Overlooked Toms would love to be part of Ryder mix

By Randall MellFebruary 25, 2015, 9:05 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – David Toms might have been the American Ryder Cup captain in Scotland last year if the PGA of America had not radically altered its traditional path for choosing captains.

In fact, back when Tom Watson was identified as the next U.S. captain, Toms got a call from then PGA of America president Ted Bishop informing him why he wasn’t going to be the choice and why Watson was getting the job.

So, with this new American Ryder Cup template in place, where does Toms stand now?

“I don’t know,” Toms said Wednesday outside the PGA National locker room at the Honda Classic, where he’s preparing to play this week. “I wasn’t asked to be on the task force. I wasn’t called to see if I wanted to be on it.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be captain this last time, but as far as moving forward, I really haven’t heard much. It looks kind of like to me that maybe I don’t get that chance.”

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Toms, 48, hopes that isn’t the case. He would love to be considered for a future captaincy. As a 13-time PGA Tour winner, and as a PGA Championship winner, Toms fits the mold of American captains of old. He was 4-6-2 playing on three American teams (2002, ’04 and ’06).

With the new American template featuring four vice captains, two as potential future captains, Toms would love to be considered for that mix.

“I’d like to be able to see things from the inside,” Toms said. “I’ve been on a few teams, and I’ve had different captains, and I think I could bring something to that process, if asked. I would certainly like to be part of it, if asked.”

Toms likes the plan for linking captaincies, for bringing past captains and future captains together under a current captain.

“That’s probably the best thing they are doing,” Toms said.

Toms suspects there is a daunting element to being named a captain six to 10 years after last playing on a team and never having been a vice captain.

“I think the way they are going now is the best way to go, whether I get the opportunity or not,” Toms said. “It’s a good idea. You would learn a lot and see what the captain goes through, not only Ryder Cup week, but everything leading up to it, from selection of players and picks. I think it would be neat to see it.” 

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

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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.


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