David Feherty - April 7, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamApril 7, 2012, 12:42 pm

Golf Channel Contributor David Feherty is the announcer on Hole Number 15 of the broadcast coverage of the 76th Masters Tournament. When it comes to 36-hole co-leader Fred Couples, he said that most of him wants to believe that he can win The Masters this week but he also knows that he struggles with short putts down the stretch. When it comes to who can win, he named Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, and Phil Mickelson.

He visited Rory McIlroy right after his collapse in the 2011 Masters and when he asked Rory if he was OK, he said that if that was the worst thing that could happen to him he would be better off than the large majority of the world. He was so impressed that a young kid could have that kind of perspective.

After watching Tiger Woods on Friday, he hopes that Tiger tells Sean Foley to leave him alone today and that he goes out on the course and just plays golf. He hopes that Tiger will just forget all of the technical aspects of his swing and just go and play golf on a great golf course where he has created so many great memories.

He does believe that Tiger Woods still enjoys playing golf and when he saw him at the Tavistock Cup recently, he saw Tiger being relaxed again on the golf course. It is possible that Tiger has put too much pressure on himself to succeed this week in part because he has shown a lot of progress and because he has been having fun on the course again. But he needs to go out on the course and have fun as if he were a little kid again this weekend.

There are so many great storylines this weekend among the contenders after 36 holes. Lee Westwood would be a great story especially after his great friend Darren Clarke won the Open Championship in 2011. Rory McIlroy would be able to settle a lot of scores from last year if he were to win. Sergio Garcia would be able to finally break through with his first Major. Vijay Singh would be the oldest Major Champion in history at the age of 49 with his son on the bag. And Fred Couples? At 52 years old, are you kidding me? This is one of his favorite places to be in the world and he looks forward to this weekend every year.

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