McIlroy not bothered by rookie snub

By Doug FergusonDecember 6, 2010, 5:09 am

Chevron World ChallengeTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rory McIlroy wasn’t the least bit bothered by getting snubbed as the PGA Tour rookie of the year because the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland never considered himself a rookie.

In a vote of the players, Rickie Fowler was voted the top rookie on the PGA Tour, even though he didn’t win a tournament.

McIlroy, who turned pro in Europe in 2008, won the Quail Hollow Championship against one of the strongest fields of the year. He tied a major championship record at St. Andrews with a 63 when he tied for third at the British Open, and he tied for third in another major at the PGA Championship.

Neither of them reached the Tour Championship.

“It’s fine,” McIlroy said Sunday after making four birdies in his last five holes at the Chevron World Challenge to finish fourth. “Look, I really didn’t want it. I’m not a rookie.”

The PGA Tour considers him a rookie because it was his first full year on Tour, which is why McIlroy was on the ballot with Fowler, Puerto Rico Open winner Derek Lamely and Alex Prugh.

The tour does not reveal how many players voted or the results.

The 21-year-old Fowler did not turn pro until the fall of 2009 after playing in the Walker Cup. After going through Q-school, he had runner-up finishes in the Phoenix Open and Memorial, and became the first tour rookie picked for the Ryder Cup team.

“When I joined the PGA Tour, I was top 10 in the world,” McIlroy said. “Rickie had an unbelievable year. He deserves it.”

Without polling the players – assuming they even voted – it was difficult to know if McIlroy was snubbed because players don’t consider him a true rookie, or because he announced last month that he would not take up U.S. membership for next year.

“It might be a little of both,” McIlroy said.

The interpretation of a “true rookie” has not been a problem before. Vijay Singh won the award in 1993 when he was 30, having won in various parts of the world. Todd Hamilton was 39 when he won the award in 2004 on the strength of two victories, including the British Open. Hamilton had played almost exclusively in Asia until that year.

Dustin Johnson, who said he did not vote, was not aware the award had been announced Saturday night.

“He’s going to get votes because he had a decent year,” Johnson said of Fowler. “But McIlroy is going to win. He’s got to win.”

Told the result, Johnson added, “Rickie won? Maybe he’s an American. I don’t know why.”

McIlroy said the award was not among his goals for the year.

“I’m happy for Rickie that he got it,” McIlroy said. “Coming straight out of college, playing the Walker Cup in 09, the Ryder Cup, winning nearly $3 million, getting to 25th in the worth. It’s a great first year. That’s what a rookie should be – the first year. I don’t feel like I should have been eligible.”

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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.