Notes Furyks best shot proves unlucky

By Associated PressAugust 9, 2010, 3:33 am

WGC-Bridgestone - 125w

AKRON, Ohio – Perhaps the best shot of the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was also the unluckiest.

Jim Furyk came to Firestone’s 16th hole, the famed 667-yard “Monster,” challenging for the lead.

“I had some momentum going and was pretty much thinking birdie,” Furyk said. “I’m trying to birdie every hole on the way in, trying to make it interesting.”

So he followed a 350-yard drive by laying up in front of the large lake fronting the green. Then he pulled out a lob wedge that zeroed in on the hole from the moment of contact.

“I hit it well. One thing, I was hoping it wasn’t going to spin too much that I knew it was going to be on the green and I was going to have a good look, I thought, for birdie,” he said. “It really had a chance to be close, and of course I flew it in.”

Only one problem: The ball hit the pin and ricocheted back toward him, trickling into the lake.

“(It was) just disappointing. I knew that if I could get it to 9 under early, maybe I could put some heat on,” Furyk said. “It kind of took any hope of that happening away.”

After taking a drop, he hit a shot to 7 feet and made the putt for bogey.

He handled the devastating turn of events far better than most would.

“It happens,” he said. “It’s disappointing, but there’s nothing you can do about it. I’ve always been able to accept things when I’ve hit good shots. When I’ve done all I could, when I hit a good putt and it didn’t go in, or I hit a good shot and it turned out bad, I can kind of accept that.”

He birdied the final hole for a 6-under 64 that left him at 7-under 273 and tied for sixth.

“The things I’ve beat myself up over in my career are when I’ve hit poor shots or haven’t done the right things or haven’t made a good stroke,” he said. “When you lose tournaments that way, it lingers with you. But I did all I could today.”


TOGETHER AGAIN: Two of the biggest names near the top of the leaderboard after three rounds of the Bridgestone were Ernie Els and Justin Leonard. They were tied for fourth.

Things didn’t turn out well in the final round for either.

Els had a triple-bogey on the ninth hole and shot a 76. Leonard mustered just one birdie and also shot a 76. They ended up tied, again, for 22nd.
BOUNCE BACK:
One well-known player who did not have a final-round meltdown was Retief Goosen. The South African’s closing 65 left him tied for third at 271.

It was his eighth top-10 finish on the PGA Tour this year, best along with Matt Kuchar (who tied for ninth).

Goosen led through 36 holes before struggling to a 73 on Saturday.

“That’s why I have a top-10 and not a win, because I had one bad round in four,” he said. “If I could put four rounds together, I’d have a chance.”

Goosen said he was traveling to Wisconsin on Sunday night and would be at Whistling Straits early Monday morning to begin preparations for next week’s PGA Championship. He was injured and did not play in 2004, the only previous time the course hosted the PGA.
FAST FINISH:
Bo Van Pelt closed with a rush at the Bridgestone.

After double-bogeying the ninth hole in third round, he was just 2 under for the tournament. Over the final nine holes on Saturday and the final round, he was 7 under, with nine birdies and two bogeys.

“I fought pretty hard the last 27 to give myself a chance,” he said after finishing off a 67 that left him tied for third. “I’ll try to concentrate on the positives. I’ll be a little ticked off for about 30 minutes and then go kiss my kids and forget all about it.”
PLAYING THE ODDS:
Padraig Harrington will be keeping an eye on who the oddsmakers select as the player to beat at this week’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

“Since the bookies normally get it right, I’d like to see who’s favored,” he said. “Players know nothing. Those bookies know everything. They have to draw that line absolutely perfect, so I’ll be interested to see where they draw that line next week because they get it right all the time.”
DIVOTS:
Ryan Palmer hit a 402-yard drive on the par-5 16th hole. … Adam Scott holed out for eagle from 166 yards on the fourth hole, rated the hardest hole on the course. … Winner Hunter Mahan received a free drop from flowers near the 16th green, and was able to save par. … J.B. Holmes averaged 332 yards on his eight measured drives during the tournament. … The only previous time before Sunday that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson each shot 77 or higher in the same round as pros was the third round of the 1998 British Open. Woods had a 77 and Mickelson an 85.

Getty Images

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."

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm