Third Round Thoughts and Insights
Sayings become clichs because they are proven to be accurate.
EXPERIENCE & COMMITMENT
The weekend has come to Augusta, and the complexion of the tournament will change. The players who best manage their mistakes will have the opportunity to win. Managing mistakes at Augusta requires precise knowledge of the course. The subtle dangers that lurk are incredibly severe and can only be discovered and ingrained through repeatedly playing the course under tournament conditions. A player who has such knowledge and a commitment to his game has the advantage this weekend.
There can be no uncertainty in a player's decision making at Augusta National if he hopes to have any chance at victory. He must commit to a game plan, and commit to each decision he makes throughout the day. Lack of commitment often leads to an imprecise shot and unfortunate results. The penal nature of Augusta, and specifically its greens, guarantees that imprecise shots will not go unpunished.
As the weather changes and the wind comes up, commitment will be in short supply. Wind will dry out the greens and all the treachery of the course will be in play. Add to that the indecision on club selection inherent in wind play and only the strongest minded players will survive today with a chance to win.
- Let's not argue semantics. If Tiger Woods wins this week, he will have accomplished something no one has ever done. Let's marvel at the achievement. History will provide the appropriate moniker.
- Tiger has never failed to perform in a situation of historical significance. By the time he ends his career, that will no longer be the case, but it's true today.
- Someone in the last 3 groups will lose their shot at a green jacket on Saturday.
- A surprising name will be in the final 3 groups on Sunday.
- Wind will dry the most exposed greens the fastest. Greens that are not surrounded by trees will be the quickest this weekend. The most exposed greens include 2, 7, 9, 14, 17 & 18.
- I have a hunch that Sunday will present a first. We will either see the first player to ever hold all four Major Championship titles simultaneously, or the first Major Championship trophy for the victor.
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
Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open
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.