Mirim Lee beats Inbee Park in playoff for Meijer title

By Associated PressAugust 11, 2014, 12:01 am

BELMONT, Mich. - Mirim Lee won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA victory, beating fellow South Korean player Inbee Park with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.

''I (was) nervous 100 percent,'' Lee said. ''First time in playoff. Inbee Park is like a hero in Korea and all the young girls want to be her now in Korea.''

The long-hitting Lee drove into greenside bunker on the second extra hole - the short par-4 17th - and blasted out to 5 feet. After Park's 15-foot birdie try lipped out, Lee holed her putt for the victory.

They each parred the 18th to open the playoff. Park's approach shot hit the cup on the way past and she missed a 15-foot birdie try. Lee two-putted from 35 feet.

The 23-year-old Lee, an LPGA rookie, closed with a 2-under 69 to match Park at 14-under 270 at Blythefield Country Club. Park, a 10-time tour winner, finished with a 70.



Lee is projected to jump to 29th in the world ranking. She earned $225,000 to jump from 40th to eighth on the money list with $414,135. Her previous best was a second-place finish in Phoenix in March.

Norway's Suzann Pettersen was a stroke back after a 69.

Park said the win will give Lee great confidence.

''I think she was kind of, you know, thinking about whether she should come to the LPGA or whether she should stay in KLPGA,'' Park said. ''but I think this will definitely make her see she made a good decision.''

Park said in the end the new blade putter she put in the bag this week let her down in the last round.

''I felt I hit a good putt, but it just didn't go in,'' she said of the final birdie attempt. ''The putter just wasn't there. It was nice to shoot under par, but Mirim played well in the playoff holes.''

Pettersen, seeking her first win this year after 14 in her career, said she just didn't hit enough good shots or drives on the back nine in the final round.

''It's nice to get four solid rounds of competition in,'' she said. ''I've struggled this year, but it is coming. Disappointed to be one short, but it was nice to be back in contention straight after a three-week break.''

With three holes to play, Park, Pettersen and Lee were tied for the lead at 14 under, but Pettersen had tree and sand troubles and made a bogey at 16 to fall a shot behind.

Park and Lee each missed birdie chances at the 17th. On the 18th, Lee two-putted for par from 40 feet, and Park made a 6-foot par putt.

Pettersen, who was playing in the group in front of Park for the day, birdied the first two holes and eagled the par-5 fifth - hitting a 3-wood shot to 6 feet - to tie Park at 15 under.

Lee birdied the par-5 11th to pull within a shot of Park.

After 10 consecutive pars, Park three-putted the par-3 14th for a bogey. It happened about the same time Pettersen was punching a shot from the trees to 8 feet at 15 to set up a birdie and another tie.

Lee, trailing most of the day by a shot or two, then joined Park and Pettersen at 14 under with a 5-foot birdie putt at 15.

Japan's Haru Nomura was fourth at 10 under after a 68. Germany's Sandra Gal, the first-round leader, was another stroke back after a 66.

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis had her best round of the week with a 66 to tie for 11th at 6 under.

The tournament was the first LPGA event in Michigan since 2000 when the Oldsmobile Classic in East Lansing ended its nine-year run.

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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