Harrington misses cut Ryder Cup future in doubt

By Doug FergusonAugust 15, 2010, 2:28 am

2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Padraig Harrington spent two days fighting to get back to even par at the PGA Championship, hopeful of having the weekend to state his case for making the Ryder Cup team.

It all fell apart in one hole at the end.

From the middle of the 18th fairway, Harrington chunked a hybrid 4-iron into a water hazard that shouldn’t even come into play, making a double bogey to miss the cut at Whistling Straits.

Harrington, who only two years ago became the first European with successive majors in the same season, headed home after missing the cut in a major for the third time this year.

The Irishman has no tournaments left to earn points toward making the Ryder Cup team, and must rely on Colin Montgomerie taking him as a captain’s pick in a year in which Europe has no shortage of candidates.

“There are Ryder Cup implications,” Harrington said. “I hope Monty is a guy who looks through things and sees stats – 16 top-10s in the last year is going to be a lot of comfort. I’m sure he needs some experience in that team and some older guys. I have done everything I can now, and there is nothing more I can do.

“My majors have been poor this year, but everything else has been good.”

Harrington has emerged as the most accomplished European of his generation, winning an Order of Merit and three majors. But his last victory on a sanctioned tour was the PGA Championship two years ago.

Winning has been replaced by consistency.

But there was nothing consistent about the way Harrington played the opening two rounds of the final major.

He shot 75 the first day and was in immediate danger of missing the cut, only to battle back Friday evening in the fog-delayed tournament with four birdies in a five-hole stretch getting back to even par when it was too dark to continue.

“When I got it back to level par, I was thinking about winning the tournament,” he said. “Today I came out a little tentative, like on Thursday. All of a sudden, I dropped a shot and then I am hanging in there.”

He was still in good shape after a birdie on the par-5 16th to get back to even par. And he successfully navigated the punishing 17th hole along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, then the tee shot on the 18th.

With the wind in his face for the first all week on the closing hole, Harrington wasn’t sure where to go.

“It is a strange one,” he said. “I couldn’t go for the flag and was going for the middle of the green, and just got distracted over it and hit it fat. Didn’t even cross my mind, the water short. Anywhere else would have been safe.”

He took his drop in the rough, chopped onto the green and missed a 10-foot putt for an early end to his championship.

“The real issue for me is that I should have been 4 or 5 under coming down the last,” he said. “I left shots out there the first day, and certainly left a lot out there today. As much as it is very disappointing to double the last, I have hit the ball well enough to be in contention here. It is just one of those things.”

It’s actually three of those things.

He missed the cut at the Masters. He missed the cut at the British Open. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship. And when he did make it to weekend at the U.S. Open, he never broke par and tied for 22nd.

Harrington next plays at The Barclays in two weeks to start the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour. Because it ends later than the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on the European Tour, it will not count toward the Ryder Cup standings.

He would have needed at least seventh place to have any chance of making the team on his own through the world points. Harrington said he had no plans to alter his schedule to add one more tournament to try to earn a spot.

“At the end of the day, I have to be competitive and stick to my schedule,” Harrington said. “The Ryder Cup does come first and I want to play well in The Ryder Cup. And that means if I get picked, I will be ready to play. That would be my attitude. There is no point playing the next two weeks and burning myself out.”

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
Getty Images

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.

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

The statement reads:

The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.