Notes From hockey sticks to golf sticks

By Associated PressJuly 3, 2010, 3:32 am

2010 AT&T NationalNEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Adam Oates has traded hockey sticks for golf clubs.

The former NHL star is working as a caddie for Brett Quigley at the AT&T National. The pair met when Oates played for Boston and the idea was hatched after a dinner last year at Las Vegas. Quigley tossed out the idea that Oates should help out and they quickly clicked on the course.

This is the fifth tournament they’ve been paired together.

“The hardest part is agonizing over every shot,” Oates said Friday. “You’re just feeling for your guy. It’s stressful. I don’t pick the clubs, but we talk it out. We do the math together and talk.”

Oates scored 341 goals and had 1,420 points in 1,337 NHL games over 19 seasons with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim, and Edmonton.

Oates, a five-time All-Star, retired as a player in 2004.

He was hired this week as an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils.

Quigley said he wanted to pop by practice and shoot a few pucks.

Oates wants to remain in the caddy mix for as long as the schedule allows. Just don’t expect to see him ever try and make the field.

“I’m a typical jock. We stink,” he said. “Can’t play another game but we’re all trying.”

EH FOR EFFORT: Like so many Canadian kids, Graham DeLaet grew up dreaming of playing in the NHL.

He takes his shots these days on the PGA Tour.

“It was never my plan to professional golf,” he said after shooting a 1-under 69 in the AT&T National. “It just kind of happened this way.”

DeLaet was a serious hockey player until he hurt his back on a cross-check in front of the net. He could barely walk for a month because his back was such a wreck. When he recovered, he grew more devoted to his golf game and landed a scholarship to Boise State.

“I always played, I just never took it seriously,” he said. “I won a lot of tournaments in Saskatchewan, but the competition’s not great there. I didn’t have any high expectations of myself going to college.”

DeLaet is a huge fan of the Calgary Flames and loved watching the Philadelphia Flyers make their run to the Stanley Cup finals. The Chicago Blackhawks won the championship in six games.

“They did better than almost everyone expected them to,” he said of the Flyers.

DeLaet, who now lives in Idaho, is in his rookie season after playing on the Canadian Tour.

“I want to make sure I’m out here again next year,” he said. “I mean, this is the life.”

BATTLING THROUGH: Sean O’Hair’s sore back was not an issue on the course until the last four holes of the AT&T National. O’Hair felt some pain when walking and bending over, not swinging his club.

O’Hair shot a 2-under 68 Friday at Aronimink Golf Club. He was in a three-player group that included leader Justin Rose, who shot a 6-under 64

“I played awesome today,” O’Hair said. “I’d like to think it’s only a matter of time before those putts start going in. If those putts would start going in, I’d probably be right there with Rosey.”

O’Hair skipped his post-round practice session to rest up. He also withdrew from the John Deere Classic, where he scored his first career PGA victory in 2005, so he’s healthy for the British Open. O’Hair is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday for what his trainer suspects is a bulging disc. He’s increased his stretching to help his tight hamstrings.

“I just hope it hangs in there for me,” he said.

PAYBACK: Tom Pernice Jr. was right on the cut line of 3 over. His chances looked even bleaker considering he still had to play the par-3 eighth hole, which was 220 yards and had such a tough pin that it ranked the toughest of the second round at Aronimink and yielded only five birdies.

One of them belonged to Pernice.

He hit a 3-iron utility club as pure as he could to about 30 feet behind the hole and made the birdie putt to ensure making the cut.

“Pretty timely,” Pernice said with a smile.

He might have been owed that one. The hole was 233 yards the day before, and Pernice hit his 2-iron utility club to 6 feet, only to miss the birdie putt.

“I guess that was payback,” he said.

GREEN EAGLES: Bo Van Pelt’s family was all about eagles – make that, Eagles – before he ever picked up a golf club.

His father, Bob Van Pelt, was the fifth-round draft pick for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967

“It’s cool that he was drafted by the team. Great organization with a lot of history, so, good to be here,” Bo Van Pelt said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: From Jason Day, who shot a 2-under 68, who stopped himself short when asked about Tiger Woods potentially losing his intimidation factor. “The intimidation factor, it’s only there when you – it’s obviously still there. Once he starts winning again, it’s going to be very easy to get that back.”

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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