Nicklaus thinks Woods will play Masters

By Associated PressMarch 4, 2010, 6:01 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Jack Nicklaus is going to appear at next month’s Masters. He thinks Tiger Woods will, too.

Nicklaus said Wednesday that “it would surprise me” if Woods did not return to competitive golf in time for the Masters, a tournament the embattled world No. 1 has won four times in his career.

“I suspect he’ll play something before Augusta,” Nicklaus said behind the 18th green at PGA National, where the Honda Classic opens on Thursday. “Your guess is as good as mine. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t play something before Augusta.”

Tiger Woods on driving range at Isleworth

Nicklaus has been reluctant to comment much about Woods since the saga involving revelations of infidelity began late last year, saying more than once that someone else’s private life isn’t any of his business. He reiterated that belief again Wednesday after finishing his Pro-Am round at the South Florida course he redesigned.

A person with knowledge of Woods’ schedule told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Woods returned to his home near Orlando, over the weekend after a week of family counseling and resumed practicing for the first time in nearly four months.

Like many, Nicklaus seemed to take that as a sign that Woods could be back sooner than later. The Masters begins April 8.

“It would surprise me if he didn’t,” Nicklaus said. “I can’t imagine in 100 years he’s going to miss this. None of you guys do either. But I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve been very noncommittal about anything as it’s not my business. But as it relates to him playing golf, my guess is as a golfer he’s going to want to try to play Augusta if he’s got his other things in order.”

Earlier this year, Nicklaus said 2010 would be “a big year” for Woods if he wanted to get closer to Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships. Three of this year’s majors will be on courses where Woods has been dominant before, Augusta National, Pebble Beach and St. Andrews.

Of Woods’ 14 majors, half have come on those three courses. Woods has never missed a Masters or a U.S. Open since 1995.

Nicklaus is going back to the Masters, a tournament he won six times, as an honorary starter this year. He agreed to take on the role last year, and will join Arnold Palmer for the opening shot of the tournament. In time, he expects Gary Player to join them.

The honorary start is something Nicklaus never saw as a player, and he spent several minutes Wednesday talking about that after finishing the round he played with Dan Marino, Drew Brees and saxophonist Kenny G. (For what it’s worth, Nicklaus said he broke 80, after closing birdie-birdie.)

Then the questions turned to Woods.

“I didn’t think I was going to have anything else,” Nicklaus said.

Woods was photographed hitting balls at Isleworth on Feb. 18. One day later, he ended nearly three months of silence by speaking to a small group of associates, a statement that got worldwide attention.

“I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that day will be,” Woods said on Feb. 19. “I don’t rule out that it will be this year.”

Nicklaus was asked if Woods’ presence would make the Champions Dinner, a pre-Masters tradition, different.

The only man with more major championships than Woods didn’t hesitate to answer.

“No. It’s the Champions Dinner,” Nicklaus said. “His personal life is his personal life. As a golfer, he’s a sensational golfer. He’s a great athlete. He’ll figure out his own problems. But as a golfer, he’ll come back and get his game in shape and play. That’s what he does.”

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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