UCLA maintains lead at NCAA Division I Womens Golf Championship

By Associated PressMay 20, 2011, 5:00 am
BRYAN, Texas – UCLA had a three-stroke lead over defending champion Purdue, and LSU’s Austin Ernst shot a 6-under 66 in windy conditions Thursday to top the individual standings after the second round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship.

Playing the front nine at the Traditions Club second, Ernst birdied her last three holes to finish just one stroke shy of the course record held by three players, including teammate Megan McChrystal at the Fall Preview last year.

“I’ve hit the ball really well this spring and it’s just been a matter of getting some putts to drop,” Ernst said. “Once I make one, I feel confident I can make a few. I just played solid golf and hit all my spots.”

Ernst, who shot an even-par 72 in the first round, had seven birdies Thursday.

“I was hitting OK (Wednesday) and (Thursday) I tried to stay more on top of the ball and I hit it a lot better,” Ernst said. “I missed one shot all day and that was the drive on 3 (bogey). I played smart most of the day and went for pins that I could get to.”

Purdue’s Numa Gulyanamitta was three strokes back after a 70.

UCLA shot a 7-over 295 on Thursday for an 8-over 584 total. Purdue, tied for third with LSU after the first round, matched UCLA at 7 over in the second round to move into second place.

“You can’t feel bad about the position we’re in,” Purdue coach Devon Brouse said. “I really felt like both days we left some out there the last couple of holes, but I’m sure every coach here could say that.”

Brouse said the wind was a factor Thursday.

“I didn’t blow quite as hard as I thought it was going to (but) it was tricky,” he said. “It was swirling and I think it fooled all the players quite a few times today. I know it fooled our players a few times.”

UCLA’s Tiffany Lua was in a three-way tie for third after her second straight 1-under 71.

LSU was third at 12-over 588 and host Texas A&M jumped from sixth after the first day to fourth at 13-over 589. The Aggies were leading at a couple of points during their back nine, but struggled on the 15th and 16th holes to fall into fourth.

“No, (I’m) not completely satisfied, but I said to myself at the beginning of the day that if we went out and shot what we did yesterday, today that I would be satisfied with it,” A&M coach Trelle McCombs said about her team which improved by one stroke in the second round. “But knowing that we gave some shots away on 15 and 16, that obviously left a little mark. The thing about it is that we kept ourselves in it, we didn’t take ourselves out of it.”

Top-ranked Southern California and No. 3 Alabama struggled again, tying for 15th with 28-over 604 totals.

Virginia’s Brittany Altomare, the individual leader after shooting a 3-under 69 in the first round, had a 3-over 75 to end the second day in a four-way tie for sixth.

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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