Notes Carnousties Redemption Steroid User

By Associated PressJuly 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Even during such a gloomy week, Carnoustie shone at the British Open.
 
For years reputed to be the toughest links course in the world, Carnoustie had become somewhat of an enigma for the younger generation. It had gone 24 years without hosting a British Open, and when it returned to the rotation in 1999, the setup was so outrageous that it became known as 'Car-Nasty.'
 
There was nothing but high praise this time around.
 
The Royal & Ancient proved that a golf course that can be a strong test without rough up to the knees and fairways cut at the waist. The conditions could have not been more ideal for scoring last week. Rain all summer in Scotland made this a green British Open with lush fairways and soft greens, and the wind rarely got stronger than 10 mph all week.
 
The result was the first winning score all year in a major (7-under 277), and by far the most exciting major of the year.
 
It allowed for a dynamic charge by Andres Romero, who made 10 birdies in 16 holes before the pressure overcame him. Romero's play over 16 holes rivaled Johnny Miller at Oakmont in 1973. If not for an approach into the gorse bush for double bogey on No. 12, and a bounce off the stone face of Barry Burn that went out-of-bounds for double bogey on No. 17, golf might have had its first 62 in a major.
 
Train wrecks were a certainty.
 
One only had to watch Padraig Harrington twice hit into the burn on the 18th hole and make a gutsy double bogey, then see Sergio Garcia make bogey by playing an iron off the tee for safety, leaving him a 3-iron to the green. He went into the bunker and missed his par putt from 10 feet to set up the playoff.
 
Harrington twice had birdie putts inside 10 feet in the four-hole playoff, far more entertaining than hanging on with pars.
 
It should be a lesson that nasty rough might make it a tough test, but not a good one. Ian Poulter and Romero had good rounds evaporate because they were given a chance to advance the ball out of the rough and paid dearly for it. And the wild fluctuation in scores along the back nine, such as Harrington's eagle on the 14th and double bogey on the 18th, made for better golf than seeing who can get to the clubhouse with the fewest bogeys.
 
Augusta National will always be the most mystical major because of its history and familiarity. St. Andrews will always have the tradition as the home of golf. And with one week, Carnoustie was such a good show that the British Open can't return soon enough.
 
STEROID USER
Gary Player was saluted by some and vilified by most for saying he knew for a fact that at least one player had tried performance-enhancing drugs, although he refused to identify the player.
 
Turns out at least one player at Carnoustie was taking a steroid.
 
'I suspect in the next year, I'll be getting more and more questions about it,' former PGA champion Shaun Micheel said. 'I'm not a doctor, but I'm married to a lawyer, so I know how to answer the questions.'
 
Micheel was diagnosed two years ago with low testosterone, and he has been taking a synthetic steroid (Testim 1 percent), and says he could be on the drug for a while. He said doctors told him his testosterone level should be between 700 and 800 for someone his age (38), and his is around 480. It was 260 when he was diagnosed in April 2005.
 
'I think people have a better understanding of it because I've been outspoken about it,' said Micheel, who wears 'Testim.com' on the front of his cap. 'I've been on it a couple of years, and I suspect I'll be on it a long time. Once you start taking something, your body stops making it. If I were to test way high ... it wouldn't benefit me in any way. I'm in the wrong sport for something like that to happen.'
 
He catches some flak from players, but only because of how he takes the drug. It's a clear gel he rubs into his shoulder.
 
'That's where I get harassed the most,' he said. 'They say I'm using the clear. I do laugh about it. But I don't want to take this stuff. I don't like taking stuff for a cold.'
 
ON A ROLL
John Wood sounded like a typical caddie when he said his boss was swinging well at the U.S. Open at Oakmont and could be about to break through.
 
Wood was only off by a week.
 
Hunter Mahan tied for 13th at the U.S. Open, then won the following week in Hartford at the Travelers Championship. He tied for eighth in the AT&T National at Congressional, then shot 69-65 on the weekend at Carnoustie to tie for sixth in the British Open.
 
Suddenly, things are looking up.
 
He is 16th in the FedEx Cup standings, and 16th in the Presidents Cup standings, which is determined by PGA TOUR earnings. Mahan has three weeks left to make up more ground, including his first World Golf Championship next week at Firestone.
 
'I'm letting myself play,' Mahan said. 'It was a struggle early in the year. I was thinking negative and using my mind as a disadvantage and not an advantage.'
 
DIVOTS
Mike Weir is playing better, but finding it hard to pick up ground in his bid to make the Presidents Cup team for what figures to be the biggest event in Canada (Royal Montreal). He tied for eighth in the British Open, but was passed in the standings by Richard Green of Australia, who shot 64 on Sunday and tied for fourth. Weir has moved up only two spots the last three weeks to No. 17. ... Some players who missed the cut at Carnoustie hung around to catch a charter flight for the Canadian Open. One of them was Brett Wetterich, only he was going in the opposite direction. The Ryder Cup rookie is playing in Germany on the European Tour this week.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Three of the seven British Opens held at Carnoustie were decided in a playoff.
 
FINAL WORD
'John Daly is on about every non-performance enhancing drug imaginable.' -- Bill Kratzert.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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