Woods Boggles the Mind
Should our minds boggle? Or should we be unsurprised?
The answer, of course, is: Yes.
Yes, our minds should boggle. And, yes, we should be unsurprised.
It is remarkable what Woods has done since he smiled into the cameras at Milwaukee in late 1996 and said, Hello World, to us all in the week of his first event as a professional.
Its getting hard anymore to keep track of Tigers Top 10 or 20 or 30 moments. This latest, a hang-on, pure grind victory at the WGC-NEC Invitational at storied Firestone in Ohio was not a work of art. But it was artful for the amount of work Woods was willing to do to secure the championship.
At one point in the middle of the final round they could have named this thing The WGC-NEC Moonwalk. The entire field, it seemed was backing up. And it wasnt pretty.
Woods bogeyed the third, fifth, ninth and 11th holes. But when nobody stepped up and snatched victory from Woods jaws of steel, he drained a long curling birdie putt on the 70th hole, parred the last two and walked away with more than a million dollars.
Woods has now won more than $12 million in the state of Ohio alone thanks mainly to Firestone and Jack Nicklaus tournament at Muirfield Village. Which is why he is now saying: We need to keep playing more in Ohio. Its that simple. We dont have enough tournaments here. Maybe a major could come back to Inverness (Toledo) or something.
When they told Woods they would be playing this WGC event every year through 2010, his reaction was short and sweet. In fact, it was sweet.
Sweet, he said sweetly.
Anyway, none of this should really surprise us. And if you want to extrapolate, Woods will have 90 PGA Tour victories and 20 major championships before his 40th birthday.
Dont they say golfers are just hitting their peak in their 30s? Arent we always reminded that Hogan didnt win his first major until he was in his 30s?
The mind boggles.
Oh, and one last point: There were whispers last week after Phil Mickelson captured the PGA Championship at Baltusrol that there might be a legitimate debate over who the Player of the Year should be.
As Ken Venturi used to say: Next question.
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Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change
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.”
PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes
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:
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.
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.
Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
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.
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).
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 5: Dec. 12
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18