Cink takes advantage of making cut

By Doug FergusonAugust 15, 2010, 6:56 am

2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Stewart Cink was in the 18th fairway Saturday morning, 222 yards from the flag with a 3-iron in his hand and needing a birdie just to make the cut at the PGA Championship.

Some eight hours later, he was tied for 16th and had an outside shot of playing his way onto the Ryder Cup team.

Yes, it was quite the turnaround.

“I just had to hit a good shot,” Cink said, and he followed that up by making about a 10-foot birdie to complete his second round of 68.

And to think that on Thursday, the former British Open champion was walking down fairways with his head down, on his way to a 77 that presumably ended his PGA Championship early. Cink is 14th in the Ryder Cup standings – the top eight qualify after Sunday – and it appeared certain that he would have to audition over the next three weeks.

Hold everything.

“I haven’t hit too many good iron shots,” Cink said. “I’m just fighting it. But I battled hard to get back into it and make the cut.”

He had his chances to get back to the cut line on the par-5 16th until missing a 3-foot birdie putt. Cink said he was as determined to “cover up” that mistake than make birdie for the cut.

He made it on the number, then made eagle on the 16th in the third round on his way to a 66. That put him at 5-under 211 for the tournament, eight shots out of the lead and probably too far to win.

To make the Ryder Cup team, Cink would need to finish no worse than a two-way tie for fourth. He’s only five shots behind that target, depending on how it goes Sunday.

That won’t be on his mind. Cink has learned over the years that trying to play his way onto a team doesn’t lead to good golf.

“If you try to play your way onto a team or into a pick, you’re going to throw up on yourself,” he said.

CLUB PRO: It took Rob Labritz seven years to get back to the PGA Championship.

He made sure to stay as long as possible.

Labritz played bogey-free over the final 12 holes of his second round Saturday morning to become the only club professional to make the cut at Whistling Straits. The golf director at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., then held his own with 21-year-old Rickie Fowler for most of the third round.

The only sour part was the finish. Labritz took a quadruple-bogey 8 on the ninth hole, giving him a 74. He was a 2-over 218.

“I will have to take some time to compose myself and then assess what went wrong,” he said. “It was pretty rough to end that way. It was mentally a long day for me and I’m sure for a lot of people. Tomorrow, I plan to go low and will do all I can to make up for today.”

It was the first time he made the cut in three appearances at the PGA Championship.

RYDER CUP DOINGS: Padraig Harrington needed a good showing to help earn his way onto Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

He missed the cut with a double bogey on the last hole.

Luke Donald was holding down the last of four spots available through world points, then shot 77 and missed the cut. Now, Donald is in a bit of a quandary –  whether to play the FedEx Cup playoffs opener in two weeks (which doesn’t count toward Europe’s standings) or go to Scotland for the last qualifying event in Europe.

“I would have liked to have had a good week and add some world ranking points to what I have, but it’s not to be,” Donald said after shooting a 77 on Saturday morning. “Right now, the plan is still to play New York, but I have a couple more days to think about it.”

He said he had spoken to captain Colin Montgomerie and told him he would play The Barclays in New York. But that was before the PGA Championship began. And Donald didn’t anticipate missing the cut.

Donald missed the Ryder Cup last time with a wrist injury.

It would be hard to imagine him not making the team as the No. 7 player in the world. Then again, Montgomerie already is faced with leaving some marquee players off a strong team.

MAJOR FEATS, MAJOR FAILURE: For the second straight year, Camilo Villegas was among a dozen players who made the cut in all four majors. Villegas has the longest active streak in golf, making the cut in 11 straight majors.

The others who made the cut in all four majors this year: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Retief Goosen, Robert Karlsson, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel, Steve Stricker and Nick Watney.

No one finished among the top 10 in all four majors.

Soren Hansen and Oliver Wilson made the less distinguished list in the majors. They are the only players who have missed the cut in all four majors this year. Brian Gay avoided joining them with rounds of 72-70 at Whistling Straits.

MICKELSON MARK: Phil Mickelson was given free relief after his second shot on the par-5 11th in the third round, and it’s a good thing. Not so much for him, but the fan he hit.

Mickelson’s shot bounced into the rough, hit someone around the arm and came to rest in his lap. He sat so still that it was still in his lap when Lefty arrived, signing yet another glove as a souvenir.

Mickelson stuck a tee underneath him, took his free drop and made his par.

DIVOTS: Senior PGA champion Tom Lehman made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole in the third round, using a 4-iron from 217 yards. He exchanged high-fives with Darren Clarke, famous for his own shot on that hole in 2004. Clarke hit a horrific shank, and the CBS slow-motion camera captured every split second of his shot. … The top 18 players going into the final round are from eight countries. … The last player in his 20s to win the PGA Championship was Tiger Woods, who was 24 when he won at Valhalla in 2000.
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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