English grouped with Streb, Taylor in Mexico

By Will GrayNovember 12, 2014, 1:35 pm

Harris English will begin defense of his title at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba alongside the PGA Tour's two newest winners. Here is a look at some of the featured early-round groups at El Camaleon, where the PGA Tour will stage its final official event of the year (all times ET; click here for full tee times):

7:35 a.m. (No. 10 tee): Nick Watney, Jhonattan Vegas, Davis Love III

After years as one of the game's elite players, Watney has now slipped outside the OWGR top 100 and will look to get back on track this week in Mexico. He'll be joined for the first two rounds by Vegas, who missed the cut in his first two starts of the new season, and Love, who is coming off a T-8 finish in Malaysia, his first top-10 result in over a year.

7:45 a.m. (No. 1 tee): Scott Brown, Rory Sabbatini, Charles Howell III

Brown knows what it takes to win outside the U.S., having claimed the Puerto Rico Open in 2013. He'll play alongside Sabbatini, who tied for third in Mexico last year and was T-5 in 2011, and Howell, who has notched four straight top-20 finishes in this event, including a T-6 result last year.

7:45 a.m. (No. 10 tee): Ben Martin, Brian Harman, Lucas Glover

Martin notched his maiden win last month in Las Vegas and has yet to slow down, with top-30 results in each of his two subsequent starts. He will round out a group that features Harman, who scored his first victory earlier this year at the John Deere Classic, and Glover, a former U.S. Open champ whose T-22 finish last week in Mississippi was his best since March.

12:05 p.m. (No. 1 tee): Camilo Villegas, Angel Cabrera, Carlos Ortiz

Three of the biggest names in Latin American golf will have the attention of the fans in Mexico, especially Ortiz, the reigning Web.com Tour Player of the Year who hails from Guadalajara. He'll be joined by two players who won events this summer: Villegas, a winner at the Wyndham Championship in August, and Cabrera, who captured the Greenbrier Classic in July.

12:15 p.m. (No. 1 tee): Harris English, Robert Streb, Nick Taylor

English cruised to a four-shot win here last year that sparked a hot start to his season, but he has only one top-10 finish on Tour since March. He'll hope to end that drought this week alongside the two newest winners on Tour: Streb, who won a three-man playoff at the McGladrey Classic last month, and Taylor, who came from behind on Sunday to win the Sanderson Farms Championship.


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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