World Game with PGA Tour Prints

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- The logo is a spinning globe with colors that represent the six major golf tours. And the name of this marquee event is a dead giveaway'the World Golf Championships.
 
But be careful anytime world is part of any golf title.
 
Its still mainly about the PGA Tour.
 
Colin Montgomerie and Jumbo Ozaki are among the names on the international ballot for the World Golf Hall of Fame, but the first question about their credentials is that neither have won on the PGA Tour.
 
You cant have a guy win over 100 tournaments and not be in the Hall of Fame, Nick Price said.
 
Results wont be released until April.
 
The focus this week is on the latest edition of the World Golf Championships, and it should look familiar. The Accenture Match Play Championship starts this week at La Costa Resort, the same, soggy course where it has been played every year but one since its debut in 1999.
 
You wont see flags flying from 17 countries at the Bob Hope Classic or Pebble Beach. The elite, 64-man field is the smallest on either side of the winners-only Mercedes Championships and season-ending Tour Championship.
 
But it still feels like just another stop on the PGA Tour.
 
Thats because you dont go outside America very often, said Peter Lonard of Australia. For the guys that play the U.S. tour every week, it possibly blends in. To the rest of the world, its a shot to play against the top dogs.
 
The rest of the world is outnumbered this week.
 
True, there are only 27 Americans in the field at La Costa. But the number swells to 55 when you include the foreign-born players who have taken up membership on the PGA Tour this year.
 
The purse is greater than anything overseas -- $7.5 million, with $1.3 million going to the guy who makes it through five matches. But the PGA Tour has two regular events worth at least $6 million, and others are not far behind.
 
For most players, they have gone from Pebble Beach or Riviera to La Costa, and the next stop is Doral or Honda.
 
It does feel like part of the normal schedule, Charles Howell III said. Its the last event on the West Coast Swing. Its still very big, and its still a World Golf Championship. And obviously, everyone wants to do well. But a lot of these guys already play in America.
 
Most of them wont have to travel very far this year.
 
All three WGC events that count toward official money will be played in the United States this year, just like they were in 2003 and probably will again in 2007.
 
The NEC Invitational has never been played abroad. Five of the first six have been played at Firestone, where it should remain. Not only is the tree-lined course a classic test, that WGC event replaced the old World Series of Golf, back when the world seemed much larger.
 
The American Express Championship will be played later this year in San Francisco. Plans are to continue alternating sites between the United States and Europe; it was in Ireland last year and goes to London in 2006.
 
Officials are looking at other sites for the Match Play, although it probably wont leave American shores.
 
The last time they tried that, more than two dozen eligible players'most of them Americans'decided that Australia was too far to travel so close to the holidays.
 
Tiger Woods was among those who didnt go to Australia. He doesnt expect Match Play to move, in part because the format sends half the field home after one round.
 
You could be there for one day, Woods said.
 
Thats what Europeans face after flying through at least eight time zones to get to La Costa.
 
But a lot of guys are playing on tour now, so thats the difference, Woods said. Most of the guys in this event are playing our tour full time.
 
And thats one reason this world championship is starting to feel more like another stop on the PGA Tour.
 
The World Golf Hall of Fame was built about 25 miles away from PGA Tour headquarters and is perceived as a place for those who have made their mark on tour. Even when Isao Aoki was inducted in November, mentioned prominently was his victory in the 1983 Hawaiian Open, when he became the first Japanese player to win a PGA Tour event.
 
Ozaki won 112 times in his career, all but one of those in Japan. He never won a major'three of them are played in the United States'and he never won on the PGA Tour.
 
If its an American Hall of Fame, he wouldnt be in it, Lonard said. But if its a World Golf Hall of Fame, Jumbo belongs in it. To get in the Hall of Fame, you have to win a lot, but you have to bring something to the game. Jumbo was massive in Japan. Jumbo was everything to Japanese golf for 15 years. Hes all anyone spoke about.
 
Montgomerie has never taken up PGA Tour membership. He has never won a major, but he has won 34 times around the world, and he won the European tour money title seven straight years competing against the likes of Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Ernie Els and a young Vijay Singh.
 
That will never be done again, Price said. He dominated that tour like no other man has.
 
Ozaki and Montgomerie belong in the Hall of Fame, as long as its about the world of golf, and not the PGA Tour.
 
Sometimes, those lines get blurred.
 
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

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."

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm