Matthew Maintains Lead in Hawaii
Matthew began on the back nine at Kapolei Golf Course under the same windy windy conditions that greeted her and the rest of the golfers in Friday's opening round.
'I thought the wind had dropped some when I first got here this morning, but it hadn't,' said Matthew, who bogeyed her fourth hole -- the par-four 13th -- after missing the green with her approach.
She collected three birdies over the span of seven holes starting at the 17th, the last with a 15-foot putt at the fifth. But another errant approach led to a chip into a bunker and a double-bogey at the par-four sixth, dropping Matthew back to even-par on the day.
Matthew took advantage of the 426-yard, par-five seventh, chipping her third shot to six feet and rolling in the putt for the birdie and the two-shot edge.
'I feel like I played pretty well today, I just had one bad hole,' said Matthew, who grabbed the lead Thursday with a 67. 'Today I didn't hit it as close, and didn't have quite as many birdies. But I feel like I played well again.'
Matthew, a two-time runner-up since joining the LPGA Tour in 1995, is looking for her first victory.
Scranton, who also played the back nine first, three-putted the 11th from 60 feet for bogey but was almost flawless the rest of the way, posting 10 birdies against just one other bogey.
'I was in the zone,' said Scranton, who made three birdie putts from between 18 and 30 feet, and another four in the eight- to 12-foot range. 'Some days you just see the line.'
Scranton made her run toward the top with five birdies over her final six holes Friday, and finished with a score that tied her career-best round.
'I think this is the most birdies I've ever made,' she said. 'When I've shot 64 before, I think I had an eagle one time and no bogeys the other.'
Goetze-Ackerman had three birdies on her outward nine but bogeyed the third hole to drop back to three-under for the tournament. She made up for the lost stroke with an 11-wood off the tee at the 147- yard, par-three eighth and rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt for joint second and a second-round 69.
Wendy Ward, the winner here in 1998, was alone in fourth at three-under after turning in a five-under 67 on Friday.
Jenny Rosales and 1997 champ Annika Sorenstam each shot 69s for a share of one-under 143 with last year's runner-up Brandie Burton, who managed a 71.
Korea's Hee-Won Han, alone in second after a first-round 69, struggled to a 77 Friday and is eight shots off the pace with six players, including Karrie Webb.
Defending champion Betsy King is tied for 39th at plus-five after opening with rounds of 75-74.
A total of 77 players made the cut, which came at eight-over 152.
The 54-hole event is scheduled to end Saturday.
Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change
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.”
PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes
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:
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.
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.
Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open
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.
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).
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 5: Dec. 12
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18