Tavistock just got more colorful

By Win McMurryJanuary 14, 2011, 4:05 am

Tavistock Group announced Thursday that the Tavistock Cup, the annual backyard brawl between Isleworth and Lake Nona, will no longer simply be the “friendly cross-town rivalry” that began in 2004.

For the first time, a club outside of Tavistock Group, Queenwood just outside of London, will participate in addition to a new luxury resort community, Albany, that opened last year in the Bahamas developed by Tavistock Group, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.
 Last year’s format pitted 10 players from each of the two clubs against each other in two rounds of play. The first round was a fourball match play format with two-person teams. Round 2 was composed of fourball singles medal match play where each player played 18 holes of stroke play against each opposing two players in the group. Fifteen-and-a-half points were needed for a club to be crowned “World Golf and Country Club Champion.”

The release did not detail the new format, but did reveal that each club will now be represented by six professional members who will play for prize money and team hole-in-one prizes in addition to the title. Traditionally, the interclub match has alternated between Isleworth (whose team and fans dress in red) and Lake Nona (clad in blue), but this year returns to Isleworth for the second year in a row.

Teams for each club have not yet been announced, but coverage is schedule to air on Golf Channel during the event held March 14-15. Last year’s Tavistock Cup players from Isleworth were Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Arjun Atwal, John Cook, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell III, Lee Janzen, Nick O’Hern, Mark O’Mera and Brian Davis. From Lake Nona the team was composed of Ben Curtis, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Ross Fisher and Peter Hanson.

In 2010, the two clubs combined for 745 worldwide titles including 54 major championships; but according to the release the four clubs now boast a combined membership that has accumulated more than 825 worldwide victories including 59 major championships. Reigning U.S. Open champion McDowell and two-time 2010 major champion on the LPGA Yani Tseng (both of Lake Nona) add three more majors to the total from last year, four more with Tseng’s 2008 LPGA Championship victory. Paula Creamer (Isleworth) adds another with her 2010 U.S. Women’s Open title.

Albany’s membership list is still brand new and has overlaps with the roster of players from Isleworth and Lake Nona. Queenwood, established in 2001, reportedly only has 350 members including Els and former Ryder Cup players Darren Clarke, David Howell, and Paul McGinley. Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Hugh Grant are also rumored to be members of the elite A-list club designed by David Kidd (known for his work at Bandon Dunes), which is considered to be the most secretive in the UK.

A unique aspect of the invitation-only event is the sea of red and blue that highlight the fairways. In order to gain admittance into the tournament, everyone must don one of the colors to show their allegiance to one of the teams. The colors of the new teams have not been announced, but it is rumored Albany will be white and from the looks of the Queenwood website I’d imagine they will be either dark green or gold.

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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