Janzen Jones Shoot Lights-Out to Lead in Vegas

By Associated PressOctober 9, 2002, 4:00 pm
LAS VEGAS -- Lee Janzen came into this gambling town resolving to play it safe. He followed his plan to perfection Wednesday in a 9-under 63 that tied him for the lead after the first round of the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas.
Janzen, trying not to be too aggressive in a tournament where birdies are made in bunches, had 10 birdies and one bogey and was tied at 9-under with Steve Jones.
Jones had a 62, but his came at the par-71 TPC Canyons course, while Janzen played the par-72 TPC Summerlin course.
Both were a stroke ahead of PGA champion Rich Beem and J.L. Lewis.
'It's easy to press because you think you have to shoot 63 every day,' Janzen said. 'I make more birdies now that I play more conservative if you can believe that. If I just stay away from gambling on too many holes I do well.'
On a warm and windless day made for scoring, Janzen finished off a back-nine 30 with a 5-footer for birdie to get to the top of a scoreboard crowded with red numbers.
It might have been even better if not for a few missed short putts, including a 2-footer for birdie on No. 9 that didn't go in. Janzen promptly followed that with birdies on 10 and 11 to get his round going again.
'I didn't want to let that ruin my round,' Janzen said.
Winless since winning his second U.S. Open in 1998, Janzen said he is hitting the ball better than ever but just hasn't been able to make enough birdies when it counts to win.
Janzen won seven times on the PGA Tour through 1995, but only once since.
'In 1995 if someone had said you're going to win only once more over the next seven years I wouldn't have believed it,' Janzen said. 'It's just a matter of getting the right attitude back on the course to win again. I think I'm headed back in that direction.'
If Janzen is to win here, he'll have to have four more days of scores well under par. His 63 came on a course that played four strokes under par to the field and didn't give him much breathing room.
Jones, like Janzen a U.S. Open champion, had 11 1-putts for the 62 that tied his lowest round ever. Jones made nine birdies and no bogeys.
'If you're making pars out here you better go home,' Jones said.
Beem used the same 7-wood he made eagle with to beat Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship for another eagle in his 64.
Beem hit the 7-wood to 20 feet on the par-5 13th for the first of two back-nine eagles. He finished his round by pitching in from 67 yards for another eagle.
The stakes weren't quite as high as the 7-wood he hit for an eagle on No. 11 that final day to win the PGA Championship, but Beem was just as pleased with both the shot and the club.
'That's one of the few clubs that will never come out of the bag,' Beem said.
Looking for a third win to cap off a spectacular breakthrough year, Beem finished off his round with a flourish by pitching in from 67 yards for an eagle on 18 at Southern Highlands Country Club.
Beem, playing in his fourth event since winning the PGA, is fifth on the money list with $2.83 million. He would add another $900,000 to that if he can keep up his play over a marathon tournament that goes 90 holes over three courses.
Beem's best finish since winning the International and then following it with the PGA was a sixth in the NEC Invitational. He admitted having some trouble adjusting to the demands placed on a major championship winner.
'I'm still a little tired from everything but slowly and surely I'm catching up on my sleep,' he said.
Lewis, whose only win came in the 1999 John Deere Classic, shot his 64 at the TPC Summerlin course, where the final two weekend rounds will be held.
The 64 may have looked impressive, but Lewis said the course was playing easy because all the par-5s were reachable in two and the greens were nearly perfect.
'Average is about 4 under here if the wind doesn't blow,' Lewis said. 'You should be able to get it around in that if you don't make any big mistakes.'
Chris Riley, who played at UNLV and lives on the TPC Summerlin course, was in contention after a 65 that included a 29 on his back nine.
Riley, who contended in the PGA Championship before winning the next week at the Reno-Tahoe Open, had a 65 after opening with an even-par 36 on his front nine.
Riley said he had problems focusing on the front nine in one of the few events where amateurs play with the pros.
'I just find myself being too nice,' Riley said. 'It took me until about the seventh hole to get focused.'
Full-field scores from the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas
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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