Australian McKenzie on Top in Calgary

By Sports NetworkSeptember 1, 2005, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourAustralia's David McKenzie fired a 6-under- par 65 on Thursday to take the first round lead at the Alberta Classic.
 
Last year's runner-up, McKenzie stands one stroke clear of Chad Collins and Matt Bettencourt, who both shot 5-under-par 66 in their first rounds at Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club.
 
Kevin Johnson, David Branshaw, Jason Schultz, Ricky Barnes and Chris Baryla are tied for fourth place one stroke further back at minus-four.
 
McKenzie finished second last year to Canadian David Hearn, who squeezed out a one-stroke victory for his first career title on the Nationwide Tour. McKenzie is also seeking his first win on tour at a course that has yielded one of his three career second-place finishes.
 
'I like the fact that it rewards someone who hits it straight,' McKenzie said of the 7,265-yard Redwood Meadows track. 'It doesn't reward the longer hitters any more than the shorter hitters.'
 
McKenzie, who ranks 36th in total driving on tour, took advantage of his fondness for the course, collecting eight birdies in his round to just two bogeys.
 
The 38-year-old began his day on the back nine and opened with a par before consecutive birdies at 11 and 12 moved him to 2-under. He two-putted for his birdie at the par-five 11th after reaching the green with a two iron, and then made birdie at the 12th with an 18-foot putt.
 
'It's setting up to my eye right now,' McKenzie said of his golf stroke. 'I had a lot of good chances, and I made a few.'
 
McKenzie collected his third birdie at No. 14 after knocking a sand wedge within three feet. He then dropped a stroke at the par-four 15th when he missed a 15-footer.
 
But a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th put McKenzie at minus-three around the turn, and he moved further into red numbers by rolling in a 13-foot birdie try at the par-four first.
 
McKenzie stumbled to his second bogey with a three-putt at No. 3, but he managed to string together three straight birdies from the sixth to reach 6-under for the round.
 
'I guess I played pretty aggressive,' said McKenzie, whose best finish this year came two weeks ago at the Xerox Classic when he parlayed a third-round 64 into a tie for third place. 'I made a few putts and hit good shots. It was reasonably stress-free.'
 
Per-Ulrik Johansson, Joseph Alfieri, Keith Nolan, David Faught, Jason Enloe and Matt Gallant share ninth place at minus-three after each shot opening- round 68s. Eight golfers are tied for 15th place one stroke further back.
 
Related links:
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  • 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.”

    Getty Images

    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).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm