Kisner, Matsuyama lead PGA; Day two back

By Nick MentaAugust 12, 2017, 2:00 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matsuyama lead by two over Jason Day at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, where 25 players returned Saturday morning to complete their second rounds. Here’s where things stand through 36 holes at the year’s final major:

Leaderboard: Kisner (-8) Matsuyama (-8), Day (-6), Chris Stroud (-6), Francesco Molinari (-5), Louis Oosthuizen (-5), Rickie Fowler (-3), Justin Thomas (-3), Paul Casey (-3)

What it means: A one-hour, 43-minute weather delay changed this championship and this golf course in a hurry. Kisner looked as if he would cruise into Saturday with the lead, but Matsuyama retained his momentum through the stoppage and caught him with a flurry of back-nine birdies. Working in the co-leaders' favor, each of the last four major winners has held at least a share of the lead through two rounds of play. But those two will be pressed over the weekend by a chase pack that includes two major champions in Day and Oosthuizen and two top-15 players looking to break through on the biggest stage in Thomas and Fowler.

Round of the day: Matsuyama fired the low round of the week by two shots, a bogey-free 7-under 64 that included five birdies in a six-hole stretch, from Nos. 12-17, on his closing nine. This is his first 36-hole major championship lead. He is vying to become the first Japanese player to claim a major title. He was matched shortly after his finish by Molinari, who made five birdies and an eagle for a 64 of his own to move up the board to 5 under.

PGA Championship: Scores | Live blog: Day 2 | Full coverage

Best of the rest: Day, Thomas and New Zealand's Ryan Fox posted 5-under 66. In an effort to avoid an early return, Day, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson ran down the 18th hole to beat nightfall after the horn blew.

Biggest disappointments: Jordan Spieth's chances of achieving the career Grand Slam now appear slim. His second-round 73 has him 3 over for the championship and 11 off the lead. Rory McIlroy will enter the weekend 10 back at plus-2.

Notables to miss the cut: For only the second time in 25 career starts at the PGA Championship, Phil Mickelson won’t be around for the weekend. The 2005 champ went 30 holes before carding his first birdie of the week. Rounds of 79-74 left him outside the cut line by a mile. Other notable names outside the 5-over cut line include Justin Rose (+6), Luke Donald (+7), Daniel Berger (+7), Rafa Cabrera Bello (+7), Bubba Watson (+7), Matthew Fitzpatrick (+8), defending champion Jimmy Walker (+8), Sergio Garcia (+8), and Branden Grace (+9). 

Shot of the day: After having his ball roll down a service road down to the 11th hole while he was supposed to be playing No. 10 Friday, Rory McIlroy skipped his ball off the concrete path, ran it through a greenside bunker and managed to save par on his first hole of the morning:

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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.