Larrazabal Out Front Early at French Open

By Associated PressJune 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
European TourPARIS -- Spanish qualifier Pablo Larrazabal left his driver in the clubhouse and shot a 6-under 65 Thursday to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the French Open.
 
Thats my first tournament I play without a driver, Larrazabal said. The fairways are really hard, so you dont need the driver. Maybe if the wind starts to blow really hard, then you need the driver.
 
One shot back were English teenager Oliver Fisher, who birdied three of his final seven holes in a bogey-free 66, and Irelands Peter Lawrie, who recovered from an opening double bogey with 10 birdies'but finished with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18.
 
Angel Cabrera of Argentina was alone in fourth after a 67.
 
Without a driver, Larrazabal relied on a 3-wood off the tee.
 
I have been hitting my 3-wood so well, Larrazabal said. The only fairway I missed out there was on the ninth.
 
Starting on the back nine, Larrazabal was bogey free with seven birdies until he reached the ninth. He concluded his day with a bogey to slip to 6 under.
 
I thought I had hit a perfect 3-wood but it was a foot into the big stuff, and I had to chip it out and then hit a 6-iron for my third shot, Larrazabal said. My fourth shot was the worst of the day and I had to chip and putt for bogey.
 
Larrazabal had to play two qualifying rounds two weeks ago at the Chantilly golf club to make the field.
 
Lawrie recovered from a double bogey on the first hole with five birdies in the next six holes.
 
He added four consecutive birdies starting at 12 to take the lead at 7 under. But his closing bogeys dropped him back.
 
Fisher finished at 5 under a month ago at the BMW PGA Championship to finish tied for 16th. It was the 19-year-olds best showing in six events this season.
 
I think Im probably more patient this year than I was last year, he said. You just try to do the best you can, go through the right processes and right routines beforehand and hit the best shots you can.
 
Fisher shared the lead after 15 holes with Angel Cabrera of Argentina at 4 under.
 
He birdied 17, and Cabrera matched with a birdie at No. 8 to stay tied. Cabrera bogeyed 9, and when Fisher saved par on the 18th, he went into the clubhouse with the lead.
 
A group of 12 players, including defending champion Graeme Storm of England, were three strokes off the pace at the $6.3 million tournament.
 
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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
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.