Park to return from back injury next week in Thailand

By Randall MellFebruary 19, 2016, 5:01 pm

Inbee Park’s back injury is healing up and she will make her return to the tour at the Honda LPGA Thailand next week, her agent confirmed.

“She is fine now,” David Kim, Park’s agent, told GolfChannel.com via email on Friday.

Kim said Park pulled something in her lower back playing in the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic three weeks ago but has recovered with rest and massage therapy. Park struggled to a 7-over-par 80 after hurting her back in the first round in the Bahamas Classic and withdrew from the competition. It was her highest score in an LPGA event in seven years. She struggled with minor back pain at times last year but it was never serious enough to cause her to withdraw.

“I’ve always had little lower back problems and some weeks it just gets a bit worse,” Park said leaving the Bahamas.

Park, No. 2 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, will resume her march to the LPGA Hall of Fame when she tees it up next week at Siam Country Club in Thailand. She will officially qualify for the HOF with her 10th start this season, which will fulfill the 10-year tour membership requirement for induction. Her start in the Bahamas will count toward that. Park met the Hall of Fame’s 27-point requirement at season’s end last year with the one point she earned winning the Vare Trophy for low scoring average.

Before the start of the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic last month, Park joked about how frustrated she gets with her slow starts to most years. “Fall and winter, I’m horrible,” Park cracked. Three years ago, however, Park won the Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club. It’s one of just two LPGA titles the 17-time LPGA winner has claimed before April 1. She finished second in Thailand to Anna Nordqvist two years ago and tied for seventh there last year.

A showdown with Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko will have to wait another week, though. After playing three consecutive weeks, Ko is taking off the week of the Honda LPGA Thailand. No. 1 Ko and No. 2 Park are scheduled to tee it up together for the first time this season at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. The tournament reports that every player among the top 10 is scheduled to play that week.

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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.