Ko's aggressive finish nets her silver medal

By Rex HoggardAugust 20, 2016, 7:34 pm

RIO DE JANEIRO – Two strokes back to begin the final round, Lydia Ko’s gold medal hopes were quickly dashed on Saturday when eventual Olympic champion Inbee Park began her day with three birdies in her first five holes and made the turn six strokes clear of the field.

Ko, however, never let up in her quest to earn a medal and made the turn in a three-way tie for third, but the New Zealander had no interest in playing for a bronze medal.

The world No. 1 birdied three of her last five holes, including an 8-footer at the last to finish alone in second place at 11 under par, a stroke clear of China’s Shanshan Feng.

It was another example of the unique nature of Olympic golf, with players vying for positions other than first and adjusting their strategy accordingly.

“Coming down the stretch, I tried to play a little bit more aggressively, and that worked in my favor coming down on 16 [which she birdied],” said Ko, who finished with a 1-under 69.


Olympic golf coverage: Articles, photos and videos


It was something of a gamble for Ko to take an aggressive approach coming down the stretch considering that a poorly timed mistake could cost her a spot on the podium altogether. But it was a chance she was willing to take.

“At the back of your mind, unless you make a careless mistake to know that you would be able to hold a medal no matter what, I thought, wow, I can't believe I'm here in this position,” she said.

Ko struggled with her putting for much of the week and opened with rounds of 69-70 to fall five strokes off the lead set by Park. But on Day 3 she rebounded, carding a 65 before the winds began gusting to 35 mph to earn a spot in Saturday’s final group.

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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.