Sabbatini wins Honda by 1 shot

By Associated PressMarch 7, 2011, 8:55 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP)—Rory Sabbatini ’s shot barely beat thebuzzer.

Holding a two-stroke lead at the Honda Classic, the South African stepped tothe tee at the treacherous par-three 17th hole and lofted his drive to themiddle of the green, avoiding the lake that had been collecting balls all week.

Moments later a horn sounded, signaling a suspension of play because oflightning. As rain began falling harder, Sabbatini walked briskly to his balland happily marked it before finding refuge in a van.

Rory Sabbatini reacts as he mi…
AP - Mar 6, 1:20 pm EST

“I was pretty content to have it on the green at that time,” he said.

The tee shot left Sabbatini significantly closer to victory, and after a28-minute delay he completed his march to the title, shooting an even-par 70Sunday for a one-stroke win.

Y.E. Yang made it close, cutting a five-shot deficit to one in the span ofseven holes. But Sabbatini birdied No. 16, then came through with a clutch paron 17.

While spectators wondered if Sabbatini would fold, Yang said he was actuallythe shakier player down the stretch.

“Usually if you’re in front, if you’re running away from somebody, you tendto be a bit nervous,” Yang said through an interpreter. “But in Rory’s case,apart from No. 14, he seemed really calm. I commend him for being I guess soemotionally stable. I wasn’t.”

Sabbatini sealed the title with a 2-foot par putt on No. 18 for a 72-holetotal of 9-under 271. The resident of Fort Worth, Texas, earned his sixth PGATour victory and his first since the 2009 Byron Nelson Championship.

Yang, Honda’s 2009 winner, birdied the final hole for a closing 66 to finish8 under. Jerry Kelly , who played with Sabbatini and Yang in the last threesome,shot a 67 and took third at 7 under.

“Rory did what he had to do to hold us off,” Kelly said, “and we justdidn’t hit it good enough to make enough birdies.”

Lee Westwood shot a 70 for a 284 total and tied for 29th place, meaningMartin Kaymer will remain ranked No. 1. Westwood fell to No. 2 on Feb. 28 andneeded a top-three finish to regain the top spot Monday.

Sabbatini is known for his fiery personality, outspoken nature andoccasional digs at Tiger Woods , who skipped the event. But Sabbatini’s demeanorwas even-keel from time he took the lead to stay on the front nine Saturday.

“I’m a passionate golfer,” he said. “I love the game of golf, and I’vehad my moments. I’m not proud of everything I’ve done out here, but I’m tryingto learn. I’m trying to be a role model for my children, and I know as my wifehas said to me, I wouldn’t want my son doing some of the things that I’ve donein the past.”

The Sabbatinis have three children ranging in age from 7 years to 5 1/2 months.

Kelly said he and Sabbatini are alike in that they’re hard on themselveswhen things aren’t going well.

“Rory gets in his own way an awful lot and rubs some people the wrongway,” Kelly said. “But he usually has the best intentions for everybody elsearound him.”

Sabbatini started the final round up by five shots, and after No. 8 the leadremained the same. But Yang closed to within one stroke thanks to birdies onNos. 12 and 14 and two bogeys by Sabbatini.

Then came Nos. 15-17, the challenging water-laden stretch known as the BearTrap. But there would be no collapse by the leader.

A change in putters before the tournament gave Sabbatini’s game a lift, andthe new club came through again on No. 16. He sank a 16-foot birdie putt to goback up by two.

Sabbatini averaged 27 putts per rounds, which tied for second-best in thetournament.

“It’s actually quite bizarre—I’ve never quite had as much confidence in anew putter as I have in this one,” he said. “It was probably one of thesmartest decisions I’ve ever made in my golf game.”

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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
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.