Clark takes the lead but loses shot at 59

By Associated PressAugust 30, 2008, 4:00 pm
DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. ' Tim Clark matched his best score on the PGA TOUR with a 62. He made two eagles in a span of three holes, nearly driving a par 4. And he wound up with a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
It still was hard to hide his disappointment.
The South African poured in birdies at such an alarming rate Saturday on the TPC Boston that after making his second eagle, from just over 20 feet on the 298-yard fourth hole, he was 10 under through 13 holes.
Two birdies over his final five holes ' one of them a par 5 ' and he would have a 59.
And after a beautiful sand wedge to 3 feet on the par-5 seventh to reach 11 under for his round, he only needed one birdie over the final two holes to become the fourth player to shoot golfs magic number on the PGA TOUR.
For a while there, there certainly was a chance of 59, he said.
His hopes ended with a 3-iron hybrid right of the 222-yard eighth hole and an 8-foot par putt he failed to convert.
That was end of the dream, he said.
But the second round of the PGA TOUR Playoffs effectively is just beginning.
Clark bogeyed his final two holes and still shot a 9-under 62, giving him a one-shot lead over Mike Weir of Canada going into the final two rounds at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
But a dozen players were separated by four shots, including Barclays winner Vijay Singh.
The group does not include British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington. He battled back with a 65, but still missed the cut for the second straight week and now is in jeopardy of missing the TOUR Championship. Masters champion Trevor Immelman made the cut by one shot after a 67, and he might be the only major champion at East Lake.
Weir, who tied the course record Friday with a 61, took a while to warm up until he settled in for a 68. He prefers a stiffer test, but the former Masters champion has won at places like the Bob Hope Classic.
Im going to have to do a little better, Weir said.
Singh, who won The Barclays in a playoff last week to lead the FedExCup standings, picked up three birdies on the final four holes for a 66 and was two shots back at 12-under 130, along with former British Open champion Ben Curtis, who had a 65.
Jim Furyk (65), Sergio Garcia (64) and Ernie Els (65) were in the group at 131 that also included Kevin Streelman, who is turning into this years poster boy of how playing well can pay off big in this points format.
Streelman was No. 102 when the playoffs began, tied for fourth at The Barclays to move up to No. 37, and is continuing a strong run that began after the U.S. Open. The PGA TOUR rookie from Chicago is 78 under par in his last eight tournaments, plus these two rounds.
We all get on streaks where you feel like things are going well, and you try to ride it as long as possible, Streelman said. And I feel like Ive been playing some good golf.
He is assured of making the third round next week in St. Louis for the top 70 in the standings, but that isnt the case for some of those who missed the cut.
That group includes Retief Goosen, Rich Beem, Fred Couples and a couple of Europeans who wasted one last chance to impress Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo as they try to make the European team.
Ian Poulter (74) and Paul Casey (73) both missed the cut, and Poulter lashed out at the media for causing such a distraction that he wasted energy on the wrong things.
Its a joke, Poulter said. Its not the kind of buzz you want to play golf on, trust me. The kind of nonsense thats been in my head for a whole week is not the right kind of pressure.
Its nonsense, he said. Youve read it. Youve wrote it. Some of you might be guilty or not, I dont know. But boy, what one hell of a week.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson nearly joined them, especially after he found the water on No. 16 for a double bogey. But he answered with a 33 on the front nine for a 70 to make the cut on the number at 3-under 139.
And heres a playoff first: Because more than 78 players made the cut (86), there will be a 54-hole cut on Sunday to the top 70, meaning some players, such as Rocco Mediate, better play hard.
Strangely enough, Clark only cared about making the cut when he began the second round.
He put those fears to rest quickly with birdies of 20 feet and 15 feet on his opening two holes, added an 18-foot birdie on the 14th hole, then turned it on starting with the 17th.
His 7-iron settled 2 feet away for birdie, then came an easy up-and-down from behind the par-5 18th green. Clark hit a 9-iron to 2 feet on No. 1, then a 3-iron hybrid over the hazard to 8 feet for eagle on No. 2.
Golfs magic number didnt cross his mind until a big drive to the front edge of the par-4 fourth, and an eagle putt from just over 20 feet that put him 10 under through 13 holes.
Two more birdies over five holes would have allowed him to sign for a 59.
Although I had 59 in my mind once I made that putt, it certainly didnt affect my golf, Clark said. I hit a couple of bad tee shots coming in, but I certainly felt I could hit a few good shots.
The birdie on No. 7 gve him hope, especially with a front left pin on No. 9 that allowed for birdies.
But No. 8 was always going to be tough, he said. And that proved to be true.
Even so, he had the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship, giving him another chance to earn his first PGA TOUR victory.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Deutsche Bank Championship
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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."

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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