Daly only four back in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 20, 2008, 5:00 pm
2009 European TourHONG KONG ' John Daly put himself within four strokes of joint leaders Liang Wenchong of China and South African Richard Sterne, who both shot a 6-under 64 in the first round of the $2.5 million Hong Kong Open on Thursday.
 
Liang and Sterne were a stroke ahead of Taiwans Lin Wentang ' who recovered from a double bogey on the opening hole ' and 48-year-old Frankie Minoza of the Philippines.
 
Daly was 4 under after 15 holes, but bogeys on the last two holes cost him a share of fifth place in the jointly sanctioned European Tour and Asian Tour event.
 
Im not too disappointed, being a little rusty. I havent played in a month. Two under par on the first round here is pretty good. Ill take it, the 42-year-old American told reporters.
 
Daly, a former British Open and PGA Championship winner now ranked No. 788 in the world, said he feels he is striking the ball well but is struggling for rhythm because he hasnt been able to qualify for consecutive tournaments.
 
He has not had a PGA Tour card since 2006, when his two-year exemption expired from his last victory at the Buick Invitational in 2004. He made only five cuts in 17 starts on the PGA Tour this year and earned just over $56,000.
 
I need to play three or four weeks in a row to get anything out of my game. I havent been able to really do that in two years. The exemptions didnt come in a row, Daly said.
 
My drought hasnt been quite as bad as Australia and the water situation, but its been close. You just keep fighting and keep working on it.
 
Daly has also had a tumultuous year off the course, going through a divorce and spending a night in jail last month after being found extremely intoxicated and uncooperative, police said, outside a Hooters restaurant in North Carolina.
 
Liang, the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, shot seven birdies with only a bogey on the final hole preventing him from taking the lead.
 
He said he played patiently and described his round at the 6,702-yard Hong Kong Golf Club in suburban Fanling as a good start.
 
Even though the course is short, there are many places where you can run into problems. When youre not playing well, when youre impatient, its very easy to make mistakes because the fairways are quite narrow, Liang said.
 
Sterne, who won the European Tours Joburg Open earlier this year, made an impressive debut in Hong Kong despite not even playing a practice round.
 
Ive done it a few times before so Im not really too fazed about it, Sterne said. It went pretty well. Sometimes it helps ' you dont know where all the trouble is.
 
The South African fired eight birdies, with bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes his only blemishes.
 
Miguel Angel Jimenez got off to a disappointing start to his title defense and his bid to become only the third player to win at Fanling at least three times. The Spaniard made three bogeys and finished 1-over, seven strokes behind the leaders.
 
I ruined myself on the greens, Jimenez said.
 
Among the leading players, South Africas Rory Sabbatini and Northern Irelands Graeme McDowell were level with Jimenez after shooting 71s, while in-form Englishman Oliver Wilson stamped himself as a genuine title threat with a first-round 66.
 
Six-time major winner and Europes Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo shot a 72.
 
Related Links:
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  • Full Coverage - Hong Kong Open
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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