Stenson eager to improve on T-14 best Masters finish

By Will GrayMarch 29, 2017, 6:08 pm

HUMBLE, Texas – As Henrik Stenson gets set to return to the Masters, he hopes to finally solve one of golf’s most vexing puzzles.

Granted, the Swede has historically been solid at Augusta National Golf Club. In 11 prior trips, he has cracked the top 20 five times. But he has never done better than a T-14 result in 2014, which he admits is a pedestrian record given the success he has had in other big events.

“I keep on coming back. I keep on trying,” Stenson said Wednesday at the Shell Houston Open. “I think there’s a number of things, some of them I try to address and do better in my preparation. And obviously we’ll see in about 10 days time how it works out.”


Shell Houston Open: Articles, photos and videos


Stenson has often used this week’s event to garner plenty of major momentum. He’s finished second here twice and third an additional time, including last year when he was runner-up to Jim Herman. He followed that with a T-24 finish the following week.

Stenson relies on his accuracy off the tee to gain an edge, but he believes that is largely mitigated at Augusta National where the rough is far less penal than other PGA Tour venues. He’s also spent more time focusing on his putting recently at home at Lake Nona, where he has worked with the staff to speed up the practice green in an effort to more closely resemble the slick, undulating surfaces at Augusta.

“We’re trying to get the driver in play on a couple of the holes where we maybe played a bit too conservative in the past,” he said. “I’ve done some things differently, and hopefully that will pay off in the right direction.”

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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.