Kaymer beats Watson in PGA Grand Slam playoff

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2014, 6:33 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda - Martin Kaymer is making a habit of beating Bubba Watson in head-to-head situations, even at an exhibition of major champions in Bermuda.

Kaymer won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf on Wednesday by surviving a wild day of lead changes. The U.S. Open champion won on the first playoff hole at Port Royal by making a 10-foot birdie and then watching Watson miss his birdie putt from 4 feet.

''I was surprised that he missed it,'' Kaymer said after closing with an even-par 71. ''Obviously, you don't want to win a golf tournament that way, but I'll take it.''

British Open and PGA champion Rory McIlroy closed with a 75 and was eight shots behind. Jim Furyk, the alternate in this 36-hole event for the year's four major champions, had a 73 and was another shot behind.

Watson, the Masters championship, shot 69.

Kaymer chipped in for eagle on the 16th hole at Gleneagles to beat Watson in the Ryder Cup in another European victory. They also met in a playoff in the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which Kaymer won on the last hole when Watson hit into the water.

Another shot into the water cost Watson at Port Royal.

The stress didn't end when the Grand Slam was over.

With Hurricane Gonzalo quickly approaching, the PGA of America chartered a flight to get its entire crew off the island. Officials were making sure the four players could get their flights out before the Category 4 storm arrived. It was expected to be near Bermuda early Friday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The final round was so wild that Kaymer's three-shot lead after seven holes was gone three holes later. He quickly rebuilt a three-shot lead after 12, only for Watson to pick up a shot on each of the next three holes, leaving them tied going to the par-3 16th.

That's when it turned in Watson's favor - but only for a minute. The Masters champion made birdie and took a two-shot lead when Kaymer made bogey. But on the par-5 17th, Watson hit into the water for a bogey, and Kaymer made birdie.

Both made par on the 18th in regulation, and then returned to No. 18 for a playoff.

''It felt like nobody really wanted to win around the turn,'' Kaymer said.

Kaymer won $600,000, while Watson earned $400,000.

Watson missed four good birdie chances on the front nine until he finally converted on No. 8. That was the start of 10 straight holes in which neither player tied a hole with a par. Over the last 12 holes, Kaymer and Watson combined for eight birdies and seven bogeys.

Watson saved his most costly mistake for the playoff hole.

''I hit great putts. They just didn't want to go in this week,'' Watson said. ''That's how golf is sometimes.''

 

Getty Images

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."

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm