Sauers tops Jimenez in U.S. Sr. Open Monday finish

By Associated PressAugust 15, 2016, 11:11 pm

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio - A decade after battling a rare illness that nearly killed him and kept him off the golf course for seven years, Gene Sauers celebrated his first victory on the PGA Tour Champions.

Sauers closed with a 1-under 69 and took advantage of another collapse by Miguel Angel Jimenez to win the rain-delayed U.S. Senior Open on Monday.

The 53-year-old from Georgia finished with three straight pars to go from a one-shot deficit to a one-shot victory over Jimenez and Billy Mayfair at Scioto Country Club. He finished with a 3-under 277 for the tournament.

''It hasn't sunk in yet,'' he said. ''It's been a long time, and I'm at a loss for words right now.''

The victory caps an amazing comeback for Sauers 10 years removed from nearly dying. He was incorrectly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, spent seven weeks in the hospital and was given a 25 percent chance of survival. Eventually he was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare disorder of the skin and mucous membranes that causes the skin on the extremities to burn from the inside out.

Some days, he couldn't even get off the couch.

''It means the world to me,'' he said. ''I saw the light at the end of that tunnel, and I was heading there. The good Lord stopped me and backed me up and said, no, you're not done yet. It's just unbelievable to not play golf, not touch a golf club for seven years and to come out and to win a major golf tournament on a hard golf course.''

Jimenez had a one-shot advantage going into the final round but again blew a lead. He led Sauers by a stroke to start the day but double-bogeyed the second hole, and Sauers birdied to overtake him. The Spaniard regained the lead with a birdie on the 15th hole, a two-shot swing when Sauers made bogey, only to bogey the 17th hole.

They were tied on the 18th, but Jimenez missed the green and made a second straight bogey. Sauers made a 5-foot par putt to win.

Sauers had 17 top-10 finishes in five years on the senior tour but hadn't managed a win. He last won a PGA Tour event in 2002.

Sauers now is exempt into the U.S. Open next year at Erin Hills.

''Being back to playing with these guys, it's a pleasure,'' he said. ''I didn't think I'd ever be here. I told my wife, when I was in the hospital, I didn't think I was ever coming out. She kept me strong.''

For Jimenez, it was the third consecutive tournament he let a lead slip away.

Three weeks ago at Carnoustie in the Senior British Open, the 52-year-old Spaniard took a four-stroke lead into the last day, then shot 75 and tied for third - three strokes behind winner Paul Broadhurst. Last week in the 3M Championship, he was a stroke ahead entering the final round and ended up losing when Joe Durant shot 63 and eagled the first hole of a playoff.

''I'm human, you know?'' Jimenez said. ''I'm going to make bogeys. I'm going to make birdies. It's the way it's coming. That moment is not on my side.''

Mayfair carded four birdies against a single bogey for a 3-under 67. Ian Woosnam was the only other player under par, finishing fourth at 1-under after a 68.

''All four days we saw different golf courses,'' Mayfair said. ''Kind of medium on Thursday. It wasn't all that bad, that windy, but it was still hard to play on Friday. Of course, Saturday the wind started blowing. It was blowing all over the place. Today it was wet and soft and hardly any wind. We got to see Scioto in four different ways on four different days.''

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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.