World Beaters

By Associated PressNovember 27, 2011, 8:57 am

HAINAN, China – Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland ended the United States’ 11-year drought in golf’s World Cup by shooting a 5-under 67 on Sunday to win by two strokes.

The American pair fired six birdies in the alternate-shot final round at Mission Hills Blackstone course to finish on 24-under 264 overall, notching the 24th U.S. win in the history of the tournament.

English pair Ian Poulter and Justin Rose had the final day’s best round with a 63 to tie for second at 22 under with Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka (69).

Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell led by two strokes going into the final round but could only manage an even-par 72 to finish joint fourth with Australia, the Netherlands and Scotland.

The American victory was the first since Tiger Woods and David Duval claimed the title 11 years ago. The event was annual up to 2009, and this year’s tournament was the first in the new biennial format.

“We really clicked. It’s fantastic to win for the U.S.,” said Woodland.

The U.S. duo built a two-stroke lead over Germany from the halfway stage and after a rare slip with a bogey at the par-3 11th, the Americans responded with birdies on the next two holes and then pars the rest of the way to claim victory.

“Undoubtedly the shots on the 12 and 13th were key. It was a great moment and to shoot a par when you expected a bogey,” said Kuchar.

England seemed well out of contention heading into the final day eight shots off the lead, but soared into contention. However they needed more than one of the leading teams to falter. Instead it was only Ireland which came back to the field.

World No. 2 McIlroy was well below his best, fluffing a series of shots, including a putt on the 18th which would have given Ireland a share of the runners-up check. The tournament favorites had a run of misfortune, including a penalty stroke on the 6th and four bogeys on the card.

They shared fourth with Australia’s Richard Green and Brendan Jones (69), plus Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and Martin Laird (66) and the Dutch pairing of Robert-Jan Derksen and Joost Luiten (68).

Like Ireland, South Africa also had a pair of major winners who faltered on the final day, with Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen only able to record a 74 to quickly drop out of contention.

Defending champions Italy, represented by Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, also had a final-round 74 to finish 17th, 10 shots off the winning score.

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