Palmer slays the back nine of the Stadium at TPC Sawgrass for Championship flight crown

By Brandon TuckerSeptember 7, 2012, 7:31 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- One's golf game doesn't come under a more intense spotlight than the back nine in a final round on the TPC Sawgrass PLAYERS Stadium course. But Mark Palmer, playing in the Championship flight of the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championships, delivered a gem.

Palmer, from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, entered the day leading by one shot, but struggled early on. He double bogeyed the first and played the first ten holes 7-over par.

'I didn't know what was going on,' said Palmer. 'The ball was going left, right, I couldn't make a putt.'

After his round's first back-to-back pars on No. 11 and 12, he went en fuego. Golf Channel's TV crew showed up on the 13th hole just in time to catch the fireworks. Palmer birdied four of the final six holes to win the flight.

'I think the TV cameras that showed up on the par 3 turned me around,' he laughed. 'After that I started swinging well.'

His blistering 33 on the back nine, including chip-in for birdie on the final hole, cemented a 75 and a three-shot win over K.C. Fox. Fox put pressure on Palmer with an eagle on the risk-reward 16th hole, but he bogeyed the 18th, which sealed the deal for Palmer. Coming in third place was Ron Quick, from Murrietta, California, who finished four shots back.

Pete Dye designs apparently fit Palmer's eye. He also won the Midwest Classic at Blackwolf Run, a two-day major tournament, back in May. But the nationals stage is brighter, and his game handled the pressure.

'This [championship] is the top,' said Palmer. 'I've got club championships and some Illinois titles, but this is Nationals.'

Medalist honors in the Championship flight go to Bill Poirier, who birdied the last three holes on the Stadium to shoot an even-par 72. Poirier, from San Diego, finished 7th.

Tony Ott wins the Snead flight

Tony Ott, 65 from West Palm Beach, won the Sr. Snead flight (20-plus handicaps) this morning on the Lagoon course at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. On the strength of two back nine birdies, he snuck out a one-shot win over Eric Fox from Caro, Michigan.

The action came down to the 72nd hole, but Ott remained cool. He credits it to his philosophy of staying focused one shot at a time.

'I'm a player who does not keep [track of] score,' said Ott. 'So I had no idea about winning [the flight] until the end. There was more luck on the last day than anything. But I kept my composure.'

Ott also wanted to send out his thoughts on behalf of Am Tour this week to Jack Kerivan, who was forced to withdraw prior to the nationals as he is battling cancer. Kerivan is an Am Tour veteran and major winner who won three times this year on the Atlanta tour. He is missed here this week at Sawgrass, and we would all like to send him our best wishes.

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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.