Peter's Party revived in Portland; all the cool kids showed up

By Associated PressAugust 28, 2011, 8:51 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. – For his spot-on impression of Craig Stadler, Peter Jacobsen filled his shirt with a box of golf balls and walked heel-to-toe to the laughs of the large gallery at Portland Golf Club.

The ever-affable Jacobsen used to entertain crowds with his many impersonations as the host of a charity golf tournament that was affectionately known as Peter’s Party.

On Sunday, the parodies returned in the Umpqua Bank Challenge, Jacobsen’s revival of his popular tournament that was a fixture in his hometown for 17 years until 2002.

This year’s incarnation of the event opened with a “clinic” for fans that included very little instruction. On Monday and Tuesday Jacobsen and several fellow former and current pros play a two-man team better-ball event for a $750,000 purse.

Among those in the field for the Umpqua Bank Challenge are Arnold Palmer, John Cook, Ben Crenshaw, Jay Haas, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Mark O’Meara, Nick Price, Fuzzy Zoeller, Steve Elkington and Scott McCarron.

McCarron was a last-minute addition to the field. Ben Crane of Beaverton, Ore., was a “maybe” but claimed a spot into this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston.

“Peter Jacobsen has really been like my big brother on the PGA Tour,” McCarron said. “I’ve done a lot of events with him and anytime he asks me to do anything I’m right there ready to go.”

McCarron is paired with hunting buddy Elkington on Monday.

Peter’s Party, known in later years as the Fred Meyer Challenge, ended in 2002 when it lost sponsorship. Jacobsen instead turned to luring the Tradition, a major on the Champions Tour, to Oregon. That annual senior circuit tournament played for several years at a club west of Portland and later in central Oregon.

Then the Tradition fell victim to the economic downturn and lost title sponsor Jeld-Wen, an Oregon-based window and door manufacturer. The event moved to Birmingham, Ala., this year.

The loss left a void in Oregon for golf fans. The only high-profile tournament was the LPGA Safeway Classic held each year at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Jacobsen said he hopes the Umpqua Bank Challenge will be the first of many.

“It feels like coming home again, which, of course, it is,” he said.

Jacobsen turned pro in 1976 and won seven times on the PGA Tour. Popular with fans because of his genial personality, Jacobsen has also won two tournaments on the Champions Tour, both majors.

On Sunday he played master of ceremonies at his clinic.

“Good to be back, isn’t it?” he asked the crowd to a big cheer.

In addition to Stadler, Jacobsen also imitated buddy Arnold Palmer, Raymond Floyd and Lee Trevino, complete with his crooked cap and the occasional “Whoo!”

The chummy feel of Peter’s Party was evident beforehand when P.J. Carlesimo, a former Trail Blazers head coach and current assistant for the Toronto Raptors, was seen having an animated discussion with Casey Martin, a former PGA Tour pro and now coach of the Oregon Ducks golf team. Former Blazers Brian Grant and Terry Porter signed autographs.

Former Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington lent a hand, even though he couldn’t play in the pro-am because of a serious bike accident about three weeks ago. He was hospitalized for three days after being hit by an SUV, and broke his collarbone and several ribs.

Singer Huey Lewis poked fun at the Oregon-centric guests.

“I personally don’t give a damn about Oregon,” he joked. “It rains here all the time anyway, doesn’t it?”

Jacobsen and Curtis Strange finished the inaugural Peter’s Party in a tie with Greg Norman and Gary Player. Norman and Brad Faxon won the event as a team three times.

The Fred Meyer Challenge raised some $13 million for charity. The 36-hole Umpqua Bank Challenge will benefit the Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation-Oregon.

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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.