Ogilvy Fowler Rose share the lead at Memorial

By Associated PressJune 4, 2010, 4:31 am

2007 The Memorial Tournament

DUBLIN, Ohio – The first time Phil Mickelson saw Muirfield Village Golf Club was as a 16-year-old. His week of excitement was ruined by a loss at the U.S. Junior Amateur.

He’s had several disappointments since at the course Jack Nicklaus built. But now he’s hoping to finally win there while ruining things for Tiger Woods.

Mickelson took a solid step toward slipping past Woods and into the No. 1 spot in the world rankings with a 5-under 67 on Thursday in the rain-hampered opening round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

“I played here in the ’86 Junior Am and fell in love with the place,” said Mickelson, who has never finished higher than a tie for fourth in nine starts at the Memorial. “I don’t know why I haven’t been able to break through here, but I’m trying hard this week.”

Mickelson was two shots back of co-leaders Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Geoff Ogilvy. Joining him at 67 were Andres Romero, Jason Day and Rory Sabbatini.

Fowler, making a case to be the top rookie on the PGA Tour, had three birdies, an eagle and another birdie on holes 4-8 to go from 1 over to 5 under. He holed a wedge from 90 yards for a 3 at the par-5 7th.

“I didn’t see myself shooting 65 on it today,” said Fowler, making his first appearance at the course. “I saw this as being a pretty tough course. You have to drive it well and the greens are pretty tricky. So I’m pretty stoked to go out the first tournament round and put up that number.”

Rickie Fowler swings golf clubOgilvie was stoked after taking the lead all by himself late in the day. But then he missed a 2 1/2 -foot par putt on his 17th hole.

Still, he couldn’t have been much happier with the way he handled the greens.

“It was nice to hole the putts,” he said after needing just 26. “If anything’s been missing in my game the last little month or two, it’s been putting.”

Rose had the second tee time of the day and had to sit out a 2-hour suspension of play due to thunderstorms.

He started with a bogey but the break didn’t prevent him from piling up eight birdies in a 12-hole span.

Muirfield Village “is a course you’ve got to play really smart on, which obviously the man who designed it was one of the best at that,” Rose said. “I actually tend to play well on Nicklaus-designed courses. And I tend to putt well here.”

In 2008, Rose tied for second, two shots back of Kenny Perry. He was fourth in his first Memorial in 2004.

Jim Furyk lead a group of six players at 68, with another former Memorial winner, K.J. Choi, among eight more at 70. In all, 48 players broke par, including Perry, a three-time winner, at 71.

Mickelson and Woods are like most of the players in the elite field, trying to win while also using the Memorial as a tuneup for the U.S. Open in two weeks at Pebble Beach. But they’re also fighting it out for the title of top golfer in the world.

To be No. 1, Mickelson needs to win this week while Woods – who has won the Memorial a record four times – finishes out of the top three.

“I’m excited to be here this week,” Mickelson said. “The course is set up perfect. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get in contention for Sunday.”

Woods shot an erratic 72, struggling off the tee while hitting just 7 of 14 fairways. The last time he played a competitive round at Muirfield, he hit every fairway while winning with a masterful, come-from-behind 65 in last year’s final round.

But Woods never really got anything going on Thursday in his return to tournament golf after missing the last three weeks due to an inflamed neck joint.

“This is my tenth round of the year,” he said. “Usually you’re like that in January. I’m there in June. I need competitive rounds.”

The sixth hole offers a snapshot of the way his day went.

Woods duck-hooked his drive into the rough above bunkers far left of the fairway on the par-4 hole. His approach to the green easily cleared the large lake in front, then soared over the green – hitting a sprinkler head and bouncing like a Super Ball over the gallery. After a free drop, his chip shot back came up short of the green. Then he chipped 10 feet past and salvaged bogey with a testy uphill putt.

He remains upbeat.

“I was encouraged at the way I was able to hit a few of the shots today which I haven’t hit all year,” he said. “I hit some shots that, it felt like it did last year. I just need to get back to that.”

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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