Fowler to 7th in world; Woods up to 668th

By Nick MentaDecember 4, 2017, 1:25 pm

Fresh off his final-round 61 and his win at the Hero World Challenge in Albany, Rickie Fowler is up two spots in the Official World Golf Ranking to No. 7.

Fowler, who has ranked as high as fourth, had been as low as 14th in January of this year.

As Fowler attempts to claw his way up the top 10, the man who handed him his trophy on Sunday, Tiger Woods, started what he hopes will be a rapid ascent up the ranking.

Woods' tie for ninth in Bahamas vaulted him from 1,199th in the world to 668th, the product of the Hero's strength of field and Woods' low divisor.

While Woods is exempt into all four majors in 2018, he is not currently eligible for any of the season's three remaining World Golf Championships. He would need to re-enter the top 64 to make it to the Match Play and to crack the top 50 to play in Mexico or Akron.

Speaking of the top 50, those who make that cut-off at the end of this calendar year lock up invitations to the Masters in April. Brandt Snedeker is currently Mr. 50, followed by No. 51 Gary Woodland, No. 52 Ian Poulter, No. 53 Peter Uihlein, No. 54. Bill Haas and No. 55 Dylan Frittelli.

Here is your OWGR top 10 for the week of Dec. 3, 2017: 1. Dustin Johnson, 2. Jordan Spieth, 3. Justin Thomas, 4. Jon Rahm, 5. Hideki Matsuyama, 6. Justin Rose, 7. Rickie Fowler, 8. Brooks Koepka, 9. Henrik Stenson, 10. Rory McIlroy.

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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.