Simpson, de Jonge share lead at Greenbrier

By Associated PressJuly 30, 2011, 12:02 am

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Brendon de Jonge rode a wave of Hokie fever to a share of the second-round lead at the Greenbrier Classic.

De Jonge shot a 3-under-par 67 Friday and was tied with Webb Simpson at 7 under midway through the tournament.

Among those failing to advance to weekend play were Phil Mickelson, whose streak of making 17 straight cuts ended, and defending champion Stuart Appleby. Both finished 3 over, missing the cut by two strokes.

With shouts of encouragement all around him, de Jonge, a former Virginia Tech golfer, is flourishing for the second straight year at The Greenbrier resort, less than two hours from his college stomping grounds.

“It’s a little bit of adrenaline,” de Jonge said. “Keeps you going. It’s always a little pick-me-up if you’re struggling a little bit. It’s fun. It’s nice to hear `Go Hokies’ on every tee.”

De Jonge has played the Old White TPC course many times and he finished third in last year’s inaugural tournament at 17 under. It was one of three third-place finishes in 2010 that helped him earn a career-best $2.2 million.

The native of Zimbabwe is the Tour leader in birdies, yet admits he needs to work on eliminating the bogeys. His only one Friday was a three-putt on No. 11.

“I think the biggest thing is just getting out of my own way,” de Jonge said. “It’s very, very difficult to win out here. It’s difficult to win anywhere. Staying in your own routine, I guess, is the best way to put it.”

Simpson couldn’t get any momentum going until he made three birdies on the back nine and shot 68.

The former Wake Forest golfer is playing less than five hours from his old campus. He grew up in North Carolina and moved to Charlotte earlier this year.

His own cheering section will get a bit bigger on Saturday.

“I told my wife today I’m going to go out and be in the lead, so you’ve got to come for the weekend,” Simpson said.

Both Simpson and de Jonge are chasing their first career victories. The tournament champion will earn a spot in next week’s Bridgestone Invitational.

Like last year, when Appleby came from a seven-stroke deficit and shot 59 in the final round to win, it’s anyone’s tournament. Thirty-five players were within five shots of the lead entering the third round.

Simpson and de Jonge were the only two of the top 10 from the first round to break par in the second. The cut was three shots higher than last year.

First-round leader Trevor Immelman made just two birdies, shot 70 and was at 6 under.

Looking for his first win since the 2008 Masters and less than two years removed from wrist surgery, Immelman isn’t thinking about how far he has come if he can advance to Bridgestone.

“It would be fantastic,” he said. “And I’d love to be there. But (it’s) the furthest thing from my mind.”

Tied at 5 under were Scott Stallings (65), Michael Letzig (66), Gary Woodland (70), Brian Davis (64) and Derek Lamely (70). Lamely was tied for the lead before a stretch of three bogeys and a double-bogey over seven holes.

Canadian Chris Baryla made five birdies in an eight-hole stretch in his morning round to rocket to the top of the leaderboard at 8 under, then made triple-bogey on the par-4 sixth. He shot 69 and was in a group of six at 4 under.

Australian Steven Bowditch moved to 6 under after an early birdie, but had a double-bogey and three bogeys on his final four holes to fall to even par.

NOTES: Brett Wetterich eagled the par-4 first hole to help him advance to the weekend at even par. … Garrett Willis had six birdies in his round but made the cut on the line after needing three shots to get out of a fairway bunker on the par-4 11th and making an 8. … Chris Kirk, who had his tour-best streak of 10 straight below-par rounds snapped with a 71 on Thursday, started another one with a 69 Friday. … Michael Sim withdrew before the second round with a shoulder injury. Michael Putnam withdrew during the round with an injured wrist.

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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