Whan exploring playoff-like competition for LPGA

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2013, 8:12 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Titleholders is signed on as title sponsor for the LPGA event through 2016, but it might be hosting a completely remodeled season finale in the future.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan says there is nothing concrete in the works, but he is very interested in devising some sort of season-long competition that would end with a pair of trophies being given away in the season finale.

“I would like at some point to do something FedEx Cup like,” Whan said. “I don’t mean playoffs, but I would like it, on the 18th green, if two trophies were being lifted and two checks presented. That would be good for my players, and I think it would be good for the tour. That’s Mike dreaming.”

The LPGA not so long ago did feature a playoff system. The tour rolled out plans for it before the PGA Tour announced the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

From 2006-08, the LPGA Playoffs culminated with a champion crowned at the ADT Championship at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Fla. A $1 million check, the largest in the history of women’s golf, was presented to the playoff winner. The format made the winner of the ADT Championship the overall playoff winner.

Whan seems interested in something different than that. He has watched the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs with interest since becoming the LPGA commissioner almost four years ago.

“When the playoff thing first came out, I didn’t really get it,” Whan said. “I didn’t really understand the points on the men’s side. We can’t really do playoffs, but I do like the idea of a season-long race where somebody can lift a mega trophy and a mega check.”

Whan said the current CME Group Titleholders format will be in place for at least one more year while he has his staff explore potential season-long competitions. The CME Group Titleholders currently rewards the top three finishers in each LPGA event with a berth in the season finale. After the year's first event, it becomes the first three finishers not already qualified for the season-finale.

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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

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.