Four congressmen vote no on Nicklaus medal

By April 28, 2012, 8:42 pm

On April 16, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Jack Nicklaus 'in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf.'

The measure, which still must be approved by the Senate, passed 373-4. The “nay” votes were cast by four Republicans:  Justin Amash of Michigan, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Reid Ribble of Wisconsin and Scott Rigell of Virginia.

Congressional Gold Medals have been awarded more than 150 times. According to the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, 'Although the first recipients included citizens who participated in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, Congress broadened the scope of the medal to include actors, authors, entertainers, musicians, pioneers in aeronautics and space, explorers, lifesavers, notables in science and medicine, athletes, humanitarians, public servants, and foreign recipients.'

Golfers Byron Nelson and Arnold Palmer have been among Congressional Gold Medal recipients. When Palmer came up for a vote in 2009, current presidential candidate Ron Paul was the lone dissenting voice.

The website Deadspin contacted the offices of the four dissenting congressmen for the reasons behind their no votes.

A spokesman for Rep. Amash referred to Amash’s Facebook page, where he wrote that he did not believe Nicklaus was in the company of other recipients such as George Washington or the Wright Brothers.

'I think the original purpose of the Congressional Gold Medal is better than Congress's modern practice,' Amash wrote. 'Jack Nicklaus had a legendary golfing career. But I think it's better to reserve the medal for those whose heroism and self-sacrifice was made to save the lives of others.'

A spokesman for Rep. Rigell echoed the sentiment, saying, 'The Congressman believes these awards should only be handed out to those who have sacrificed their lives protecting our freedom.'

Representatives Chaffetz and Ribble believed the vote was a waste of legislative time.

'As members of Congress we need to be doing real work, not just filling time — especially when our economy is struggling and our nation is $15 trillion in debt. As a golfer myself, I love Jack Nicklaus, but I love my grandchildren more,' Ribble said.

Chaffetz, who voted in favor of awarding the medal to Palmer in 2009, did not believe the time was appropriate for such a vote.

'Congress has better ways to spend their time and more important things to do than making and passing resolutions for golfers,' Chaffetz said.

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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.

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.

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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

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.