Stock watch: Buying Kerr, selling Mickelson

By Ryan LavnerMay 7, 2013, 12:21 pm

Each week on, we'll examine which players' stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Derek Ernst: Perhaps the last great Q-School success story, as the 22-year-old survived all four stages and then won eight starts into his rookie year on the PGA Tour. The $1.2 million windfall was nice, but even better was the security of knowing he has a job for the next two years.

Cristie Kerr: Not only did the feisty veteran top one of the best fields of the year at Kingsmill, but she then scoffed at Suzann Pettersen’s intimidation tactics in a post-round presser. Bring on the Solheim Cup!

Depth: The boldfaced stars (Tiger, Phil, DJ, Snedeker, Scott) have won. So, too, have the journeymen (Gay, Streelman, Points). And the next wave (Henley, Horschel, Ernst). So deep is the Tour these days, Luke Donald tweeted that he hadn’t even heard of Ernst until this week. Golf writers who didn’t follow Ernst at UNLV could relate.

The Players: Quirky TPC Sawgrass may yield another surprise winner, but whether the leaders are Tiger and Rory or Matt Jones and David Lingmerth, this much is certain: There is no better theater than 16-17-18 on the weekend.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!: This week Adam Scott returns from his post-Masters hiatus, and his fellow countryman, Brett Rumford, just became the first Australian in 41 years to go back-to-back on the European Tour. South Africans are so 2012.


Phil Mickelson: Lefty kicked away his second title of the season with two late bogeys. With so many close calls in Charlotte (a runner-up, two third-place finishes and seven top-10s in 10 career starts there), Phil is probably relieved that Quail Hollow is hosting a PGA Championship in ’17, not the U.S. Open.

Agronomy: An unusual cold snap pressed officials into scramble mode, and not even fancy camera filters could improve the look of the patchy, bumpy greens at one of the Tour’s best tracks. But here’s one early prediction: Quail Hollow will win Comeback Player (Course) of the Year in 2014.

Age restrictions: Remind me: Why isn’t 17-year-old Ariya Jutanugarn an LPGA member? The Thai teen proved again last week why she belongs, finishing joint third at Kingsmill, her fourth top-four finish in as many starts. If she were a member, Jutanugarn would be fifth in earnings ($404,970). Bet the commish wishes he had a mulligan.

Weather: Wind, fog, frost, snow and rain – at this rate, the Tour should brace for earthquakes, wildfires and avalanches. Heading to the back nine of the schedule, a particularly ornery Mother Nature is already 3 up.

Tape delays: Surely in 2013 there is a better alternative for networks than broadcasting a tournament that ended four hours earlier. Let’s stop pretending that mobile alerts, tweets and live leaderboards don’t exist.

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.


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