Notes McIlroys struggles continue Haas at home

By Associated PressMay 7, 2011, 4:49 am

Wells Fargo ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rory McIlroy’s return to the PGA Tour after his final-round Masters meltdown didn’t last long, guaranteeing the Wells Fargo Championship will have a new winner.

The defending champion shot an even-par 72 on Friday at Quail Hollow and missed the even-par cut by three strokes.

“Disappointed that after all that happened last year, not to be here for the weekend. But that’s golf,” said McIlroy, who shot a course-record 62 in the final round a year ago to win by four shots. “I’ll go home and do some hard practice over the next few days and try to get ready for the next event.”

McIlroy, who turned 22 Wednesday, shot an 80 on the last day at Augusta to lose a four-shot lead. He struggled with his ball striking on Thursday, and a day later his putter let him down.

“I gave myself a lot of opportunities,” McIlroy said, “I just wasn’t able to take them.”

There were moments late in the round when it appeared McIlroy might pull off a similar feat as a year ago, when he was two shots over the cut line with three holes to go. An eagle on No. 7 allowed him to make the cut on the number. Then came weekend rounds of 66 and 62.

“I know better than most people that you just have to be around on the weekend and be able to make something happen,” he said. “I was just trying to get in there, trying to get to the weekend.”

McIlroy got within one of the cut line with a birdie on 15 and then lipped out a 40-foot birdie putt on 16. After three-putting the 17th for bogey, he knew he had to make eagle on the final hole.

“I basically needed to hole by second shot on the last to have any chance,” McIlroy said. “I went for the pin and just came up a bit short and in the creek. Obviously, not what I wanted.”

MICKELSON’S PRAISE: While Phil Mickelson created a stir a year ago when he criticized the greens at Quail Hollow, he’s a big fan of the course layout.

He’s also in his familiar spot near the top of the leaderboard.

Mickelson shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to move within three shots of leader Pat Perez.

“I love the way the course is set up,” Mickelson said. “I love the way there’s a first cut. There’s a lot of opportunity for recovery. When you do miss the fairway, even though you’re in trees and you have a tough shot, you still have an opportunity with a decent lie.”

In seven previous appearances, Mickelson has five top-10 finishes. He finished second behind Rory McIlroy last year and is again in contention for his first win in Charlotte.

“It’s going to be a fun weekend,” Mickelson said.

HAAS AT HOME: Bill Haas knows he’s biased about the Wells Fargo Championship, but it hasn’t stopped him from repeating the line all week.

“It’s just probably our best event outside the majors,” Haas said.

Growing up two hours away in Greenville, S.C., Haas played Quail Hollow multiple times with his father, Champions Tour star and club member Jay Haas.

Haas continued to make trips to Charlotte while a student at nearby Wake Forest.

The institutional knowledge seems to be paying off after rounds of 64 and 70 left him two shots off the lead.

“I’ve got a lot of good friends here, a lot of Deacon fans here,” Haas said. “I’m hearing ‘Go Deacs’ out there a lot, which is nice.”

The only thing to make it better for Haas would be to get his third career win Sunday.

“Outside of the majors, this would be my No. 1 tournament to win,” he said. “Just because of the people involved with the tournament. When I walk in the clubhouse, everybody I see I know.”

DIVOTS: Vijay Singh, the 2005 winner, fired a 68 Friday to move within four shots of the lead. “It’s been a while since I struck the ball this good,” said Singh, winless since 2008. “I’m really excited.” … Davis Love III’s 69 left him seven shots back and ended a streak of three straight missed cuts on the tour. “I’m just happy being on the other side of it, looking at the leaderboard rather than driving home,” he said. … Bryan Bigley, a groundskeeper at a nearby club who qualified for the event Monday, shot 78-76 to miss the cut in his PGA Tour debut. … Storms moved through the area late in the morning, causing a delay of nearly 90 minutes, but Bigley and his last group still completed the round before darkness set in shortly before 8:30 p.m.

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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
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.