Money on the Minds of Many as Fall Series Begins

By Associated PressSeptember 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
Turning Stone Resort ChampionshipVERONA, New York - Nick Flanagan is one of the lucky ones competing in the PGA TOUR's Fall Series -- the Aussie doesn't have to worry about his playing card for next year.
 
'There's not any pressure on me. I've got next year wrapped up,' said Flanagan, who will make his first PGA TOUR start at the Turning Stone Resort Championship beginning Thursday.
 
Flanagan, who won the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont four years ago, earned a promotion to pro golf's top level by winning the Nationwide Tour's Xerox Classic in nearby Rochester last month, his third victory on the developmental tour. His PGA TOUR status for 2008 will fall behind those who finish in the top 125 on the PGA TOUR money list.
 
'I'd love to get in contention for at least one of the events (on the fall schedule), doesn't matter which one it is, and hopefully just see how I play under that kind of pressure,' he said. 'It's just a matter of learning how here in these seven events and taking that to next year.'
 
The Turning Stone Resort Championship, which kicks off the new PGA TOUR Fall Series, has a purse of $6 million, the largest of the seven events on the fall slate. Which means it could have a bigger impact on the final list of money leaders.
 
The top 125 players retain fully exempt status to play on Tour in 2008, and the Fall Series determines Nos. 31 through 125. (The top 30 were already decided through the FedExCup playoffs.)
 
Steve Allan, with earnings of $568,059, has the precarious perch of No. 125 heading into the first round at the acclaimed Atunyote Golf Club course, a Tom Fazio design that opened in 2004. And of the four players directly ahead of him and the 15 right behind, only one -- Jason Bohn at No. 129 with earnings of $527,512 -- won't be playing.
 
Among those missing for this new PGA event are the game's top two players -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who are preparing for the Presidents Cup next week in Montreal.
 
But seven players who have won on tour this year -- Fred Funk, rookie Brandt Snedeker, Brian Bateman, Woody Austin, Brian Bateman, Joe Ogilvie, and Nick Watney -- are in the field, as are former major winners John Daly, Todd Hamilton, Lee Janzen, and Justin Leonard.
 
Turning Stone Resort, operated by the Oneida Indian Nation, was chosen to host the event because of the venue's quality and how it performed as the last-minute substitute host for the final B.C. Open last summer. Flooding forced the PGA to change the venue for the 2006 B.C. Open from En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott just two weeks before it was scheduled.
 
The B.C. Open was scheduled opposite the British Open for several years, which meant the field rarely had any top players.
 
John Rollins, who won the final B.C. Open by one shot over Bob May, knows a repeat victory at Atunyote will be much more difficult, and not only because of the stronger field. The course has been lengthened 167 yards to 7,482, and the rough is higher.
 
'This field's obviously better,' Rollins said. 'This year, I think a lot of the players have heard so many good things from last year that it's generated a good feel. The purse helps. A $6 million purse is big. You tack another million dollars on top of what you've already got, it goes from being a really good year to all of a sudden a great year.'
 
Related Links:
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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