Toledo wins Insperity Champ. in 3-hole playoff

By Associated PressMay 6, 2013, 1:25 am

The Woodlands, Texas – Esteban Toledo celebrated Cinco de Mayo by becoming the first Mexican winner in Champions Tour history, beating Mike Goodes with a par on the third hole of a playoff Sunday in the Insperity Championship.

The 50-year-old Toledo, making his ninth start on the 50-and-over tour, eagled the opening hole and finished with a 5-under 67 to match Goodes and Gene Sauers at 6-under 210 at The Woodlands Country Club.

Cinco de Mayo marks the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when Mexican troops defeated a French army of Napoleon III, then considered the mightiest military in the world.

''It's a special day for me,'' Toledo said. ''It's a holiday and it's just winning on that day is the most incredible thing I've ever done, because winning on the Champions Tour, it's hard. I have dreams and goals in my life that I was going to win on the Champions Tour, and I think I'm going to keep winning. I believe in myself that I can go up there and win again and again and again.''

Toledo gave a lot of credit to caddie Larry Dittman.

''Yeah, Larry Dittman really helped me in the playoff to stay focused on the game and kept telling me to finish your swing,'' Toledo said. ''Obviously, I've been working with my coach but my caddie really, really got me in the game.''

Goodes shot a 72, and Sauers – eliminated on the second playoff hole with a double bogey – had a 74.

Toledo, seven strokes behind Sauers entering the round, earned $270,000 for his second victory in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. He also won the Web.com Tour's 2005 Lake Erie Charity Classic.

''I felt great this morning,'' Toledo said. ''I told my wife that I was going to go out and shoot a 66 and

catch up with them. And I shoot 67. I guess that was good enough, but I was very focused on the game all day long.''

The three players parred the first extra hole on the par-4 18th. Sauers dropped out on the second playoff hole – also on the 18th – after hitting his second shot into the water behind the green.

Toledo and Goodes went to the par-4 17th, and Toledo won with a tap-in par after Goodes missed a 5-footer.

''I played really good today,'' Goodes said. ''I made four bogeys and never hit a bad shot.''

Sauers had a triple bogey on the par-5 15th, the easiest hole in the tournament and one that he birdied in the first two rounds.

''I hit a bad chip shot and three-putted,'' Sauers said. ''I gave the greens a little too much respect, thinking they were really fast, gave them too much respect and left it way short.''

The three-time PGA Tour winner rebounded with a birdie on the par-3 16th to regain a share of the lead.

Toledo had a chance to pull ahead on the final hole, but his 20-foot birdie putt curved away at the last instant.

Mark Calcavecchia and Loren Roberts tied for fourth at 3 under. Calcavecchia shot 69, and Roberts had a 72.

Bernhard Langer kept the top spot in the Charles Schwab Cup points race. He closed with a 72 to tie for 25th at 5 over. Fred Funk, the 2012 winner, also finished 5 over after a 70.

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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