Horschel credits short game for Zurich win

By Rex HoggardApril 29, 2013, 8:22 pm

Following six consecutive rounds under par at last fall’s Q-School, Billy Horschel was clearly pleased with his game and another opportunity to play the PGA Tour. From that moment of competitive clarity, however, came an avalanche of confidence that didn’t exactly dovetail with his resume.

“I’m going to win next year (2013), no doubt about it,” Horschel told Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz in December at PGA West.

In two seasons on Tour, Horschel had missed 16 cuts and in 17 events in 2012 he wasn’t among the top 140 in earners at any point in the season. But the Florida native had no doubt he could deliver on his bold prediction, and on Sunday in his 12th start of the year he closed with two birdies over his last three holes to win the Zurich Classic by a stroke.

“I felt like I was the best player at Q-School last year. I wasn’t down about it. I was embracing the situation. If I did my thing I would get through easily and that just built my confidence,” said Horschel, who tied for fourth at Q-School. “I took what I learned from Q-School. I wanted to back up that comment and not look like an idiot if I didn’t do it.”

Horschel said the turnaround has been largely the result of improved wedge play, which he and swing coach Todd Anderson focused on following last year’s Q-School, and a slight adjustment to his putting.

Horschel – who finished T-2 (Shell Houston Open), T-2 (Valero Texas Open), T-9 (RBC Heritage) and first (Zurich Classic) in his last four starts – switched to a new putter with a slightly different neck that allows him to maintain better posture over the ball.

“The only difference between yesterday and the three weeks where I had top 10s before is that I didn’t make bad mistakes. I got the ball up and down when I should have,” he said.  “(Anderson) and I talked about it after Hilton Head. He said, ‘You need to clean it up a little more and when you clean it up you’re going to win.’”

Horschel celebrated his victory with another former University of Florida player, Chris DiMarco, at Harrah’s in New Orleans’ French Quarter, complete with a few hands of blackjack, before flying home to Jacksonville, Fla., after just two hours of sleep.

He won’t have far to go for his next Tour stop. Horschel’s victory qualified him for next week’s Players Championship on a course he’s played “quite a bit.” In fact, given his play on Pete Dye-designed courses the last two weeks (Harbour Town Golf Links and TPC Louisiana) he may be headed toward his second Tour title.

Maybe Horschel wasn’t bold enough last year at Q-School.


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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.