Armour All About a Repeat

By Golf Channel NewsroomSeptember 13, 2004, 4:00 pm
As the United States team is up in Michigan trying to win back the Ryder Cup trophy from the Europeans, the rest of the PGA Tour is in the heart of Texas for the Valero Texas Open.
 
With 12 of the best U.S. and 12 of the best Europeans players playing in the Cup, not to mention other top players from the rest of the world staying away, the field is wide open for the seventh to last full-field event of the 2004 season.
 
And no one knows that better than a pair of Texans who have won three of the last four events played at the LaCantera Golf Club in San Antonio.
 
Justin Leonard, a back-to-back winner in 2000 and 2001, and last year's surprise winner Tommy Armour III are set to again tee it up in hopes of keeping the trophy in their home state.
 
For Leonard, who lost his chance at making the U.S. squad by falling in a playoff to Vijay Singh at the PGA Championship last month, it will be a great opportunity to improve his chances of getting into the Tour Championship.
 
The former Texas Longhorn All-American currently sits in the 40th position as the top-31 are invited to the season-ending event at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta.
 
Armour on the other hand will try to duplicate his fellow Texan's feat of winning successive titles in San Antonio after coming out of nowhere last year to take the title in record fashion.
 
After going 366 starts without a victory - dating back to the 1990 Phoenix Open - the 44-year-old Armour took the LaCantera Golf Club by storm by posting a PGA Tour 72-hole scoring record of 26-under-par 254. He broke the record set by Mark Calcavecchia in the 2001 Phoenix Open by two strokes.
 
'I'm telling you it was scaring me a little bit,' said Armour about his play last year that resulted in his second career PGA Tour victory. 'Every putt went in the hole.'
 
He wound up with a seven-shot victory over Loren Roberts and Bob Tway.
 
The all-time under-par record, however, regardless of par, is 31-under-par by Ernie Els at the 2003 Mercedes Championships, on a par-73 golf course.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Valero Texas Open
  • 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.

    Getty Images

    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).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm