Notes Finchem Disappointed in Tiger

By Associated PressAugust 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
the Barclays Logo 2007HARRISON, N.Y. -- PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem's news conference Wednesday at The Barclays opened with a question about Tiger Woods' decision to skip the first event of the four-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs.
'Obviously, I'm disappointed with his decision,' Finchem said. 'It's not a decision that I like to see him make, candidly, any week of the year, but he doesn't play them all. ... From the standpoint of the sponsor here, the fans in New York, it's certainly a negative. You know, I would like to see it the other way.'
Woods, who made the last of his four Westchester Country Club starts in 2003, repeated Tuesday in a monthly newsletter that his body needed a break after consecutive victories in the Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, and that he wanted to be sharp for the final three FedExCup events and the Presidents Cup.
In addition to Woods, five other eligible players are missing, reducing the field to 138. No. 59 Bernhard Langer is playing in the KLM Open in the Netherlands, No. 64 Stephen Ames is taking the week off, No. 96 Jose Maria Olazabal is sidelined by a knee injury, No. 126 Jason Bohn has a rib injury, and No. 133 Ryan Palmer passed because of a family illness.
Finchem also was asked about possible FedExCup format changes.
'It's just like a tournament, or an eligibility structure,' Finchem said. 'You get through with it, you study it, you examine what the fans think about it, players think about it, sponsors think about it, and then you adjust.'
With the groupings set by the FedExCup points, defending champion Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson -- the top three seeds in the field -- will play together the first two rounds.
'That will kind of get us going a little bit,' Singh said. 'Obviously, you want to be ahead of the other guys and they feel the same way.'
Last year, Singh won The Barclays for a record third time to tie Sam Snead's record for victories over 40 with 17 -- a mark the 44-year-old Fijian has pushed to 19 this year. Singh won the 1993 event on the traditional Westchester Country Club course for the first of his 31 PGA TOUR titles and also won in 1995.
'I think I have more knowledge about this golf course than any other,' Singh said. 'You know the breaks. You know where not to hit it. You know where to take a risk.'
In other marquee groups, No. 5 K.J. Choi will play with Rory Sabbatini and Masters champion Zach Johnson, and No. 8 Charles Howell III will tee it up with fellow young stars Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott.
Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk are back at full strength for the start of the FedExCup playoffs.
Mickelson has been slowed by a left wrist injury that he suspects happened while practicing out of the deep rough at Oakmont in preparation for the U.S. Open.
After withdrawing from the Memorial, he missed cuts in the U.S. Open, AT&T National and British Open, then tied for 46th in the Bridgestone Invitational and tied for 32nd two weeks ago in the PGA Championship.
'My excitement level to play golf is very high,' Mickelson said. 'I feel like I've been suspended for three months. ... My hand feels great now. I'm able to practice fully. I feel like my game is getting sharp, and when the three majors have already passed. So, I am actually very excited about the FedExCup and I'm excited about the Presidents Cup, and I'm even going to play a few events overseas.'
Furyk successfully defended his Canadian Open title in late July for his 13th PGA TOUR victory, then withdrew from the Bridgestone the following week because of back pain and missed the cut in the PGA Championship.
'Right now, I feel I'm in good health,' Furyk said. 'I played quite a bit and practiced when I was home. I don't feel limited in any way right now.'
Ernie Els, the 1996 and 1997 winner, is making his first appearance in the event since 2004. ... Sergio Garcia won the 2001 and 2004 tournaments. ... The winner will receive $1.26 million from the $7 million purse, and 9,000 of the available 50,000 FedExCup points. ... The tournament is in its 41st season at Westchester Country Club. The 2009 event will be played at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.
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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.

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

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    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

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    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

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    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