Lietzkes Season Short-Circuited

By George WhiteSeptember 27, 2004, 4:00 pm
He plays again for the 17th time this season at the Constellation Energy Classic at Hayfields Country Club in Hunt Valley, Md. But Bruce Lietzke is seeing how the other half lives in trying to come back from an injury.
 
Lietzke ranks 18th on the money list, and the worst he had had done in two full seasons previously was seventh. He played just 10 events in a partial year just after he turned 50 and still finished 16th. But a frozen shoulder in the off-season has proven a little more to come back from than he had imagined.
 
It kept me from being healthy all the way into mid- or late April, said Lietzke.
 
I tried to play in three or four tournaments when it was still stiff. Gary Player was out-driving me about 45 or 50 yards (Player averages 250 per drive). I could only fly the ball about 210.
 
Lietzke sat out all the Florida tournaments and the tournament in Mexico trying to rest the shoulder ' a period of five weeks. He tried to come back for two weeks when the tour went to California, but he soon realized he needed additional rehabilitation.
 
So its been a short season for me of playing healthy golf, he said. Ive played OK a few weeks. But my consistency hasnt been real good this year.
 
Lietzke was completely blindsided by the freak condition. During the off-season he noticed the shoulder was stiffening a bit, but since he doesnt practice in the off-season, he thought nothing of it.
 
I just thought it was natural stiffening from not playing any golf, he said. I started getting ready in January, and I found I couldnt bring the club any further back than about like Allen Doyle does. And my follow-through was about like Allen Doyles.'
 
A baffled Liietzke went to the doctor to try to ascertain what was wrong.
 
'I was afraid there was damage in there ' arthritis, bursitis, I was ready to hear all those things. But the first thing the doctor said was, Weve done all these tests and youve got a perfectly healthy shoulder.
 
I said, Doc, I cant raise my shoulder higher that this, said Lietzke, indicating a position below his head. Then he told me about this frozen shoulder deal.
 
They cant explain why it happens. It just goes stiff, and it wont loosen up until the body decides its time. Its might take three months, six months, two years, but eventually it will loosen up.
 
Lietzke got a pain injection in March and the shoulder completed its loosening-up process in late April. Now, hes just waiting for his golf game to return.
 
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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.


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    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.


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    Man of the people


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

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    Departure from TaylorMade


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    Victory at Valderrama


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm