Tigers Time Place Delayed

By Brian HewittJune 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Every great athlete has a time or a place.
 
Reggie Jacksons time was October. Magic Johnsons time was the final two minutes of a playoff game'Winnin Time he called it.
 
Lance Armstrongs place was the Tour de France. Bjorn Borgs place was Wimbledon, Centre Court.
 
Beyond sports.Churchill had WWII. Caesar had all of Gaul. Lincoln had Gettysburg. Washington had the Delaware.
 
Tiger Woods right now has a time and a place. The time is any major golf championship when he has at least a share of the lead after 54 holes. The place, more than any other for him, is Torrey Pines South.
 
There is work to do yet, however, because a likable veteran named Rocco Mediate has played Woods to a standstill. In fact Woods needed a 15-foot birdie putt, that curled into the hole, on the 72d hole Sunday to force an 18-hole playoff with Mediate
 
That will take place Monday morning. And Woods will be favored although questions remain about the surgically-repaired left knee that has left him limping much of the week.
 
Mediate, for his part is looking forward to the challenge. I cant wait, he said. To see what I got against the man (Woods).
 
Woods tying putt was the latest in a week full of thrills, chills and spills at Torrey Pines. Which leads us to reflect on our national championship? Its fascinating to note how many critics have noticed that The Masters, in the last few years due to the toughening of Augusta National, has become what the U.S. Open used to be. Its even more fascinating to note how few of them have noticed that the U.S. Open, under the stewardship of course set-up guy Mike Davis, has borrowed what The Masters used to do best.
 
That would be the introduction and nurturing of the concept of risk and reward. This year that meant a short par 3 (the third hole), a drivable par 4 (No. 14 on Sunday) and a par 5 finishing hole that was reachable for much of the field on all four days.
 
The fairest set-up it has ever been, Phil Mickelson said. The mixture off tee boxes, the pin placements were all perfect to give the best players a chance to separate themselves.
 
The 14th, to be precise, was exactly 267 yards from the tee to the hole location Sunday. Which made it longer than the par 3 eighth hole from the back tee box at last years U.S. Open. This was the kind of potential for excitement that the USGA for too many years seemed bound and determined to avoid. Its also the kind of potential for excitement that makes people want to take up golf. Its certainly the kind of potential for excitement that drives television ratings.
 
A salty little shot, Mickelson called the tee ball at 14.
 
Earlier in the day Woods agent, Mark Steinberg, was wearing a long face. Its a struggle, he said 25 minutes before Tiger teed off. And a lot more of a struggle than any of you guys (the media) will ever know.
 
When it was suggested that Woods wouldnt stop playing Sunday unless he had to be carried off on his shield, Steinberg said, He doesnt show up on Thursday unless he thinks he can win on Sunday.
 
Now he will need to go into Monday.
 
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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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    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.