Purtzer Vaults into Lead at BOA

By Sports NetworkJune 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Bank of America ChampionshipCONCORD, Mass. -- Tom Purtzer fired an 8-under 64 on Saturday to jump into the lead after two rounds of the Bank of America Championship. He stands at 9-under-par 135 and is ahead by one over R.W. Eaks and Mark McNulty at Nashawtuc Country Club.
 
Leonard Thompson, the first-round leader, fired a 1-under 71 and is tied for fourth place with Jerry Pate and John Bland, both of whom shot 69 in round two. The trio is knotted at 7-under-par 137.
 
Temperatures were in the mid-90s on Saturday, so tournament officials allowed the players to ride in carts.
 
That came in handy for Purtzer, who said that the heat helps his body loosen up. Purtzer injured his back in a 1992 dirt bike accident, but nothing stopped the two-time winner on the Champions Tour.
 
He lipped out a 15-footer for birdie at the first hole, then sank a 5-footer for birdie at the third. The shot of the round came at the seventh for Purtzer. He holed out a 9-iron from 147 yards out for an eagle-2.
 
Purtzer kept the momentum going from the hole-out eagle. He knocked a 5-iron to 10 feet to set up birdie at the eighth, then played a wedge inside three feet for another birdie at the par-5 ninth.
 
'That eagle at No. 7 really jump-started things,' said Purtzer. 'I kept things going on the next couple of holes with birdies.'
 
Purtzer parred his first four holes on the back nine, but returned to his birdieing ways at the 14th. He knocked a pitching wedge to 8 feet, then made it two in a row at 15 when his 15-footer for birdie fell at the short, par-4.
 
The 53-year-old reached the green in two at the par-5 closing hole. He two-putted from just inside 20 feet for his sixth birdie of the round and is the only player in the field without a bogey.
 
Purtzer trailed Thompson by five and had a strategy heading into Saturday.
 
'I was trying to cut the lead in half or better,' said Purtzer, who held the 36-hole lead of this event last before Craig Stadler overcame him. 'I accomplished that and I'm pleased where I am.'
 
Eaks was 3-under through 11 holes, but caught fire down the stretch. He drained a 10-footer for birdie at 13, then kicked in a short birdie putt at 15. Eaks collected his second birdie in a row from a little over 9 feet at No. 16.
 
Eaks knocked a 5-wood over the green at 18 and his chip stopped 18 feet from the hole. He ran home that birdie putt to get within one of Purtzer's lead.
 
'Tom is really playing well now,' said Eaks, who played with Purtzer on Saturday. 'It was fun to watch him today. Teeing off early, I think we got a little bit of a break today.'
 
McNulty collected three birdies through his first 14 holes, then fell down the leaderboard. He three-putted from 30 feet for a bogey at 15, then made a mess of No. 16 for back-to-back bogeys.
 
McNulty hit a 7-iron inside 4 feet to set up birdie at the par-3 17th. He two-putted from 11 feet for another birdie at the last to get into second.
 
'My caddy told me to just re-focus after 16 and made three good shots after that,' said McNulty. 'He said to take a few deep breaths and refocus.'
 
Andy Bean, who rounded out the threesome with Purtzer and Eaks, shot a 5- under 67. He is tied for seventh with Bruce Lietzke (66), D.A. Weibring (69), Hale Irwin (68) and John Harris (71). The group is tied at 6-under-par 138.
 
Stadler carded a 4-under 68 and is tied for 18th at minus-4.
 
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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