New dad Horschel focused on Cup defense in Malaysia

By Associated PressOctober 28, 2014, 11:30 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Setting out as defending FedEx Cup champion in Malaysia this week, Billy Horschel is a changed man.

It's not the fame, the money or the added pressure that has affected Horschel, but the arrival of his first child, who was born two days after he won the FedEx title.

''Golf isn't what it used to be,'' Horschel said Tuesday as he prepared for the CIMB Classic. ''I used to think of golf as life or death. If I played bad, it showed, and I wasn't a pleasant person to be around.

''With her, she doesn't care if I play bad or good. She just cares that I'm there for her and I love her.''

The perspective on life may have changed, but one thing that hasn't is Horschel's determination to continue his success on the course, and that's reflected in the tough goal he has set himself for the new season.

''I want to be the first guy to defend the FedEx Cup,'' Horschel said. ''No one has been able to do it. There's only been one guy to win two FedEx Cups and that's a guy by the name of Tiger Woods, he's not too bad. But I want to be the first guy to defend the FedEx Cup. That would be an unbelievable thing to do.''

CIMB Classic: Articles, videos and photos

Horschel, who missed the cut in his opening event of the season at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, is part of a strong field at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club that includes Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Jason Dufner, Charl Schwartzel and defending champion Ryan Moore.

The PGA Tour event's restricted 78-man field – there is no cut – is precisely half American and half international players, including the top 10 money winners from the Asian Tour.

Hideki Matsuyama, Ryo Ishikawa and Chinese teen prodigy Guan Tianlang are also among those vying for the title, with the winner also receiving a place in the Masters and PGA Championship.

Dufner, the 2013 PGA Championship winner, is back from a neck injury and played in Australia last week.

''It was nice to get out and compete again, play some golf, see where I stand health-wise,'' Dufner said. ''Had some rust probably on my game and made quite a number of bogeys that I normally don't make. But pretty good week for the most part, made a lot of birdies, and I did a lot of good things, so I'm encouraged going forward.''

While the new PGA Tour season is in its infancy, the Asian Tour is building toward its climax, with David Lipsky chasing a strong result in Malaysia as he seeks to hang on to his Order of Merit lead.

Nearest rival Anirban Lahiri of India won the prior event in Macau.

''Anirban is playing well but as long as I take care of business and do what I need to do, then everything should take care of itself,'' Lipsky said. ''I have a pretty sizable lead right now as it is. As long as I play well the rest of the year and do what I need to do, I'm pretty confident I can win.''

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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.