Ten players in Memphis vying for Open spot

By Randall MellJune 9, 2011, 6:39 pm

Keegan Bradley is one of 10 players at the FedEx St. Jude Classic who still have chances to play themselves into the U.S. Open next week.

Bradley is in the early hunt in Memphis but needs to win to make it to Congressional next week.

Stuart Appleby, Matt Bettencourt, Michael Bradley, Steve Marino, Carl Pettersson, Brendan Steele, Johnny Vegas, Scott Verplank and Johnson Wagner also can earn U.S. Open spots through their performances in Memphis.

Two avenues remain through which players can yet qualify.

To accommodate the possibilities, the U.S. Golf Association has left three spots open into the championship (though Gary Woodland has clinched one of the spots via the world rankings). If all three spots aren’t filled, the USGA will complete its field through its alternate list.

The First Avenue: Official World Golf Ranking

Any player who’s not yet qualified for the U.S. Open can earn a spot cracking the top 50 in Sunday night’s newest world rankings.

Marino and Verplank are the only players who can play their way into the top 50 this weekend though Verplank’s poor start makes it highly unlikely.

Marino’s ranked No. 59 in the world. He cracks the top 50 with a victory and likely cracks the top 50 with a second-place finish, depending on how other players fare.

Verplank is No. 73 in the world and cracks the top 50 with a victory but opened Thursday with a 76.

The Second Avenue: Multiple PGA Tour winners’ category

Any player winning multiple PGA Tour sanctioned events between June 20 of last year and this Sunday qualifies for the U.S. Open.

Eight players have chances to qualify in this category if they win the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis this weekend.

Appleby (Greenbrier), Bettencourt (Reno-Tahoe), Keegan Bradley (HP Byron Nelson), Michael Bradley (Puerto Rico Open), Pettersson (RBC Canadian), Steele (Valero Texas), Vegas (Bob Hope) and Wagner (Mayakoba) will claim their second victories in the qualifying window with a win in Memphis.

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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
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Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.

Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

By Rex HoggardDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

Although the Rules of Golf modernization is still a year away, officials continue to refine parts of the rulebook including an overhaul of the video review protocols.

A “working group” led by the USGA and R&A announced on Monday the new protocols, which include assigning a rule official to a tournament broadcast to resolve rules issues.

The group – which includes the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA tour and PGA of America – also voted to stop considering viewer call-ins when processing potential rule violations.

In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation.

In April, Lexi Thompson was penalized four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round. Thompson was penalized two strokes for incorrectly marking her golf ball and two for signing an incorrect scorecard.

“The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled,” Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf, said on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" on Monday. “Let’s leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament.”

The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standard.

According to that decision, which was not a rule, “so long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be inaccurate by the use of video evidence.”

The new protocols will be implemented starting on Jan. 1.

A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is currently underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.