Hurst Defends as Webb Returns to LPGA Tour
With $800,000 up for grabs, and Karrie Webb returning to the LGPA Tour after five weeks off, all 6,479 yards of the par-72 Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee is sure to see some action.
Pat Hurst returns to defend her third career title. Last year she led the four-day event wire-to-wire, recording rounds of 65-68-72-70 275 to win by four strokes over Juli Inkster and take home $120,000 in prize money.
Hurst took four months off in 1999 to have her son Jackson, then wrapped the season up with $91,903 in earnings and a top-10. The next season she returned to Tour life with a vengeance recording 12 top-10s, including one first place finish.
With $840,161 in just that season, the California native crossed the $2 million mark in career earnings and finish the year ranked 6th on the money list.
After a one-week hiatus, Annika Sorenstam hit the ground running and captured last weeks title ' her fifth LPGA title of the year - at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.
Sorenstam, scheduled to play in this the second year of the event, did not participate in the inaugural tournament last year. As hard as it is to believe, the new and improved Annika will travel to Franklin in a much better position then she would have last year. By this same time in 2000, Sorenstam had recorded five top-10s, including one win out of the eight events she competed in.
This year the boomy Swede has vastly improved on her already very good record. Of the eight LPGA Tour events Sorenstam has competed in this year, she has recorded two second place finishes, five first place finishes and only one finish out of the top-10, at The Office Depot where she was shooting for five in a row. The pressure - along with inclement weather that shortened the 72-hole event to 54-holes - was seemingly too much for the driven Swede, who ultimately finished tied for 43rd.
Shes Back and shes hot...
Karrie Webb revisits the Electrolux, where she shot 73-67-67-74 281 to finish tied for sixth last year. After taking time off, the ambitious Aussie returned to competitive play last week where she successfully defended her title at the Nichirei Cup in Inagi, Japan. This is the second international victory for Webb who has yet to capture an LPGA title this season.
2001 LGPA Tour rookies in the field this week include: Beth Bader, Tamie Durdin, Michelle Ellis, Jennifer Hubbard, Dodie Mazzuca, Marcy Newton, Angela Stanford and Heather Zakher.
If you're not too far, be sure to take a trip over to the Legends Club where play begins on Thursday. Tickets to this event are still on sale for a reasonable $10 a day making it the perfect weekend activity for the family.
Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
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.
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).
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
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No. 5: Dec. 12
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No. 1: Dec. 18
Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open
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.
Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins
Although the Rules of Golf modernization is still a year away, officials continue to refine parts of the rulebook including an overhaul of the video review protocols.
A “working group” led by the USGA and R&A announced on Monday the new protocols, which include assigning a rule official to a tournament broadcast to resolve rules issues.
The group – which includes the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA tour and PGA of America – also voted to stop considering viewer call-ins when processing potential rule violations.
In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation.
In April, Lexi Thompson was penalized four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round. Thompson was penalized two strokes for incorrectly marking her golf ball and two for signing an incorrect scorecard.
“The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled,” Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf, said on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" on Monday. “Let’s leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament.”
The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standard.
According to that decision, which was not a rule, “so long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be inaccurate by the use of video evidence.”
The new protocols will be implemented starting on Jan. 1.
A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is currently underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.