Which rivalry would you most like to see emerge in 2011

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 13, 2011, 12:14 am

Tiger vs. Phil? Rickie vs. Rory? Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell offer up the rivalry they would most like to see emerge in 2011.


Tiger v. Phil, Yin v. Yang, Godzilla v. Rodan. Some rivalries transcend all other competition and, outside of that even-year Transatlantic exhibition, there is no better mano a mano action than Woods-Mickelson.

Nor does any other spectacle, other than possibly a major and the aforementioned exhibition, create as much buzz based purely on potential. What else could have drawn what seemed like greater Miami out to Doral in 2005 for the ultimate Sunday showdown? Woods clipped Mickelson by three strokes (66-69) and won by a shot that day.

Or the golf world’s gaze in 2009 when the duo teed off an hour before the leaders on a cool Augusta National Sunday? Lefty shot 67 and finished fifth, Woods posted 68 and was sixth, we were thrilled.

To pinch a well-worn adage, golf is at its best when Woods and Mickelson are at their best, and golf’s power pairing has a history of bringing out the best in each other. Not that it’s happened often enough.

In the 14 years since Woods joined the PGA Tour the two have only been paired together 23 times, and just eight times in the final round.

That changes in 2011 as Woods emerges from his post-Nov. 27 funk and Mickelson finds the form that abandoned him after last year’s Masters. And that’s good news for everyone.


Rickie Fowler vs. Rory McIlroy would match giant young talents with giant young personas.

It helps that one’s American and the other is European with the PGA Tour and European Tour growing as rivals.

We saw these two square off somewhat controversially last year in PGA Tour Rookie-of-the-Year voting, with Fowler winning the honor as McIlroy supporters cried foul. Consider the seed planted.

We saw brilliant possibilities from both last season. We saw McIlroy shoot that final-round 62 to win at Quail Hollow, and we saw Fowler close with four consecutive birdies under enormous Ryder Cup pressure to demoralize Edoardo Molinari in their halved singles match.

Fowler, 22, has something you can’t develop. He’s got charisma to go with that Lanny Wadkins’ swing. He’s got the hair and the clothes and the smile. Fowler may look hip, but as a player, he’s a throwback with that shot-shaping skill. McIlroy, 21, also has that intangible charm working for him. He’s got the signature wild hair, the Irish brogue and supreme self confidence to go with his terrific swing.

If these guys keep developing and end up having their own “Duel in the Sun” at the British Open, or wherever, it’s a wonderful boost for golf. It fuels the game's promising new youth movement. 
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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.