Nilsson Still on Top at Saint-Omer Open

By Sports NetworkJune 14, 2008, 4:00 pm
European TourFRANCE --Sweden's Christian Nilsson birdied the final hole Saturday to post a 1-under 70 and maintain a two-shot lead after three rounds of the Saint-Omer Open.
Nilsson completed 54 holes at 4-under-par 209. He will go for his first tour win on Sunday. Nilsson, whose best finish was a tie for seventh at the Italian Open, has missed the cut in four of his seven starts this year.
Robert Coles fired the low of round of the day with his 5-under 66. That moved him from a share of 28th into a tie for second at minus-2, where he stands alongside Francois Delamontagne (67)
Nicolas Vanhootegem (69) and Liam Bond (70) are the final players in red figured at 1-under-par 212.
With many of the top players in the world playing the U.S. Open, the field this week was filled by players from the European Tour as well as the Challenge Tour.
Nilsson opened with 10 straight pars to remain at three-under. Several players tied him there, but Nilsson made his move around the turn.
He rolled in a birdie effort on the par-3 11th. Nilsson made it two straight with a birdie on the 12th on the Val Course at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club.
Nilsson parred his next four holes and led by as many as three, before trouble struck at the 17th. He struggled to a double-bogey to slip back to minus-3 and a one-shot lead.
However, Nilsson birdied the par-4 18th for the second straight day to push his lead back to two after three rounds.
'It felt great to make a birdie on the last hole, to make up for the disappointment of the double-bogey on 17,' Nilsson said. 'I had a really long putt from the top tier, hit it too hard, and the ball rolled off the green. I chipped back on and two putted, which at the time felt like a disaster.
'But it could've happened to anyone, so I forgot about it straight away, and focused again. Overall, I was really pleased with my game, although I didn't make nearly as many putts as I did yesterday.'
Coles had a great run on the front nine. He birdied the second, then ran off four birdies in a five-hole span from the fifth to jump to 2 under.
Around the turn, Coles faltered to a double-bogey at the 12th. He recovered one stroke with a birdie at 13 and got the other shot back as he birdied the par-three 17th.
'I've been really short of confidence,' admitted Coles. 'When you're not putting a run of scores together, it's hard to believe in yourself. Once you find some consistency, then obviously your confidence grows. But I haven't been able to do that, mainly because I haven't made many cuts. So it's been a slow season. But hopefully I'm peaking just at the right time.'
Delamontagne collected two birdies on both nines. His front nine birdies came at five and seven. On the back nine, he dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 11th to gain a share of second.
David Dixon and Steven O'Hara are tied for sixth place at even-par 213. Cesar Monasterio, Richard Bland, John E. Morgan, Richard Treis and first-round leader Roope Kakko are one shot back at plus-1.

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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.”

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    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.


    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

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    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.

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    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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