Compton headed to Open via alternate list

By Doug FergusonJune 30, 2014, 10:27 pm

BETHESDA, Md. -- Erik Compton's runner-up finish in the U.S. Open should be enough to get him into the next major championship.

With only two weeks remaining in British Open qualifying, there will not be enough players to fill the 156-man field at Royal Liverpool. The R&A then turns to an alternate list that is almost certain to accommodate Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient who is having his best year.

The alternate list is based on next week's world ranking.

With at least 12 spots available, Compton currently is No. 4 on the list and unlikely to fall much further.

Others closing in on spot, based on this week's ranking, are Kevin Stadler, J.B. Holmes, K.J. Choi, Charles Howell III and Brooks Koepka, who tied for fourth at the U.S. Open. Freddie Jacobson currently is at No. 8. The Swede squandered a chance to earn one of four spots available to top finishers Sunday in the Quicken Loans National.

As of Monday, 121 players who intend to compete July 17-20 at Royal Liverpool are exempt or have qualified. There are 12 spots available Tuesday at four British links in local final qualifying. Eleven spots have been set aside for leading players in the next two PGA Tour and European Tour events.

That would put the field at 144 players.

The Open changed its international qualifying this year, eliminating the 36-hole qualifiers in Europe and America and offering spots to top players in tour events.

Even so, that doesn't appear to be the reason for the shortfall.

Several players have qualified in more than one category. Some examples:

- Martin Kaymer was exempt as top 50 in the world and from winning The Players Championship and U.S. Open this year, and the PGA Championship in 2010.

- The winners of the BMW PGA Championship on the Europe Tour and The Players Championship on the PGA Tour are exempt for three years. All were already eligible - Luke Donald, Matteo Manassero and Rory McIlroy in Europe, and Kaymer, Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar on the PGA Tour.

- John Senden and George Coetzee each earned spots from International Final Qualifying in Africa and Australia in the start of the year. Both later became exempt in other category (top 50 for Senden, top 20 in the Race to Dubai for Coetzee).

- Matthew Fitzpatrick was exempt in two spots as the U.S. Amateur champion and the No. 1 player in the world amateur ranking. He gave up those spots by turning pro.

This will be the second straight year The Open takes at least 10 players from the alternate list.

And sometimes, it works the other way around. Two years ago, The Open essentially was overbooked because more players were exempt than officials anticipated. There were 160 players eligible at one point in 2012 until four players eventually withdrew for various reasons.

Even if they had not, Britain has enough daylight in the summer that the R&A simply would have added another tee time.

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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
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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.

Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

By Rex HoggardDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

Although the Rules of Golf modernization is still a year away, officials continue to refine parts of the rulebook including an overhaul of the video review protocols.

A “working group” led by the USGA and R&A announced on Monday the new protocols, which include assigning a rule official to a tournament broadcast to resolve rules issues.

The group – which includes the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA tour and PGA of America – also voted to stop considering viewer call-ins when processing potential rule violations.

In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation.

In April, Lexi Thompson was penalized four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round. Thompson was penalized two strokes for incorrectly marking her golf ball and two for signing an incorrect scorecard.

“The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled,” Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf, said on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" on Monday. “Let’s leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament.”

The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standard.

According to that decision, which was not a rule, “so long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be inaccurate by the use of video evidence.”

The new protocols will be implemented starting on Jan. 1.

A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is currently underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.