Jim Furyk optimistic as he eyes return to Bethpage

By Associated PressJune 9, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2009 U.S. OpenLAFAYETTE HILL, Pa. ' Jim Furyk doesnt have fond memories of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, but he hopes changes in the course setup and hopefully better weather will boost his chances to contend at next weeks U.S. Open.
Furyk missed the cut in 2002 with rounds of 73 and 80 on the difficult New York course, recalling a setup that was definitely not good for my game.
Of all the U.S. Opens Ive played, it probably was the most problems for me, Furyk said Monday before hosting his annual Exelon Invitational charity event, which included Anthony Kim, Kenny Perry and Paul Casey, at The ACE Club in suburban Philadelphia.
Furyk comes into the Open having finished second to Tiger Woods by one shot in the Memorial on Sunday. Woods is the defending U.S. Open champion ' and also won it seven years ago at Bethpage.
In his return to Bethpage, Furyk, who won the U.S. Open in 2003 at Olympia Fields near Chicago, is resting his hopes on the United States Golf Associations kinder, gentler setup in recent years ' along with a weather pattern more conducive to scoring.
Im hoping its not winter again there, put it that way, Furyk said. It was in the 50s, raining sideways and blowing. Thats not summer, Im sorry.
I think, more importantly, we have a new setup for U.S. Opens the last few years. I think the positive Im taking is going to Bethpage with an open mind thinking that its going to be different than it was last time and hopefully a little more suited for my game.
Perry also recalls a bear of a golf course. He made the cut, finishing tied for 45th at 15-over par, but he has not forgotten the test.
In 2002, I remember there wasnt a birdie hole out there, Perry said. I remember the rain, the thick rough. It just seemed like if you didnt hit the fairway, every hole was a struggle.
He said hell use a strategy similar to his approach at this years Masters, where he lost to Angel Cabrera in a playoff, and thats to focus on getting the ball in the fairway and go from there.
Im going in there with a driver with a little more loft. Im going to try to get something to act like a 2-wood, just to make sure I get the ball in play this year, he said. Thats kind of what I did at Augusta. I made sure I got it in the fairway, didnt short-side myself on the greens. I tried to give myself as many par opportunities and maybe steal a birdie here or there.
Hopefully by the end of the day were in good shape.
Neither Casey nor Kim, two of the PGA Tours young stars, were in the field in 2002. Neither has ever even played Bethpage Black.
Im excited to see it and having not experienced it in 02, I dont have, should we say, the scars from the stories Ive heard and how tough it was, said Casey, ranked No. 3 in the world. The way the USGA announced setting up the Open with the graduated rough and maybe moving some tees around, I think it will be quite a different golf course.
Casey will get his first look at the course during a practice round on Tuesday. Hes already received advice from fans who have played the public course.
Ive been getting advice from the people weve been meeting out (on Tour), shaking hands and signing autographs, who are telling me about the holes, said Casey, whose best U.S. Open finish in six starts was a tie for 10th in 2007 at Oakmont. I like the challenge, sometimes Im good at it, sometimes Im not but thats why we play the game. We want to test ourselves not only against the best players, but the toughest golf courses in the world and this has a reputation of being exactly that.
Kim will play a practice round Thursday before caddying for pop singer Justin Timberlake on Friday in Golf Digests U.S. Open Challenge.
Ive heard that course is a monster, Kim said. Im going to spend a little time up there and get ready, maybe play Thursday, caddie Friday and head back (home) and come back on Tuesday so it doesnt beat me up too bad before the event starts.
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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