Spieth battles balky putter, shoots even-par 71

By Jay CoffinJuly 14, 2016, 1:38 pm

TROON, Scotland – “That’s a question I almost never get asked, so because of that, I’m not thinking much of it,” Jordan Spieth say Thursday when asked why he putted so poorly in the first round of The Open at Royal Troon.

Good news for Spieth is that he said he hit the ball as well as he did in going wire-to-wire to win the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. The bad news for him is that he made three bogeys and three birdies with 33 putts and shot even-par 71.

“Struck the ball tremendously well, just couldn’t quite match up the speed and line,” he said.

Spieth admitted that he had a little difficulty staying in the moment after failing to go as low as he expected over the first few holes.

He knew the first nine holes were gettable on a fairly benign day and that the final nine holes, even with minimal wind, were going to be difficult. So when Spieth looked at the leaderboard and saw scores around 4 and 5 under, all while he was only 1 under after nine, he wasn’t too pleased.

A birdie on the par-3 17th got Spieth to 1 under but he gave it right back on the home hole when he missed the green with his approach shot then hit a chunky chip that still didn’t make it onto the green.

“I probably hit it as well as anybody in the field and shot five, six shots over the leader, so that normally doesn't happen for me,” Spieth said. “That's normally my really low round. So if I can keep my rhythm and my swing as we lead into these tougher condition days, the next couple days, I should be able to make up some strokes.”

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.