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Spieth remains Masters favorite; Woods 20/1

By Will GrayDecember 5, 2017, 12:37 am

Jordan Spieth remains an early betting favorite for the Masters, but Tiger Woods saw his odds dip dramatically thanks to a strong showing as tournament host.

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook trimmed Spieth's odds for claiming a second green jacket to 7/1, equal to his starting odds in August but below the 8/1 figure available last month. He's followed by Dustin Johnson, who withdrew from the Masters this year, and Rory McIlroy, who still seeks the fourth leg of the career Grand Slam.

On the heels of a T-9 showing at the Hero World Challenge in his first competitive start in 10 months, Tiger Woods' odds fell to 20/1. While Woods was available as low as 15/1 over the weekend, his current odds are still a dramatic dip from the 100/1 figure with which he opened in August.

Woods won his fourth and most recent green jacket in 2005, and he is more than four years removed from his most recent tournament win. But his odds are currently shorter than a group that includes Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia, who have combined to win five of the last eight Masters.

Here's a look at the most recent odds, with the season's first major still five months away:

7/1: Jordan Spieth

10/1: Dustin Johnson

12/1: Rory McIlroy

15/1: Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas

20/1: Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka

30/1: Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia

40/1: Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar

50/1: Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman

60/1: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Daniel Berger, Tommy Fleetwood, Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker, Xander Schauffele

80/1: Kevin Kisner, Lee Westwood, Tony Finau

100/1: Alex Noren, J.B. Holmes, Branden Grace, Charley Hoffman, Bill Haas, Ryan Moore, Martin Kaymer, Zach Johnson

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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.