Woods in CIMB mix after 66 on Day 1; Matteson leads

By Associated PressOctober 25, 2012, 3:19 pm

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – It was hot, humid and his putts were lipping out. Tiger Woods felt like he'd been run over halfway through his first round in Malaysia since winning the 1999 World Cup on the same course.

Only one way to fix that: The 14-time major winner rolled in five birdies on the back nine on Thursday and finished with a 5-under 66 to trail first-round leader Troy Matteson by three shots.


Tiger Tracker: Day 1 of the CIMB Classic

CIMB Classic Round 1 scores


Matteson had eight birdies in his 63 to take a one-stroke lead over fellow Americans Jeff Overton, Brian Harman and Robert Garrigus.

Woods, in the last pairing with Australia's Marcus Fraser, knew the numbers to target early in his round. After birdies at the third and fifth holes, Woods missed two short putts for par at the eighth and ninth and seemed frustrated, frequently wiping his face and neck with a white towel and glaring after the balls that didn't drop in the cup.

Knowing it was going to take a total of something like 20 under to win the tournament on the 6,909-yard Mines Resort and Golf Club course, Woods decided the only way back into contention was to be aggressive.

''It's a different type of mindset,'' he said. ''Going out there and shooting even par on that front nine, I just felt like I got run over.''

He said midway through the round he wasn't bothered by the stifling humidity hovering around 91 degrees, or narrowly missing two birdie attempts before the two putts for par lipped out.

''What is frustrating is turning at even par and I'm eight back,'' he said.

''Three or 4 under par was my number on the back nine – if I could shoot that, I'm still right in the ballgame. I happened to get one more, which was a bonus.''

Woods knew he could have shot a score that would have put him higher than tied for seventh – he even missed a birdie putt from about 10 feet on the 18th – but he was happy with how he hit his driver and was generally pleased with his game.

''I really started hitting the ball quite well at the end of the front nine. I happened to miss two short putts ... but also the two putts I hit were good putts at 8 and 9.'' he said. ''Realistically it could have been seven or eight (under). But even at the turn, and to still post 5 (under), it was a nice little comeback.

''It's going to take 20-plus this week to win the tournament, so I've got to be aggressive and we've got to go get it.''

A lightning and thunderstorm started dumping rain on the course less than an hour after play ended and, with the forecast for more rain on Friday, organizers decided to move tee times ahead by 40 minutes in the second round.

Americans held five of the top six spots, with Tom Gilles behind the leading four after a 65. He was tied at 6 under with India's Gaganjeet Bhullar, who made an eagle on the par-5 17th and had the lowest score among the Asian Tour players.

''These are the only few weeks where we get to play with these (PGA Tour) guys,'' Bhullar said. ''It really motivates us, and I think it is very important for Asian Tour players that somebody should go up and make it interesting. You never know, it could be an Asian Tour player's week.''

The group tied with Woods at 5 under included Malaysian qualifier Danny Chia, Australia's Greg Chalmers, South African Jbe' Kruger and Americans J.B Holmes and Ricky Barnes.

Matteson had missed the cut in his last two PGA Tour starts and had failed to break par in any of his last four competitive rounds. But he posted his lowest score since a 61 at the John Deere Classic in July, when he finished second, losing a playoff in his best result of the season.

He had birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 11 and finished with four straight, closing his round by holing his third shot from the greenside bunker on the par-4 18th.

''The pin is really tricky on 18. I knew I'd be doing good if I could leave myself seven or eight feet for par, and it bounced and slam-dunked in the hole,'' Matteson said. ''That's the first time all year the ball has managed to hit the pin and stay in the hole.''

Overton, who last year set the tournament-record low round with a 62 and finished runner-up here, had a bogey-free 64 that included an eagle on the drivable 292-yard 15th, the shortest par 4 on the course.

''All of a sudden I made about a 20-footer for eagle, basically drove the green, and when that went in it was really exciting,'' he said. ''It was just an all-around fun day.''

The co-sanctioned $6.1 million CIMB Classic doesn't count as an official U.S. PGA tournament this year, but will be added to the schedule in 2013.

Defending champion Bo Van Pelt, with a 70, was coming off a win last week at the Perth International in Australia. Jason Dufner, who was second to Van Pelt last week, was 3 under and in a share of 16th with 2010 CIMB champion Ben Crane.

Golf Channel coverage of Round 2 of the CIMB Classic begins Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.

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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