Let's stance: Nomura cleared of rules violation

By Randall MellApril 24, 2016, 5:01 am

DALY CITY, Calif. – Haru Nomura waited out a lengthy review of a possible rules infraction after Saturday’s round before signing her scorecard at the Swinging Skirts Classic.

Ultimately cleared of any violation, Nomura signed for a 1-under-par 71 to give her a three-shot lead going into the final round.

According to LPGA rules official Marty Robinson, a television viewer alerted the tour by email that Nomura might have built a stance in a greenside bunker at the sixth hole in violation of Rule 13-3.

Nomura found herself in an awkward spot near the lip of the bunker. With her left foot out of the bunker, she struggled to get a stance with her right foot in the bunker. She made a number of attempts to get a stance before hitting the shot.

“We were concerned enough to have Haru come to the trailer herself to explain what she was doing and why,” Robinson said. “As Haru was attempting to get her stance, she felt her feet slipping in that process, but after viewing it and talking to Haru we felt there was no breach of that rule.”


Full-field scores from the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic


Robinson said there is gray area in the rule as to what constitutes building a stance in that type of situation, but the rules committee believed she was only trying to get a “firm stance,” not build a stance. He said a player is entitled to a “firm stance.”

Nomura said she wasn’t trying to build a stance.

“It was slopey,” she said through a translator. “I kept slipping downhill.

“When I had to do a practice swing, I had to swing real hard, and when I did, I kept moving forward, again and again. There was no option but to move like that, but they were saying that I was moving excessively. But what I was trying to tell them was, `OK, then what is the guideline?’ There should be some sort of a standard, a regulation, that explains what is and what isn’t an infraction. That’s what was going on.”

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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).

Getty Images

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.