TT postscript: A rousing success of a week

By Tiger TrackerDecember 3, 2017, 9:00 pm

NASSAU, Bahamas – Here are some things I think I think after Tiger Woods’ 4-under 68 Sunday in the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany:

Well, that was a rousing success. No one – not you, not me, not Tiger – could’ve predicted this week would’ve gone this well. The driving was tremendous, the putting was mostly solid and iron shots were crisp and piercing. Chipping needs work, but if that’s the only quasi-negative thing you can say about the week then it was off-the-charts positive.

The 2-iron into the par-5 third nearly brought me to tears. It was tremendous. A massive rip at it that produced a high draw into the hole that carried nearly 270 yards? Are you kidding me? The only thing keeping it from being Woods’ best shot of the week was the fact that it didn’t end up on the green. But, “It was money,” Woods said. Yes, yes it was.

The double bogey on 10 was a huge buzzkill. Tiger played a flawless front-nine 31 that included an eagle and three birdies and Albany was buzzing. Bigly. The thing that stinks is that it didn’t seem like double bogey was possible. He was short of the green in two, but his chip floated just a little past the pin and into a thick collar just off the green. He couldn’t get up and down from there.

The bogey-bogey finish doesn’t matter. I mean, it matters, but no one should care. It took the steam out of the round and kept him from being able to say it was his best round of the week, but it will not dampen anything that happened this week. Tiger Woods played 72 holes in a golf tournament for the first time in a year. He was smiling. He was happy. He was hitting great shots. He was competitive. And he was wearing red and black, just the way Sundays in our sport should be.

Final-round statistics were best of the week. Tiger hit 11 of 13 fairways and 13 of 18 greens and needed 28 putts. He would’ve loved the last number to be 26 (aforementioned bogeys on the last two), but driving and iron play were the best of the week in the last round of the week.

Rafa Nadal was inside the ropes watching Tiger. Big dude, his left arm is enormous. Nadal and his posse walked all 18 holes with Tiger and lived and died with every shot and every putt. The 16-time Grand Slam singles champ and Tiger have become pretty good friends over the years and Woods was not surprised to see his buddy along for the ride.

A lot of tweets today, all of them money, but these two set the tone for the entire day. Wasn’t necessarily sure how it would go (on all fronts) but it turned out well (on all fronts).

Where do we go from here? Tiger says he isn’t sure, but I have a hunch that he’s sure. If we believe him that he feels great there’s no reason to believe he won’t resume his full schedule. So that means Torrey Pines, Riviera, PGA National and Bay Hill before the Masters. Doesn’t do anyone any good to look past that first week in April.

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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.