King Hopes to Retain Crown

By Martha BrendleFebruary 12, 2001, 5:00 pm
The LPGA Tour takes a puddle-jumper to the Hawaiian island of Oahu this week for the Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open.
Oahu offers a little something for everyone and when the players aren't on the golf course, they may be found taking in the sights of Waikiki Beach, shopping, or watching the sunset over Diamond Head at Duke's Canoe Club.
This event, which dates back to 1987, is played on Kapolei Golf Course - home to the only LPGA Tour event played on seashore paspalum greens.
Seashore paspalum is comparable in texture and quality to hybrid bermudagrasses. The grass on the greens is slightly different than last week and the treacherous grain is no longer a concern. However, players will have to keep in mind that the ball doesn't release on this grass.
Golf course superintendent Andy Meikle has been busy seeing to it that the rest of the course is challenging.
Five lakes coming into play over 9 holes on Kapolei G.C., along two inches of rough, prevailing trade winds and greens stimping between 10 and 10.6 should do the trick.
Betsy King defends the title she claimed after besting last year's field by two-strokes with a three day total of 12-under-par 204.
King has some stiff competition to fend off. Joining the thirty-three-time champion this week are LPGA heavy hitters Karrie Webb, Annika Sorenstam, Grace Park, Pat Hurst and four-time LPGA Tour champion Lorie Kane.
Kane had no problem negotiating the break of the greens last week and looks forward to doing it again. This week reading the greens will be straitforward making her job that much easier.
The 2001 Takefuji champion has new found confidence in her game and if she can repeat Sunday's Zen-like performance she's got a good chance of taking home her fifth title.
Worth mentioning are Helen Alfredsson and Maria Hjorth.
First off, Alfredsson seems to be getting closer to finding her game. Alfredsson shot par or better in all three rounds.
Hjorth let the first day after shooting the course record of 67 then fell apart on Saturday shooting 75 but recovered and once again shot a 67. Hjorth may have fell victim to nerves or just had a bad day but what ever the case she will be one to keep an eye on.
Sponsor Exemptions went to: Aki Nakano, Aki Takamura, Kasumi Fujii, Woo-Soon Ko, Orie Fujino, Hsiu-Feng Tseng, Mineku Nasu, Toshimi Kimura, Miyuki Shimubukuro, Michie Ohbe, Nobuku Kizaqa, Riko Higashio.
Fujii received a sponsor exemption at the Takefuji and missed the cut after two rounds of 78-73=151.

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