Play Suspended US Still Holds Lead

By Associated PressSeptember 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Solheim CupHALMSTAD, Sweden -- Another day ended at the Solheim Cup and the Americans still had the lead. Yet for the second straight evening, it felt as though the Europeans were leaving Halmstad Golf Club with the better chance to win.
 
Led by Suzann Pettersen, Europe overcame windy, frigid weather and late deficits Saturday to once again earn ties in two of four matches that had looked decidedly lost.
 
That helped the Europeans split the four points in the morning's foursome matches and enter the afternoon fourball trailing only 6 1/2 -5 1/2 . And when those fourball matches were suspended by darkness, Europe led in three matches and was even in the other.
 
Those matches will be completed early Sunday, then followed by 12 singles matches that will determine whether the Americans can win the Cup for only the second time on foreign soil.
 
The jam-packed Sunday schedule comes because the start of Saturday's play was delayed by more than two hours due to 40 mph gusts that toppled fences overnight and had golf balls oscillating on the greens when the players arrived to warm up. The weather wasn't much better when they finally took to the course.
 
Despite its slim deficit, Europe seemed to be handling the conditions and the pressure better.
 
In the wind and rain on Friday, Europe's comeback was sparked by Laura Davies, whose fantastic 50-foot par save on No. 16 helped earn a tie. That, along with another half-point in a comeback by Annika Sorenstam, kept Europe within a point after the first day.
 
On Saturday, when the rain disappeared but the wind got worse, it was Pettersen, the reigning McDonalds LPGA champion, who came up with the most memorable shot. Standing in the rough to the left of the 18th fairway, she played a big hook around some trees in her path and nearly skimmed the flagstick with a shot that stopped 4 feet from the hole.
 
Her teammate, Sophie Gustafson, made the putt to win the hole and earn a half-point in the match that Juli Inkster and Paula Creamer led after 17 holes.
 
Moments earlier, Maria Hjorth and Gwladys Nocera finished a rally from two holes down with three to play for a tie against Americans Sherri Steinhauer and Laura Diaz. Steinhauer missed a 3-foot putt that would have won the match, then Hjorth followed by making one of about the same length to complete the comeback.
 
Meanwhile, the Americans were en route to a rousing comeback of their own when Nicole Castrale and Cristie Kerr won four of five holes down the stretch against Sorenstam and Catriona Matthew to take their match from 5 down to the 18th hole.
 
But Castrale's 6-foot birdie putt to tie barely curled out while Matthew made a testy 3-footer for par to help the Europeans escape with their lone victory of the morning.
 
The Americans also got a 4-and-2 victory from Pat Hurst and Angela Stanford over Iben Tinning and Bettina Hauert in the only match that didn't come down to the 18th hole.
 
Indeed, not all the news was bad for the Americans. They have won 59 percent of the singles matches over the lifetime of the Solheim Cup. Because of their dominance in singles, the last Cups they've won have come without them carrying the lead into the final day.
 
This time, they'll have that lead, though it's precarious.
 
Tournament officials planned to resume play early Sunday, then thought they'd get in all 12 singles matches without having to resort to a Monday finish.
 
The forecast Sunday called for calmer winds, temperatures in the mid-50s with a chance of rain.
 

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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.


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    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.


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    Man of the people


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    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Victory at Valderrama


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm