Brooks leads by two at Principal Charity Classic

By Associated PressJune 3, 2011, 10:32 pm

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Mark Brooks battled through hot, breezy conditions Friday to shoot a 6-under par 65 for a two-stroke lead over Mark Calcavecchia and Peter Senior in the Principal Charity Classic.

Brooks, a Champions Tour rookie who turned 50 on March 25, sweetened his best round of the year by rolling in a 60-foot putt for birdie on the par-5 17th hole. He had been struggling coming in, failing to break 70 in his last eight rounds on the senior circuit, including an 81 in the third round of last week’s Senior PGA Championship.

Calcavecchia stayed close by conquering the three par 5s, making an eagle and two birdies. Senior had four birdies in his bogey-free 67. 

Defending champion Nick Price and money leader Tom Lehman led a group at 3-under 68. Joey Sindelar, Rod Spittle, Jeff Hart and Bobby Wadkins also came in at 3 under, as did Bob Gilder, who won this tournament in 2002.

“It’s nice not to go out there and shoot a 72-3-4 or something the first day, which you could do today,” Brooks said. “If you get going a little funny out there, you can shoot over par. You pull the wrong club two or three times, next thing you know, you’re not under par.”

Brooks, who hasn’t won since beating Kenny Perry in a playoff at the 1996 PGA Championship, had little trouble in the 90-degree heat and gusts that blew up to 25 mph at Glen Oaks.

He’s accustomed to wind at his home in Fort Worth, Texas, and said the key to playing in a stiff breeze is really pretty simple.

“You’ve got to hit it really solid,” Brooks said. “If you hit it really solid in the wind, you can play golf. A solidly struck ball is going to be less affected.”

Brooks’ only poorly struck tee shot resulted in his lone bogey, at the par-4 No. 10. His hit his second to the front fringe, 35 feet from the hole, and he three-putted.

“I was kind of overplaying the wind and got confused,” he said.

Brooks picked it up after that, knocking in birdie putts on five of his next seven holes. He felt it should have been six of eight.

On No. 18, Brooks missed a straight-in, downhill birdie putt from 10 feet.

“It evens out eventually,” he said.

Brooks’ best round previously in Champions play had been a 68 in the final round of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in early April, his first event. His only other round in the 60s before Friday was a 69 in the second round of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in mid April.

A back problem slowed Brooks early in the year, but he said that’s under control now. Then, he switched to an all-titanium driver for this tournament and, so far, so good.

“I probably haven’t driven the ball very good for me,” he said. “I’ve kind of been searching for something that would start going where I’m looking instead of just going.”

Calcavecchia stepped to the last tee at 5 under, but his sand wedge from the fairway left him below the lip of the green and he made bogey.

“It’s a good score,” he said. “It wasn’t easy out there today. At least I got by the par 5s and played those well and got a good score out of it.”

Price, who coasted to a four-stroke win here last year, made bogey on two of his first eight holes. But he came back with a birdie on No. 9, then added four more birdies on the back.

Lehman, who already has won three tournaments this year, stood 1 over after eight holes before he finished with four birdies the rest of the way.

Sindelar, playing for the first time since withdrawing from the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in April because of a back injury, marked his return with an eagle on No. 9 before bogeys on Nos. 12 and 16 knocked him back.

On his 57th birthday, Hale Irwin, who owns a record 45 wins on the Champions Tour, shot a 2-over-par 73. Graham Marsh, a six-time winner on the Champions Tour, withdrew after three holes because of a back injury.

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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.