World number one Jon Rahm said it "sucked" to miss the Tokyo Olympic Games after testing positive for coronavirus.

U.S. Open champion Rahm fancied his chances of winning gold, but he was unable to compete in Japan.

The Spaniard, back in action at the Northern Trust this week, also had to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament in June when he held a six-shot lead following a positive COVID-19 test.

He said ahead of his first start since The Open: "This [positive test before the Olympics] was a little harder to digest than Memorial, because I've done everything the system tells me to do."

Rahm added: "I understand it's a weird case because I tested negative so quickly and tested negative and tested negative all throughout the UK, and I get here [the United States] and the test is positive.

"It really is unfortunate. It sucked because I wanted to represent Spain. I wanted to play that one. I wanted to hopefully give Spain a medal.

"I was wishing for a gold medal, but just being part of that medal count for the country would have been huge. It was more devastating in that sense. I was more in the mindset of playing for them more than me."

Rahm will tee off on Thursday fifth in the FedExCup standings as he eyes a glorious end to a season in which he won a first major title.

Sean Morris and Dr Mark Newnham will defend Francis & Steele Perkins Trophy in Florida in October following their comprehensive victory in the Jamaica Golf Association's (JGA) Four-Ball Trials at Caymanas Golf Club on the weekend.

Calum Hill ended his wait for a European Tour victory with a superb final round at the English Open.

The Scot, ranked 150 in the world, came into the event with five top-10 finishes to his name in 2021.

A first win on Tour had proved elusive, but he ended his pursuit with a five-under 67 at London Golf Club, which took him to 16 under and a one-stroke win.

Rasmus Hojgaard entered the final round with a three-shot lead having carded a course-record 62 on Saturday.

But the Dane could only manage a level-par 72 on the final 18 holes, seeing him finish in a four-way tie for third on 14 under.

Alexander Levy finished second, the Frenchman's closing 64 not enough to force Hill into a playoff.

Jodi Munn-Barrow on Thursday was elected the first-ever female president of the 96-year-old Jamaica Golf Association and promised to expand the reach of the sport. Munn-Barrow replaces Peter Chin, who did not seek re-election after serving as president for the last decade.

Her executive includes Vice President Dr. Mark Newnham, Honorary Secretary Fred Sutherland, Assistant Secretary Bruce Lopez and Treasurer William Brown. Alison Reid is the junior golf chairperson while Dave Lyn, Michael Bradford, William Knibbs, Rowena Coe and Vikram Dhiman are committee members.

Munn-Barrow said she never dreamed of becoming president of the JGA which was formed in 1925.

"When I started my golfing career some 30-odd years ago, I never envisioned that I would ever take over the helm of this august body,” she said.

“I remember all of those who have done this before me and I have always looked up to them throughout my career.  I hope that I can make them proud as well as the members of the association and I look forward to working with all of the members in ensuring that the game of golf grows and continues to be very successful."

She said she wants to raise the profile of the sport so as to be able to attract international partnerships.

"I will endeavour to increase the optics of golf in Jamaica.  Some of the areas I would like to focus on include marketing Jamaica as a golfing destination through dialogue with the ministries of Sports and Tourism, reaching out again and having dialogue with the member clubs, trying to bring an AJGA (America Junior Golf Association) event to Jamaica thus lifting the image of our junior golf programme and also increasing the membership of the association by speaking with the presidents of other sporting bodies to try to get their members interested in golf as a second sport," she said.

 

 

Russell Henley's pursuit of his first PGA Tour title in four years remains on track after a third round 69 kept him in the lead, three strokes clear at the Wyndham Championship on Saturday.

Henley, who held a four-shot lead at the halfway mark, carded a one-under-69 highlighted by an eagle on the 15th hole, before bogeying the 18th at Sedgefield Country Club.

World number 54 Henley sunk a 33-foot eagle putt for his eagle in a stable round which included two bogeys and one birdie.

The American is ahead of Tyler McCumber who moved into outright second with a round of four-under-66 buoyed by three birdies on his front nine to be 12 under.

McCumber landed a 53-foot putt for birdie on the 11th hole as he launched into contention.

South African Branden Grace and Roger Sloan stormed up the leaderboard, both carding rounds of six-under-64 to be tied for third with 11 under.

The pair are alongside Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na, Scott Piercy and Rory Sabbatini at 11 under. Sloan's 54-hole of 199 is a career low for the Canadian.

Australian Adam Scott also shot a six-under-64 to move up to 10 under, level with a number of players including former Wyndham winner Webb Simpson who had an up-and-down day.

Simpson was joint second at the halfway mark but his third round included a triple bogey on the 14th in a dramatic run of five holes on his back nine which included three birdies and a bogey as well.

Russell Henley carded his first bogey of the tournament but still managed to double his lead at the Wyndham Championship on Friday. 

Seeking his first PGA Tour win in four years, Henley shot 64 in the second round and sits at 14 under par for the tournament. 

That left him four strokes up on Rory Sabbatini (64), Webb Simpson (65) and Scott Piercy (66) heading into the weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Starting on the back nine at the Sedgefield Country Club, Henley bogeyed number 12, his third hole of the day, before reeling off four consecutive birdies from 14 through 17.

Three more birdies coming home after the turn solidified his edge as he eyes his first win since the 2017 Houston Open. 

Henley's 126 matches the lowest 36-hole score posted on tour this season along with Stewart Cink at the RBC Heritage. 

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Sabbatini had a bogey-free day to match Henley's round, while Simpson remained near the top of the leaderboard thanks in part to an eagle at the fifth. 

Simpson's success is no surprise, as he has finished in the top three at the Wyndham the last four years after winning it in 2011. 

Tyler Duncan had the best round of the day with a 62 that left him five shots back at nine under along with Justin Rose (65) and Brian Stuard (66). 

Among other notables, Bubba Watson (69) and Adam Scott are 10 strokes back at four under, one shot better than the cut line. 

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (69) missed the cut by a stroke, while former world number one Luke Donald (67) finished at one under and two-time major winner Zach Johnson fell short at even par along with defending tournament champion Jim Herman. 

Also finished for the week-end are Padraig Harrington (76) at two over, Rickie Fowler (72) at three over and Charl Schwartzel (73) at seven over. 

Fowler's missed cut means his season is over, as he will not make the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career. 

Two players who were tied for second after Thursday's opening round, Michael Thompson and Ted Potter Jr., also missed the cut after slumping to 74 and 77, respectively. 

World number 56 Russell Henley leads by two strokes from seven players after the opening day of the Wyndham Championship with play suspended late on Thursday.

Henley carded an eight-under-62 including an eagle on the fifth hole and three birdies on the final four to open up a two-shot lead at the Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina.

The American leads from a group of players on six under including Sung Kang, Ted Potter Jr, Michael Thompson, Chris Kirk, Scott Piercy, Hudson Swafford and Adam Hadwin.

A long list of players were a further stroke back at five-under, led by Webb Simpson, Denny McCarthy, Kevin Kisner and Erik van Rooyen.

World number 19 Simpson fought back after a double bogey on the first hole, with eight birdies across his round.

All of the contenders except for Hadwin got through their 18 holes before play was suspended due to darkness after inclement weather had earlier interrupted. Hadwin got through 16 holes for his six under, with the first round to resume on Friday at 7:30am local time.

April's Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama finished his opening round with a one-under-69, double bogeying the fourth hole around birdies on the second and fifth.

Brian Harman, Kevin Na and Will Zalatoris ended the day two under, while American Jason Kokrak improved on his back nine to card an even round following a bogey and double bogey on the 14th and 15th holes.

American Austin Cook, who finished even, was cruelly denied an ace on the 16th when his tee shot horseshoed out of the hole.

Erik van Rooyen held a comfortable though not insurmountable lead as he teed off on 18 at the Barracuda Championship, and a fortuitous bounce helped him hold on for his first PGA Tour title. 

The South African led playing partner Adam Schenk by four points in the Modified Stableford scoring system heading to the final hole on Sunday. 

The former Reno-Tahoe Open is the only PGA Tour event that uses the system, which awards points based on how a player fares at each hole relative to par with the highest score winning. 

Van Rooyen knew Schenk would likely need an eagle on the par-four 18th to surpass him as long as he did not make a huge mistake – and promptly yanked his drive well to the left. 

But it bounced off a tree and ricocheted onto the middle of the fairway, putting him in perfect position for a birdie that sealed a long-awaited title. 

The 31-year-old became the 10th first-time winner on Tour this season, about two hours after Abraham Ancer won his maiden title at the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. 

Van Rooyen finished on plus-50 points, with 2018 tournament winner Andrew Putnam second on plus-45, 2011 champ Scott Piercy third with plus-44, and Schenk fourth on plus-43 after a bogey at the last. 

The key sequence for Van Rooyen came on the front nine, when he carded his only bogey of the day at the fifth to lose a point before gaining two back with a birdie at the sixth, then scoring a five-point eagle at eight. Birdies at nine, 13, 16 and 18 would add eight more points to his total. 

Schenk, who had led by four points entering the final round, saw the other contenders cruise past him on the leaderboard as he made four bogeys plus a critical double on the 12th that cost him three points. 

Abraham Ancer thought he had blown his shot at his first PGA Tour win the first time he played the 18th hole on Sunday. Turns out he just needed two more chances on the hole to make it happen. 

Ancer birdied the second playoff hole from six feet and watched as Sam Burns missed almost the same putt to give him the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational title as the third man in the playoff, Hideki Matsuyama, also made par. 

After finishing as runner-up four times in his previous 120 Tour starts, Ancer finally prevailed in Memphis to become the ninth first-time winner this season and the fourth player from Mexico to win on Tour. 

"This is surreal," he told CBS. "I thought I left so many shots out there on the back nine, but you never know. Golf is crazy.

"There's been some times that I felt like I made enough birdies to win and I didn't win. This is kind of how it goes and I'm happy that I got lucky."

A significant portion of that luck came on the first playoff hole, when Matsuyama had a chance to win it but saw his long putt for birdie on 18 lip out, sending the trio back to the 18th tee for another go.

The 2021 Masters champion turned in the round of the day just to make the playoff, firing a bogey-free seven-under 63 to fly up the leaderboard on the final day. 

Burns was close behind with a 64, a double bogey on 13 his only blemish. 

Harris English, who held a two-stroke lead after each of the first three rounds, watched those three fly by him as he slumped to a three-over 73 and finished fourth after opening the tournament with rounds of 62, 65 and 65. 

English bogeyed the opening hole before regaining his stride with three birdies, but he did not make another after the eighth hole, posting double bogeys at 11 and 14 and a bogey at the par-five 16th. 

The American said afterward that a warning for slow play on the front nine knocked him out of rhythm and he felt like he was rushing the rest of the day.

His playing partner Bryson DeChambeau had an even more difficult time after working himself into contention with a 63 on Saturday. 

DeChambeau carded a triple-bogey six on the 11th and also did not manage a birdie on the back nine on the way to a 74 that left him tied for eighth at 12 under for the tournament. 

Rough as that triple was for DeChambeau, honours for worst hole of the day went to Kim Si-woo.

The South Korean hit five successive shots in the water at the 11th on the way to a 13 – the worst score on a par-three hole on the PGA Tour since 1983, not including majors.

Among other notables, Dustin Johnson (70) tied for 10th at 11 under, one stroke better than Rory McIlroy (66) and Jordan Spieth (67).

Phil Mickelson (68) finished at seven under along with Louis Oosthuizen, who floundered to a 74 in the final round. 

Sergio Garcia (72), Collin Morikawa (69) and defending champion Justin Thomas (72) were at five under, with Patrick Reed (70) and Lee Westwood (71) one back of them. 

Olympic champion Xander Schauffele (68) was at even par and Brooks Koepka (76) at two over. 

Grant Forrest produced a stunning finish to claim his first European Tour victory at the Hero Open.

The Scotsman, who shared the lead with compatriot Calum Hill heading into the final round, carded a score of 66 on Sunday at Fairmont St Andrews, including closing with back-to-back birdies. 

That sealed a maiden win at the 77th attempt for Forrest as he snatched the title from under the nose of James Morrison, who finished a shot behind on 23 under par after carding an impressive 63.

The 28-year-old, who recently finished tied-fourth at the Irish Open, climbs into the top 200 of the world rankings thanks to his success on home soil.

He also became the third first-time European Tour winner in as many events, following on from the successes of Nacho Elvira and Daniel Gavins at the Cazoo Open and World Invitational respectively.

"There are so many emotions," he said. "To do it in front of everyone who has come up to support me - the last year-and-a-half has been a real challenge on and off the course, so I'm just delighted.

"We've been through quite a lot as a family and to do it here, it's what I've always dreamed of to win on the European Tour. I think there's a big party at the in-laws' tonight.

"I saw the scoreboard and I knew what I needed to do. Our big thing all day was one shot at a time, let's just keep hitting shots.

"I hit a great nine iron into 17 nice and close and that really helps, and then two great shots into 18 – it was a great way to finish."

Harris English maintained his two-shot cushion at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational leaderboard as Bryson DeChambeau climbed up the leaderboard.

Aided by three birdies during his final six holes, English carded a second successive score of 65 at TPC Southwind to sit at 18 under par.

The four-time winner on the PGA Tour endured a bogey-free round on Saturday, pulling clear in the closing stages having at one stage seen both Abraham Ancer and DeChambeau join him in top spot.

After a four at the par-five 16th, English produced an outstanding approach into the green at the next hole before rolling in a birdie putt, boosting his hopes of a wire-to-wire triumph in the tournament.

However, he is well aware that there is still plenty of work to do yet.

"There's a lot of good players behind me and my goal is just stick to my strategy and execute and whatever happens, happens," English said.

DeChambeau is not too far behind after a stunning 63 that saw him come home in just 30 shots. His seven-under score leaves him tied for second with Australian Cameron Smith, who signed for a 65.

"It was awesome being able to strike it that close to the hole all day," DeChambeau, who missed out on playing at the Tokyo Olympics due to contracting coronavirus, said.

"I didn't feel as comfortable as I would have liked with the swing, but the results were there so I was very pleased with the results. And honestly, if I can do that again tomorrow, I give myself a great chance to win."

Ancer is a further two strokes back following a three-under 67, the same score Scottie Scheffler and Ian Poulter both managed to sit just behind the Mexican on 13 under.

Dustin Johnson may still hold out hope of triumphing, with a round of 65 enough to be one of four players on 11 under par.  He is joined by Paul Casey, Will Zalatoris and Louis Oosthuizen.

Defending champion Justin Thomas already faced a battle to retain his crown, and the American was only able to shoot 69 on day three.

At seven under for the event, a repeat of his 2020 triumph appears almost impossible, considering he is so far back and the number of players ahead of him.

The United States cut into China's lead in the medal table, leaving them just two ahead at the end of the penultimate day of the Tokyo Olympics.

China came into Saturday with a five-gold lead but double 4x400m relay success provided the platform for USA to make up ground.

Allyson Felix became the only American athlete to win 11 track medals as the women cruised to relay gold, while the men coasted to an 18th success as they finished well ahead, the Netherlands a distant second.

Team USA recorded their fourth successive gold in the men’s basketball final, plus there was success for Nelly Korda in the women's golf.

China picked up two golds to take their tally to 38, with Cao Yuan, who became the first athlete to win three different Olympic diving events, and Yang Jian securing a Chinese one-two in the 10m platform. Their other victory came in the women's canoe double 500m sprint.

Early leaders Japan collected a trio of triumphs, the first of which came in softball, while the Russian Olympic Committee also secured three golds, Abdulrashid Sadulaev dominating the men's heavyweight freestyle wrestling.

Galal Yafai captured Great Britain's 19th gold with a 4-1 points decision in the men's flyweight boxing final before Joe Choong added another by replicating Kate French's achievement in the men's version of the modern pentathlon.

Australia, who equalled their record medal haul at the Games on Thursday, remain in sixth place, Nicola McDermott's silver making history in the women's high jump with her country's first medal in the event since 1964.

 

Golf lionheart Nelly Korda admits Olympic gold medal success probably will not fully sink in until the end of the season as she turns her focus towards Carnoustie and the Women's Open.

The 23-year-old American has risen to world number one, landed a first major title and now snatched Tokyo 2020 glory in what is proving a stellar year in her young career.

She completed a second successive round of 69 to polish off victory on Saturday at the Kasumigaski Country Club, finishing one clear of Japan's Mone Inami, who won a silver medal play-off, and New Zealand's Lydia Ko.

The demands at the pinnacle of professional golf are such that, though Korda spoke of an "amazing" feeling at being an Olympic champion, she is well aware of what lies ahead for her in the coming weeks.

And so rather than going away to celebrate, Korda will be heading for Scotland on another working trip.

"It's honestly crazy. You're constantly looking ahead for your next event," she said. "One event you finish, and then next it’s like the British or Scottish [Open].

"It never really gets to sink in, in a sense. I'll look back at the season after the season is done but right now there's a lot of big events coming up, but when I do look back it’s just crazy.

“I think every win is special in its own way. I wouldn't say one win is more special or one win is bigger. Each win has a significant meaning to me.

"Obviously this is a huge honour, and it’s amazing to be a gold medallist - to even just be an Olympian and represent your country. You have to be at the top of the top to come to the Games."

Korda's parents, former Czech tennis stars Regina Rajchrtova and Petr Korda, have suggested she possesses the hunger of a queen of the jungle.

Asked about the focus she needed to find in the final round, when a storm delay held up play for 49 minutes in the closing holes, Korda said: "My parents always say that I'm a lion because always since a young age I've always been super determined and super focused on what I want, so I feel it's built inside of me."

Sister Jessica has even suggested Korda already belongs in the "G.O.A.T." - greatest of all time - conversation. Jessica finished outside the medals in a tie for 15th but nobody beat her closing 64 on Saturday.

The Scottish Open begins on Thursday and Korda is not currently listed as competing in that tournament, but she will be in the Women's Open field, with the tournament beginning on August 19.

After winning the Women's PGA Championship and following up in style in Japan this week, Korda will test her game on the Scottish links when Carnoustie stages its second women's major.

Korda had a second-round 62, which was the lowest round of the week, and that paved the way for her Olympic success.

"Safe to say I really enjoyed my first Olympic experience," she said.

Not even a tropical storm could hold back Nelly Korda as the young American star held on for Olympic gold at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

The world number one golfer emerged triumphant from a fierce battle in the final round, winning by a single stroke from Japan's Mone Inami and New Zealand's Lydia Ko.

Inami fired a 65 and was the co-leader at 17 under until she bogeyed the last, finding a greenside bunker with her approach and failing to put the ball close, then missing her 20-foot par putt.

That meant Korda walked down the 18th knowing she was in pole position to take gold, albeit needing to keep an eye on Ko.

Both Korda and Ko found the green safely, each with an outside chance of birdie. Neither could sink that first putt, but Korda left herself a tap-in for the title and made no mistake.

The 23-year-old then was embraced by her sister Jessica, dancing across the green to offer a fond embrace.

Jessica Korda had fired a joint best-of-the-day 64 to finish in a tie for 15th, but it was Nelly's day to triumph.

The champion set herself up for this success with a 62 in round two, and consecutive rounds of 69 on Friday and Saturday took her over the winning line.

Play was briefly suspended with two holes left to complete for the front-runners, as the nearby storm caused a 49-minute delay just while the tension was ramping up.

But fears of a Saturday washout were allayed to ensure the tournament went the distance, and with gold on 17 under going to Korda, Inami took silver in a play-off when Ko bogeyed 18, the first extra hole.

Inami and Ko, who also made 65 in the final round, had finished tied on 16 under, one ahead of India's Aditi Ashok, whose closing 68 was not enough for a medal.

Korda's triumph meant the USA achieved a golf double, with Xander Schauffele having won the men's title.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.