Prugh shoots past Watson and company to lead Bob Hope

By Associated PressJanuary 24, 2010, 4:48 am

bob hope classic logoLA QUINTA, Calif. – Alex Prugh’s last name rhymes with “Who?”

It’s a good question – and a good young player leading the Bob Hope Classic.

The 25-year-old rookie surged ahead when the sun finally came out Saturday, shooting a 7-under 65 on the tough La Quinta course to take a one-stroke lead over Bubba Watson and fellow PGA Tour rookie Martin Flores.

With his third straight remarkably consistent round in the five-round, four-course tournament, Prugh pulled ahead at 21-under 195. Yet if Prugh had any strong feelings after his second straight bogey-free round, the former University of Washington star wasn’t letting on.

“I was almost bored with myself a little bit,” Prugh said. “It’s not a bad thing. I was hitting the driver very well, and I kept on hitting fairway after fairway. … Boring rounds are actually fine with me.”

Prugh thinks the pro-am format keeps him away from any mental dangers that might otherwise arise from leading a PGA Tour tournament after three rounds. Perhaps helping amateurs with their game prevents him from overthinking his own.

Whatever the magic formula, Prugh is the first rookie to lead a round at the famed event since John Senden took the second-round lead in the 2002 tournament eventually won by Phil Mickelson.

“I’m just trying to entertain my amateur partners as well as I can, and hopefully they get their money’s worth when they’re out here,” Prugh said.

Flores was every bit as impressive as Prugh, shooting the second straight 65 of his bogey-free tournament to pull into a tie with second-round leader Watson (68), who rallied after a slow start on the Arnold Palmer Private course.

Joe Ogilvie (68) was four strokes back at 17 under, Chad Collins (69), Tim Clark (67) and Bill Haas (66) were 16 under, and Mike Weir (67) was 15 under.

After rain washed out play Thursday and threatened Friday, the players finally reveled in perfect Palm Springs scoring weather. Amateurs, celebrities and pros alike were thrilled to see fewer fairway marshes and more sturdy greens, but two unheralded rookies made the biggest splashes by crowding around Watson, who’s also seeking his first PGA Tour victory.

The long-hitting Watson was in prime position to pull away a bit after doing well on the two tougher courses during the rainy first two days, but he was 1 over after eight holes on the Palmer course Saturday before stringing together four birdies on the back nine.

“I just played bad,” said Watson, the Tour’s second-longest driver last year. “The 68 was getting a lot out of my round today, so I’m not mad at a 68. It’s just (that) I wanted to play better. My caddie kept yelling at me, trying to get me to pay attention and stay focused. I just hung in there.”

After finishing 72nd last week at the Sony Open, Prugh played as well as a Pacific Northwest native might be expected to do on the Hope Classic’s two rainy days. He shot an opening-round 64 on the easier Nicklaus Private course at PGA West, followed by a steady 66 on Friday at the Palmer course.

Prugh has played 41 straight holes without a bogey, while the 27-year-old Flores has yet to make a bogey in the tournament. The Texas native seemed a bit more excited than Prugh about the auspicious debuts of two Nationwide Tour regulars last year.

“There’s a first for everything, and I just seemed to be very comfortable in this situation for some reason,” Flores said. “I don’t know why that is. I never want to come off as arrogant, but … I’m just confident in my game, and I like that right now.”

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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