TOUR Player in Trouble for Killing Hawk

By Associated PressMarch 6, 2008, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. 'An animal rights group wants the PGA TOUR to take action against player Tripp Isenhour, facing charges for hitting a hawk with a golf shot because it was making noise as he videotaped a TV show.
 
Because of the high profile nature of this case, the PGA needs to take steps to address its interest and to make it clear that they dont condone animal cruelty, said Dale Bartlett, the Humane Society of the United States deputy manager for animal cruelty issues.
 
Tripp Isenhour
Tripp Isenhour is a two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour. (Getty Images)
He said the organization would contact the PGA TOUR on Friday to discuss the issue.
 
Isenhour was charged Wednesday with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird, misdemeanors that carry a maximum penalty of 14 months in jail and $1,500 in fines.
 
Isenhour, playing the Nationwide Tour this season after losing his PGA TOUR card last year, apologized in a statement released Thursday and said he was only trying to scare the hawk away.
 
The 39-year-old player, whose real name is John Henry Isenhour III, became angry while filming Shoot Like A Pro on Dec. 12 at the Grand Cypress Golf Club'his home course'when a squawking red-shouldered hawk forced another take.
 
He got in his golf cart and drove closer to the bird, then 300 yards away, and starting hitting balls at it. The bird didnt move and Isenhour gave up and drove away.
 
Isenhour started again when the hawk moved within about 75 yards, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Brian Baine indicated in a report.
 
Isenhour allegedly said, Ill get him now, and aimed for the hawk.
 
About the sixth ball came very near the birds head, and (Isenhour) was very excited that it was so close, Baine wrote.
 
A few shots later, witnesses said he hit the hawk. The bird, protected as a migratory species, fell to the ground bleeding from both nostrils.
 
As soon as this happened, I was mortified and extremely upset and continue to be upset, Isenhour said in a statement issued through his management company, SFX Golf. I want to let everyone know there was neither any malice nor deliberate intent whatsoever to hit or harm the hawk. I was trying to simply scare it into flying away.
 
Bartlett said Isenhours case, like the Michael Vick dog fighting case, is disappointing for society.
 
We look up to professional athletes and we want them to reflect the best of us as a society and I think were appalled when it turns out they instead reflect some of the very worst attributes, he said in a phone interview Thursday night.
 
Isenhour said he is an animal lover and his family has adopted three cats from a local shelter.
 
We ask that everyone accept my sincerest apology, and please be respectful of my familys privacy, he said.
 
Isenhour has won four times on the Nationwide Tour, including twice in 2006. The former Georgia Tech star has played three events this year on the developmental circuit, the last a 36th-place tie two weeks ago in the Moonah Classic in Australia.
 
Jethro Senger, a sound engineer at the shoot, said hitting the bird was basically like a joke to (Isenhour).
 
He just kept saying how he didnt think he could have hit it, which I think is a stupid thing for a PGA TOUR golfer to say, Senger said. He can put a ball in a hole from hundreds of yards away, and here he is hitting line drives at something thats, I dont know, a couple hundred feet away?
 
Senger said no one in the roughly 15-person crew intervened, and many later regretted it.
 
It was one of those cases where theres some trepidation on whether or not they should speak up and do something, Senger said.
 
Senger said the killing was not captured on video. The bird was buried at the golf course and later dug up by Florida investigators.
 
Americans have no tolerance for cruelty to animals. Such a petty, mean spirited act against a wild bird is inexcusable and prosecutors are right to hold Isenhour accountable to the law, Humane Society executive vice president Michael Markarian said in a statement released Thursday.
 
Associated Press Writer Kelli Kennedy in Miami contributed to this report.
 
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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