Lamely leads Bob Hope Classic

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2011, 6:20 am

Bob Hope Classic

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Even after Derek Lamely strung together the longest streak of birdies and eagles on the PGA Tour in nearly four years, he realized it’s still very early in the Bob Hope Classic.

Lamely shot a 9-under 63 in the first round Wednesday, playing a six-hole stretch in 7 under to take a one-stroke lead over J.J. Henry and Jhonattan Vegas.

Although Lamely finished fiercely at the Palmer Private course, the second-year PGA Tour player knows first-round scores mean little in the tour’s only five-day event over four fairly generous courses.

“This is going to be definitely not a sprint,” Lamely said after finishing his round under picturesque conditions in the Palm Springs area. “The golf courses are perfect. The weather is just so good. You’ve just got to go out and stay aggressive every hole. Hopefully you can get hot and make a bunch of putts, and I actually got that going today.”

Lamely had five birdies and an eagle in his six-hole run for the best stretch on the PGA Tour since Brandt Snedeker strung together an 8-under, seven-hole roll in early 2007 at Torrey Pines.

The 30-year-old Lamely was the only American rookie to win last year, although the Puerto Rico Open was an opposite-field event. After making major changes to his grip and swing shortly before winning in Puerto Rico, his biggest goal this winter is to win again in time to qualify for the Masters.

“At the end of last year, I started hitting it good, and I’ve been hitting it better and better as it goes on,” Lamely said. “I keep getting better at the few things I’ve changed, so it’s finally getting to the point where I can think my way around and just make some putts.”

Boo Weekley led a pack of six at 65. The group includes Matt McQuillan, who only made it into the Hope field after Donnie Hammond withdrew Wednesday morning.

Henry holed a 132-yard wedge shot on his first hole at the Nicklaus Private course, but didn’t get rolling until making six birdies in eight holes around the turn, finishing his season debut with his best round in seven career appearances at the Hope.

“I’ve probably never been this excited to start the year, both mentally and physically,” Henry said. “I really felt refreshed and ready to go. (When) I got on the first hole, I had a perfect number with the wedge. You’re a little nervous, haven’t played a tournament in four months, and I hit this perfect shot that never left the flag.”

Henry hasn’t won a tournament since the 2006 Buick Championship, and hadn’t played since the Deutsche Bank Championships, yet feels re-energized after taking most of the past four months off from golf while his oldest son started school.

Henry also used his fall free time to follow around his beloved TCU football team. Henry graduated from TCU in 1998, and he attended nearly all of the unbeaten Horned Frogs’ games last season—including the Rose Bowl, which he watched from the sideline.

Vegas, the 26-year-old Venezuelan rookie, had an outstanding start to his fifth PGA Tour event, beating the previous best round of his short career by three strokes. He made the cut last week in the Sony Open in Hawaii, but still didn’t get to finish after the field was further trimmed because of weather delays.

“I guess it was a little advantage not playing (in Hawaii) on Sunday, because I was able to get a flight Saturday night, and play this course on Sunday,” Vegas said. “I actually got to see all four courses, which I think is huge for a rookie.”

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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