Faldo Wins In 96 As Norman Collapses

By George WhiteFebruary 12, 2001, 5:00 pm
This was the year Greg Norman won it. Everything said it - that would be the headline come Monday. After so many frustrating heartbreaks, the lanky Australian was finally going to get his place in the Masters' champions locker room.
Norman was ahead by six strokes as Sunday began. He had opened with a 63, tying Nick Price's course record. He fired a 69 Friday, which was almost as good as Thursday's score when one considers the horrible conditions. And then he held it together for a 71 Saturday. Just a few short hours, he undoubtedly was thinking, and that green jacket would finally be his.
And then, there was Nick Faldo. The pesky Englishman was a little past his prime, when he won back-to-back Masters in 1989 and '90. Nick Faldo? You mean the guy who was way out of the picture on the front nine, the guy who still trailed by four shots as the two stood on the tee of eighth hole?
Yes, that Nick. He was about to re-write history.
Faldo, who trailed the best player in the game by six when the day started, made up six shots in just five holes. When the carnage was over, he led by two on the 13th. By the time the day ended, Faldo led Norman by five strokes.
A birdie by Faldo at the ninth started Norman's descent into the abyss. Shortly thereafter, he made these mistakes, the ones which spelled `loser' in what was to be one more Masters' heartbreak:
The ninth - Norman made bogey when his approach hit the elevated green and spun back off the green and down the elevated fairway. His lead was cut to two.
The 10th - Norman had an easy chip to the green, but flubbed it and made another bogey. His lead was down to one and his confidence was quickly ebbing away.
The 11th - Norman's birdie putt from 12 feet rolled 18 inches past. Then, his tap-in for par missed. Give him a third bogey. His lead was totally exhausted, down from the six at day's beginning.
The 12th - Faldo hit first and reached the green. Norman then made a hurried swipe at the ball and pushed it into the bank, then back into the water. He made double bogey and was now out of first place. Faldo led by two stokes.
Then came the 16th, Norman still behind by two, and he tried to hook a 6-iron in close. Oops. It again splashed down, drowning the last vestige of Norman's hopes.
Lost in the ugly clatter of Norman's 78, however, was the fact that Faldo held up for an exceptional round of golf under the most trying of circumstances. He shot a 67, which was most admirable in the cauldron of Sunday at the Masters.
'It was difficult emotionally, feeling for Greg,' said Faldo. 'We had a strange day. It was a strange atmosphere on the last few holes. Everybody knew what happened. Greg's been so close here, I think the crowd wanted him to win.'
For Norman, it was yet another case of what might have been.
'There must be a reason for these happenings I inflict on myself,' he said. 'I think there's some good waiting down the line for me and this is just a test. I am a winner. I just didn't win today.'
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  • Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    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.”

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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.


    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.

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