Notes Hole Baffles Bryant Legends Miss Cut

By Associated PressMay 26, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Senior PGA ChampionshipEDMOND, Okla. -- Brad Bryant, tied with Gil Morgan for second place, has gone 7 under on Oak Tree's back nine through two rounds, but is 1 over on the front. He's struggled particularly on the 590-yard par-5 5th, bogeying the hole each day.
On No. 5, golfers must drive over a large oak tree -- the one used to design Oak Tree's famous logo. The green is reachable in two shots, but players must avoid sand and water that almost completely surround it.
'It's really not my favorite,' Bryant said.
On Thursday, Bryant said he chose the wrong club, hit into a bunker and then hit the ball over the green into another bunker en route to a bogey. On Friday, he decided to lay up with a 7-iron, but still ended up with another bogey.
'I think they ought to just destroy that hole,' Bryant said. 'I don't like that hole. It is OK, but they didn't ask me about it to start with. I like the rest of them pretty good, but I don't like that hole.'
Bryant fared much better on another par-5, the 528-yard No. 16. He hit an 3-wood off the tee and a 3-iron to within 18 feet of the hole before making an eagle putt. It was only the second eagle of the tournament by any golfer.
'Loren (Roberts) kind of chipped his ball right down my line, so I really knew the line of the putt and ... it was just a beautiful putt,' Bryant said. 'It just went right in the middle of the hole.'
For at least one hole Friday, two of the players on the leaderboard at the Senior PGA Championship wished they were playing in an event held during golf's so-called silly season.
The threesome of tournament leader Peter Jacobsen, second-place Gil Morgan and Bruce Fleisher all birdied the par-3 13th hole during the second round at Oak Tree Golf Club. That led Morgan and Jacobsen to wonder if there were such a thing as a 'group skin' -- a reference to the format used in the Skins Game when a golfer wins a hole.
'We'll maybe see it posted in the locker room tomorrow,' said Morgan, who shot a 1-under 70 and is at 6 under for the tournament. 'It would be great.'
Jacobsen and Morgan each hit a pitching wedge off the tee on the 171-yard 13th, with Jacobsen's shot ending up 2 feet from the hole -- located on the front of the green -- and Morgan's about 7 feet away. Fleisher's tee shot landed about 5 feet out.
'That was a scary pin,' said Jacobsen, whose 3-under 68 put him at 7 under.
Tom Watson recorded what he humorously called a 'no-brainer' birdie at No. 16 with an impressive up-and-down.
Watson's second shot -- a 4-wood out of the rough -- landed in a ravine, on the edge of a creek that runs along the hole's left fairway. Standing in the water and using a sand wedge, Watson chipped onto the tiered green to within about 25 feet, then rolled in the birdie putt over a hump in the green.
As the ball dropped in the hole, he raised his putter high with his left hand and pumped his right fist as the crowd roared. Watson said the chip onto the green 'wasn't that difficult a shot' but acknowledged it was crucial to his being able to salvage an even-par 71.
'I saved two shots there,' he said. 'That turned my round around.'
Jay Overton was a little-known club pro from Palm Harbor, Fla., in 1988 when he stunned the golf world by entering the third round of the PGA Championship at Oak Tree at 8-under-par -- just one shot out of the lead -- and playing in the final group that Saturday with second-round leader Paul Azinger.
Overton's magic ride didn't last -- he closed with rounds of 76 and 74 and tied for 17th with an even-par 284, 12 shots behind the winner, Jeff Sluman.
Overton didn't fare as well in his return to Oak Tree for the Senior PGA Championship. His 77 on Friday left him at 15-over and far from the cut line.
'There were a couple of holes that they changed a little bit, some of the greens have been changed, but overall, it plays and looks and feels so much the same,' Overton said.
'I'm struggling a little bit. But you know what? To get back out here and see the guys and come back to Edmond, Oklahoma, it's just been a lot of fun.'
Oklahoma's heat ended the tournaments of two players Friday, and two others also withdrew, dropping the field to 152 golfers.
Takashi Miyoshi of Japan, who shot an 81 on Thursday, withdrew due to heat exhaustion, and Jack Spradlin of Chula Vista, Texas, also cited the heat as the reason he withdrew after an opening-round 82.
Martin Gray of Scotland dropped out because of the flu and Bob Eastwood of Haltom City, Texas, did so because of a back injury.
Two legends that drew large galleries didn't make the cut. Lee Trevino finished at 11 over after a 74 on Friday, while 70-year-old Gary Player shot a 75 and closed at 10 over. Trevino said earlier in the week he planned to spend the weekend attending the NBA Western Conference finals to cheer on the Dallas Mavericks against the Phoenix Suns ... The last two Senior PGA champions are well off the pace. Defending champion Mike Reid is at even-par 142, seven shots back. Hale Irwin, the 2004 champ, is at 143.
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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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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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