Snedeker holds share of Pebble lead after 36 holes

By Will GrayFebruary 8, 2013, 11:31 pm

After two straight runner-up finishes, Brandt Snedeker heads into the weekend at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in position to do one better.

After a 4-under 68 at Spyglass Hill Friday, Snedeker holds a share of the 36-hole lead at 8 under alongside Ted Potter, Jr. The duo leads by one shot over a group that includes John Merrick, Fredrik Jacobson, Patrick Reed and first-round co-leader Hunter Mahan.

Playing the more difficult of the three courses in rotation during the second round, Snedeker carded four birdies without making a single bogey en route to his second straight round of 4 under. An early leader in the FedEx Cup points race, Snedeker finished four shots behind both Tiger Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open and Phil Mickelson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open each of the last two weeks.

Potter, who carded a 3-under 67 at Monterey Peninsula Friday, is seeking just his second top-10 finish since 2011, but appears to make the most of his opportunities to contend. His only other top 10 came at The Greenbrier Classic last year - where he went on to win a playoff for his first career PGA Tour victory.

Playing at Monterey Peninsula, Mahan finished with birdies on his final two holes for a 1-under 69 Friday. His fellow co-leader from Thursday, Russell Knox, did not fare quite as well, shooting a 1-over 73 at Spyglass Hill to fall back into a tie for 10th.

Two former AT&T champions remain well off the pace after two rounds. Mickelson, the defending champion and in search of his fifth title at Pebble Beach, shot a 1-under 71 at Spyglass Hill, and will begin his third round Saturday at Pebble Beach in a tie for 41st at 2 under. Dustin Johnson, twice a winner here, bounced back from a poor round Thursday to fire a 3-under 69 at Spyglass Hill, but still finds himself at even par overall, currently outside the projected 54-hole cut.

A pair of players were able to make large moves up the leaderboard thanks to stellar rounds Friday. Mike Weir's 5-under 65 was both the best round of the day at Monterey Peninsula and 10 shots better than his opening round at Pebble Beach, moving the Canadian into a tie for 41st at 2 under. James Driscoll had the best round of the day at the more difficult Spyglass Hill, a 5-under 67 that moved him to 3 under, tied for 30th after two rounds. Jacobson, who carded a 6-under 66 Friday, had the lowest round of the day at the host course.

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