaugural season, the event was called off after 18 holes because of rain. On Thursday, the 2010 edition got off to a rough start when the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine forced the pro-am to be canceled.

“Wherever any cities have droughts, we’ve been fixing them wherever we go,” Wie said.

Shin said the greens seemed firm when she played earlier in the week, but that might change now.

“I was shocked and then really surprised, but today it’s getting soft,” she said.

Shin, Kerr and Miyazato have been battling to take over the mantle as the world’s top player since Lorena Ochoa retired in May. Miyazato has five victories this season, while Kerr has won twice and Shin once. In addition to being atop the world ranking, Miyazato trails only Shin on the money list.

“Really, all the top six or seven players on the money list is getting really close,” Miyazato said. “We have some tournaments like this, only three-day tournaments, so you need to be a little more aggressive and try to make some birdies out there.”

In addition to all the top players, former University of Arkansas star Stacy Lewis is in the field. She was leading when the 2007 tournament was called off because of bad weather, and although she’s still seeking her first career win, she’s No. 20 on the money list thanks to a runner-up finish (to Miyazato) in Mexico in May.

This event also includes another Razorback – current senior Kelli Shean, who received a sponsor’s exemption.

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.”

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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