Big Buzz Over Whos In Whos Out at Volvo

By Associated PressOctober 31, 2007, 4:00 pm
2005 Volvo MastersSOTOGRANDE, Spain -- Ernie Els could win his third Order of Merit title without even taking a swing at the season-ending Volvo Masters.
Els leads last year's winner Padraig Harrington by $313,892 in the European Tour standings, but could be surpassed this weekend as he is playing in Singapore -- not Sotogrande -- on the Asian Tour.
England's Justin Rose and Swedish players Niclas Fasth and Henrik Stenson can also pass Els for the season-ending money title with a victory at Valderrama, Europe's richest tournament at $5.8 million with first-place worth $960,488.
Els, who won the title in 2003 and 2004, is under a three-year contract to play in Singapore and criticized the European Tour for the scheduling conflict.
'I'd love to play the Volvo Masters, but if they screw up the dates, so be it,' Els said Wednesday. 'You can't please everybody and especially when two big events like these are being played on the same week. Somebody missed the ball, it's as simple as that.'
The European Tour wouldn't comment on Els' remarks.
Eight-time Order of Merit champion Colin Montgomerie didn't accept Els' excuse, and was disappointed that only 51 of the 60 qualifiers were at Valderrama.
'Deals could be done where they could have played two out of the next three years or something like that, or whatever the case may be, but this should be a priority,' Montgomerie said. 'The Order of Merit means a lot to me and it obviously doesn't mean a lot to others.'
Harrington said he had signed a contract to play at Singapore, but had a get-out clause in case he was able to defend the Order of Merit.
'Right from the go as European No. 1, my place to be was here,' Harrington said. 'As golfers, we're spoiled for choice. I think the tour did everything in their powers to accommodate the clash.'
U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera and the 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen were two of the big names missing from Thursday's draw.
Harrington arrives as a top contender to take the Harry Vardon trophy, just as he did in 2006, but will face stiff competition from Rose.
Rose has played in only 11 European tournaments to Harrington's 14 but trails the Irishman by only $949.
'Obviously it's a very exciting situation and one that I would love to capitalize on,' Rose said. 'I've played a very limited schedule, it's the kind of opportunity that I think for me would be a huge achievement. It would be a career highlight.'
However, Rose is struggling to overcome a back injury he re-aggravated at the Portugal Masters two weeks ago.
With Els missing, Harrington and Rose will tee off together in Thursday's final pairing with both players hoping the race goes down to the wire.
'I'm hoping that Justin plays well tomorrow, because if my partner plays well I usually play well,' Harrington said.
Defending champion Jeev Milkha Singh of India is one of nine former winners in the field to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the competition, which is only open for the European Tour's top 60 players.
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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.

    Masters victory

    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

    Departure from TaylorMade

    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.