John Rollins rolls to win at Reno-Tahoe Open

By Associated PressAugust 9, 2009, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)RENO, Nev. ' Like the five times before when he led after three rounds, John Rollins looked as if he might squander a chance for his third PGA Tour victory when he bogeyed three of four holes late in the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.
 
But this time, the 34-year-old Virginian righted the ship, made a birdie on the 636-yard, par-5 17th and hung on for an even-par 72 and a three-stroke victory Sunday at the Montreux Golf and Country Club course on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.
 
Rollins, who tied the course record with a second-round 62 and led by six strokes at the turn Sunday, offset an early double bogey with a chip-in eagle at the par-5 11th. But thats when the trouble began, with bogeys on Nos. 12, 13 and 15.
 
It was a hang-on kind of day. Im proud I managed to come out on top, said Rollins, who tied for second at Reno last year. I had to battle a lot of emotions.
 
He finished at 17-under 271.
 
After I bogeyed 15, I sort of kicked myself in the butt and told myself Im not going to let this tournament get away from me, he said. Luckily, we ran out of holes and we came out on top.
 
Martin Laird made a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18th to shoot a 66 and tie for second with Jeff Quinney, who also shot a 66 on the strength of six birdies. Joe Ogilvie (71) was fourth at 13 under.
 
Its nice to birdie the last, Laird said. The difference between (second and third) is a whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of FedExCup points.
 
Quinney said it was some of the best golf he has played since a six-week layoff in the spring because of a herniated disk.
 
I was just focused and staying in the present with what I was doing and I pretty much thought Rollins was running away with it, he said. I didnt know he made a couple of bogeys late.
 
Ryan Palmer, who started the day four off the pace in the final group with his friend Rollins, had four bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He shot a 73 to join Alex Cejka (67) and Kevin Na (68) at 12 under.
 
Rod Pampling finished another stroke back after a 67 on Sunday that included an eagle on the par-5 11th, where he holed out from a bunker in the third round for a quadruple-bogey 9.
 
Rollins, who won the 2002 Canadian Open and 2006 B.C. Open, was the runner-up earlier this year at the Buick Invitational and Honda Classic. The $540,000 winners check pushed his season earnings beyond the $2 million mark for only the second time in nine years on tour for a career total of more than $12 million.
 
Rollins sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-3 second hole, but he double bogeyed the par-5 fourth after he had to take a penalty stroke for an unplayable lie in the right rough off the tee. He chipped within 3 feet from 44 yards out on the 616-yard, par-5 fifth and made the birdie putt to make the turn at 36.
 
I was relieved to get off the front nine even par, Rollins said.
 
On the 584-yard 11th, he drove 351 yards down the right side of the fairway, hit his approach 212 yards to just short of the green and chipped in from nearly 40 feet for the eagle that pushed him to 19 under.
 
Once that happened you kind of feel like, `Well now, were OK. Lets settle down and lets finish this thing off, Rollins said.
 
But he followed that with consecutive bogeys, hitting short in a bunker on the par-3 12th and missing a 13-foot put for par, then hitting his approach over the green on the par-4 13th before two-putting from 9 feet.
 
I decided to make it interesting again, he said.
 
He hit another drive 348 yards on the 477-yard, par-4 15th but his second shot came up short in a deep bunker on the short side and his next went 25 feet past the hole before he two-putted again for another silly bogey to drop to 16 under ' ahead by only two ' with three holes to play.
 
Rollins hit over a pond to 16 feet on the par-3 16th, but his birdie try slid just past the left edge of the hole. After a 10-minute wait on the tee, he drove 333 yards in the middle of the par-5 17th. His second shot landed on the left fringe 34 feet from the hole to set up a two-putt birdie that gave him a three-stroke lead.
 
That was much more comfortable than going to 18 ahead by only one shot or even tied, he said.
 
His approach to the par-4 18th landed 20 feet right of the green in the rough, but he chipped to just inside 3 feet and made the putt for par.
 
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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.  

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    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.


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    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.


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