Romo Timberlake Break 100 at Torrey Pines

By Associated PressJune 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenDallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and singer Justin Timberlake may not be qualified to play in the U.S. Open, but both proved they could break 100 Friday on Torrey Pines South Course.
 
The pair joined Today host Matt Lauer and a regular guy from Omaha, Neb., in a foursome bent on disproving Tiger Woods theory that it takes a pro to beat the course.
 
Romo, who missed qualifying for the U.S. Open this spring, won with a 13-over 84. The beefy quarterback, who boasts a 2.2 handicap index, barely broke a sweat playing the first nine holes in 5-over 40 but slowed as the six-hour round wore on.
 
It got really tough to stay sharp, he said, nodding toward the 18th hole, where he had his only double bogey after hitting into a bunker.
 
Timberlake, suffering from allergies, seconded Romo, although his game improved over the last four holes with two pars and two bogeys as he went into Michael Jordan mode. A 6.0 handicap index, he parred the 18th to finish at 27-over 98.
 
Its just inhuman, how well they strike it, he said, referring to Woods and his ilk.
 
Timberlake, outfitted in a dashing black trilby hat and tuxedo-stripe pants, started hamming it up with the gallery once his taut dancers swing started to go south, blowing on the ball as it rimmed the seventh hole without any luck and asking the crowd to approve his drop into the rough at the edge of the fairway.
 
He couldnt blame his troubles on Mother Nature, either, after he skipped off the course after teeing off at the first hole and making a beeline for the mens room.
 
Excuse me! I knew I forgot something, he called out to laughing spectators in his soft Tennessee drawl.
 
Lauer scraped by with a 100 on the par-71 course despite playing with a 6.2 handicap index. He came back from an early quad and a series of double bogeys to make a par 5 on the final hole.
 
Its not easy, he said. I didnt think Tiger made an outrageous statement.
 
The only one of the four who didnt seem to mind the scores was John Atkinson, a medical salesman from Omaha, Neb., who was chosen from 56,374 essay applicants to play in the challenge. He finished with a 43-over 114.
 
At some point I just didnt really care, said Atkinson, who is undergoing treatment for advanced inoperable lung cancer. I just wanted to enjoy it.
 
Atkinson had a 56-person cheering section with him. They shouted Cmon, Johnny! when his ball hit the green and gave sympathetic claps and awws when he disappeared into the bunkers.
 
His friend, Dave Leahy, said the crowd joined Atkinson as he trained in Omaha to prepare him for the pressure playing in front of an audience.
 
He was out there every Saturday with 50 people pretending to be the gallery and wearing a mike so hed get used to it, Leahy said.
 
He gave his caddy, noted sports psychologist Bob Rotella, a sweet shrug after chasing the ball around the green before making his putt on the fifth hole.
 
Its a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him, said his wife, Lori. It doesnt matter.
 
Woods told reporters last year at Oakmont, generally considered the toughest golf course in America, that no 10-handicapper could break 100. With Torrey Pines refurbished into a 7,643-yard monster'the longest in U.S. Open history'it served as a suitable stand-in for the challenge, hosted by Golf Digest magazine and NBC.
 
Torrey Pines, named for the rare gnarled trees that dot the cliffside course, will be the first city-owned golf course to host a U.S. Open starting next Thursday.
 
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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