Familiar Name with Unfamiliar Face Leads in Penn

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 16, 2000, 4:00 pm
Unless you're a die-hard golf fan, you might not be able to pick out Chris DiMarco on the putting green. He's the guy in the GAP golf shirt, with the unorthodox putting grip and the Florida Gator paraphernalia on his golf bag. Come Sunday night, you just might be able to spot him with a big shiny trophy in his hands.
 
DiMarco takes a three-shot lead over three others into the final round of the inaugural SEI Pennsylvania Classic at the Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli, Penn.
 
Saturday, DiMarco fired a 5-under-par 66 to move to 12-under-par through 54 holes, three strokes clear of Loren Roberts, Frank Lickliter and fellow Gator Mark Calcavecchia.
 
DiMarco began the third round one shot back of Lickliter and Calcavecchia. After a front-nine 2-under-par 33, DiMarco gained his first share of the lead by dropping an eight-foot birdie putt on the par-4 11th.
 
After two consecutive pars on the 12th and 13th, DiMarco stuck another tee shot to within ten feet at the par-3 14th. The ensuing birdie gave DiMarco the solo lead at 11-under, one shot lower than Lickliter.
 
Playing in the final group with Calc, Lickliter fell two off the pace by bogeying the 14th, when his tee shot flew the green. It was Lickliter's first bogey of the tournament. But the 31-year-old atoned for his iron mistake by sinking a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-5 15th.
 
However, as was the case at the par-3 14th, the par-3 17th proved to be a two-shot hole. DiMarco drained a 15-foot birdie putt to move to 12-under, while Lickliter missed a four-footer for par to fall to 9-under.
 
The two would remain in their respective positions, as each man parred the home hole.
 
'I've never (had a final-round lead) here on Tour,' said DiMarco. 'Up around it. I've been one back or even, but I've never had a two- or three-shot lead.
 
'I like it right now. Spot me three tomorrow, I like that.'
 
DiMarco will be paired with Roberts on Sunday. Roberts tied DiMarco's third-round 66 to earn a spot in the final group.
 
'I'm just going to go out and start out with the idea that if I can go through the first five holes and be, you know, 1-under for the round, I've got a real shot; I'm right there.'
 
Lickliter and Calcavecchia each carded rounds of 1-under-par 70 on Saturday. Once again, the two men will be paired together over the final 18 holes.
 
'I've still got a shot,' said Calcavecchia after birdying the par-5 18th. 'Chris has never won before. I'm sure he'll be a little nervous.
 
'You know, I've just got to hope things go a little bit better tomorrow. Nothing really good happened to me today. And as you know without a little luck in this game, you can forget it.'
 

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.

LPGA:

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