Sergio right at home leading in Spain

By Sports NetworkOctober 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
Castello Masters CASTELLON, Spain ' Playing on his home course and acting as tournament host, Sergio Garcia carded a 6-under 65 Friday to gain a share of the lead after two rounds of the inaugural Castello Masters Costa Azahar.
 
Garcia completed 36 holes at 11-under-par 131, where he was joined by Richard Finch (66) and first-round leader Soren Kjeldsen (67). Both Finch and Kjeldsen bogeyed the 18th hole to fall into a share of the lead with Garcia.
 
Last week's winner Alvaro Quiros also posted a 66 Friday to move into a tie for fourth place at minus-9. He stands alongside Simon Dyson (67), Peter Hedblom (65), Francois Delamontagne (67) and David Lynn (66).
 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia reacts to his approach on 18 Friday, which led to a birdie. (Getty Images)
Garcia started the day two shots behind Kjeldsen, and tripped to a bogey on the par-3 second. He parred four in a row from the third.
 
The Spaniard started his climb up the leaderboard with a birdie on the seventh. He came right back with birdies at eight and nine to make the turn at minus-7.
 
Garcia birdied the par-5 13th for the second day in a row. He collected back-to-back birdies from the 15th to get to 10 under. After hitting a remarkable shot through a tree, Garcia birdied the last to finish at minus-11.
 
'It was a good shot to finish with. I've been there many times so I knew what to do,' Garcia stated. 'I didn't expect it to come out that great. I knew what I had to do...It was good to see I was able to do it.'
 
Finch, for the second day in a row, was on fire on the front nine. He birdied the third, then birdied Nos. 5 and 6 to move to 9 under.
 
The Englishman birdied seven and eight, both for the second straight day. He continued his hot play with a 20-foot birdie putt on the ninth at Club de Campo del Mediterraneo.
 
Around the turn, Finch kicked in a short birdie putt on the 10th to cap a run of six straight birdies that gave him the lead at 13 under. However, he stumbled to a bogey on the par-4 11th, then bogeyed the 18th as well to slide into a share of the lead.
 
'I didn't realize until I was going down the 10th that I had five in a row,' Finch admitted. 'Then I hit my second really close at the 10th and was keen to keep that run going. Thought I hit a good shot on the 11th, but just it hit too hard and it went to the back of the green. All in all it was a disappointing bogey.'
 
Kjeldsen faltered to a bogey on the second, but atoned for that mistake with a birdie on the par-4 third. For the second day in a row, he birdied the seventh and eighth.
 
On the back nine, Kjeldsen collected birdies on 11 and 13. He moved into a share of the lead at 12 under with a birdie on the par-3 17th.
 
Kjeldsen, who played one group behind Finch, then bogeyed the last creating the three-way tie.
 
'I played brilliantly today, I really did,' said Kjeldsen. 'I controlled the game beautifully. I got off to a slow start, then really got into it.'
 
Thomas Levet carded a 3-under 68 and is alone at 8-under-par 134. Ignacio Garrido, Mikael Lundberg, Phillip Archer and Rory McIlroy are tied for 10th at minus-7.
 
The cut line fell at even-par 142 with 66 players advancing to the weekend.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard ' Castello Masters
  • Full Coverage ' Castello Masters
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • 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.

    Getty Images

    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).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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