Hoffman up 5 at Hero; Woods (75) shows rust

By Nick MentaDecember 2, 2017, 10:06 pm

Charley Hoffman navigated the whipping winds at Albany to shoot 2-under 70 and stake himself to a five-shot lead at the Hero World Challenge. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes in the Bahamas, where tournament host Tiger Woods finally showed his rust Saturday.

Leaderboard: Charley Hoffman (-14), Justin Rose (-9), Jordan Spieth (-9), Francesco Molinari (-8)

What it means: A scorecard-circling machine, Hoffman led the PGA Tour in total birdies last season, racking up five top-five finishes in stroke-play events, including two seconds and two thirds. He now looks to cash in on all those close calls and to round out 2017 with his first win since the 2016 Valero Texas Open. He’ll be pursued on Sunday by an Albany resident who has won twice in the last five weeks, Rose, and the 2014 winner of this event, the champion golfer of the year, Spieth.

Round of the day: Hoffman poured in six more birdies, including three over his last five holes, to extend his lead. He would be ahead even more were it not for two bogeys and a double.

Best of the rest: Daniel Berger matched Hoffman's 70. Rose, Molinari and Patrick Reed were the other players to break par at 1 under.

Biggest disappointment: Tiger Woods looked decidedly less back on Saturday than he did on Thursday and Friday. Amid blustery conditions, he went out in a front-nine 40 and found himself 5 over on his day through 10 holes. Woods did recover to play the rest of the way in a bogey-free 2 under, making the two birdies of his round at Nos. 14 and 17 to sign for 3-over 75. He’ll start Sunday 10 back in his first competitive start post-fusion surgery. 

Shot of the day: This dunk from the bunker by Kevin Kisner at 17:

Bummer of the day: To Fleetwood, who found this “moon-like crater” at 14:

Quote of the day: “Anything I did right ended up in a bad spot and anything I did wrong was really bad. Just one of those days.” – 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.