John Hawkins - January 18, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamJanuary 18, 2012, 12:23 pm

There have been numerous changes since the Bob Hope Classic became the Humana Challenge last year and in the next couple of years, Hawkins feels that the event can only get better because it was not possible for it to get worse. When Bob Hope was alive, this event was one of the biggest on the PGA TOUR but since Humana and Bill Clinton came in, a lot of fat has been cut and the event has been streamlined in a number of important ways. It reminds him of what happened when Justin Timberlake put his name on the event in Las Vegas and while it is still a Fall Series event, Timberlake has added a lot of positive energy to the event and Clinton will do the same thing for the former Bob Hope Classic.

Phil Mickelson opened his 2004 season with a win in the Humana Challenge after a winless 2003 and while we may not see the same thing in 2012, he thinks that Phil will play well because he is motivated once again to improve on what had been a disappointing season. He always expects big things from Phil Mickelson but he cannot keep losing tournaments from 5-10 feet on the greens. If he can get his putting back – and he is one of the best putters to ever play the game – expect him to win a lot more.

When he thinks of someone who will have a breakout 2012, he mentioned Clemson alum Kyle Stanley who made 22 cuts in 28 starts in his rookie year of 2011. Stanley is the best player in the world that no one has heard of and he comes from a great pedigree.

Matt Every stirred up controversy last week with his comments on his 2010 suspension and the comments made him chuckle a bit even if the content of the comments were a bit controversial. He can understand why the PGA TOUR would want to send someone out to speak with Matt Every about the importance of everyone involved presenting a clean image to the rest of the world about the game of golf. Pro golf is the girl scout troop of pro sports and the fact that these comments were even made is controversial.

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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
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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.

Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

By Rex HoggardDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

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.