Calcavecchia Frost tied on top in Minnesota

By Associated PressAugust 8, 2010, 2:13 am

Champions TourBLAINE, Minn. – David Frost and Mark Calcavecchia were a stark contrast coming off the 18th green Saturday, even though they are tied for the lead after two rounds of the 3M Championship.

Calcavecchia held a three-shot lead after 16 holes, but bogeyed the final two holes to finish with a 66. Frost, playing a bogey-free tournament, birdied No. 18 to also finish with a 66.

“I putted quite well yesterday and today,” Frost said, casually sitting back in a chair.

“I’m glad there’s no more holes because I’d probably bogey the next one too as (upset) as I am,” Calcavecchia said. “Some days you leave the course happy, some days you don’t. Today’s one of those days where I’m not.”

On the par-3 17th, Calcavecchia couldn’t get up and down from the rough. His second shot on the par-5 18th – which ranked as the day’s second-easiest hole – landed in a greenside bunker. His chip went about 75 feet past the hole and he three-putted from there.

“I hit four bad shots in two days and made four bogeys,” he said. “It’s getting old.”

Playing with Calcavecchia for the second straight day, Frost made three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine, before going six holes without another. He made two more in the final four holes.

“It was a day you had to think a little bit more than yesterday because the wind was coming at a little different angle. … It was always across, especially on the back nine. It made it interesting,” said Frost, who, like Calcavecchia, has yet to win on the Champions Tour.

Frost has five top-10s in his first full year on the tour, including a playoff loss at the Senior PGA Championship in May. Calcavecchia is playing in his fifth event after turning 50 on June 12.

Neither is putting extra pressure on themselves.

“You need to keep playing well week in and week out, and the win will take care of itself,” said Frost, who noted that he beat Calcavecchia 9 and 8 in a 1977 junior tournament in South Africa the first time they met.

“His game hasn’t changed over the years. He’s been a great player because his putting has just been fabulous,” Calcavecchia said. “He’s got one of the purest strokes I’ve ever seen.”

John Cook (67), Kirk Hanefeld (64) and David Peoples (66) are two shots back.

Cook, who tied for third at last week’s U.S. Senior Open, shot a 5 under 67. He was 3 under on the front and made birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 to get within one shot of the lead, but he bogeyed No. 16.

Hanefeld was 4 under on the front, and birdied No. 10, 12, 16 and 18 on the back nine. He also has yet to make a bogey in the tournament, which has the potential to be his best ever. He has one top-25 in 10 starts this year, and his best finish in 52 career events is a fifth-place tie at The 2008 Principal Charity Classic.

“I just said to myself, ‘There’s really no reason I shouldn’t be playing good again today.’ I got off to a good start, nothing spectacular, and then I made a couple birdies and I said to myself ‘There’s a lot of birdies out here, I might as well try to make them.”’

Steve Haskins eagled No. 18 for a 66, and was joined by Jeff Sluman (68) three shots behind.

First-round leader Tommy Armour III was just 1 under for the day, and was four shots back along with Mark O’Meara (66), who birdied seven of eight holes in one stretch, Ross Cochran (67) and Bruce Vaughan (67).

The openness of the TPC Twin Cities has been a welcome relief for tour players. The last two events were the British Senior Open in Scotland and the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club outside Seattle, two unforgiving tracts were poor shots equaled poor results.

A few sprinkles fell on the course early in the day before humid conditions took over, further softening the greens and allowing players to continue taking aim directly at the pin. Forty-seven of the 78 players broke par, two more than Friday.

“If you don’t have any elements to deal with these guys are going to go real deep,” Hanefeld said. “The fairways are wide and the greens are fairly big so there’s some room for error. There’s a lot of birdies to be made, and you have to if you want to have a chance.”

Defending champion Bernhard Langer knows he won’t repeat. He is one of four players that is seven shots back.

“You need to be at least 10 under to have a chance,” he said. No champion has defended his title in the event’s 18-year history.

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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.

Masters victory

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Green jacket tour

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Man of the people

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Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

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

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Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

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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