Clarke begins whirlwind month in Australia

By Associated PressNovember 22, 2011, 1:56 pm

COOLUM, Australia – British Open champion Darren Clarke was bleary-eyed Tuesday as he began the first of four weeks of golf in Australia, South Africa, Dubai and Thailand.

Less than 24 hours after arriving from his home in “wet and windy” Portrush, Northern Ireland, he sweated through nine holes of practice at the Hyatt Regency resort course preparing for this week’s Australian PGA Championship on the subtropical Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane.

Next up was a few hours for an afternoon catnap.

The global crisscrossing is a small price to pay for Clarke winning at Royal St. George’s in July, but just in case anyone had forgotten that, he had the claret jug with him Tuesday.

“I don’t take it everywhere, we take it to special places,” Clarke said. “It’s always nice to travel with, it’s one of those things that people never really get a chance to see it except on TV and in pictures. It was bent but it is straightened out a little bit now so it’s not too bad …”

With his manager Chubby Chandler sitting in the back of the room, Clarke said his life “hasn’t really changed” since his three-stroke victory at Sandwich, England gave him his first major.

“As Chubby will tell you, I have led the life of a major champion before anyway, so nothing has really changed.” Clarke said. “I am a little bit more in demand now than I was before, but it has all been good. If anything it has spurred me on to work harder than I ever have before, and I work pretty hard anyway.”

He’ll be traveling hard over the next month. This week, he’ll take on a strong Australian PGA field, which includes American Rickie Fowler making his first professional appearance Down Under – Fowler won the Eisenhower Trophy world amateur title in Adelaide in 2008.

Presidents Cup players Bubba Watson, Y.E. Yang, K.T. Kim, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley are in the field. Greg Norman is there as well.

Then Clarke heads to South Africa for the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City, followed by the European Tour’s season-ending Race to Dubai, and then to an Asian Tour stop in Bangkok the week before Christmas.

Clarke said he was impressed by the Coolum course.

“It’s a course where you don’t just hit a driver everywhere … where accuracy is used as opposed to just booming it,” Clarke said.

The 44-year-old Clarke admitted he feared his chance to win a major had passed him by.

“I had opportunities to win in the past, and I didn’t take them,” Clarke said. “I am not 22 or 23 anymore and so my chances of winning are going to be limited. But if I had a choice of the one I would want to win, that was the one I wanted. “It’s the oldest, it’s the biggest; it’s the best.”

Which explains why the claret jug is on this extended road trip with him, always carried on board and safely tucked away above him on the plane.

“It goes overhead mostly, but most of the times when I have flown before the captains have wanted to see it and all that sort of stuff, it’s had photographs taken in galleys,” Clarke says, smiling.

“It doesn’t make a difference who they are, they are just amazed to have it in their hand and I feel good that I am giving people a chance to take a look at it.”

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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.