Oregon Oklahoma St advance in NCAA tournament

By Associated PressJune 5, 2010, 1:29 am

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Eugene Wong doesn’t mind taking on a little pressure on behalf of his Oregon teammates.

How about the pressure of having to win his round of match play at the 18th hole by holding off his fellow Pac-10 co-player of the year and the Ben Hogan Award winner, Washington’s Nick Taylor?

“My heart was definitely racing,” Wong said. “I just tried to get as close as I could to give myself a good chance.”

With thunder rumbling at a distance and rain sprinkling on the course, Wong nearly sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th green, and he and Taylor both made par to preserve Wong’s 1-up margin. The victory advanced Oregon to the NCAA Division I semifinals with a 3-2 win at The Honors Course on Friday.

On Saturday, the fifth-seeded Ducks will face top seed Oklahoma State, which cruised to a 4-1 win over Stanford. No. 2 Florida State defeated No. 7 Texas Tech 4-1 and will meet No. 6 Augusta State, a 3-and-2 winner over No. 3 Georgia Tech.

The quarterfinals featured just the kind of competition the NCAA was looking for when it added match play to the championship format beginning with the 2009 tournament.

Jack Dukeminier won the first match for Oregon 1-up over Charlie Hughes, and Darren Wallace answered with a 2-and-1 win for Washington over Isaiah Telles. Oregon’s Andrew Vijarro posted a 2-and-1 win over Richard Lee, and Washington’s Chris Williams defeated Daniel Miernicki by the same margin, setting up the showdown between Wong and Taylor.

Taylor took a 1-up lead after grabbing a birdie on the third hole and held the margin until Wong shot a birdie on the ninth hole and Taylor bogeyed the 10th. The pair matched pars and birdies the rest of the way.

“It was just a dogfight,” Oregon coach Casey Martin said. “No one was up by more than one all day. It was just a classic, great golf. Out of 36 holes played by those two guys there was one bogey. That’s incredible stuff. That’s PGA-tour level golf that was being played out there.”

A year after being upset in the NCAA quarterfinals as the top seed, Oklahoma State easily moved past Stanford, who played into the quarterfinals earlier in the day by winning a three-way playoff with Arizona State and San Diego.

The Cowboys’ Sean Einhaus made five birdies and took a 5-up lead by the seventh hole, defeating Joseph Bramlett 5-and-4. Teammate Kevin Tway took a little bit longer to build his lead but also won 5-and-4 over Sihwan Kim.

“I think the guys understand when they see Kevin Tway or Sean Einhaus out watching their match with a smile on their face, that’s a good thing,” Oklahoma State coach Mike McGraw said. “I think that percolates through the gallery, and it’s a good feeling if you know you’ve got your teammates in the clubhouse and they’ve got a couple of Ws on the board.”

Stanford’s Andrew Yun led by as many as 3-up in a match with Trent Whitekiller but bogeyed twice in the last six holes. Whitekiller led by 1-up approaching the 18th but drove his ball in some pine chips near a patch of trees as Yun placed his ball neatly in the fairway.

Whitekiller managed to land his shot from the rough about 20 feet from the hole and both competitors made par, giving the Cowboys the win.

Texas Tech’s Tyler Weworski put the Red Raiders up early with a 3-and-2 win over Florida State’s Wesley Graham, but the Seminoles took the remaining four matches.

Augusta State’s Carter Newman scored first with a 1-up win over fellow junior Paul Haley, but the Yellow Jackets took the next two matches. Patrick Reed maintained a 1-up margin on the 18th hole to grab another Augusta State point by matching Chesson Hadley’s birdie. Georgia Tech’s J.T. Griffin just missed a birdie on the 18th hole that would have forced his match with Henrik Norlander to an extra hole.

“To get this far is phenomenal for us and the program,” Reed said.

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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

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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