Power Rankings: 2016 RBC Heritage

By Will GrayApril 12, 2016, 2:34 pm

The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour heads to South Carolina this week for the RBC Heritage. A field of 132 players will tackle Harbour Town Golf Links, where the winner must handle some tight targets in order to don the tartan jacket.

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Jim Furyk won this event last year in a playoff over Kevin Kisner, but won't be able to defend his title because of a wrist injury. Here are 10 players to watch in Hilton Head:

1. Jason Day: The Aussie never really contended at Augusta, but a T-10 finish isn't exactly chopped liver, either. After back-to-back wins in his prior two starts, the world No. 1 appears in form as he heads to an event where he has played sparingly but did finish T-9 in 2011.

2. Paul Casey: Casey will look to follow in the footsteps of fellow Englishman Danny Willett, and there's reason to think he'll have a big week. His T-4 finish at the Masters included a Sunday 67 and marked his third top-10 in his last four starts. He also has finished T-22 or better in each of his last three trips to Harbour Town.

3. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar won here in 2014 and followed that with a T-5 finish last year, making the cut at Harbour Town for the ninth time in as many years. He enters with four top-25s in his last six starts, including a T-24 finish at the Masters and a T-8 finish on a difficult layout at Innisbrook.

4. Brandt Snedeker: The 2011 Heritage champ already won this year at Torrey Pines, and he played well last week en route to a top-10 finish at the Masters. While his win five years ago remains his lone top-10 finish at this event, Snedeker does enter the week 14th in both birdie average and scoring average this season.

5. Kevin Kisner: A runner-up last year in overtime, Kisner also lost a playoff a month later on another Pete Dye design at TPC Sawgrass. He returns a winner already this season in nearby Sea Island, and he should receive a spark this week on a course - and in an area of the country - that suits his game.

6. Kevin Na: Na has only played here once in the last three years, but he did record back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2011 and 2012. One of the game's more accurate players, Na is currently 15th this season in strokes gained tee-to-green and should have no problem with the cozy confines of Harbour Town.

7. Luke Donald: One of the ultimate horses for courses. Regardless of form, Donald seems to come alive at this event: a runner-up in 2009, 2011 and 2014; third place in 2010 and 2013 and T-15 a year ago. The Englishman has fallen off in the world rankings, but he did crack the top 30 in two of his last three starts overall.

8. Graeme McDowell: McDowell won this event in a playoff in 2013, and he has finished T-26 or better in the two years since. McDowell won earlier this season on another tight layout at Mayakoba, and he factored at the Honda Classic where, like this week, an emphasis will be placed on ball-striking.

9. Matthew Fitzpatrick: The Englishman finished T-23 here in 2014 as an amateur, and now he returns after a top-10 finish at the Masters. The 21-year-old former U.S. Amateur champ has already won on the European Tour, and a win in the U.S. may soon follow.

10. Russell Knox: The Scot makes his home in Jacksonville and has plenty of experience with Pete Dye layouts from his rounds at TPC Sawgrass. Knox finished T-9 in his tournament debut and T-18 last year, and while he has struggled to find his footing in recent weeks, he still sits at No. 2 on Tour this season in GIR percentage.

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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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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.