Jacks Back at Verizon Classic
Friday was on of those days.
Nicklaus, 61, fired a blemish-free 4-under-par 67 to earn a share of the lead with Doug Tewell in the Verizon Classic in Lutz, Fla., just outside of Tampa.
Nicklaus carded four birdies - two on each side - and 14 pars on the par-71 TPC of Tampa Bay. The 67 marks his lowest round on the Senior circuit since the first round of the 2000 U.S. Senior Open.
'My game, I managed very well,' Jack said. 'I only made four birdies, but I made all the putts I had to.
'What I really enjoyed today was the golf course. The course was set up difficult, it was hard and fast. You had to use your imagination, your mind - where you wanted to put the ball, where you wanted to miss it. That's golf to me.
'It's not shooting darts. If the Tour continues to do that, then I'm going to love it so much.'
The difficulty of the course was evident in the fact that only 18 of the 78 players in the field managed to break par in the first round.
Raymond Floyd carded a 3-under-par 68 to earn outright third place; while Allen Doyle, defending champion Bruce Fleisher and Jim Holtgrieve are all tied for fourth place after rounds of 2-under 69.
This is Jack's third start in '01. He finished tied for 27th in the season opening MasterCard Championship, which consisted of only 32 select players. He then recorded an unofficial 66 over two days of the Senior Skins Game, where he won 10 skins and $260,000 to finish in second place behind Hale Irwin.
Nicklaus has won 10 times on the Senior Tour, eight of which are major championship. His last victory came in the 1996 Tradition, an event he's won four times. Nicklaus is the only player to win all four majors on both the PGA and Senior Tours.
Jack has had recent success in team competitions. He won the 1999 and 2000 Hyundai Team Matches with Tom Watson. He also won the '99 Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge while partnered with Watson and Irwin and the '99 Office Depot Father-Son Challenge with son Gary.
Is Jack Back? Or is this just a quick flashback?
Share your thoughts!
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Verizon Classic!
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