Acting commissioners LPGA future uncertain

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2009, 11:15 pm

RICHMOND, Texas – So where does Marty Evans go from here?

The acting commissioner steps aside on Jan. 4 when Michael Whan takes over, but Evans gave up her spot on the LPGA Board of Directors to assume her interim role. Evans could rejoin the board with two openings for independent directors to be filled sometime early next year, but Golf World reported this week that there are some significant maneuvers under way that may reshape the board.

According to sources cited in the report, Dawn Hudson will remain on the board but is unlikely to be re-elected chairwoman because of “backlash for allowing the Carolyn Bivens situation to go on for so long.” Bivens was forced out as commissioner in a player revolt in July. The report also stated that Evans has told the board that she will only serve again if she is elected chairwoman, but that player directors might not support that move because of Evans’ role in recent layoffs at the tour.

“I haven’t made a decision,” Evans told when asked if and how she wanted to return to the board. “I need to figure out what I want to do. I know that I want to be helpful to Mike [Whan]. That’s my goal, but how do I contribute?”

There was turnover among the seven player members of the board this week with Kim Hall and Katie Futcher elected to three-year terms. Juli Inkster’s term expired. So did the term of Christina Kim, who sought another term but was not re-elected.

Michelle Ellis was re-elected to another term as president in 2010 with Sherri Steinhauer re-elected as vice president.

There was also change among the six independent directors on the LPGA Board with Tony Ponturo elected to a three-year term. He’s the chief executive officer of Ponturo Management Group and a former executive at Anheuser-Busch. Leslie Greis was re-elected to a three year term. She is founder and managing member of Perennial Capital Advisors.

The terms of Bill Morton, Nancy Wiese and Grant Gregory expire this year. Two of the three openings that creates have yet to be filled.

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.”

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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.


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