Wie May Face Big Decision

By George WhiteOctober 14, 2005, 4:00 pm
For those of you who like to look into the future, heres one for you: Michelle Wie is going to have to decide which one will it be ' the LPGA or the PGA Tour ' when she becomes eligible for the pro tours at age 18.
There wont be any playing both at the same time. That point was brought out at a news conference this week. New LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens reiterated for those who dont know (and I didnt) the LPGAs longstanding prohibition:
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie will face not only some tough shots over the next couple of years, but some tough decisions as well.
If she joins the LPGA, said Bivens, she would have to play 10 events and she could only get two exemptions for events that took place that competed with the LPGA.
In other words, on weeks when the LPGA is playing, Wie could only play in two PGA Tour events (or any other events, for that matter). According to my calculations, the PGA Tour only has 10 weeks that the LPGA is not playing. And Michelle must play in 15 events to be a PGA Tour member.
Of course, who says that Wie wants to do both? She has the rather formidable task of somehow qualifying for the PGA Tour ' LPGA, too, for that matter, although for arguments sake that point isnt considered here.
Granted, the two tours schedules may ' and probably will ' look far different in 2007 from what they do now. Thats when the PGA Tour will begin playing a new schedule, one that will bear no resemblance to now, if we are to believe several observers.
But, Michelles list of PGA Tour tournaments would be mostly confined to events in the West, if we were going by this years schedule. She couldnt play in the Mercedes Championships ' that is for winners from the previous year. The first event she could play would be the Sony ' as it is now.
From there, the Buick Invitational, the Bob Hope Chrysler, the FBR Open near Phoenix, the Pebble Beach AT&T and the Nissan Open are all open to Wie hypothetically. The LPGA cranks up with the SBS Open in Wies native Hawaii the last week in February. Thats where she would ' again, hypothetically - hit the big roadblock.
But were just dreaming, OK? So lets dream a little further. Thats six tournaments so far. It would be foolish to expect Michelle to play six weeks in a row, of course. So lets say she could get in a maximum of five.
This year the LPGA was idle the week of the Honda Classic. OK, well slot her in there is our imaginary little game. Thats six. And there was no LPGA event opposite the BellSouth in Atlanta. The LPGA also doesnt play the week of the Masters, but we wont consider that one until ' if ' Wie makes it. But so far, so good ' shes up to seven events.
Now, the going really gets tough. The LPGA was busy every week until the first of August, the week of the International. But, lets say she plays the International ' and she now has eight events.
The next week is the PGA Championship. The LPGA was idle that week this year, but remember ' the PGA is a major. And the LPGA doesnt have another week off until the last week of September. Wie could play again in the Texas Open ' thats nine.
There is only one other week when the LPGA isnt playing ' the week of the Funai Classic at Disney. And thats 10.
Now, the LPGA would give Wie two tournaments to play whatever ' in this case the PGA Tour. But that still is only 12. And remember, she has to play in 15 events to keep PGA Tour membership.
Of course, this is taken from the 2005 schedule only. The schedule for 2007 might be quite a bit different. But remember, for it to be any help for Wie, the LPGA would have to play fewer events ' NOT the PGA. And the LPGA is looking to add a few tournaments ' not subtract them.
In short, count out the hope of Michelle playing fulltime on both tours. Its much more likely that she will continue to play a schedule such as she has now ' up to eight LPGA tournaments without becoming a member, up to seven on the PGA Tour. She wont belong to either organization, of course, but then she can pick and choose tournaments. That is, pick and choose the ones that offer her a sponsor's exemption.
In two years, though, at the end of 2007 when she has finished high school, Wie might well have decided on one tour ' LPGA or, if she makes it, the PGA Tour. But ' she is going to have to come to that decision.
If she chooses to be a member of the (LPGA) Tour, there are some guidelines, Bivens said. Sponsors and partners put up money to run events and put purses up and they want top money winners to show up.
If somebody wants to just dip in and out and go play in a competing event, that really hurts the association. We would be better off with the course that Michelle has chosen, and I don't think you are going to hear any of us saying if what Michelle wants to do is compete against the men, and occasionally play on the LPGA, all of those options are open. That's perfectly fine.
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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

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

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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