Stock Watch: Garcia on the rise; Lefty's back

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 28, 2014, 5:31 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Sergio (+10%): His major prospects might hinge on whether he can stay in a relationship with his new lady friend. It seems when he’s happy and in love off the course, he’s exponentially more dangerous on it.  

LPGA (+8%): It was a home-run opener for the tour, with Jessica Korda – another vivacious young player on a circuit chock full of them – holding off a star-studded field. The tour’s stock is skyrocketing.  

Scott Stallings (+6%): Don’t look now, but the 28-year-old joined elite company last week at Torrey as one of only six players under the age of 30 with at least three Tour wins.

Dubai (+4%): So much for maintaining a normal sleep schedule this week. A rusty Tiger and rejuvenated Rory, together, are must-see, early-season TV. (On-air coverage begins at 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday. Hey, I’m a company man.)

Hank Haney (+2%): Guess it didn’t take long for the former famous swing instructor to find his groove as a radio host. On his new SiriusXM show he’s already taken shots at Tiger, for being too muscle-bound, and Nick Faldo, for being unprepared on TV. His honest takes are refreshing.


Tiger (-3%): His first career MDF – on a course that he has owned, no less – only underscores the point that the game’s ultimate winner is more erratic than ever. Which means he’ll probably win this week.

Jordan Spieth (-5%): The Education of a Wunderkind continued at Torrey, where his 75-75 weekend on a bum ankle erased memories of his sensational 63 alongside the world No. 1. A little scar tissue, though, will make the victories even prettier.

Torrey Pines (-6%): The redone muni was a monotonous snooze-fest with brutal length, wedge-out rough and rock-hard greens – in other words, it was perfect for a U.S. Open, not a January tune-up. With every tournament effectively in a constant recruiting war, this year’s event did little to help boost the 2015 field.

Walking wounded (-7%): Twelve players on major medicals are teeing it up in Phoenix, thus bumping out the top 10 from last week’s event and players such as grad Michael Putnam, who are supposedly fully eligible. Even worse timing: It comes on the heels of a report that players are feigning injuries to stay on tour. Yikes.

Phil (-8%): This probably wasn’t what the arthritic 43-year-old meant when he said he’s scaling back his schedule in 2014. So durable for much of his pro career (only four WDs), he now faces uncertainty with a creaky back in arguably the most important year of his career. 

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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