McIlroy shoots 66, shares lead at French Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 1, 2016, 5:02 pm

Rory McIlroy is still getting comfortable with some recent swing changes, but he was able to grab a share of the lead heading into the weekend at the 100th Open de France.

The world No. 4 made six birdies and one bogey for a 5-under 66, and he will begin the third round tied with Thongchai Jaidee (70), Mikko Ilonen (68), Jeunghun Wang (66) and Brandon Stone (68).

McIlroy had the lead to himself after getting up and down from short of the green at the par-5 14th, but he tugged his tee shot a fraction left on 18 and found the water for his only blemish on the day.


100th Open de France: Leaderboard | Photo gallery


McIlroy admitted this week he has been working on several fixes to his powerful swing, and the four-time major champion is hoping to have the swing thoughts out of his head before The Open in two weeks.

"It doesn’t feel very natural at the minute," McIlroy said. "It’s quite mechanical and there’s a lot going on in terms of what I am trying to do, but it feels good, it’s in a good groove. I’m concentrating a lot on it. I feel like if set myself up well with alignment and everything, then if I make a good swing it goes where it should. So that’s a positive, and hopefully I continue to do that over the next couple of days.”

The bad news for McIlroy's closest pursuers is he has won the last three times he's held or shared the 36-hole lead. And with his recent swing changes, McIlroy is clearly not in top form yet. His putter is making up for some squirrely shots. McIlroy took 28 putts in Round 1 and 27 on Friday.

"If I focus on what I need to do in my golf swing, then hopefully the rest will take care of itself," he said. "I’ll hit some good shots and hopefully take advantage of some of the opportunities I give myself."

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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.