You Oughta Know: Wegman's LPGA Championship

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2014, 12:48 am

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Brittany Lincicome takes a one-shot lead on fellow major champions Inbee Park and Suzann Pettersen into Sunday at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

Here’s what you ought to know about the final round:

• Lincicome. 28, knows how to win, having claimed five LPGA titles, including a major championship, but she jokes about how nervous she can get. She hasn’t won in three years.

• Lincicome finished in spectacular fashion when she won her first and only major championship, the Kraft Nabisco in 2009. She eagled the last hole to beat Cristie Kerr and Kristy McPherson by a shot.

• The last time Lincicome held a lead or a share of the lead after 54 holes, she closed it out, winning the Shoprite Classic in 2011.

• Lincicome will be paired with Pettersen in the final pairing of the final round. They’re both big hitters perfectly suited for Monroe Golf Club, a long course with generous fairways.

• Pettersen has finished T-4 or better in five of her last seven starts in majors, including her victory at the Evian Championship late last season.

• Park has top-10 finishes in 13 of her last 20 majors, which includes her victories in the first three majors last year.

• Lydia Ko has some work to do if she’s going to become the youngest winner of a major in the history of golf. She starts the final round four shots back. She will be 17 years, 3 months and 24 days old on Sunday. Here are the youngest winners in the history of major championships:

Player Age (Yr, Mo. Da.) Tournament Year
Young Tom Morris 17-5-8 British Open 1868
Morgan Pressel 18-10-9 Kraft Nabisco 2007
Lexi Thompson 19-1-27 Kraft Nabisco 2014
Yani Tseng 19-4-6 LPGA Championship 2008
Johnny McDermott 19-10-14 U.S. Open 1911
Inbee Park 19-11-17 U.S. Women’s Open 2008

 

• Though this is officially the final staging of the LPGA Championship, the list of champions and records of the event will carry over to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Beverly Hanson won the first LPGA Championship in 1955 at Orchard Ridge Country Club in Fort Wayne, Ind. Mickey Wright won the championship four times, more than any other player. Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Patty Sheehan, Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak each won it three times.

• This marks the end of the Rochester area’s 38 years as host of an LPGA event. Pat Bradley won the first tournament staged here in 1977. Nancy Lopez won three of the first five. Patty Sheehan won four times in Rochester, more than any other player.

• To enhance this farewell event for the Rochester community, championship officials are allowing free entry after 4 p.m. of the final round. The first 3,000 fans in the gate in the morning will receive gifts. There’s also a sweepstakes drawing with a $5,000 cash grand prize. Officials will send the event off with a literal bang, with a fireworks show planned to conclude the day.

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