Thompson Increases Virginia Lead

By Sports NetworkSeptember 11, 2004, 4:00 pm
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Kyle Thompson carded a 5-under 67 Saturday to extend his lead after three rounds of the Virginia Beach Open. Thompson, who was one ahead midway through, stands at 13-under-par 203 and is two in front of James Driscoll and Brandt Snedeker at the TPC of Virginia Beach.
Driscoll shot a 6-under-par 66, while Snedeker posted a 5-under 67. They are knotted at 11-under-par 205, one shot ahead of Tom Scherrer, who fashioned a round of 3-under 69.
Thompson did not get off to an ideal start with one birdie and one bogey over his first four holes. He birdied two in a row from the seventh, but fell two off the lead of Driscoll and Snedeker, who were in the clubhouse, when Thompson three-putted for bogey at 13.
Things picked up quickly for Thompson with a birdie at 14. He birdied the 16th hole, then things really picked up for the 25-year-old from the University of South Carolina.
He missed the green with a 9-iron at the par-3 17th. Thompson's ball could have kicked into the hazard, but instead, Thompson chipped in for birdie.
'Every other time I've been in this position I've had some breaks that have gone against me,' said Thompson. 'I hit that one right of the green and it could have easily kicked into the hazard,' he said. 'Instead it stays up. I have a perfect lie from about 15 feet and I chip in.'
Thompson had one more magical shot up his sleeve. His 4-iron approach from 224 yards out at the par-4 18th skimmed the edge of the cup before stopping 3 feet from the hole. Thompson tapped in for the two-stroke lead.
'Not a bad finish, huh?' asked Thompson, who lost in a playoff to Kevin Stadler at the Scholarship America Showdown. 'I hit some good shots there. It could be my week, I don't know. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but anytime somebody wins, they always have stuff going on where they chip in. I witnessed it in Wisconsin with Kevin getting up-and-down from everywhere.'
Dave Cunningham (65), Richie Coughlan (68), Jake Reeves (69), Hunter Haas (70), Brian McCann (71) and Johnson Wagner (71) are knotted in fifth place at 8-under-par 208.
Michael Long's chance at Nationwide Tour history took a hit on Saturday. Long, who is trying to become the first player ever to successfully defend his title on this tour, was in the final group, but only managed an even-par 72 and is tied for 11th place at 7-under-par 209.
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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).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 6, Dustin Johnson

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

    Only Dustin Johnson could win four times in 2017 and it still feels as though he underachieved.

    That’s unfair, perhaps, but it’s a testament to Johnson’s awesome ability – and his incredible run of form last spring – that observers can’t help but shake the feeling that his year could have been even better.

    In February, he rose to the top of the world rankings for the first time, the culmination of a long, bizarre journey in which he often battled himself (through major blunders and, reportedly, drug-related suspensions) as much as his peers. Johnson’s blowout victory at Riviera was his first of three consecutive titles (including two WGCs), as he achieved Tiger-like levels of dominance and rolled into the Masters as the prohibitive favorite.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    Expectations for this star-crossed talent are always different, and so the surprise wasn’t that he blew that major but that he didn’t even give himself a chance. In one of the biggest stunners of the year, Johnson’s manager announced on the eve of the first round that his client had suffered a back injury while slipping on a set of stairs in his rental house. Just like that, the year’s first major was thrown into chaos, with Johnson unable to play – the line of demarcation in his good-but-not-great year.

    Though he added a playoff victory at the end of the season, Johnson failed to factor in any of the remaining three majors and was surprisingly inconsistent, perhaps because of swing compensations after the injury.

    Would DJ have denied Sergio Garcia a green jacket? Would he have created even more separation at the top of the world rankings? Would he have defended his Player of the Year title? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

    In typical DJ fashion, he left us to ponder what could have been.

    Johnson becomes world No. 1, starts season with three straight wins

    Article: Johnson officially ascends to No. 1 for first time with Riviera win

    DJ on reaching No. 1: 'It's been a long journey'

    View from the top: How long will DJ stay at No. 1?

    Article: DJ's star once again shines brightest at WGC-Mexico

    DJ on win: 'Means a lot' with the pressure of No. 1

    DJ breaks it down: How No. 1 won WGC-Mexico

    Video: DJ withstands Rahm's rally to win WGC-Match Play final

    DJ on beating Rahm: 'I didn't give him anything'

    Johnson: 'I definitely didn't play my best today'

    Johnson enters Masters as odds-on favorite, withdraws after falling down stairs

    Article: After uneasy warmup, DJ withdraws from Masters

    Article: Johnson installed as Masters betting favorite

    Article: DJ injures back in fall, hopes to play Masters

    DJ on Masters WD: 'Want to play ... it sucks'

    DJ: 'I was playing the best golf of my career'

    DJ welcomes second child with fiancée Paulina Gretzky

    DJ, Paulina welcome baby boy before U.S. Open

    It's a(nother) boy! DJ-Paulina's gender reveal

    This and that: DJ and Paulina in 2017

    DJ, Paulina make new music video on ski vacation

    DJ, Paulina unwind with Bahamas vacay

    DJ: 'Absolutely' no input on Paulina's social media

    Watch: Paulina shows off pretty swing at TopGolf

    Johnson adds fourth win of season, blows chance at fifth

    As good as it gets: DJ-Outduels Spieth at Northern Trust

    Johnson's HSBC collapse surprising, but not major

    DJ beats Spieth in playoff to earn fourth win of year

    Burr: 'For a great win there is an epic collapse'