Kaymer comfortable, looking to defend PGA

By August 10, 2011, 8:39 pm

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Wanamaker Trophy is back in the hands of the PGA of America as Martin Kaymer prepares to try to win it back this week at Atlanta Athletic Club. He reflected on the impact on his life since the win on the Wisconsin coast on Wednesday.

“To be a major winner, I think that gives you so much confidence and so much self-belief that you have done a lot of things right in the past,” he said. “And to win a major that early in my career was obviously fantastic, that you kind of like break through a little bit of a barrier.”

Surviving the American gauntlet of Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, Kaymer reaped some benefits this year when he arrived in Atlanta.

Kaymer joked, “I tell you, the nicest thing about being the defending champion this week is my parking is right next to the clubhouse. When I arrived here on Monday, it was quite convenient.”

It’s been a roller coaster year for the German since taking his first major title in a playoff at Whistling Straits. He won twice more in 2010 and became the world No. 1 despite a final-round loss at the Accenture Match Play in February. Then he decided to embark on some swing changes with his coach, looking to work on his backswing with the hopes of promoting an Augusta National-friendly draw. So far, that change has been a work in progress and thwarted Kaymer from another 2011 win after his annual thumping of the field in Abu Dhabi.

Just because he is going through a swing change, though, doesn’t mean Kaymer has recused himself from a successful defense.

“[I]t’s not a complete change of my swing, but just a little thing that will take me a little bit longer than I thought. I’m not worried about it at all, but I still play OK golf. I can still play a lot better, and once it all comes together, I think I can play even better than before, even better than when I became No. 1 in the world,” he said.

That sounds an awful lot like another former world No. 1, no? But to pick up his second major at the PGA Championship just like he-who-won’t-be-named, Kaymer says he will have to beat back the biggest army in the Big Four.

“I think it’s the major with the most participants in the majors, so it’s tough to win this one,” he said.

No matter how his defense turns out, Kaymer says he is now accustomed to his new place in golf’s rare air and is breathing it just fine.

“It’s just a thing that you need to get used to. And at the beginning, it is a lot it take in and a lot to handle. But after awhile, if you talk to people who has been in that situation before, to other celebrities or to other athletes, I think then it’s a little bit easier to act in the right way,” he said.

“It’s just a new role.”

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.

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