Butch: 'I really like' how Tiger is swinging

By Nick MentaDecember 4, 2017, 3:15 pm

Count Butch Harmon among the growing group of instructors, analysts and pundits who were buoyed by what they saw from Tiger Woods at the Hero World Challenge.

Writing for Sky Sports, Woods' former swing coach declared himself "very pleasantly surprised with the performance of Tiger Woods over the last four days."

"The two things that really stood out to me were that he seems to have total freedom in his swing again," Harmon wrote. "I don't see any of the up-and-down movements that he used to put in there, and he looks to have his speed back. And you can tell that he's pain-free. That is the main thing for me. ...

"I've got to be honest, I really like the way Tiger is swinging the club."

In the piece, Harmon wrote that he spoke last week with Woods' current instructor, Chris Como, and that Como told Harmon this is the first time he has ever worked with a pain-free Woods. Of note, Woods and Como have been working together since late 2014.

Harmon also mentioned that his current pupils, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson, were consistently impressed with just how far Woods was hitting the ball during casual rounds in the run-up to Albany.

As for what comes next, Harmon thinks Tiger is likely already focused on adding to his major count, but that expectations should still be tempered - even if we are talking about Tiger.

"If we keep saying he can come back and win more majors, that's like putting the cart before the horse," Harmon wrote.

"Can he win a major in 2018? Well, you know that's what Tiger Woods is thinking, and he probably still thinks he can win every tournament he plays in. But he has to crawl before he can walk, and walk before he can run. Right now, he's past the crawling stage and he's walking!"

"The one thing I learned from my 10 years as Tiger's coach, and since then, is 'never say never' when it comes to Tiger Woods."

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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.