Moynihan leaving Alabama due to homesickness

By Ryan LavnerOctober 20, 2014, 3:17 pm

Alabama coach Jay Seawell said Monday that sophomore Gavin Moynihan has left the team because of homesickness, dealing the two-time defending NCAA champions a significant blow as they look to become the first team in nearly 50 years to win three consecutive titles.

Though Moynihan told Global Golf Post’s Brian Keogh that “no decision has been made yet,” Seawell said the 20-year-old Irishman informed him of his decision in a meeting last week.

Moynihan, who won the 2012 Irish Amateur, represented Great Britain and Ireland at the 2013 Walker Cup and captured this year’s Scottish Amateur, participated in the team’s championship ceremony at Alabama’s home football game on Saturday. Seawell said Moynihan was crying on the field, in part, the coach said, “because he knew that was his last moment with the team.”

“That’ll do it,” Seawell said by phone Monday. “We’ll take a little bit of a hit there, but it’s a good thing that it’s happening now. We can digest it and put it back together.”

Alabama is ranked No. 19 in the country after completing its fall slate, but the Tide is coming off a victory in its final event, the Jerry Pate Invitational, where Moynihan finished 12th individually. Despite the uneven start, Alabama was trending upward as it looked to become the first team since Houston in the mid-1960s to win three consecutive NCAA titles.

Alabama doesn’t play again until Feb. 22-24 Puerto Rico Classic, giving Moynihan four months to change his mind. That’s an eternity for a 20-year-old, of course, but he’d likely fall too far behind in his schoolwork if he waits until the spring semester.

Individually, Moynihan is No. 222 in Golfstat's rankings, but that’s mostly a product of a limited schedule. Playing as Alabama's No. 3 man, he had top-20 finishes in both events this season and also finished 15th in the World Amateur Team Championship for Team Ireland. He played in only two official events last season, struggling to crack the starting five because of the quality of players ahead of him on Alabama’s NCAA-winning team.

Moynihan told GGP’s Keogh that homesickness was affecting his performance. “I feel more comfortable and happier on the course back in Europe, which leads to better golf,” he said.

The 39th-ranked amateur in the world, Moynihan is not expected to turn pro and instead has his sights on making the 2015 Walker Cup team. 

“I’m surprised but not floored,” Seawell said. “I knew he was struggling being so far from home. You have to have a serious commitment, to know you’re going to be away from home for a long time and away from your comfort zone. For some guys it’s just harder.”

Seven Alabama players have seen playing time this fall, with Robby Shelton and Tom Lovelady teeing it up in all four events. In Moynihan’s absence the Tide will have to rely on Dru Love – the son of 20-time PGA Tour winner Davis Love III – and freshmen Jonathan Hardee and Tyler Hitchner, among others.

“We’ve got a bunch of scrappers,” Seawell said. “With the golf that Gavin was playing, we can replace the score, but it’s his experience in (international) championships that we’ll miss.

“But we don’t feel sorry for ourselves. I have the utmost confidence in our guys or they wouldn’t be here.”

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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
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.