Jiyai Shin wins PG Beauty NW Arkansas Championship playoff

By Associated PressSeptember 14, 2009, 12:50 am

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ROGERS, Ark. – Jiyai Shin arrived at the course around 5:30 a.m., then began her final round a couple hours later in one of the first groups to tee off.

A championship was the furthest thing from her mind.

“I wanted to just make under par,” Shin said.

Shin accomplished that modest goal and a whole lot more Sunday, rallying from a seven-stroke deficit to win the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship. Shin shot a 7-under 64 and outlasted Angela Stanford and Sun Young Yoo in a sudden-death playoff at Pinnacle Country Club.

Shin, an LPGA rookie from South Korea, now has three wins on tour this year, the most of any player.

 

Jiyai Shin
Jiyai Shin reacts to her winning putt. (Getty Images)

“I’m lucky this year,” she said. “I’m just focused on the Rookie of the Year [award], but now I still have a chance for the Player of the Year [award].”

Nancy Lopez was the last player to win both, in 1978.

Shin is called the “Final-Round Queen” in South Korea. In March, she trailed by four strokes with nine holes to play before winning the HSBC Women’s Champions.

On No. 15, the second hole of Sunday’s playoff, she made a 12-foot birdie putt to win after Stanford had missed a longer putt along a similar line.

“Angela’s ball broke left to the right,” Shin said. “I trusted Angela’s putt.”

Shin posted her final-round score around 12:30 p.m. and had to wait about two hours for everyone else to finish. She finished at 9-under 204 for the 54-hole event on the 6,244-yard course.

About an hour after Shin finished her round, Shi Hyun Ahn reached the green in two shots on the par-5 18th. Ahn (66) three-putted to finish at 8 under.

Meanwhile, Stanford and second-round leader Song-Hee Kim were plodding along. For the third straight year, rain was a factor at this event, although it was fairly light Sunday and play wasn’t delayed.

“I thought for sure somebody would make it to 10 (under),” Stanford said.

Instead, Stanford (69) needed a couple of dramatic shots just to reach the playoff. She began the round two strokes behind Kim, and after a bogey on No. 1, she holed out a 138-yard 9-iron for an eagle on the second.

She entered the final hole knowing she needed an eagle to make it to a playoff with Shin and Yoo. After reaching the green on the 515-yard par 5 in two shots, she made a 25-foot putt.

“That was pretty cool,” Stanford said. “I told my caddie, walking 18, ‘They’re going to erupt if we eagle 18.”’

They did, and Kim (72) could have made it a four-way playoff, but she missed a birdie putt.

Shin, Stanford and Yoo (68) played No. 18 again to start the playoff, and they all made birdie putts from close to the hole. None of the three were able to reach the green in two. Yoo had to play a tricky shot from a bunker behind the green but was able to get up and down.

On the next hole, Yoo’s tee shot ended up on the fringe, and she was unable to chip in for birdie. Stanford and Shin were both on the same part of the green.

Stanford’s putt went a few feet past the hole. Shin then made hers for the win.

Although Shin is a rookie this year, she won the Women’s British Open in 2008.

Stanford’s mother, who is battling breast cancer, was on hand for the exciting finish. Although Stanford had to settle for her third consecutive top-10 finish, that eagle on No. 18 was quite a moment.

“I was nervous, and all day I had missed a lot of putts that I should have made,” Stanford said. “I thought, ‘You know, my mom’s here, forget being nervous. Be a player and get it in the hole.”

Earlier in the week, Shin had an English lesson at the media center, where she saw the tournament trophy. She said then she’d see it again Sunday, and she was right. She also moved to the top of this year’s money list.

“Just lucky,” she said.

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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