Much of moving day at Open about holding on

By Associated PressJune 20, 2010, 4:37 am

2010 U.S. OpenPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Moving day at the U.S. Open on Saturday went like this: Get your birdies and eagles early and keep the bogeys and bigger numbers to a minimum as Pebble Beach got more difficult.

A few of those who finished the third round in the early afternoon were successful matching the USGA’s challenge.

Plenty others were not.

Davis Love IIITom Watson were among the few to take advantage early in the day before winds started to kick up. Love went out in 30, including a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch on Nos. 2, 3 and 4, and another at nine. He made a pair of bogeys and many scrambling pars coming in to get back into contention at 4 over for the tournament.

Love would be even closer if not for a triple-bogey 8 he took on the 18th hole in the second round.

“You’ve got to get as many as you can before you get to (number) eight and then hang on,” Love said. “The secret is not hanging on, it’s just playing the back nine.”

Watson sneaked in on the cut line, then made the special exemption the USGA granted the 1982 Open champ at Pebble Beach appear a great idea. The 60-year-old Watson was 3 under on his round after a birdie at the 12th, but gave back a pair of shots coming in and finished with a 1-under 70.

Brandt Snedeker also finished early and shot 69, the second best round of the early finishers. Snedeker is at 5 over.

“The greens are going to be tougher. The backs of those turtles get higher and higher,” Watson said. “And the winds will come up and it will dry out the lower parts of these greens, and the higher parts will rise up and you’ll have – it will get more bumpy. It’s always been the case here.”

The way the USGA setup Pebble Beach for the third round, players were given the chance to make up shots early, then challenged to hold on to their scores as the round progressed.

Tees were moved forward on No. 3, giving players the chance to cut the dogleg and leave a wedge into the green. The fourth hole was shortened to 284 yards, meaning long hitters like Dustin Johnson could use a long iron to reach the par 4 from the tee.

But no matter how many birdies players were able to drop on the opening holes, the challenging stretch of par 4s along the Pacific Ocean and a brutal back nine awaited.

Just ask David Duval.

Duval tore up the front nine, going out in 31 with birdies at Nos. 1 and 4, and an eagle at the sixth that dropped him to 2 over. He came home in 43 with five bogeys and a double bogey on the 15th when his flop shot out of deep rough flopped right into the greenside bunker a few yards in front of him.

“You do the best you can on each and go from there,” Duval said.

Henrik Stenson was in the same position as Duval, making two birdies and an eagle on the front to get to 2 over. He finished with two bogeys and double bogeys on Nos. 14 and 18. After his 7 on the 18th, Stenson tried throwing his ball into Stillwater Cove, only to not throw it hard enough to reach the water and see it bounce back onto the course.

“You have to hang in there, keep your patience and keep your mistakes to a minimum,” Stenson said.


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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

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Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

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Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

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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