Piercy breaks course record at Reno-Tahoe with 61

By Associated PressAugust 6, 2011, 10:40 pm

RENO, Nev. – Scott Piercy reeled off eight consecutive birdies to post a 28 on the front nine and eagled the 616-yard closing hole to break the course record with an 11-under 61 on Saturday, taking a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Reno-Tahoe Open.

Piercy, winless in three years on the PGA Tour, enters the final round at 13-under 203, two ahead of Josh Teater and three ahead of a group that includes 1995 PGA champion Steve Elkington.

Elkington, who has 10 career victories but none since 1999, followed a 65 on Friday with a 68 to get to 10-under 206. He was tied for third with 2006 Reno champ Chris Riley, first-round leader Nick O’Hern, Pat Perez, John Merrick and Blake Adams. Two-time Reno winner Vaughn Taylor and 2007 champ Steve Flesch were at 9-under.

Piercy’s birdie barrage on the front matched both the longest such streak and lowest nine holes in relation to par posted on tour this season. He was one shy of the course record for nine holes set by Riley when he fired a 27 on what is now the back nine in 2008.

The 32-year-old Las Vegas native said he didn’t really think about shooting a 59, but knew he was one shy of the PGA record nine consecutive birdies Mark Calcavecchia had in the second round of the 2009 RBC Canadian Open.

“It was fun to see the ball go in the hole,” said Piercy, a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour who currently is ranked 142nd on the PGA money list with $365,162 and has $2.2 million in career earnings.

Piercy said he was frustrated the first two rounds because he hit the ball well but couldn’t get putts to drop on the 7,472-yard mountain course at the Montreux Golf & Country Club on the edge of the Sierra.

“I told my caddie yesterday if I can keep hitting it well and get a few balls to go in the hole, we might do something special,” he said. “I didn’t think this, but I’ll take it when I can get it, you know?”

The San Diego State graduate began the day at 2-under - tied for 45th seven strokes off the lead.

Piercy parred No. 1 and then followed with eight straight birdies. The streak ended on the par-4 10th when he missed a 27-foot birdie putt. He followed with three more pars - missing a 10-footer for birdie on the par-5 13th.

“I wasn’t thinking 59,” he said. “If I would have made the birdie on 13 I might have thought about it a little more.”

Piercy followed with consecutive birdies then made his only bogey of the day on the difficult 464-yard, par-4 17th when he hit into the creek that runs through the fairway.

On the par-5 18th, he drove the ball 340 yards and then hit a 4-iron 275 yards to inside 7 feet before dropping the eagle putt for 61 - three better than his previous career best he last recorded at the 2010 Wyndham Championship.

Last year, Graham DeLaet became the most recent among six players to tie Montreux’s old course record of 62.

Teater won the Nationwide Tour’s Utah Championship in 2009 and has four top 10 finishes in his second year on the PGA Tour. The Kentucky native who shot a 66 Saturday said he’s looking forward to Sunday’s finale.

“It’s going to be a shootout and we’re all going to try to birdie every hole,” Teater said.

Elkington, 48, last won at the Doral Ryder Open in 1999. He said he’s had an “up and down year” but always enjoys making the trip to the Montreux about 20 miles from Lake Tahoe.

“The wind was very tricky so I was very pleased with 4-under,” Elkington said. “I think it will be a great final round… I bring the family and we stay at Lake Tahoe. The golf is a bonus this week for sure.”

Perez, who has three top 10s this year and is 80th on the money list, had four birdies and an eagle for a 29 on the back nine.

“I played like that actually all three days and I finally just put together the nine holes,” Perez said.

Piercy’s consecutive birdies equaled Chris Stroud’s streak from Nos. 9-16 in the second round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico in February. His 8-under 28 on the par-36 front nine ties the 28 Nick Watney had in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open in January. Watney also had an 8-under 27 on the par-35 back nine in the third round of the AT&T National in July.

 

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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

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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

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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