Spieth would take Ryder Cup win over FedEx Cup title

By Will GrayAugust 24, 2016, 6:28 pm

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – The 2016 major season has come to a close, but Jordan Spieth still covets one more trophy – and it might not be the one you expect.

The PGA Tour’s four-week postseason kicks off this week with The Barclays, and Spieth will look to defend the FedEx Cup title he won a year ago at the Tour Championship. But given the choice, Spieth stated that he’d rather be a part of a winning Ryder Cup team the following week at Hazeltine than hoist a second straight FedEx Cup trophy.

“I’m setting some pretty lofty goals for myself the next six weeks, and it needs to cap off with us retaining that Ryder Cup. That’s very much on my mind,” Spieth said. “I’m pretty excited about the FedEx Cup Playoffs obviously, and trying to repeat as the guy standing on the 18th green at East Lake, now the ninth green. But if we can build that momentum and carry it over into that Ryder Cup, that’s our really next major in my opinion.”


The Barclays: Articles, photos and videos


Spieth hasn’t played since a T-13 finish at the PGA Championship last month, and he hopes to improve on the slow start to his postseason from a year ago, when he missed the cut at both this event and the Deutsche Bank Championship.

But his eye remains on Hazeltine, where he will make his second appearance in the biennial matches that he credits for shaping his historic 2015 season.

“I think I’ve mentioned this before, that the Ryder Cup in 2014 prepared me for what happened in 2015,” Spieth said. “I felt like each hole I played was a back nine of a major championship hole. It’s played with that much passion, that much intensity. There’s nothing like it in golf. There’s nothing like the Ryder Cup.

“So I can’t even imagine what it would be like on a winning team, but we are going to go ahead and try and bring that feeling to ourselves and to our country.”

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