Spieth, Walker, Hahn grouped at Texas Open

By Ryan LavnerMarch 25, 2015, 1:40 pm

The PGA Tour shifts from Florida to the Lone Star State for this week's Valero Texas Open. Here are five featured groups to watch at TPC San Antonio. Click here for full tee times. 

Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk: 9 a.m. ET Thursday (10 tee), 1:50 p.m. Friday (1 tee)

Johnson is coming off a two-week break following his big win at Doral. This is his first start at TPC San Antonio since 2009; it was also the site of his first PGA Tour event, in ’07. McDowell, who has gone MC-T56-MC in his last three Tour starts, is making his debut here, while Furyk has played here each of the past two years, finishing in the top six in each start.

Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar and Justin Leonard: 9:10 a.m. Thursday (10 tee), 2 p.m. Friday (1 tee)

Kaymer is looking to kick-start what has been a sleepy beginning to his 2015 season, with a pair of finishes outside the top 30 in two 2015 Tour starts. Kuchar has been uncharacteristically adrift as well, failing to record a top-10 since the Humana in late January. He was T-4 here a year ago. The 42-year-old Leonard, meanwhile, has played San Antonio every year since 2006. The Texan doesn’t have a top-10 since ’09.

Matt Every, Alex Cejka and Harris English: 9:20 a.m. ET Thursday (10 tee), 2:10 p.m. Friday (1 tee)

A surprise, certainly, that English is the only player in this three-ball without a 2014-15 victory. Every is coming off a surprising win at Bay Hill, his first top-40 finish of the season. Cejka broke through for his first Tour title in Puerto Rico. More attention this week will be paid to English, as he attempts to crack the top 50 in the world ranking. The top 50 players after this week’s event qualify for the Masters. The former Georgia Bulldog begins the week at No. 53, after a poor weekend at Arnie’s Place. 

Jordan Spieth, James Hahn and Jimmy Walker: 1:50 p.m. Thursday (1 tee), 9 a.m. Friday (10 tee) 

Spieth is making his first start since his clutch playoff victory in Tampa. This will already be the 21-year-old’s fourth career start in San Antonio. Last year he tied for 10th. Hahn hasn’t played since his own playoff victory at Riviera, as he and his wife welcomed their first child. Walker continues to lead the season-long FedEx Cup points race, despite failing to record a top-20 finish in his last three starts. In nine starts at this event, he has only one top-10 (2010).

Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson: 2 p.m. Thursday (1 tee), 9:10 a.m. Thursday (10 tee)

Horschel is still looking to rediscover the form that saw him capture the FedEx Cup a year ago. Remarkably, he has just one top-25 in 11 starts this season. Johnson is coming off a nice week at Bay Hill, where he made an albatross in the final round en route to a T-9 finish. He has a strong record in this event too, winning in 2008 and ’09 (when the event was held at LaCantera) and finishing T-6 a year ago. Mickelson has finished outside the top 10 in 30 of his last 32 PGA Tour starts. Last year he attempted to use this event as a Masters tune-up, but instead withdrew because of injury. 

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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.