Former world number one Justin Thomas has revealed that he suffered a recent melanoma scare.

The 2017 US PGA Championship winner says he was fortunate that a form of skin cancer was detected in a mole on his left leg at such an early stage.

"I recently had a scare at the dermatologist where a very small mole on my left leg was caught in the early stages of melanoma," the American posted, along with a picture of a big scare on his leg.

"Luckily, we found it at a time where there should be no problems going forward. That being said, EVERYBODY GO GET CHECKED!!

"No harm can come from it and it's the best way to catch anything before it becomes a serious issue. Especially for all the junior golfers (and other athletes) spending so much time in the sun.

"It is so important to make sure you're monitoring your body - no matter how old you are or how much sunscreen you use. It really got my attention, and hoping it does the same to y'all!"

Robby Shelton carded an eight-under-par 62 to lead the Greenbrier Classic after the opening round.

At the 2019-20 PGA Tour season-opening event, Shelton was almost flawless as he earned a two-stroke lead on Thursday.

Shelton – who turned professional in 2016 – had nine birdies and a bogey to finish day one ahead of fellow Americans Scott Harrington, Mark Hubbard, Kevin Na, Lanto Griffin and Zack Sucher.

The 24-year-old Shelton has spent time on multiple golf circuits, including the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and the Korn Ferry Tour.

Defending champion Na was in peak form to start the week but a bogey on his front nine kept him in a five-way tie for second place on The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier.

There is a sizable tie for seventh place at five under, with 10 golfers looking to play into the weekend, and even more just one stroke behind in 17th place.

Im Sung-jae is included in the 15-way tie at four under following his first-round 66.

Named Rookie of the Year last season, South Korean Im reached an impressive milestone after recording a hole-in-one on the par-three 15th hole.

Im became the first player on Tour to have two or more aces before the age of 22 since superstar Tiger Woods.

Bubba Watson (69), Branden Grace (70) and J.B. Holmes (71) are also playing this weekend but well behind the leaders.

Callum Shinkwin holds a one-shot lead after the first round of the 100th edition of the KLM Open and Sergio Garcia made an encouraging start.

Englishman Shinkwin, battling to keep his European Tour card, shot a six-under 66 to set the pace at The International in Amsterdam on Thursday.

World number 446 Shinkwin made an eagle at the third and completed a bogey-free back nine, dropping just the one shot in an impressive opening round.

"My golf as of late has not been great, as has my health as well," Shinkwin, who has had a back problem and suffered a recent bout of food poisoning, said.

"The golf is still not there, still very uncomfortable, but I managed to turn it round today and shoot a good round of 66. I'm just working hard and if I'm feeling uncomfortable then that means I'm doing the right things."

Garcia is sitting two shots off the pace following a bogey-free round of 68, with a couple of gains on the front nine and as many after the turn.

Shinkwin's compatriots Chris Paisley, Matthew Southgate and Sam Horsfield are among seven players just one stroke off the pace.

Defending champion Wu Ashun is well poised on three under along with Joost Luiten, a two-time winner of the tournament. 

Luiten, who played with Wu, holed six birdies to go out in 30, but dropped shots at the 11th, 15th and 18th.

Patrick Reed shot a level-par 72, with Lee Westwood two-under, Thomas Pieters one-under and Matt Wallace well off the pace following a 75.

Team Europe must embrace the pressure of the Solheim Cup if they are to overcome the United States, according to captain Catriona Matthew.

USA have won the last two editions of the event - the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup - in 2015 and 2017, and are favourites heading to Gleneagles.

However, Matthew believes Europe are more than capable of testing their rivals as long as they utilise the atmosphere of the home crowd in their favour.

Asked if she expected the crowd to be as voracious and partisan as at the Ryder Cup, Matthew told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Yes I do.

"It's very different from a regular golf crowd. Just because it's teams, the crowd get behind their team. The players love it, the more people out there screaming and shouting the better, to be honest.

"I think that’s what makes the event so special. We're expecting them to be biased with it being in Europe. [USA] are a strong side, but I feel confident in our team and we've got a really good make-up this year with some rookies and some experienced players, and they've all done really well in practice.

"Everyone's going to be nervous on that tee, so you've just got to try and embrace the crowd. I've been trying to get over to them that we'll need to get off to a fast start so you've got to enjoy the first tee but be focused and ready to go."

American Danielle Kang made no secret of her desire to retain the Solheim Cup, claiming in a news conference on Wednesday that she wished to "make players cry".

It is a comment which Matthew feels will only fuel Europe's motivation.

"That’s extra motivation for our team. I don't think there’s anyone on our side that hasn't seen that," she added.

"Not that we need motivating. The players don't really need to be motivated. It's just about keeping them relaxed, keeping them loose, be there for them and support them, try and have a good atmosphere and make sure everyone's getting on.

"If you have good morale you're almost 1-0 up going onto the first tee."

HOW IT WORKS

The Solheim Cup has the same format as the Ryder Cup, with matches played over three days. There are 28 matches in total - eight foursomes, eight four-balls and 12 singles.

In total, there are 12 players on each side, with America's elite and Europe's best going head-to-head.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The Solheim Cup has traditionally been seen as the pinnacle of team play in women's golf. However, the growing dominance of Asian players at the top of the game means those competing for glory this weekend are not necessarily the cream of the tour.

While the USA have five top-20 players in their team, Europe have only one - Spain's Carlota Ciganda. There are currently eight South Koreans in the top 20.

FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy has been named the PGA Tour player of the year for a third time - and it gave him "goosebumps" to be told by Jack Nicklaus.

The 30-year-old Northern Irishman last month won the Tour Championship.to seal a second FedEx Cup triumph, earning a $15million windfall.

McIlroy has landed three PGA Tour titles - a tally matched only by Brooks Koepka - and finished in the top 10 on 14 occasions in a consistent season.

The four-time major champion receives the Jack Nicklaus Award for his year's achievement, five years after he last secured the honour.

He was presented with the trophy by Nicklaus himself, who surprised McIlroy with the news.

"I've got goosebumps. Thank you. Wow!" McIlroy said.

Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said: "On behalf of the PGA Tour, my congratulations to Rory McIlroy on being voted the 2019 PGA Tour player of the year by the Tour’s membership,

"While there are a number of honours one can receive in this game, PGA Tour player of the year has to be among the most satisfying as it comes directly from his peers.

"Rory's season was a model of consistency punctuated by milestone victories and ultimately the FedEx Cup in Atlanta."

South Korea's Sungjae Im was named PGA Tour rookie of the year, receiving the Arnold Palmer Award.

Brian Barnes, who beat iconic golfer Jack Nicklaus twice in a day at the Ryder Cup, has died at the age of 74 following a short illness, the European Tour have confirmed.

Barnes went head-to-head with Nicklaus in the 1975 edition of golf's greatest team event, beating the then reigning Masters and US PGA champion in the morning singles.

Nicklaus demanded a rematch, but despite his confidence, was defeated again by Barnes, though the US won the tournament.

He played in the Ryder Cup on six occasions from 1969 to 1979, and won nine European Tour titles in total.

Bernard Gallacher, who partnered Barnes at four Ryder Cups, said: "I knew Brian ever since I turned pro back in 1968 and we often played practice rounds together. In some ways they were more enjoyable than the tournaments.

"He was a terrific driver of the ball – long and straight – and if he had enjoyed travelling more, he had the potential to be one of the best players in the world.

"Brian was a larger than life character and we were very close when we both played on the Tour. We kept in touch over the years, which I was very happy with, and our families were very close.

"It was an amazing moment for British golf when Brian won in the afternoon. The Americans couldn’t believe it and they were all congratulating him saying they never though anybody could beat Jack."

Paul Casey won his first European Tour title in five years after clinching the European Open crown in thrilling fashion on Sunday.

Casey shared the lead at 12 under par with Bernd Wiesberger, Robert MacIntyre and Bernd Ritthammer heading into the final three holes in Hamburg.

The Englishman had started the final round one shot adrift of overnight leaders MacIntyre and Ritthammer, and posted three-under 31 on the front nine to maintain his position.

MacIntyre held a one-shot lead at the halfway stage, but a mistake on the 12th gave Casey a chance which the 42-year-old took advantage of with a birdie on the next hole.

Casey was pegged back but nosed himself back ahead on the 16th with a superb birdie putt, with MacIntyre and Ritthammer squandering the opportunity to force a play-off on the 18th.

It was enough to earn Casey a one-shot victory, as he finished on a six-under 66 and 14 under par overall.

"I get emotional at every victory but this year's been so fantastic," Casey said after winning his 14th European Tour trophy.

"This is an incredibly prestigious trophy, it's got a lot of history to it on the European Tour and I'm so happy to be champion.

"Every hole is crucial, and big putts on 16 and 17, it was nice to make the putts when it counted, and that really was the key this week."

Robert MacIntyre saw a commanding four-shot overnight European Open lead wiped out by Germany's Bernd Ritthammer on Saturday.

A seven-under 65 in the second round of the European Tour event had given MacIntyre a healthy advantage, but the Scot was less impressive as the weekend began.

The 23-year-old was playing alongside Ritthammer, the world number 924, and saw the German pile on the pressure despite a relatively modest round of 70.

MacIntyre went two over, with three bogeys, as he missed birdie chances at the seventh, eighth and ninth.

And Ritthammer, who like MacIntyre is without a European Tour title to his name, secured a share of the lead on nine under par.

Paul Casey shot a 69 to move one shot behind, with Pablo Larrazabal and Matthias Schwab a stroke further back at seven under.

Xander Schauffele fell completely out of contention with a four-over 76 to move to two over, a shot behind Patrick Reed, whose tough week improved only slightly with a 71.

Robert MacIntyre shot a classy 65 to claim a four-shot lead at the European Open.

The 23-year-old followed up his opening round of 68 with a seven-under performance on Friday to surge clear at the top of the Hamburg leaderboard.

Scottish rising star MacIntyre, who is seeking his first title on the tour, will play with world number 924 Bernd Ritthammer in the final pairing on Saturday.

The German went round in 66 to move to seven under, two shots ahead of Paul Casey, who failed to capitalise on an opening 66 as he followed up with a one-over 73 that featured four dropped shots.

"I'm quite happy to be standing here with one over - five under for the tournament," Casey told the European Tour's official website.

"It's such a difficult golf course. Attitude is key and I had a good attitude. Luckily there are some options to get birdies if you stick with it and you hit good golf shots and luckily I made a couple but yeah, very difficult stuff."

World number nine Xander Schauffele had a 69 to move to two under, but fellow Americans Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar sat two over and four over respectively, Reed making the cut but Kuchar missing out by one shot.

There was no doubting the star of the show at the Green Eagle club, though, with MacIntyre's brilliant bogey-free round firing the Scot into a dominant position.

Paul Casey snatched the first-round lead with a classy round of 66 at the Porsche European Open.

The Englishman spends most of the year on the PGA Tour but has returned to Europe for this week's event - and said his performance in gusty conditions felt even better than the score suggested.

Austrian Matthias Schwab, who has hit a purple patch of form in recent weeks with consecutive top-10 finishes at the Czech Masters and European Masters, carded a 67 to sit alone in second place at the Green Eagle club near Hamburg.

Casey's last win on the European Tour came at the KLM Open in 2014, although in the United States he has triumphed twice at the Valspar Championship, retaining the title in he won in 2018 earlier this year.

He said of his performance on Thursday: "It was a really good round of golf. There were a few putts that slid by but that is such a difficult golf course. I can't explain how difficult that golf course is.

"I was happy with the patience I was showing and the quality of the ball-striking, and here I stand even happier because the score doesn't do it justice as that is one of the finest rounds I've played this year."

"The score was great. I couldn't have hoped for better. I'm happy to be under par, never mind six."

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre, German Max Rottluff and England's Ben Stow share third place on four under.

A star US trio failed to get to grips with the course on day one, however, as Xander Schauffele posted a one-over 73, with Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar both a shot further back.

Former teenage wonder Matteo Manassero, now 26 and struggling on tour, had an even worse day, with triple-bogey eights at 16 and 18 seeing him sign for an 81.

Dustin Johnson has undergone arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee, the PGA Tour has confirmed.

World number three Johnson is expected to make a full recovery from the procedure and return to action later this year.

Johnson recorded just one victory last season, that coming at the WGC-Mexico Championship, and finished 29th in the FedEx Cup standings.

The 35-year-old placed second in each of the two opening majors of 2019, at the Masters and US PGA Championship, but ended tied for 35th and 51st at the U.S. Open and The Open respectively.

David Carey wrote his name into the record books with a sublime 57 at the Cervino Open on the Alps Tour.

Carey's card showed 11 birdies in Thursday's blemish-free round in Italy and he was leading the 54-hole tournament by four strokes.

The Irishman's score is one better than Jim Furyk's PGA Tour best of 58, the same number achieved by Stephan Jaeger and Ryo Ishikawa on the Web.com Tour and Japan Golf Tour respectively.

Carey, starting at the 10th, went out in just 27 strokes and picked up four more birdies on his way home.

Tom Watson celebrates his 70th birthday on Wednesday, a notable number for a golfer who appeared to defy time a decade ago at Turnberry.

The American won eight majors in a hugely successful career, but perhaps it is the one that got away that remains so fresh in many memories.

At The Open in 2009, Watson rolled back the years to produce a performance that delighted those watching on, both those lucky to be there at the course but also around the world on television.

To mark his notable milestone, we look back at a tournament that will never be forgotten...

Fairy tales have enthralled, entertained and educated us for centuries.

Whether it be a lesson in morality, a magical escape or a triumph for good over evil, fairy tales have the exceptional ability to let us escape from reality.

It is a formula that succeeds time and time again. The problem is when it comes to sport, however, the lines become blurred and there is no one formula to follow.

Sport has no room for sentimentality, no time for history, no interest in assuaging our desires for the feel-good narrative. There is not always a lesson to be taught, nor always a battle between good and bad.

Just ask Tom Watson and Stewart Cink, who were part of a real-life fable that will live forever in golfing folklore.

Once upon a time, Watson was considered among the best players on the planet. At the peak of his powers in the 1970s and early 80s there was a magic and aura about the American great that resulted in eight major championships.

But, as with any great sports star, time eventually caught up with the great champion, which is what made the story of the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry so special.

By this point of his career, Watson was 59. His last major success was back in 1983, when he clinched a fifth Open at Royal Birkdale.

And yet, despite pre-tournament odds of 1500-1 and hip replacement surgery just nine months prior, Watson was on the brink of the most remarkable of victories, one that would have made him the oldest major winner of all time.

Even when Watson rolled back the years with an opening-round 65 that left him one off the lead, it was hard to imagine what we were witnessing was anything other than a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era.

Through 36 holes, though, there was an ever-increasing feeling of 'what if?' A gritty level-par round in tricky Ayrshire conditions left Watson tied for the lead. He couldn't... could he?

By the end of Saturday - which yielded a one-over 71, enough to take the outright lead - the most far-fetched dream was becoming a scarcely believable reality.

A couple of bogeys early on the Sunday hinted that the rigours of major golf on a 59-year-old's body had finally caught up. But even as Ross Fisher and then Mathew Goggin moved ahead, Watson refused to slip quietly into the background.

As the day progressed, there was drama that even Martin Scorsese in his full, creative flow could not have scripted.

While Lee Westwood played himself in and out of contention, Cink climbed the leaderboard and rolled in a 15-footer at the last to join Watson on two under and crank up the pressure. However, Watson replied to the situation with a gain of his own at 17, meaning he was just four strokes away from creating history.

Yet the fairy-tale nature of the weekend was replaced by the cruel reality of professional sport. A crisp eight iron sailed over the green, while his third back onto the putting surface left a tricky 10-footer for victory. The putt, as would be the case for Watson's efforts over the weekend, came up just short.

There was still the lottery of a play-off, yet the grind of the previous four days finally took their toll as Cink made a major breakthrough in a one-sided extra four holes.

So near, yet so far. For Watson, there was little solace to take from a herculean effort that had warmed the hearts of those watching, both at the venue and on television.

"It's a great disappointment. It [losing] tears at your gut, as it always has torn at my gut. It's not easy to take," he reflected after the final round.

For Cink, too, the gravitas of what had transpired on that fateful final day was tough to comprehend.

"I'm a little intimidated by this piece of hardware here," Cink admitted following his win. "There are a lot of emotions running through my mind and heart and I'm as proud as I can be to be here with this.

"It was fun watching Tom all week and I'm sure I speak for all the rest of the people too."

It's easy to feel for Cink. The 2009 Open was the crowning glory of his career but he is somewhat the forgotten champion, such was the narrative that played out around him.

Since lifting the Claret Jug, Cink has failed to win another trophy on the PGA or European Tour.

But this is where those blurred fairy-tale lines come into play. This was never a story of good versus evil, never a tale of morality.

More just an epic event encapsulating sporting theatre, with a dream ending never getting to see the light of day. Certainly from Watson's point of view, it was the greatest fairy tale never told.

"It would have been a hell of a story, wouldn't it?" Watson said.

It sure would have been, Tom, it sure would have been.

Rory McIlroy suggested mental fatigue played its part in his near-miss at the European Masters.

A week on from his victory at the Tour Championship, which earned him the FedEx Cup title and a prize of $15million, the world number two found himself in a five-man play-off at Crans-sur-Sierre, only to lose out as Sebastian Soderberg claimed a maiden European Tour title.

Reflecting on his efforts in Switzerland, McIlroy said: "[I made] too many mistakes. I think I made 13 bogeys during the week.

"I made enough birdies, but I just didn't have it over the weekend. It's been another solid week, coming back across the Atlantic. Now I'm looking forward to a couple of weeks off."

McIlroy was left to rue the fact he bogeyed the 17th and 18th on Saturday, leaving him three off the pace heading into the final round.

"This is my seventh event in eight weeks, I've played a lot of golf," he added. "Playing so much, little mental errors can creep in here and there. The sloppy finish yesterday probably cost me, but I fought back today and did my best. It just wasn't meant to be.

"I'll put the clubs away for a few days, rest, recover and reflect on what has been a pretty good season so far, and try to get myself back up for [the BMW PGA Championship at] Wentworth [starting on September 19]."

Sebastian Soderberg fended off world number two Rory McIlroy to win a five-man play-off and claim the European Masters title.

The 28-year-old Swede started the day four shots off the lead, but he made five consecutive birdies from the 10th to 14th to charge to the top of the leaderboard, only for a three-putt on 17 to drop him down to 14 under par.

McIlroy, Lorenzo Gagli, Andres Romero and Kalle Samooja joined Soderberg on the same score at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf, with a play-off needed to settle the European Masters for the sixth time in seven years.

But with McIlroy and Samooja squandering close-range conversions, a 10-foot putt for birdie secured Soderberg's maiden European Tour trophy.

Tommy Fleetwood had made early inroads towards the top at Crans, but two bogeys on the back nine saw the Englishman drop away from Soderberg, who was in sensational form, while McIlroy looked equally as sharp.

McIlroy carded five birdies in six holes to co-lead, and the Northern Irishman even emulated an iconic shot from Seve Ballesteros on the 18th.

Ballesteros' 'great escape' is one of the most incredible recovery shots in the history of the European Tour, and just feet away from the plaque which marks the spot from which the Spaniard got himself out of a huge hole in the trees at the 1993 tournament, McIlroy chipped a wonderful effort onto the fairway.

McIlroy would not have been in contention, however, had one of Gagli – who made a double bogey on the first hole – Romero, Samooja and Soderberg converted would-be winning putts on the 18th.

As has become customary in the competition, extra holes were required, with Soderberg holding his nerve to earn a first win in what was his 50th European Tour event.

"I was shaking the last few holes in the round," said Soderberg. "I calmed down a little bit for the play-off. I'm very proud of myself to be able to play good when I'm shaking.

"I felt like I had nothing to lose and just played as aggressive as I could. I was way more calm down the play-off than I was in my last few holes out there in the fourth round.

"I was just trying to take one shot at a time. I had nothing to lose at all and it's going to change a lot going forward."

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