Anonymous player poll: Woods will win again

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 3, 2016, 4:34 pm

It's officially anonymous player poll season.

The same survey that gave "overrated" Rickie Fowler some extra motivation heading into The Players a year ago is back, as Sports Illustrated recently questioned a cross-section of pros from the PGA Tour, LPGA and PGA Tour Champions. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • While Tiger Woods hasn't played since August, respondents were generally optimistic that he will win again on the PGA Tour. Forty-three percent of PGA Tour and 72 percent of Champions players polled believe he'll lift another trophy ("Don't know" got 31 percent of the PGA Tour vote), while 64 percent of LPGA responses were that he has already won his last event.
  • Forty-nine percent of PGA Tour players polled think Phil Mickelson will make a better Ryder Cup captain than Woods, while 44 percent sided with the 14-time major champ.
  • While Jordan Spieth currently has two fewer major titles to his credit than Rory McIlroy, a slim majority of respondents believe that Spieth will win more majors from here on out (56-44 percent PGA Tour, 48-45 percent Champions).
  • If in a bar fight, the PGA Tour player most would want to "have their back" was Ernie Els (15 percent), followed by Keegan Bradley, Angel Cabrera and Pat Perez.
  • Only 67 percent of PGA Tour players polled believe that a caddie deserves to earn 10 percent of the prize when his player wins a tournament.
  • Given the choice, 71 percent of PGA Tour players would rather win the PGA Championship than an Olympic gold medal, but 76 percent would take a gold medal over winning the Valero Texas Open.
  • Adam Scott was deemed to have the "prettiest swing" on the PGA Tour, while Tom Purtzer earned the honor among Champions players and Na Yeon Choi was chosen by her LPGA peers.
  • Forty-five percent of PGA Tour players don't believe the WGC-Cadillac Championship should move because of Donald Trump's political stances, while 39 percent think it should and 16 percent "don't care."
  • Seventeen percent of PGA Tour Champions players take between 8-15 pain pills during a tournament week, while another 17 percent take more than 20 pain pills per week.
  • Sixty-four percent of LPGA players believe Michelle Wie will win another major, while 76 percent think Yani Tseng will win another tournament.
  • Suzann Pettersen's Solheim Cup apology was viewed as "P.R." by 53 percent of LPGA respondents, while 38 percent deemed it "sincere."
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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
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.