Byrd Joins Sluman at the Top

By Sports NetworkOctober 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Chrysler ChampionshipPALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Jonathan Byrd posted his second straight round of 5-under 66 on Friday to grab a share of the lead halfway through the Chrysler Championship. Byrd joined Jeff Sluman at 10-under-par 132, two strokes clear of World No. 1 Vijay Singh.
 
Singh, who is seeking his ninth win of the season, carded a 69 to finish at 8-under-par 134 alongside Tommy Armour III and Rod Pampling.
 
Byrd is in no danger of losing his PGA Tour card having won the B.C. Open earlier in the year for his second career victory. The 26-year-old can work his way into next week's Tour Championship, however, with a strong showing this week.
 
Byrd was four shots off the pace to start the day on the Copperhead Course at Westin Innisbrook Resort and hit his approach to 10 feet for a birdie at the par-4 second. He left his second shot in a bunker at the par-4 third and played out to 6 feet. Byrd missed the par putt and dropped another shot with a bogey at the par-3 eighth.
 
At the par-4 ninth, Byrd landed his second shot within 2 feet of the hole for an easy birdie and got it very close again at the 10th to make it two in a row. Byrd then drained a 20-foot putt at the par-5 11th for his third consecutive birdies.
 
Byrd two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 14th and sank a 25-foot putt for a birdie at the par-3 15th. He added a birdie at the par-4 18th for his share of first.
 
'This course is not that easy,' said Byrd. 'I think guys like this golf course because it's challenging. It's an awesome golf course. You cannot fake it around this golf course and shoot good scores. Tiger might be able to, but most of us can't.'
 
Sluman set a new course record with a 62 in the first round, but struggled to get things going on Friday. He played the back side first and managed a lone birdie over his first nine holes only to give that shot back with a bogey at the par-4 sixth.
 
The 47-year-old recovered with a birdie at the par-4 seventh en route to a round of 70.
 
'I had numerous opportunities to make at least a half a dozen birdies, and today I just didn't make them,' said Sluman. 'I guess that's kind of the way it goes.'
 
Armour also started on the 10th and rocketed out of the gate with birdies on his first two holes. He tallied another birdie at the 15th and picked up a birdie at the 18th to make the turn at 5 under.
 
The 45-year-old hit his third shot to 4 feet for a birdie at the par-5 first and collected back-to-back birdies from the fifth to complete a sizzling 64.
 
Pampling, who currently occupies the 30th spot on the money list and needs to hold that position to earn a spot in the Tour Championship, managed six birdies on Friday for a bogey-free round of 65.
 
'Obviously anyone can just go out there and win this golf tournament and pass me,' said Pampling. 'All I can do is play my own game, and hopefully at the end of the week, if someone passes me, I might make enough money to pass someone else.'
 
Singh collected four birdies and two bogeys to finish two shots back after a 69.
 
'Towards the end I started hitting some decent shots, but these greens are pretty tough,' said Singh. 'I'm in good position, looking forward to playing well in the weekend if I can.'
 
Kirk Triplett, Jesper Parnevik, Vaughn Taylor and Kent Jones share sixth place at 7-under-par 135. Justin Rose and Carl Pettersson were one shot further back at 6-under-par 136.
 
Defending champion Retief Goosen struggled with a 73 on Friday, but survived the cut on the number at even-par 142. Among the notables who failed to qualify for the weekend were Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink.
 
'I don't know what to say,' said Mickelson. 'It's a tough course for me to play well on, mainly because I don't read the greens very well. But it's a wonderful event. I'm just sorry I didn't play better.'
 
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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).

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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