Stock Watch: Day dawning; Tiger and Phil setting?

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 10, 2015, 10:00 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

J-Day (+9%): The big question – health –  lingers still but it’s clear that he’s the player best equipped to make a run at Rory McIlroy’s throne.

Pebble (+6%): If you can look past the celebrities’ shanks, duffs and yanks, this might be the one week a year that the hashtag #GolfPorn is appropriate.

Sei Young Kim (+5%): The 22-year-old South Korean has already been in six playoffs as a pro. She’s won five of them. World No. 23 and climbing …

Billy Casper (+4%): Even in passing he was overshadowed by another sports legend, Dean Smith. The underappreciated Casper earned 51 PGA Tour titles – seventh best on the all-time list – and won in a remarkable 16 consecutive years. RIP.

Power of the King (+2%): A few years ago, Arnold Palmer quipped that he’d break Rory’s arm if he didn’t play his tournament. Now he doesn’t have to – McIlroy has signed up for Arnie’s event for the first time. 

Charles Howell III (+1%): He noted last year that Tiger “ruined a lot of guys’ lives” because of his dominance. But CH3 is proof that wasn’t quite true. With his T-5 at Torrey, his career earnings nudged above $28 million, despite only two wins. Life is good, very good.  


FALLING

J.B. Holmes (-1%): The analytics nerds will obsess over whether he should have gone for it on 18 in regulation. More troubling is that, despite his immense length, he played the four par 5s in 1 over in the final round.  

Caddies vs. PGA Tour (-2%): Interesting case, because both sides have a point: The loopers are essentially human billboards for the Tour, while it’s the players themselves (not the circuit) who broker a deal with the caddies. With the players stuck in the middle, it seems unlikely that this will get nasty, at least publicly.  

Ian Poulter (-3%): His courtesy car was towed from a San Diego-area restaurant, which inevitably led him to throwing a big stink on Twitter. Poor guy can’t catch a break.

Lucas Glover’s putting (-5%): Announcers can tiptoe around the nasty word all they want, but that was the yips, plain and simple, and it was utterly terrifying. There is no cure, but let’s hope he can find some relief soon.

Phil (-6%): Talk about a confidence-crushing few weeks: After an offseason of training, dieting and working on his game, Lefty has missed back-to-back cuts and appears completely lost on the greens. Though he might think he can merely flip on a switch at the majors, it’s a near-impossible task after months of listless play. Right now, though, his outlook is still brighter than …

Tiger (-9%): His latest WD only hides a sad truth: that his game is in shambles, and he’s a heckuva lot closer to retirement than returning to No. 1. More reps aren’t the answer – that’ll only lead to more scrutiny and tension – so maybe downtime is. There’s still a chance, however slight, that Woods could be revitalized in his 40s.

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.”

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.

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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