Yang beats Conners to win U.S. Amateur

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2014, 12:04 am

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – South Korea's Gunn Yang completed his improbable run to the U.S. Amateur title with a 2-and-1 victory over Canada's Corey Conners on Sunday.

At No. 776, Yang became the lowest-ranked player in the world amateur standings to win the country's biggest title for non-professional golfers. Along the way, he beat five players inside the top 100, including the 44th-ranked Conners.

The 20-year-old Yang, who lived in Australia for five years and now plays at San Diego State, never trailed in the 36-hole final at Atlanta Athletic Club, pushing his lead to 2 up with four to play by rolling in an 18-foot birdie putt at No. 14. He closed out the match with a tap-in par at No. 17, the 35th hole of the grueling day.

The South Korean was 1 up after the morning round. Afternoon play was halted by a rain delay of 1 hour, 37 minutes.

Yang was one of the most unlikely champions in the history of the event, which was first held in 1895. A redshirt sophomore at San Diego State, he has played in just four college events, his career sidetracked by a herniated disk that required laser surgery. Just three weeks ago, he withdrew from the California Open after playing his first nine holes at 6 over.

Now, at the home club of Bobby Jones, the greatest amateur of them all, Yang hoisted the Havemeyer Trophy.

''I was just trying to build up my confidence,'' he said. ''I never thought that I could get the U.S. Amateur right away, I mean, one year after the surgery. This is just a dream come true.''

Conners never led in the match, but he had a chance to push it to the 36th hole with a 15-footer for birdie at No. 17. It slid by the right side of the cup, and he settled for par.

Yang, whose 18-footer to win the match caught the right lip of the cup and spun out, knocked in what was nothing more than a gimme par to wrap up the match. He pumped his fist, hugged his caddie and let out a scream.

Conners' loss came one week after another Canadian, Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, lost in the final of the U.S. Women's Amateur.

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.

Getty Images

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).

Getty Images

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.