Campbell Grabs Lead in Rainy Malaysia
Campbell leads by two shots over Elliot Boult and Padraig Harrington. While Boult completed his round Friday with a score of 66 to finish on the mark of 6-under, Harrington only made it through 14 holes before the weather moved in. He will pick up first thing Saturday morning with 22 other groups.
As for Campbell, his round was nifty indeed, as for the second day in a row, he holed out another full iron shot. While Thursday's came from 81 yards at the par-4 4th, Friday's occurred from approximately 91 yards at the par-4 1st (his tenth hole of the day).
'Holing two shots within 24 hours is unheard of for me, it's unbelievable,' he said. 'Again, I didn't see it go in but apparently it spun back from about six feet.'
Yet, despite his good fortune and despite the fact that he sits alone atop the leaderboard, the 31-year-old New Zealander claims to not quite be on form yet.
'I didn't play that well to be honest,' he admitted. 'There were a few good birdie putts but little besides that. If you take away the two shots I've holed it's not really that good, but I'm not complaining. There is still plenty of room for improvement.'
Fellow Kiwi Boult's game seems like it is already improving. After an opening score of 72, his bogey-free second round of 66 came as the lowest of the day.
'It was one of those rounds when everything went right,' he proclaimed. 'The most important thing was holing a lot of short putts which is a must around here. It is a tricky course and if you get the wrong side of the hole you will be struggling all day.'
Reigning U.S. Masters champ Vijay Singh seems to have a good idea of where to place the ball on the Saujana layout. Through 16 holes on Friday, the Fijian was at 5-under-par when play was halted. He will pick it up Saturday morning.
'Hopefully I can make two birdies to finish up my second round and come back fresh for the third round.'
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Malaysian Open!
Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change
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.”
PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes
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:
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.
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.
Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
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.
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).
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 5: Dec. 12
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18