Wie set for Kia Classic

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2011, 4:14 am

LPGA Tour _newCITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – Michelle Wie has been too busy with finals at Stanford to have a problem with the LPGA Tour’s light early schedule.

“For me, it didn’t seem so slow because I had finals last week and I’ve been going to school,” Wie said Wednesday, a day before the start of play in the Kia Classic. “So, it’s been really busy for me.”

Wie won the Canadian Women’s Open last season for her second LPGA Tour title. She has played two of the first three events this year, finishing second last month in the season-opening event in Thailand and 40th the following week in Singapore.

“I worked really hard this offseason to get healthy and to get better,” Wie said. “I think right now I’ve been working on everything. If I work on one thing, then another thing fails.”

The Kia endorser is playing the Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms for the first time.

“It’s pretty tough,” Wie said. “It’s a good golf course. It’s tricky.”

The tournament is the tour’s first in the Los Angeles area in six years. Last year at La Costa in Carlsbad, Hee Kyung Seo won her first LPGA Tour title, beating Inbee Park by six strokes.

The top 14 players in the world ranking are in the field, led by No. 1 Yani Tseng. She won in Thailand and has three other worldwide victories this year.

“It’s really tough,” Tseng said about the course. “I know it’s going to be a really tough course to shoot a low score. I’m just going to be patient.”

Karrie Webb has won the last two tour events. On Sunday in Phoenix, she rallied to win the LPGA Founders Cup for her 38th LPGA Tour victory.

“It’s just really a fine line,” the Hall of Famer said. “I don’t have a specific answer. I could have played exactly the way I have for two weeks and finished second both times. It’s just that sort of fine line.

“I think I’m just on the right side of that, doing the right things at the right time. Getting up and down when I need to, and making a birdie putt to keep some positive momentum going. I think I’ve lacked that a little bit in the last year or two.”

The Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the season, is next week at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The tour will then be off five of the next six weeks.

“It’s a big tournament for everybody,” U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer said. “It’s right before our first major of the year. It’s a great golf course; it’s a tough golf course. Depending on the weather, it’s not going to be a real low winning score.”

Creamer was paired with NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya in the pro-am round Wednesday. Montoya is in the area for the Sprint Cup race Sunday in Fontana.

“He’s a really nice guy,” said Creamer, coming off a second-place finish in Phoenix. “He’s a good player as well. It’s cool to intermix with other athletes.”

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