Neumann Takes Outright Lead

By Sports NetworkOctober 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Asahi Ryokuken International ClassicNORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Liselotte Neumann posted a 3-under 69 on Saturday to take the lead through three rounds of the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship. She stands at 11-under-par 205 and is one stroke ahead of Becky Morgan of Wales.
 
Neumann has 12 LPGA Tour victories, but none since the 1998 Chick-fil-A Charity Championship. She has won four of the last five times she has held the lead with one round to go and the Swede thinks she can visit the winner's circle again.
 
'I will be nervous tomorrow,' said Neumann, who won the 1988 U.S. Women's Open in her rookie season. 'It would obviously be a wonderful feeling. We'll see what happens.'
 
Morgan overcame an early bogey to shoot a 2-under 70 on Saturday.
 
Sophie Gustafson (66), Grace Park (68), Cristie Kerr (70) and Laura Davies (70) are tied for third place. The group is knotted at 8-under-par 208 at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club.
 
Neumann wasted little time in breaking into red figures. She hit an 8-iron to 28 feet and made the birdie putt. Neumann hit a 6-iron to 3 feet to set up a tap-in birdie at the par-3 third, but did not take over the top spot on the leaderboard until Donna Andrews, one of three co-leaders after the second round with Neumann and Morgan, bogeyed the fourth.
 
Neumann extended her advantage at the 10th when she knocked a 9-wood to 25 feet and holed the birdie putt. She added to her lead at the par-5 12th when her third shot with a sand-wedge stopped 5 feet from the hole and she sank the birdie try.
 
The Swede found trouble at the par-3 15th. Her 6-iron tee shot missed the green left, and she was forced to chip sideways because her ball was near a tree. Neumann chipped to 5 feet, but missed the par putt.
 
Neumann made some nice saves on her way into the clubhouse. Her 7-iron approach missed the putting surface to the right of 17. Neumann chipped 7 feet short, but made the putt to keep her one-shot lead over Morgan.
 
'I was trying to be patient out there today and tried to post a good number out there,' said Neumann. 'It's a lot of fun. I'm enjoying it out there and being in the last group, it's a great feeling.'
 
Morgan stumbled out of the block at the fourth. Her drive landed in a fairway bunker and her approach came up short of the green. Morgan could not save par, but that would be the last mistake for the 30-year-old, who is winless on the LPGA Tour.
 
She ran in a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-5 sixth, then took advantage of the remaining par-5s at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club. Morgan wedged her approach to 8 feet to set up birdie at the 12th, then fell short of the green with a 3-wood at the 16th. She chipped to 20 feet and drained the birdie putt to get within one shot of Neumann's lead.
 
'This is the most confident that I have felt going into the last round,' said Neumann. 'I have had a couple of close finishes this year. I'm feeling a little proud of myself and on the other hand disjointed. It would be my next step in golf to win. I'm pretty happy.'
 
Andrews struggled on the back nine with one bogey and eight pars. She shot a 1-over 73 and is tied for seventh with Laura Diaz (66) and Kris Tschetter (67) at 7-under-par 209.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Asahi Ryokuken International
  • Full Coverage - Asahi Ryokuken International
  • 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