General Motors Cadillac sponsoring Doral event

By Associated PressNovember 29, 2010, 9:41 pm
DORAL, Fla. – Sponsor or no sponsor, the PGA Tour was coming back to Doral in 2011.

“It would have been expensive,” commissioner Tim Finchem quipped.

That’s no longer a worry at Doral, at least through 2016. Cadillac and the PGA Tour announced a six-year sponsorship deal Monday, the latest step by General Motors in its emergence from bankruptcy protection. The sides will meet again in the coming weeks to talk about extending the arrangement.

Doral’s stop next March will be known as the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, and Cadillac also is now an umbrella sponsor of WGC events, as well. The deal has been expected for some time, and Finchem said he never experienced any angst about the chance of coming to Doral without a sponsor in March.

“Any time you’re in a downturn, it takes longer to get things done,” Finchem said. “Companies just generally work very, very hard to study all the options and price points and evaluate options. … It was worth the wait. We would have preferred, obviously, to get started a little earlier.”

Monday’s deal was the first of several Finchem is expected to reveal in the coming days. The PGA Tour’s 2011 schedule, with 47 events, will be released Thursday, although Finchem said “one or two” will not show a title sponsor.

“We’re virtually 100 percent sponsored, just short of it,” Finchem said. “But we don’t anticipate any issues there. … We have more tournaments than we can put on the schedule, candidly, but we have to be loyal to our historic tournament partners, and that’s what we’re trying. So we’re going through a bit of a transition.”

So, too, is Cadillac and GM’s approach to golf.

Finchem said Cadillac has assured him that it will be “fully engaged” at Doral within the next few weeks. Cadillac and the PGA Tour are also in talks about bringing golf back to the Detroit area, although Finchem said it would be premature to expect a stop there as early as 2012.

Last year, the automaker ended its half-century run as sponsor of the Buick Open golf tournament near Flint, Mich., as it cut expenses while under bankruptcy court protection. Buick ended a nine-year endorsement deal with golf superstar Tiger Woods in 2008.

Buick had been the longest-standing corporate sponsor on the PGA Tour and once had its name on four tournaments – the Buick Classic in New York, the Buick Challenge in Georgia, the Buick Open and the Buick Invitational. It also took over the Buick Championship in Connecticut for three years after the Georgia event folded.

“I think it’s safe to assume from today’s announcement and from how we’re positioning the brand that Cadillac will be the face of golf for GM going forward,” Cadillac marketing Vice President Don Butler said. “It makes sense for our target customers, it makes sense for what we think of the brand.”

GM has returned to profitability. It made $4.2 billion through the first three quarters of this year despite slow auto sales in the U.S. The company shed much of its debt and slimmed down to just four brands as it went through bankruptcy court last year, allowing it to make money on far lower sales volumes.

Butler said Cadillac views Doral as the right fit at the right time.

“We reach the right audience. We reach it in the right way,” Butler said. “It’s all about the presence of being able to target the right kind of customer for us, the affluent customer interested in luxury vehicles, the prominence of being associated with the PGA and the terrific players, the best players in the world playing at the highest level.”

Doral is on the 2011 schedule for March 10-13.
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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