Couples back in northwest after Senior Open miss

By Associated PressAugust 27, 2010, 2:52 am

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. – Fred Couples was oh so close to winning a major championship in his own backyard.

The Seattle native was tied for a share of the lead with Germany’s Bernhard Langer after three rounds of the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash., just a month ago. Couples took the lead after a birdie to open the final round and seemed poised for something special in front of a raucous hometown crowd.

That’s when Couples uncharacteristically took his foot off the gas pedal.

Couples laid up out of the first cut of rough on the par-5 second hole. He then chunked a wedge into the greenside pond from 65 yards out. After dropping, Couples flew his fifth shot over the green and ended up with a triple bogey 8 to derail his chances.

Langer took advantage with a 3-under 67 to win his second major title is as many weeks.

“The eight on the second hole wasn’t much fun and then it took me a while to get over it,” Couples said. “Then I played pretty well the rest of the way and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Couples returns to the greater Seattle area to play in the Boeing Classic for the first time since joining the Champions Tour. Couples is once again paired with Langer and Nick Price for the opening round on Friday.

“Well, I’m excited about it,” Couples said. “I love to play with Nick Price and Bernhard. They’re two of the best players out here.”

“The pairing tomorrow is unique. I get Bernhard again, but it’s another event. That was, just like he would tell you, it’s in the past. I think we’ll all have a good time.”

The TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge is drastically different then the tree lined test that challenged the field for the Senior Open. Snoqualmie Ridge has many wide open driving holes and 300 feet of elevation change over the 7,264-yard layout.

“Sahalee was more of a very narrow precision type course,” Langer said. “This one probably suits the longer hitters more.”

“There is definitely more room off the tee here and it benefits those guys that can hit it an extra 30 yards off the tee.”

After a sunny 85-degree day on Wednesday, the players had to deal with cool, damp conditions for the second day of the Pro-Am on Thursday. Forecasts for the weekend are mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. The weather is expected to clear up more as the week progresses.

“The course is in immaculate shape, but yesterday the greens were rock hard and I was hitting shorter clubs,” Couples said. “Today, in this weather, I was hitting a lot longer clubs and I thought it was pretty difficult.”

Even with the stereotypical Seattle cloud cover hanging over the golf course, Couples is just excited to be playing more golf in the northwest.

“I have been waiting to turn 50 to play in the Boeing and then to get the Senior Open was incredible,” Couples said.

“I always get to play up here in a tournament now on the Champions Tour and I love that. I love to be up here in Seattle.”

Defending champion Loren Roberts is paired with Tom Kite and Fred Funk in the first round Friday. Roberts posted the lowest three-day total in the tournament’s five-year history of the tournament, an 18-under par total. Roberts held on for a one shot victory over Mark O’Meara to earn his first Boeing Classic title.

Kite is a two-time winner of the Boeing Classic and Funk is coming off a major championship win last week at the Jeld-Wen Tradition in Sunriver, Ore.

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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


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