Westwood set to reunite with caddie Foster

By Ryan LavnerNovember 26, 2013, 1:02 pm

Lee Westwood is putting the team back together in hopes of returning to the form that saw him rise to world No. 1.

At next week’s Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, Westwood will reportedly have a familiar man on the bag – Billy Foster, the looper whom Westwood let go 18 months ago. 

In 2012, Foster suffered a knee injury and didn’t recover as quickly as he had hoped, forcing Westwood to cut ties with his longtime bagman and hire Mike Kerr as a replacement. Foster, meanwhile, eventually found work with South African Branden Grace. 

But according to a report Tuesday in the Daily Telegraph, Westwood has hired Foster back “permanently,” beginning with next week’s World Challenge.

“Everyone knows that Lee and Billy were a great partnership and it made sense that now Billy is fully fit again that the partnership reforms,” Chubby Chandler, Westwood’s manager, told the Daily Telegraph. “… They’ve had their heart-to-heart, sorted out whatever needed sorting out, and Billy will be back on Lee’s bag permanently, starting at Tiger’s event next week. Mike is a top lad, a class act, and took Lee’s decision as we knew he would.”

In the past year, Westwood has gone through myriad changes: swing coaches, short-game gurus and home bases, settling down with his family in West Palm Beach, Fla. This year of transition hasn’t translated to success on the golf course, however, as the 40-year-old is still winless and has just two top-10s in his last 13 worldwide starts.

“We saw glimpses of the real Lee Westwood at Dubai (where he tied for fifth),” Chandler said, via the Daily Telegraph, “and I’m sure that, with Billy back on the bag, it’ll all come right again.” 

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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.