12-Year-Olds to Face Each Other at Womens Am

By Associated PressAugust 8, 2007, 4:00 pm
USGACARMEL, Ind. -- In the first 106 years of the U.S. Women's Amateur golf championship, no preteen had reached match play.
Now there are two and they will face each other Thursday.
Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., and Pearl Jin of San Gabriel, Calif., ousted older opponents Wednesday to set up their second-round showdown at the Crooked Stick Golf Club.
'I'm really excited. I heard that she's a good player,' said Jin, who turned 12 in June, four months after Thompson.
'It feels really good to be the youngest one. It's a little bit nervous,' she said. 'It's easy to get nervous out there. I just try to concentrate and be calm.'
Jin, who took up golf at age 8 -- after earning a black belt in tae kwon do -- beat 20-year-old Ashley Tait of Littleton, Colo., 2 and 1 in the first round; Thompson got by 17-year-old Evan Jensen of Belleair, Fla., 3 and 2.
'I was a little nervous when it all started, but I've gotten used to it,' Thompson said of her full schedule this summer. 'In these golf tournaments, I just go out there and play my game and don't worry about anything else and hope for the best.'
Among the first-round teenage winners was Kristina Wong, the co-medalist from Vestal, N.Y.
Drinking a bottle of water about every two holes because of the heat, Wong beat Kaitlin Drolson 5 and 3 and easily advanced to the second round against Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla.
'I'm getting used to it a little bit now,' said the sweat-covered Wong, a 16-year-old high school junior playing in the women's amateur for the fourth time. 'Still, I was just trying to find some shade. I feel good right now, but I know I have a long road ahead of me.'
A 20-foot birdie putt on the par-3 second hole put Wong ahead, and Drolson, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., never caught up.
'I hit a good drive and had a nice 7-iron to the green,' Wong said. 'I just wanted to get to the front part of the green and not be too aggressive. ... I just wanted to play my own game, stay steady. I wasn't really expecting anything.'
Wong tied NCAA champion Stacy Lewis of Arkansas after two days of medal play earlier in the week cut the field to 64. No medalist has won the women's amateur since Meredith Duncan in 2001, and Lewis lost her first-round match to Margaret Shirley of Roswell, Ga., 2 and 1.
Among other matches, Andrea Messer of Largo, Fla., outlasted Lauren Hunt of Little River, S.C., in 27 holes, tying the longest match in tournament history.
Hurst beat Lisa McCloskey of Montgomery, Texas, 5 and 4; defending champion Kimberly Kim of Hilo, who became the tournament's youngest winner last year at 14, beat fellow Hawaiian Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu 1-up; Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., beat Kristie Smith of Australia 3 and 2; and Rebecca Kim of Tigard, Ore., defeated Taylore Karle of Scottsdale, Ariz., 2 and 1.
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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