Trump arrives, talks possibility of WGC leaving Doral

By Rex HoggardMarch 6, 2016, 7:27 pm

DORAL, Fla. – Rory McIlroy was just putting the finishing touches on his warm-up before heading out for the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship with a three-stroke lead when his attention was pulled away from his preparations.

Donald Trump, Doral’s owner and the leading candidate to become the Republican party’s nominee for president, had just arrived and the two frontrunners spoke briefly.

“The players love it here,” Trump said.

Whether the Tour stays at Doral, however, may depend on Trump.

Cadillac’s sponsorship of the event ends this year and the company has not indicated it will sign a new contract to host the $9.5 million event.

The PGA Tour has a contract to hold the event at Doral through 2023, but there is a provision that a new title sponsor would have the right to take the tournament elsewhere.

“I have a great relationship with the Tour and I have a great relationship with Cadillac, in fact we just extended our relationship for another three years [to provide cars for Trump’s various properties],” Trump said. “I don’t know how Cadillac is doing with the Tour. I let them use my venue, but I don’t know if there’s going to be an extension or not, but I would imagine you could get another sponsor pretty easily in South Florida.”

Trump had a meeting scheduled with Tour commissioner Tim Finchem on Sunday at Doral, and before that gathering, the commissioner explained that the circuit would rather remain in the South Florida market but was considering every option.

“If you look back on the last, say, 30 years, we have moved out of markets before, but not very often. And usually, we look at the situation as to how can we improve it. We're not looking to leave,” Finchem said.

Photos: Donald Trump at Doral

“Having said that, we have to have sponsorship to conduct a tournament. So it's never in our business to make all the decisions. We have partners and stakeholders, and they have a lot to say about these things.”

Trump also explained that the success of Doral, and his other golf properties, isn’t dependent on hosting professional events.

“I would make much more money at Doral if I didn’t have a tournament,” Trump said. “This is the prime month in Florida, you can’t get a room and I have the best rooms in Miami. I love the tournament, it’s been here 50 years. With all of that said, I would make much more money.”

Trump also dismissed the idea that his relationship with golf’s ruling bodies – including the Tour, R&A, USGA and PGA of America – has been strained by his campaign and bombastic dialogue.

“My relationship [with golf’s ruling bodies] is very good, I’m also the frontrunner [for the GOP nomination],” Trump said. “Being the frontrunner people like you more than if you were No. 12.”

As for his own game, Trump said his bid for the White House would be good for golf, if not his own game.

“It would kill my game but it would be good for golf,” Trump said. “It won’t help my game because I’ll be working, I’ll get to play.”

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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