Notes Jack Makes Time for Faldo Freddy Photo Op

By Associated PressJuly 11, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland --It was only a practice round, so Jack Nicklaus didn't plan to linger on the Swilcan Bridge.
Nick Faldo had other ideas.
Faldo persuaded Nicklaus to stop Monday on St. Andrews' famous stone bridge in the middle of the 18th fairway. The reason? Faldo wanted to get a picture of himself and his 16-year-old son alongside the Golden Bear.
Matthew Faldo is caddying for his father during the practice rounds leading up to Thursday's start of the tournament.
``He wanted a picture with him and his son,'' Nicklaus said. ``I had no intent of stopping, but Nick wanted to get a picture. Obviously, he had that all teed up to start with.''
Faldo, who was inspired to take up the game by Nicklaus' brilliance, wanted a special memento from the golfing great's final Open.
``I got my picture on the bridge with Jack,'' Faldo said proudly, having made sure his son also got in the frame. ``I thought that was a pretty neat picture for him, as well.''
Everyone got into the act. The other members of the group, Fred Couples and Bart Bryant, took advantage of the chance to pose with Nicklaus.
Bernhard Langer got a last-minute spot in his 27th British Open.
The German received a spot in the field Monday when Japan's Shingo Katayama withdrew with an injury.
Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden and Brian Davis of England also were added after American Jay Haas and David Howell of England dropped out, citing injuries.
Langer tied for second at the Open in 1981 and '84, and he's been third four times. The two-time Masters champion was captain of Europe's winning Ryder Cup team last year.
The Royal Bank of Scotland appears to have plenty of pull at the British Open, at least when it comes to the pairings.
Jack Nicklaus and England's Luke Donald - who both have endorsement deals with RBS - were paired together for the first and second rounds at St. Andrews.
Their group also includes five-time Open champion Tom Watson.
The 65-year-old Nicklaus will be playing in the final major of his storied career, while Donald is perhaps the best hope for giving the Open its first British champion since Paul Lawrie in 1999.
Three-time winner Nick Faldo said the pairing with Nicklaus should benefit Donald, even though he'll have to cope with all the furor surrounding the Golden Bear's farewell.
``I think it will be a help because Jack is a great competitor and he's still a competitor,'' Faldo said. ``He still wants to play and he understands the strategy of the golf course as well. He knows where to play smart. So I would have thought that would be a good draw for Luke.''
Nicklaus wanted to make his Open farewell at the course where he won in 1970 and '78. The Royal & Ancient juggled its normal course rotation to put this year's tournament at St. Andrews.
To mark the occasion, RBS will issue currency with Nicklaus' picture during the Open. The bank has been issuing its own notes since 1727, and Nicklaus will be the only living person to appear on a Scottish note besides the Queen and the late Queen Mother.
``I picked St. Andrews to end my career because they've taken me as one of theirs,'' Nicklaus said after a practice round Monday. ``In the States, they have a purely sports gallery. There's nothing wrong with that, but over here it's purely a golfing gallery, and it means a lot to me as well as other people. It's an appropriate place to end my career.''
Jim Furyk started his British Open career like a champion-in-the-making.
Then he came to St. Andrews.
Five years ago, Furyk finished in a tie for 41st at the birthplace of golf. He hasn't made the cut since.
That's a striking change from Furyk's first three Opens. He finished fourth in his 1997 debut at Royal Troon, followed by a tie for fourth in '98 at Royal Birkdale and a tie for 10th at Carnoustie in '99.
Coming off a victory at the Western Open, Furyk believes he knows the reason for his troubles in the British Open. After joining the PGA Tour, he altered his swing to get more height on his shots.
``I grew up hitting the ball a little lower and flatter. I was comfortable in the wind,'' he said. ``But I make my living and my career over there.''
Furyk said he may switch from a Callaway to a Hogan ball. He used the Hogan last year and found its trajectory was much lower.
``I'll have to adjust and try to do a little better over here,'' Furyk said.
There are six amateurs in the field. ... Tiger Woods, who won the last Open at St. Andrews in 2000, was grouped with Jose Maria Olazabal and Robert Allenby.
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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