Wie Tries Again to Make Cut at Sony Open

By Associated PressJanuary 11, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- David Toms had some advice for Michelle Wie.
The defending champion at the Sony Open played a practice round with the 17-year-old Wie, who will be playing her hometown event for the fourth straight year Thursday, trying to end her 0-6 mark in making the cut on the PGA TOUR.
Wie played a practice round with defending champion Ernie Els in 2004. A year ago, she practiced with Justin Rose and Sean OHair, two guys who can pound it off the tee. Toms is of moderate length.
I felt like at times maybe she was overswinging, trying to hit a draw for extra distance, Toms said. She could probably tell after playing nines with me that she has adequate distance to play out here at a high level. She cant overpower our game like she does on the ladies tour, so she has to play a different game, more of an accuracy game.
I think once she learns that, shell do fine.
The Michelle Wie Show isnt nearly what it was when she made her Sony Open debut in 2004 and shot 68 in the second round to miss the cut by one shot. It doesnt even have the same energy as last year.
No one is taking about her, Paul Azinger said. Its kind of a shame. It looks like the novelty has worn off.
Even the senior in high school said she no longer feels out of place on the PGA TOUR, especially at Waialae Country Club. She doesnt spend every hour of daylight, soaking up her moment in the sun, never mind the overcast skies.
She couldnt say whether there was less buzz around her.
Its hard to think of myself as a novelty, she said. Its not like Im chocolate, or anything.
Wie was in the morning group in the first full-field event of the year on the PGA TOUR, playing with Gavin Coles of Australia, whose nickname on tour is the Angry Ant, which could lead to some interesting dynamics. The other player in their threesome is Stephen Marino, who shot the lowest round at Q-school (62) in earning his card.
For everyone else, its business as usual.
Vijay Singh will try to make it an island sweep, having won the Mercedes-Benz Championship last week. The only other player to start the year 2-0 in Hawaii was Ernie Els in 2003.
His confidence is climbing. His work is endless, shutting down the range two straight days leading to the opening round.
It really is a very comforting thing to have a win underneath your belt and to go out there and say, Even if I dont win this week, it doesnt matter because Ive got one already, Singh said. Thats probably not the right way to look at it. I need to pick myself up and get myself fired up again.
Singh already found plenty of motivation from The Golf Channel.
He told about seeing a report that suggested he would never be a top-5 player again, having won only once last year and about to turn 44. Singh hardly looked like he was aging at Kapalua, beating Adam Scott by two shots.
Its a shame, he said. Two years ago, I won nine events. Three years ago, I won four. So its not like I went off the map or anything. I did finish high on the money list last year (No. 4). I still won a golf tournament. I had a pretty average season last year, but that didnt mean I was totally off the map.
Whether Wie belongs in the same arena as golfs best players remains a hot debate.
I pull for her all the time, Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger said.
Stuart Appleby says Wie continues to bring exposure to the Sony Open, but hes not sure when it will end, referring to it as a saga.
I think she came five years too early to play the mens tour, he said. She should really just let it go for now, come back when shes accomplished at a game thats more comparable to someone like Annika. Shes certainly not proving anything except that she cant play with the men at her level right now. Theres not doubt shes going to improve dramatically as a player and mature as a person.
But right now, he added, its just the wrong time.
When someone suggested that playing against the men was about marketing, Wie fired back.
I guess being the only girl on the baseball team when I was 4-years-old was also a marketing plan'not, she said. Its what I want to do. Some people take it as, Its a marketing plan to make more money, blah, blah. But they dont realize its what I want to do and I enjoy it. You cant trade happiness for anything.
Singh said he was rooting for her to make the cut so she can get on with the rest of her goals.
Id like to see her win, go out there and make a real name for herself, he said. Shes a great player and will be a great player on the ladies tour. I think she wont do that if she keeps playing here and doing what shes doing now. You have to feel a rhythm about your swing, but how can you? You cannot just jump on one tour, especially if youre a (17-year-old) girl.
The guys out there are not scared of anything, they are not even scared of the top guys, Singh said. So they are not really worried about a girl going out there and beating them.
And there is nothing to suggest they should be nervous. In her last two PGA TOUR events, Wie was last at the 84 Lumber Classic and withdrew from the John Deere Classic.

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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

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    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

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    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

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    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

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    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

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    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