Power Rankings: 2016 BMW Championship

By Will GraySeptember 7, 2016, 1:47 pm

The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour heads to Indiana this week for the BMW Championship. A field of 69 players will tackle Crooked Stick Golf Club, with the top 30 in the standings advancing to the season-ending Tour Championship. 

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Jason Day won this event last year by six shots over Daniel Berger at Conway Farms. Here are 10 players to watch in Carmel:

1. Dustin Johnson: He likely has the edge in any Player of the Year voting, and a big result this week could push him over the top. Johnson leads the Tour with 13 top-10 finishes this season, and he should be able to bomb his way around a track where he finished T-6 four years ago.

2. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy found his putting at just the right time, erasing a six-shot deficit in Monday's final round in Boston to snag a trophy. He'll look to win at Crooked Stick, as he did in 2012, and if the putter continues to cooperate he'll surely factor.

3. Jason Day: The world No. 1 didn't play this event in 2012, but that certainly won't preclude him from factoring this time around. Day finished T-15 last week in Boston despite some off-course distractions early in the week, and he now has top-15 finishes in 12 straight playoff events outside of an injury-related withdrawal at this event two years ago.

4. Patrick Reed: The FedEx Cup leader backed up his Barclays win with a T-5 finish at the Deutsche Bank, proving that he's not about to rest on any laurels. Reed has been quietly consistent all year, and now that he has a win to his credit and a Ryder Cup berth assured, he's playing with nothing to lose.

5. Jordan Spieth: While Spieth improved on his MC-MC start to last year's playoffs, he didn't really factor at either of the first two legs of the postseason. He'll likely need to do so this week should he have any aspirations on defending that FedEx Cup title, and perhaps getting bumped by McIlroy to world No. 4 will serve as a little extra motivation.

6. Adam Scott: The Aussie has opened up his postseason with a pair of T-4 finishes, and now he heads to a course where he finished T-6 four years ago. Scott went through a bit of a dry spell after back-to-back wins in Florida this spring, but he has found his footing and his elite ball-striking should be more than enough to keep him in contention this week.

7. Ryan Moore: Believe it or not, Moore is one of the hottest players in the game right now. A winner last month at the John Deere Classic, he is one of six players to start the playoffs with a pair of top-10 finishes. He also tied for 10th at the last BMW at Crooked Stick, and could have some extra incentive this week as he makes a late bid for a Ryder Cup spot.

8. Louis Oosthuizen: The South African finished T-16 at Crooked Stick four years ago, and he has compiled a recent run that includes six top-25 finishes in his last seven worldwide starts, dating back to June. Oosthuizen can make the game look easy when he's firing on all cylinders, and he appears to be approaching that level after a T-8 finish in Boston.

9. Sergio Garcia: Garcia skipped The Barclays, but returned to action last week with a T-24 result. He has cooled somewhat since a summer stretch that included a win and three straight T-5 finishes, but the Spaniard played this course four years ago and will need a strong result in order to make the season-ending Tour Championship.

10. Phil Mickelson: Lefty remains unpredictable after missing the cut in Boston, but there's a strong chance he'll bounce back in a no-cut event on a course where he was a runner-up in 2012. Mickelson has had a resurgent season but remains in search of his first win in more than three years; it's likely he'll have a chance to end that streak this week.

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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