Stricker in danger of seeing FedEx streak end

By Ryan LavnerAugust 4, 2014, 2:59 pm

Since the FedEx Cup’s inception in 2007, only Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker have made it to the Tour Championship each year.

All three players’ streaks are in jeopardy this year, none more so than Stricker, who finds himself No. 122 in FedEx Cup points heading into this week’s PGA Championship.

After a remarkable 2013 season in which he banked $4.44 million in limited action (13 events), Stricker, 47, has mustered just a single top-10 in 10 starts this season. He tied for 63rd at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, shooting rounds of 74-73-72-73 at Firestone.

Stricker is only 24 points clear of No. 125 Sang-Moon Bae, and this week’s PGA might be his last chance to secure his spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He hasn’t played the Wyndham since 2006.


Full FedEx Cup points standings


The road is only slightly easier for Mickelson, who is No. 84 heading into the year’s final major. Though it’s well documented that he doesn’t have a top-10 on Tour this season, Lefty still has five top-15s, including a T-15 at last week’s Bridgestone.

Mahan has had a quiet season as well, but his T-15 at Firestone gave him a little boost, moving him up from No. 72 to No. 65 in points. After a strong start to the year, he doesn’t have a top-10 since Doral.

With only two regular-season starts remaining, here are some notable names on or near the FedEx Cup bubble: Bo Van Pelt (110), Lee Westwood (111), Nick Watney (118), Stricker (122), Jhonattan Vegas (123), Paul Casey (124), Louis Oosthuizen (128), J.J. Henry (130), Ben Curtis (131), Jonathan Byrd (132), Mike Weir (134), Martin Laird (136), Bud Cauley (139), Trevor Immelman (141), Tommy Gainey (151), Kyle Stanley (155), Davis Love III (161).

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