Fans able to bring cell phones to Wyndham Championship
Defending champion Ryan Moore hopes to give them something to talk about.
Tournament officials said Tuesday that they would allow fans to use mobile phones at Sedgefield Country Club – as long as the devices are kept in silent mode and calls are made only in designated areas around the course. Also, fans won’t be allowed to take pictures or video during the four competitive rounds.
Tournament director Mark Brazil, a member of the PGA Tour’s tournament advisory council, said the group discussed changing the cell phone policy after some fans complained they were out of touch with their families and businesses without their mobile devices. He said the tour has confidence in his event’s network of volunteers and security workers to enforce the trial rules.
“We’re going to be kind of the guinea pig tournament on allowing this,” Brazil said. “We’re just going to test it here.”
Though wireless devices have long been a no-no on the tour, Moore said he usually hears rings from contraband cell phones roughly once or twice per tournament. He joked that he might send some text messages from the course, then said he expects fans to use their phones responsibly.
“People are going to sneak (phones) in anyways, somehow get them in. It’s adults. I feel like if you let them actually bring them out there, they’ll probably respect the fact that you let them have it and actually go use those (designated) areas a lot more,” he said. “People appreciate the fact that you’re not treating them like a 10-year-old: ‘You’re not responsible enough to do this.’ They’re actually letting them have it, and just say, ‘Please, just be respectful of play.’ I think people will do that, for the most part. I really do.”
Moore said he wants to give fans more reasons to reach for their phones and text their buddies.
'I’m going to do everything I can to come out of the way and play this event every single year,” he said, and not just because he claimed his first tour victory here last year. Rather, it’s a gesture of gratitude to the people who gave him his first shot on the tour six years ago.
He hadn’t yet turned pro in 2004 but had just won the U.S. Amateur when he was invited to play that year’s Greensboro event, which at the time was held in the fall across town at Forest Oaks Country Club. Since finishing tied for 24th that year, he has skipped the tour stop in the North Carolina Triad only once.
“When people take care of you and treat you right, you remember it,” Moore said. “That’s how this tournament has been for me.”
But for Moore, nothing topped last year. He beat Kevin Stadler with a birdie on the third hole of a sudden death playoff to claim his only win on tour. His best result this year was his second-place finish at the AT&T National earlier this month.
“What the win did for me last year, it wasn’t quite what I thought it would do for me – it actually showed me a little bit more of how far off I was, which is weird,” Moore said. “I simply just came in here, this is a golf course that fits my game … and I just kind of got some good momentum and I played some really good golf that week.”
Davies headlines field at Senior LPGA at French Lick
Laura Davies will be looking to win her second senior major championship this year when she tees it up in Monday’s start of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort in Indiana.
Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, will join a field that includes fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Jan Stephenson, who was announced last week with Peggy Kirk Bell as the Hall’s newest members. Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy are also in the 54-hole event.
Trish Johnson is back to defend her title after winning the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship a year ago. Brandi Burton, Jane Geddes, Helen Alfredsson and Liselotte Neumann are also in the field of 81 players who will compete for a $600,000 purse, with $90,000 going to the winner.
Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live from 4-6 p.m. ET on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Langer (65) wins regular-season finale by six
CARY, N.C. – Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs
Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale.
''I just played very solid all day long,'' Langer said. ''Putted well, hit the ball where I was looking and did everything exceptionally well.''
The 61-year-old German star has 38 victories on the 50-and-over tour, also winning this year near Houston. He has a record four victories after turning 60.
''I don't have anything to prove, but I still have golf,'' Langer said. ''I still want to improve my own game. I still want to play to the best Bernhard Langer can play. I don't think I need to prove anything, but I love competing, I love winning or being in the hunt. As long as I can do that, I think you're going to see me out here.''
Langer finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club, the tree-lined layout softened by heavy rain Thursday from Hurricane Michael. He opened with a 62 on Friday to match Gene Sauers and Tom Lehman for the lead, and had a 67 on Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard with Sauers.
''The 10 under was amazing,'' Langer said. ''I couldn't believe there were two other guys who shot 10 under.''
The four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner also won at Prestonwood in 2012.
''It's always fun to go back to where you've won before because you feel like you know how to play the course and you're somewhat comfortable and that's certainly the case here,'' Langer said. ''I've been probably 50, 70 times now around this golf course and I know how to play every hole.''
Scott Parel was second, closing with a double bogey for a 65.
''Bernhard is just in his own world this week,'' Parel said.
Jerry Kelly had a 68 to finish third at 15 under, and Lehman followed at 13 under after a 71.
Sauers shot a 75 to tie for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) at 12 under.
The top 72 players in the Schwab Cup standings qualified for the playoffs, the three-event series that begins next week with the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Va. Dan Forsman tied for 56th to jump from 74th to 72nd, edging John Huston for the final spot by $932. Huston tied for 46th.
Pepperell captures British Masters, eyes Augusta
WALTON HEATH, England -- Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters on Sunday and likely secured the even bigger prize of a place in next year's Masters at Augusta National.
The Englishman shot an even-par 72 and held off his playing partner, Sweden's Alexander Bjork (71), as the pair went to the 72nd hole at a wet and windy Walton Heath with Pepperell just a stroke in front.
Pepperell finished on 9-under 279.
Herbert Lucas (69) and Jordan Smith (73) were tied for third, another two shots behind Bjork.
English pair Sam Horsfield (69) and Tom Lewis (70) along with American Julian Suri (74) tied for fifth, one shot in front of tournament host Justin Rose (70).
The victory takes Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secures a first appearance at Augusta in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year in April.
Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood (72) finished 2 under in a seven-way tie for ninth.
A top-two finish on Sunday would have seen Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September
Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runner-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the British Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite saying he had a hangover.
His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke on Sunday when Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.
However, the 27-year-old Pepperell promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.
There was still time for some late drama, though, as Pepperell dropped shots on Nos. 15 and 16 to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker.
Disappointed Sharma fades to T-10 at CIMB
For the second time this year, India's Shubankhar Sharma watched an opportunity for a breakthrough win turn into a learning experience.
Sharma burst onto the scene in March, taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship only to fade to a tie for ninth. It was a similar story Sunday at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, where Sharma started the final round in a three-way tie for the lead but struggled to an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for 10th.
"Disappointing, not really happy with the way I finished," Sharma told reporters.
The 22-year-old was 1 over for his first six holes, but he battled back with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10 to get within three shots of eventual winner Marc Leishman. But his tee shot at the par-3 11th found the water, leading to the first of three straight bogeys that ended any hopes of victory.
"That was probably one of the worst swings of the day," Sharma said. "That 11th hole I think killed the momentum for me. A par there would have gone a long way, and I probably could have made more birdies after that."
Sharma remained optimistic this spring following his final-round fade in Mexico, and he retained a positive mindset despite a rough afternoon as he eyes upcoming starts at both the CJ Cup in South Korea and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.
"Great experience. Very, very good to have two top-10s on the PGA Tour, so that's a good way of looking at it," he said. "Also, it pushes me to keep playing well. I feel like I have it in me to win out there on the PGA Tour, and I've given myself two opportunities. Game is in a decent place now."