Rain reduces LPGA Tour Championship to 54 holes

By Associated PressNovember 21, 2009, 10:14 pm

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RICHMOND, Texas – More rain on already saturated grounds at The Houstonian Country Club washed out play at the LPGA Tour Championship on Saturday, forcing tour officials to cut the season-ending event to 54 holes.

More than 1.4 inches (three centimeters) of rain fell on the course from Friday morning until the decision was made to call off play on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. local time.

Play is expected to resume at 9 a.m. on Sunday to complete the second round. A cut will be made to the low 70 scores and ties, and a third round and final round will be played starting at 7 a.m. on Monday.

[Note: Officials announced Sunday morning that Round 2 play would not begin until at least noon local time.]

“We had a plan to try and play 72 holes by Monday, but that would have required players to possibly stay over for Tuesday and we didn’t want to do that,” said Doug Brecht, the tour’s vice president for rules and competition.

Tournament leader Lorena Ochoa, who can win her fourth straight LPGA Player of the Year award with a win this week, has not hit a shot in competition since early Thursday afternoon when she finished a first-round 66.

Ochoa and most of the players were not in the clubhouse when the decision was made to cancel and return on Sunday, when the forecast is for sunny and dry conditions.

The rain had been forecast to clear up late Friday and give way to cool and dry conditions on Saturday. But the rain continued overnight and was still heavy at 7 a.m. Saturday when play was scheduled to resume.

Because of miscommunication between local tournament officials and the LPGA, players were sent out to their assigned holes early Saturday, only to be told the course was unplayable and sent back to the clubhouse.

“I asked when I arrived this morning if the course would be ready for play at 7 a.m., and I was told absolutely it would be,” Brecht said. “When it became light around 6:45 a.m., it was clear that was not the case, so we just turned the players around and sent them back.”

The tournament was nearly canceled or moved this summer when original title sponsor Texas financier R. Allen Stanford was accused of running a giant Ponzi scheme. Then the tournament’s top attraction, Michelle Wie, dropped out after the first round with an ankle injury and popular tour presence Natalie Gulbis withdrew with an undisclosed illness without even hitting a shot.

Sophie Gustafson, who technically is the second-round leader, having gotten to 4 under par after playing 11 holes, said there was little the players could do with the wet weather.

“All we can do is stay dry and get ready,” she said after signing autographs for fans at the clubhouse.

Holes No. 3 and 5 were among those at the course that were under water and unplayable.

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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