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Hall fifth going into final LPGA Q-School round

By Randall MellDecember 3, 2017, 1:00 am

England’s Georgia Hall continued her hard climb at the final stage of LPGA Q-School in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Hall opened the event with a 5-over-par 77, leaving her tied for 133rd among the 166 players in the field. She shot a 69 Saturday at LPGA International’s Hills Course, moving her into a tie for fifth going into Sunday’s final round.

Japan’s Nasa Hataoka extended her third-round lead, posting a 69 on the Hills Course to get to 11 under overall, three shots better than South Africa’s Paua Reto (69) and Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chang (71).

Rebecca Artis, a two-time Ladies European Tour winner, is solo fourth after shooting 71. She is four shots back. Artis played for Australia in the International Crown last year.

Collegians Robynn Ree, Maria Torres and Maddie McCrary made moves to shed their amateur status and join the LPGA ranks.

Ree, a sophomore at USC, equaled the day’s low round with a 66 on the Jones course to move into a tie for eighth. She won the women’s individual title at the East Lake Cup last month.

Torres, who is vying to become the first player from Puerto Rico to make it to the LPGA, shot 70 and sits tied for ninth. A senior and five-time winner at the University of Florida, Torres was with family in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria slammed her homeland in September.

McCrary, a senior at Oklahoma State, shot 71 and also is tied for ninth.

The top 20 after Sunday’s conclusion of play qualify to claim tour cards, with players finishing 21st to 45th and ties qualifying for conditional status. Amateurs like Ree, Torres and McCrary have the option of turning pro after Sunday’s round to claim LPGA status.

Scoreboard

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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.