US wins Presidents Cup once again

By Doug FergusonOctober 12, 2009, 12:37 am
Presidents CupSAN FRANCISCO – Tiger Woods provided a fitting conclusion Sunday to a perfect week at the Presidents Cup, for him and an American team that remains perfect at home.

With a flop shot out of the trees to set up one last birdie, Woods won the point that clinched the cup and made him only the third player in the Presidents Cup to win all five matches.

His 6-and-5 victory over Y.E. Yang was a tiny token of revenge for Woods blowing a final-round lead to him in the PGA Championship this summer. Even so, it was the first time in either the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup that Woods earned the decisive point.

And he didn’t even know it.

Elin Woods Fred Couples Presidents Cup
Fred Couples and Elin Woods celebrate after Tiger Woods' winning putt to beat Yang on Sunday. (Getty Images)

“Oh, perfect,” Woods said, an apt choice of words. “All I knew was I was trying to get my point, and I was 5 up trying to make it 6.”

Phil Mickelson wrapped up another anticlimactic finish with a 7-foot birdie putt for a 2-and-1 victory over Retief Goosen, leaving Lefty unbeaten (4-0-1) in the Presidents Cup for the second time in the last three contests.

The Americans won 19 1/2 -14 1/2 , the same margin as last time against an overmatched International team.

The United States leads 6-1-1 since the Presidents Cup began in 1994, and it improved to 5-0 on home soil, the previous four victories coming across the country in Virginia.

“I’m sure we tried our best all week,” Geoff Ogilvy said after his 2-and-1 victory over Steve Stricker. “Coming in today, we had too much to do and the U.S. team was obviously very motivated.”

British Open champion Stewart Cink, disgusted with his performance Saturday, asked to play early and put the first point on the board by overwhelming Adam Scott, a questionable captain’s pick who contributed only one point for the week.

Sean O’Hair and Anthony Kim followed with big victories of their own, while Hunter Mahan eventually won his leadoff match over Camilo Villegas of Colombia, the only player to get shut out at Harding Park.

That set the stage for Woods, whose performance has been mediocre since he started playing these team competitions in 1997.

He won four holes in a five-hole stretch in the middle of the round, pouring in one birdie putt after another, then sealed it with a 9-foot birdie on the 13th hole.

Woods went 5-0 for the week, joining Mark O’Meara (1996) and Shigeki Maruyama (1998) as the only players to win all five matches in the Presidents Cup. Woods has 18 victories, the most of any player in this event.

Woods and Stricker became the first partnership in the Presidents Cup to win all four of their matches, with Stricker making all the putts and Woods providing the defining moment Saturday morning with a 25-foot birdie and a 3-iron to 8 feet on the par-5 18th that turned a certain loss into an inspiring victory in foursomes.

U.S. captain Fred Couples was the first to greet Woods with a hug.

When Couples was appointed captain, he called Woods and jokingly asked for a big favor: Make the team so Couples wouldn’t have to waste a captain’s pick on the world’s No. 1 player.

What he didn’t tell Woods were the expectations Couples had for him at Harding Park.

“I needed him – this is going to sound stupid – to go 5-0,” Couples said.

It was the first time Woods and Yang have played together since the South Korean became the first player to rally in the final round at a major to beat Woods. This wasn’t quite the same.

“He got me there, and I figured I could get him here,” Woods said. “It certainly was not exactly the same atmosphere, but then it still was an important point.”

Mickelson might have played the best for the Americans, carrying along three partners in the team matches and hanging on to beat Goosen. He went 4-0-1 for the week, and revealed after his match that his wife, Amy, had joined him on the weekend.

She is recovering from breast cancer and has not traveled with Mickelson since The Players Championship, a week before she was diagnosed. Amy Mickelson did not come to Harding Park on Sunday.

“I didn’t think she was coming up, and she actually hid in the bathroom when I walked in my room,” Mickelson said. “I didn’t know she was there, and she scared me pretty good. It was an awesome surprise, though.”

Among the few bright spots for the International team on a cold autumn afternoon was Tim Clark, who made eight birdies in 15 holes for a 4-and-3 victory over Zach Johnson. Ryo Ishikawa of Japan, at 18 the youngest player ever in these matches, kept his cool down the stretch to beat 49-year-old Kenny Perry.

Another moment came from Vijay Singh, who led the International team with a 2-0-3 record. It might have been slightly better, but after narrowly missing an eagle putt on the 18th hole, he graciously conceded Lucas Glover’s 7-foot birdie putt to halve the match.

Glover had been 0-3 for the week, and it kept the U.S. Open champion from being shut out.

“He would have made it, anyway,” Singh said.

By then, the Presidents Cup had long been decided. The Americans had a three-point lead going into singles, and picked up seven points in the final session.

Next up is a trip to Royal Melbourne in Australia in 2011, site of the International team’s only victory. Greg Norman is expected to return as International team captain. The Americans, meanwhile, start qualifying in earnest next year for the Ryder Cup in Wales.

This is the first time since 2000 that the Americans held the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup at the same time.

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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.