Woods, Garcia won't be paired in final round

By Doug FergusonMay 12, 2013, 2:04 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia are part of a three-way tie for the lead at The Players Championship, both going after golf's richest prize without the pleasure of being in the same group for the final round at the TPC Sawgrass.

''It's probably good for both of us,'' Garcia said, referring to the rift that began when Garcia felt Woods instigated crowd noise as the Spaniard was playing a shot on Saturday.

Woods finally made another birdie and finished off the third round Sunday morning with a 1-under 71. Garcia bogeyed the 15th when he resumed play, followed with a pair of birdies and closed with a superb chip to save par on the 18th hole for a 72.

David Lingmerth, a 25-year-old rookie from Sweden who had a two-shot lead when play resumed, made bogey from the trees on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69.

They were at 11-under 205, one shot clear of Henrik Stenson of Sweden (71), Ryan Palmer and Casey Wittenberg, who birdied his last three holes for a 70. Wittenberg played only the 18th hole Sunday morning to finish his round.


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So much for that drama of Woods and Garcia paired again at Sawgrass, though Garcia didn't back away from sharing his feelings about Woods.

''I'm not going to lie, he's not my favorite guy to play with,'' Garcia said told Sky Sports. ''He's not the nicest guy on Tour.''

Even though Woods tapped in for par before Garcia made his 4-foot par putt, Garcia joined Lingmerth in the final group. When two players in the same pairing are tied after the round, the player who was first to hit when the full round began is listed first. That put Garcia, who had a one-shot lead going into the third round, in the final group.

Woods figured they would play together in threesomes because of the rain delay – it will be twosomes, instead – and he said it didn't matter whom he played with on Sunday afternoon.

''I'm tied for the lead, so I'm right there,'' he said.

Woods is dangerous from that spot. His record on the PGA Tour is 52-4 when he has at least a share of the lead going into the final round.

Public tension is rare in golf, though it was on full display when Garcia sat before a television camera during a storm delay on Saturday. The incident took root on the par-5 second hole when Garcia played his second shot from the fairway and hit it well right into trouble, leading to bogey. He heard a burst of cheers from the fans gathered around Woods in the trees, reacting to Woods taking out a 5-wood to play a high-risk shot.

''I wouldn't say that he didn't see that I was ready, but you do have a feel when the other guy is going to hit and right as I was in the top of the backswing, I think he must have pulled like a 5-wood or a 3-wood and obviously everybody started screaming,'' Garcia said on TV during the delay. ''So that didn't help very much.''

After the round, Woods said Garcia didn't have his facts straight.

''The marshals, they told me he already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot,'' Woods said. ''And then I hear his comments afterwards, and not real surprising that he's complaining about something.''

They had a frosty relationship to begin with, and that only added another layer of ice.

Garcia said in a Golf Channel interview after he finished his third round, ''We don't enjoy each other's company. You don't need to be a rocket engineer to figure that out.''

Through it all, there's a prestigious golf tournament to be won that offers $1.71 million to the winner, along with a three-year exemption to the Masters and British Open, and a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

That would be helpful for Lingmerth, who made it onto the PGA Tour through the minor leagues last year.

He hit deep into the trees right of the 18th fairway, hit the trees trying to escape and was fortunate the ball landed in the fairway. He had a two-putt bogey and then waited to see if anyone could pass him.

Woods and Garcia were on the 15th hole when play resumed.

Garcia came up well short from the rough, and then hit a soft pitch that settled 10 feet short of the cup, leading to bogey. Woods' 12-foot birdie putt caught the lip. Both made birdie on the 16th, Woods with a chip shot instead of putting through about 10 feet of fringe. That set up a short birdie putt on the par 5. Garcia's second shot was buried in gnarly rough, and he chipped out perfectly to about 4 feet for birdie.

Garcia held his breath on the island-green 17th when his wedge hit the flagstick. Instead of bouncing back into the water, it caromed to the right of the flag, and he holed the 15-foot birdie putt to tie Woods and Lingmerth. On the final hole, Garcia came up short and well to the right, and his chip from 120 feet ran just 4 feet by the hole.

A dozen players were separated by four shots going into the last round.


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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


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Green jacket tour

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Man of the people


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Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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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