Funk edges Lehman to win Insperity

By Associated PressMay 6, 2012, 10:54 pm

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Fred Funk can attach one more good memory to the Woodlands Country Club.

Funk birdied the final hole Sunday to beat Tom Lehman by a stroke in the Champions Tour's Insperity Championship.

With 16-year-old son Taylor carrying the bag, Funk birdied four of the last five holes to win on the same course where he won the Houston Open in 1992 for the first of his eight victories on the PGA Tour. He met his second wife, Sharon, at a post-tournament event that year, and Sharon was the first person to run onto the green and hug him on Sunday.

''It was a storybook-type week,'' Funk said.

Tied with one hole left, Funk hit his approach on No. 18 to 2 feet. Lehman missed his birdie putt, and Funk tapped in for a 5-under 67 and his seventh victory on the 50-and-over tour and first since the 2010 Tradition. He finished at 14 under.

The 55-year-old Funk became the first player in five years to win a PGA Tour and Champions Tour event on the same course. Tom Watson won the 1980 British Open and 2007 Senior British Open at Muirfield.

More importantly, Funk feels is if he has finally returned to form after three years of health issues. He developed a staph infection and had knee replacement surgery in 2009 and had two surgeries on his left thumb late last year.

''I wasn't sure whether I was going to have a career,'' Funk said. ''I've been really blessed with this opportunity to play again and play at a high level. I didn't want to give up yet. I love it too much.''

Lehman closed with a 68. He made three straight birdies on the back nine to build a two-shot lead but then hit his approach to the par-5 15th over the green and settled for a par. Funk birdied the 15th and made a short birdie putt on the par-3 16th to tie for the lead.

''The whole tournament kind of turned on 15,'' Lehman said. ''I haven't been this disappointed after a tournament in a long time.''

Mike Goodes (70) finished third at 10 under, and Michael Allen (71) was in a group at 8 under. Allen, the season points leader, was seeking his third straight Champions Tour victory.

Lehman had a one-shot lead at the turn but bogeyed No. 10 to fall back into a tie with Funk. Lehman knocked wedges close on Nos. 12 and 13 to start his birdie run and hit a 4-iron to 5 feet on No. 14 to reach 13 under.

''I hit good shot after good shot after good shot,'' Lehman said.

Both found the fairway with their drives on No. 18. Funk played first and hit his 174-yard approach to 2 feet with a 5-iron. He turned to Taylor and flashed a confident smile when the ball stopped.

''I think that's one of the best shots I've ever hit,'' Funk said. ''I was really proud with my son, and we were really enjoying that moment.''

Lehman, a three-time winner last season, hit a 7-iron from 157 yards that landed about 12 feet away.

''I thought it was going to be a lot closer, actually,'' Lehman said.

He also thought he hit a perfect putt, but he said the ball hit a damaged spot near the cup and veered offline. It just missed the right edge, and Lehman flipped his putter in the air in disbelief.

''The cup had a bunch of junk on the right edge,'' he said. ''Maybe I should've had an official actually look at it before I putted because I think it kept it out of the hole.''

Funk then calmly tapped in and thrust his arms in the air, earning his seventh title on the Champions Tour. It was also Funk's first victory with his son serving as his caddie.

The winner of the last 18 Champions Tour events have played in the final group in the last round.

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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