'Disappointed' Lewis assesses another U.S. loss

By Randall MellJuly 27, 2014, 6:45 pm

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Rolex world No. 1 Stacy Lewis is a feel player, but she’s quite analytical in evaluating the nature of the game and what’s required to excel.

With the Americans in a resurgent mode on tour, all their winning didn’t translate into yet another team event at this week’s International Crown. After back-to-back Solheim Cup losses, now the Americans are dealing with this early exit from the game’s newest team event.

The Americans were eliminated from the International Crown Saturday by Korea in a playoff for the fifth and final berth into Sunday singles. Lewis, however, came back out to the course on Sunday to watch and assist Juli Inkster, who’s calling the action as a course reporter for Golf Channel, with Lewis possibly as Inkster’s cart driver.

With almost 24 hours to analyze what happened to the Americans this week, Lewis was asked Sunday what the Americans have learned in back-to-back losses. She said Saturday ultimately came down to putting. She says these team events also come down to a certain intangible.

“It’s all about toughness,” Lewis said. “That’s what we’ve learned, and that’s what we wanted to show the fans here this week.”

In a Morning Drive appearance with Golf Channel reporter Scott Rude, Lewis explained how the decision to send out Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson for the sudden-death playoff was made.


International Crown: Articles, videos and photos


Though Lewis is the No. 1 player in the world, she was coming off a tough loss with Paula Creamer to Thailand in the day’s last match. Kerr and Thompson had beaten Thailand handily in the next-to-last match. The U.S. team had five minutes after the loss to submit their pairing for the fourball playoff. With no captain for this format, the team huddled.

“My gut thought was to send Cristie and Lexi out,” Lewis said. “They won both their matches early the last two days. Paula and I were struggling. We were tired, and we just lost a really hard match. I thought that with momentum, with Cristie being fired up and ready to go, with Lexi’s length on 16, it made sense. I wanted to do what was best for the team. Yeah, Paula and I wanted to be out there, but it was best for the team.”

Lewis told Rude that her No. 1 ranking wasn’t a factor in the choice.

“I was pretty deflated coming off that match, and as quick as the turnaround was, I think it would have been really hard for Paula and I to get ready to play again,” Lewis said. “Cristie was so fired up and so excited. She went running to the range. Lexi, with her length, she hit 4-iron into that green. It made so much sense, there are no regrets.”

Lewis was asked why the Americans are struggling in team events.

“I don’t know how you explain it,” Lewis said. “It’s one week. It’s match play, and with match play, a lot can happen. It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t change the rankings. Lexi’s still won a major this year, I’ve still won three times, Paula’s won, Cristie’s still playing some great golf. It doesn’t change any of that. We just have to figure this out in team play. It’s just making some key putts. If we can make some key putts, we’ll be back on track in these team events.”

Lewis will look back and remember key putts.

“It came down to one putt for any one of us,” Lewis said. “If Yani [Tseng] doesn’t make that putt on us at 18 on Thursday, or if Paula and I make a putting coming in yesterday, we are playing today.”

Lewis said the team didn’t go their own ways after the loss. They got together at the team hotel and ate P.F. Chang’s takeout in a team dinner.

“Yeah, we were disappointed, but we had so much fun this week,” Lewis said. “Everybody got along so well.”

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.

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