Levy leads Donaldson by 4 at BMW Masters

By Doug FergusonNovember 1, 2014, 8:25 am

SHANGHAI - Alexander Levy sent his 40-foot putt across the sixth green and down a steep ridge toward the cup, and when it curled in the left side, he turned toward his caddie with arms raised and a smile that lit up Lake Malaren on an overcast day.

Just about everything is going right for Levy at the BMW Masters.

The Frenchman piled up nine more birdies Saturday on his way to a 9-under 63, giving him a four-shot lead over Jamie Donaldson of Wales and leaving him on the cusp of his third victory this year on the European Tour.

''I play good golf and it's true, I am confident,'' Levy said. ''You don't have that (confidence) a lot of time, and I need to enjoy this moment and do my best tomorrow.''

He had no choice but to keep making birdies. So was everyone else on an extraordinary day of scoring.

Donaldson holed out for eagle on the tough 16th hole in his round of 62 and he barely made up any ground. Justin Rose followed a 65 with a 64 on Saturday and actually lost ground to Levy.

''I think I've done my part, but I didn't bank on everyone else going as low as they are,'' said Rose, who was seven shots back. ''Obviously, Mr. Levy is going ridiculous out there. I would have thought I'd be in a bit better shape going into Sunday than I am, but obviously every credit to the lads that are keeping it going.''

Marcel Siem of Germany shot a 65 and still was five shots behind. He lost more than just a few strokes to Levy. He also lost some money. They have been betting 200 euros (about $250) each round on who has the better score. Levy got him twice in the 36-hole event he won in Portugal three weeks ago. The only round Siem didn't lose money was on Friday when both shot 66.

''I think I chose the wrong opponent,'' Siem said. ''But it's crazy when you're 17-under par and you lose every round against him - yesterday I tied. But it's good for him. He's a great lad and he's playing unbelievable golf at the moment. Tough to beat him, and I'll try my best tomorrow. we'll see.''

About the only one who didn't keep pace was Nicolas Colsaerts. He missed an 8-foot birdie attempt on the first hole and kept falling further behind until he finished with a double bogey out of the bunker on the 18th hole for a 73. Colsaerts went from a one-shot lead to nine shots behind.

Levy was at 22-under 194 as he goes after his third title of the year on the European Tour. He already is the first Frenchman with multiple wins in one season.

''I played an amazing round,'' Levy said. ''I enjoy a lot the way I played the first three rounds, and it was a good, good game. And I look to do my best tomorrow and try to play the same golf and to be aggressive like the first round.''

The BMW Masters is the first of four tournaments in ''The Finals Series'' that wrap up the European Tour season.

The conditions have been soft and overcast all week in Shanghai, with players allowed to lift, clean and replace their golf balls within one club because of the wet turf. Levy likes to take dead aim - he calls it ''target golf'' - and the soggy turf of Lake Malaren suits him perfectly.

He opened with a 9-iron to about 6 feet for birdie, stuffed a wedge in close for birdie on the second and hit another wedge close on the par-5 third. Even though Colsaerts was some 40 yards beyond him on the par-5 seventh, Levy hit his approach 10 feet closer and both made two-putt birdies.

Levy played with Colsaerts and Romain Wattel of France, with whom he is sharing a room this week.

''Impressive game,'' Wattel said to him after the round, and there was no denying that.

Siem was alone in third at 17-under 199. Rose, who opened with a 72, was at 15-under 201 and trying to figure out how he can make up so much ground with one round remaining. His only hope was for Levy to come back to the field.

''If Alex has a bad day, then you look at the second guy - Jamie at 18 (under) and maybe I'm three behind,'' Rose said. ''I always try to look at it like that because you never know what the leader is going to face on a Sunday, so you always have look at second and go from there. So in with a half-chance.''

Colsaerts and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina (69) were nine shots behind. Graeme McDowell, needing two good finishes during the Shanghai swing to become entrenched in the top 15 on the Race to Dubai, had a 68 and is playing for position.

Levy has not shown any signs of cracking.

''You've got to go out there and play well to catch him,'' Donaldson said.

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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
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.