Henderson 18 holes from second straight Portland win

By Associated PressJuly 2, 2016, 11:27 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. - Brooke Henderson grew up toward the eastern part of Canada in Ontario, but the Pacific Northwest has quickly become a favorite of the budding 18-year-old star.

She continued her mastery of Columbia Edgewater Country Club, shooting a 70 Saturday to take a two-stroke lead into Sunday's final round of the Cambia Portland Classic.

Henderson, who claimed her first LPGA win a year ago in Portland, was at 13-under 203 heading into the final round. She leads Colombia's Mariajo Uribe, who was 11-under after a 71.

Henderson, who earned her LPGA Tour card shortly after winning last year's Portland event, was bidding for her third career win, all in the Northwest. Three weeks ago, Henderson rallied to win the Women's PGA Championship at Sahalee in Sammamish, Washington.

Henderson has shared or held the outright Portland lead the past six rounds. She was aiming to become the first back-to-back Portland winner since Annika Sorenstam in 2002-03.

All wasn't well Saturday for Henderson, who shot 69 or better in each of her first seven Portland Classic rounds at Columbia Edgewater, including last year's Monday qualifier. Though she had four birdies, she was often scrambling to make par, and her card included a double bogey.

''I played pretty awful today. Definitely want to play better tomorrow. I mean, I hit a lot of good shots. I just didn't capitalize on my chances. That was the first 12 holes for me,'' Henderson said.

Norway's Suzann Pettersen, tied for the lead with Henderson after the second round, faded to 9-under following a 74. Pettersen was the only player among the top 15 players who didn't break par Saturday. Also at 9-under was 2014 Portland champion Austin Ernst following a 69.

Pettersen was bidding to become the Portland Classic's second three-time winner, joining Nancy Lopez (1985, 1987, 1992). Pettersen has history in Portland, rallying during the final round to win the 2011 and 2013 tournaments. In 2011, Pettersen erased a nine-stroke deficit on the final day to beat Na Yeon Choi in a playoff.

American rookie Lee Lopez was 8-under after a 69.

No. 9 Stacy Lewis was six strokes back at 7-under after shooting 67, the day's second best score. Cheyenne Woods, whose best finish in two years on the tour was a tie for 24th, was also 7-under following a 69, as was Carlota Ciganda after shooting 70.

Scotland's Catriona Matthew was 6-under after a 66, the day's low round. Matthew had a bogey-free card that included an eagle at the par-5, 463-yard seventh. Brianna Do (70) and Angela Stanford (72) were also 6-under.

Henderson said the golf course ''has changed so much since Friday morning ... it's so firm and fast right now.'' But Henderson says she doesn't plan to dramatically alter her strategy for Sunday's final round.

''I think there are definitely holes where par is good. Just kind of get in and out,'' Henderson said. ''There are definitely still a lot of birdie opportunities out there. If you're hitting the ball well and in the right spots, you can definitely still shoot a low score. You just have to be careful of the conditions.''

Henderson, tied for the second round lead with Pettersen after two rounds, opened up a two-shot advantage over Uribe at the turn with a front nine of 2-under 34. Pettersen struggled, closing the front nine with back-to-back bogeys to fall four strokes behind Henderson.

The tournament's complexion changed at the par-3, 160-yard 13th, when Henderson and Uribe each hit their tee shots in the water and made double bogey. Pettersen suddenly was back in it, trailing Henderson by just a shot.

''I didn't take my time on the tee shot...I just mishit it,'' Henderson said.

But Henderson collected herself and made four pars and a birdie, at the par-3 16th, during her final five holes.

Uribe was looking for her first LPGA Tour win. In her sixth year on tour, Uribe's best finish was third at the 2015 Manulife Classic. The last Colombian to win an LPGA event was Marisa Baena in 2005.

''It would mean a lot to win. This year has been a little tough one me. The results haven't come. Tomorrow, I'm going to think on my game, shoot a low round. I love playing with Brooke and she's been playing so good,'' Uribe said. ''If I win, I want it to be because I shoot a really good round, not because anyone else struggles.''

Vicky Hurst shot 70 and was among four players at 211.

Mariah Stackhouse, the Stanford four-time All-American making her professional debut is 2-under after a 71, as is 2012 Portland champion Mika Miyazato, who shot 70.

The Portland Classic purse is $1.3 million, with $195,000 going to the winner.

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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.