'Shattered' Lyle returns to Australia amid slump

By Will GrayApril 1, 2016, 2:18 pm

With his PGA Tour opportunities quickly dwindling, Jarrod Lyle has returned home to Australia in search of his game.

Lyle has made only one cut in seven starts this season, and has missed his last five cuts in a row. The most recent in that string came last week at the Puerto Rico Open, where his second-round 79 equalled his worst round as a professional.

In an update to his website, Lyle admitted that his performace on the Isle of Enchantment left him looking for answers.

"I went into that event with lots of confidence and felt that I'd done plenty of positive preparation in the weeks prior. So to say I was disappointed with the outcome is an understatement," Lyle wrote. "I was completely shattered. I just could not get my head around how badly I had played, when the time has definitely come for me to be pulling out some great golf."

When Lyle returned to the Tour in the fall of 2014 after a second bout with leukemia, he was equipped with a major medical extension that gave him 20 starts to earn $283,825 in order to keep his card. But since last January, Lyle has missed 13 of 15 cuts, with his best result a T-63 finish last fall at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

That leaves the 34-year-old with only three starts remaining in which to earn $209,111 or face the loss of his PGA Tour privileges.

"It's no secret that I have barely made any money at all. It is incredibly frustrating, and demoralizing, to feel as though my career is slipping away," he wrote. "I believe my biggest challenge so far has been lack of consistency due to not being able to play enough consecutive events. I just can’t quite get any momentum happening, nor can I tweak my performance from week to week under tournament conditions to try and bring the best out of my game."

Lyle will now return to Australia one month earlier than he had originally intended. The change of plans will allow him to be with his wife, Briony, who is due to give birth to the couple's second child shortly. While Lyle looks forward to some extra family time, he still hopes to sharpen his game and plans to make his final three Tour starts in July.

"Does this mean I’m giving up on golf? NO WAY! I will still be working hard and practicing as much as I can while I’m home," he wrote. "I still love the game (most days!), and it’s still the only thing I really want to do. I’m really not sure what life looks like without golf, and I’m not ready to find out."

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.

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