Toms' Comeback at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 23, 2011, 2:11 am

FORT WORTH, Texas – David Toms was beginning to wonder if he could ever win again on the PGA Tour. Now he has the most satisfying victory of all.

More than five years after he last won, a week after losing in a playoff and a day after blowing a seven-stroke lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational to go into the final round trailing, the 44-year-old Toms shot a 3-under 67 on Sunday to win at Hogan’s Alley.

“I’m not dreaming, am I? This is actually happening, right?” Toms asked when he entered the interview room wearing the championship plaid jacket. “Wow, I didn’t know if this day would ever come again.”

Toms regained the lead for good from Charlie Wi with an eagle with a wedge shot from 83 yards at the par-5 11th hole, and finished 15 under – a stroke ahead of Wi.

“It’s one of the most perfect shots I’ve ever hit,” Toms said.

Toms’ long-elusive 13th career victory came a week after a playoff loss to K.J. Choi at The Players Championship, when he missed a short par putt on the extra hole for his sixth runner-up finish since last winning in January 2006 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

“To win after this time frame and to come back after what happened last week certainly means more to me than any other victory,” said Toms, the 2001 PGA Championship winner.

Wi started the final round with a one-shot lead that he quickly expanded with birdies on the first two holes. He finished with a 69 for his fourth career runner-up finish without a win.

“It’s great to finish second on the PGA Tour anytime, but it’s a little bittersweet,” Wi said. “I had a three-shot lead after the first two holes and thought I had a pretty good handle on myself, in control. … I certainly didn’t give it to him. He definitely earned it.”

After that playoff loss at TPC Sawgrass, Toms had an opening 62 at Colonial for his best score in 429 rounds – since a career-best 61 in his Hawaii victory. Toms followed with another bogey-free 62 to match the PGA Tour scoring record for the first 36 holes of a tournament (124), and opened the third round with another birdie.

At 17 under through 37 holes and seemingly in control, Toms instead had three bogeys in the next five holes. There was later a three-putt from 7 1/2 feet for double bogey and Wi took the lead with a 32-foot birdie at the par-3 16th Saturday.

Wi, the 39-year-old South Korean who made his 100th cut on the PGA Tour this weekend, had the two opening birdies Sunday while playing partner Toms missed both greens but managed pars.

Toms finally caught up at 13 under after Wi missed the green with his approach at the par-4 10th and two-putted from 13 feet for a bogey.

“The momentum I think started (to change) on 10, because I was one shot ahead of him and I was in the middle of the fairway,” Wi said. “The killer was my poor drive on 12.”

The clincher for Toms came on Colonial’s longest hole, the 635-yard 11th.

After laying up to a perfect spot short of the green, and Wi’s ball sitting in a frontside bunker, Toms’ wedge shot from 83 yards bounced once, landed just behind the pin and then rolled back into the cup.

“When something like that happens, it’s like it’s meant to be,” Toms said.

Toms pumped his arms over his head with a wide smile on his face before Wi blasted to 4 1/2 feet for a birdie putt that still had him a stroke behind.

Wi then hit out of the same fairway bunker twice at the par-4 12th hole after his errant drive. He managed a bogey after finally hitting out of the fairway to 7 feet, but Toms’ 5-foot par stretched his lead to two strokes.

Toms became the first player on the PGA Tour to rebound from a playoff loss one week to winning the next since 2000, when Phil Mickelson won at Colonial after losing in a playoff at the Byron Nelson Championship.

A day before his wedding anniversary, and a previously planned two-week break after four consecutive tournaments, Toms earned a check of $1.116 million.

Bo Van Pelt (65) finished third at 10 under. Defending Colonial champion Zach Johnson also shot a closing 65 to finish at 9 under in fourth place, while Robert Karlsson (67) and Chez Reavie (68) were 8 under.

After a bogey at No. 4 when his tee shot at the difficult 247-yard par 3 missed the green left, Wi quickly rebounded by draining a 35-foot birdie putt at the 481-yard 5th hole. He pumped his right fist and smiled, still with a three-stroke lead with Toms still even on the day.

But things soon started to change.

At No. 6, Toms putted off the fringe with an 18-foot birdie chance that slid just past the hole. He still gained a stroke when Wi missed a 4-foot par putt. The margin was down to one after Toms’ birdie at the 440-yard No. 7 hole, when he hit his approach to 10 feet.

Wi made another birdie on the 192-yard 16th hole Sunday, an 8-footer. But Toms sank a 4 1/2 -foot par to maintain his two-stroke edge, and give him a needed margin since he bogeyed the 17th hole after his approach into a greenside bunker.

“It was nerve-racking, I can tell you right now, I was shaking on the greens,” Toms said.

“I kept it interesting until the last hole,” Wi said, “so I’m very pleased with that.”

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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