Golf Talk Live - Sergio Garcia Transcript Segment 1

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 12, 2001, 4:00 pm
SERGIO GARCIA WAS AN INTERNATIONAL HOUSEHOLD NAME WHEN HE WAS A TEENAGER AND NOW THAT HE'S 21, HIS LEGEND CONTINUES TO SOAR. HE'S WON IN EUROPE. HE'S WON ON THE PGA TOUR

AND HE'S GOING TO REPRESENT EUROPE AGAIN IN SEPTEMBER AS A MEMBER OF THE RYDER CUP TEAM. MEET SERGIO, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.

(MUSIC)

PETER KESSLER
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF GOLF TALK LIVE.

(MUSIC)

PETER KESSLER
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ALL TIME GREATS WHO ARE ALL BUSINESS ON THE GOLF COURSE. BOBBY JONES WAS SO CONSUMED BY SELF IMPOSED PRESSURE

THAT HE FREQUENTLY LOST A DOZEN POUNDS OR MORE DURING A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP AND HE RETIRED FROM COMPETITIVE GOLF AT THE AGE OF 28.

THE AGONY OF LOSING AND AN UNCOOPERATIVE STOMACH DROVE BYRON NELSON FROM THE GAME AT THE AGE OF 34.

HOGAN

AND WOODS

AND NICKLAUS

AND WATSON, FOCUSED THEIR ENERGIES ON THE GOLF AND ENTERTAINED THROUGH THE BRILLIANCE OF THEIR PLAY, NOT THROUGH THE FORCE OF PERSONALITY. OTHER GREATS NEED AN

OUTLET TO HELP DIFFUSE THE PRESSURE. WALTER HAGAN WAS A SHOWMAN, AN ENTERTAINER, AND A GREAT CHAMPION.

LEE TREVINO MADE US LAUGH AND THEN THRILLED US WITH HIS SHOT MAKING.

SEVE BALLESTEROS SHARED HIS EVERY EMOTION AND INVITED US TO PARTICIPATE EMOTIONALLY IN THE GREAT MOMENTS AND THE NOT SO GREAT. THIS IS THE UNIQUE LEGACY THAT SERGIO GARCIA IS AN INDELIBLE PART OF. HE'S A

PRODIGY. A BORN SHOWMAN, EMOTIONALLY ACCESSIBLE. A HOST WHO INVITES US TO BE A PART OF HIS SHOW. AT THE AGE OF 21, HE'S AN ACCOMPLISHED WORLD CLASS PLAYER. HE WAS AN INSPIRATIONAL FORCE ON THE EUROPEAN

RYDER CUP TEAM. HE WON TWICE ON THE EUROPEAN TOUR AS A TEENAGER. HE WON THE COLONIAL ON THE PGA TOUR, WHERE BEN HOGAN'S LEGACY IS PERMANENTLY IMPRINTED. HIS SWING HAS BEEN COMPARED TO HOGAN'S, WITH THE

STRONGEST POINT OF COMPARISON BEING THE TOP OF SWING TO IMPACT, BUT YOU CAN'T COMPARE SERGIO TO ANYONE, A ONE OF A KIND PERSONALITY AND PLAYER WHO EXCITES US WITH HIS JOY OF PLAYING THE GAME HE LOVES AND LEAVES US AWE STRUCK BY THE MAJESTY OF HIS PLAY.

FROM TULSA, OKLAHOMA, WE'RE AT SOUTHERN HILLS COUNTRY CLUB, THE SITE OF THE 101ST U.S. OPEN. WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER.

GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO, ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST EXCITING CHARACTERS IN ALL OF GOLF, SERGIO GARCIA.

IT'S SO NICE TO BE WITH YOU AGAIN.

SERGIO GARCIA
THANK YOU PETER.

PETER KESSLER
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIRST PGA TOUR WIN AT THE MASTERCARD COLONIAL.

SERGIO GARCIA
THANK YOU

PETER KESSLER
WOULD YOU SAY THAT THAT FINAL ROUND 63 WAS THE BEST FINAL ROUND THAT YOU EVER PLAYED WHEN IT MATTERED?

SERGIO GARCIA
YES, FOR SURE IT WAS BECAUSE, BECAUSE OF THE MOMENTUM (?), YOU KNOW, I PLAYED, REALLY WELL WHEN I HAD TO.

PHIL WAS PLYING WELL TOO, AND, YOU KNOW, I CAME BACK, I MEAN I, I PLAYED A GREAT FRONT NINE TO SHOOT 29 I THINK PROBABLY PUT SOME PRESSURE IN, IN PHIL THAT'S, AND THAT'S WHAT I NEEDED TO

DO AND IF I WANTED TO WIN THAT TOURNAMENT, BUT, YOU KNOW, AS, AS ANYBODY SAW I COULD HAVE BEEN A LITTLE LOWER BUT, YOU KNOW, I CAN

ALWAYS BE, AND I HIT SOME GOOD PUTTS THAT JUST MISSED BUT, IT WAS, IT WAS A GREAT WAY TO, TO WIN MY FIRST TOURNAMENT HERE IN THE STATES.

PETER KESSLER
WAS IT MY IMAGINATION OR WERE YOU PLAYING SMARTER GOLF THAN WE'VE EVER SEEN YOU PLAY BEFORE?

SERGIO GARCIA
IT PROBABLY WAS. I, I DON'T KNOW, DURING, DURING ALL THAT WEEK I WAS REALLY COMFORTABLE WITH TALKING TO GLEN, TO MY CADDIE, AND I JUST FELT SO COMFORTABLE AND, AND I KNEW THAT

I DIDN'T HAVE TO GO FOR EVERY SINGLE PIN BECAUSE THE, THE WAY THE GREENS WERE, AS FIRM AS THEY WERE, SOME THINGS WERE IMPOSSIBLE, BUT I WAS, YOU KNOW, I WAS REALLY FOCUSED

AND I, I REALLY KNEW WHERE I WANTED TO HIT THE BALL GOING TO THE GREEN.

PETER KESSLER
OF ALL THE THINGS THAT YOU FELT AFTERWARDS, OF ALL THE EMOTIONS THAT SORT OF RAN THROUGH YOUR SYSTEM, WAS RELIEF THE STRONGEST OF THEM ALL DO YOU SUPPOSE?

SERGIO GARCIA
UM, HAPPINESS AND RELIEF. I, FIRST THING CAME TO MY MIND WAS OF COURSE MY DAD AND MY MOM, ALL MY FAMILY BECAUSE IT'S BEEN KIND OF HARD FOR, FOR THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF WITH ALL THE CRITICIS... CRITICISM AND YOU

KNOW, WITHOUT PLAYING THAT BAD I THINK BECAUSE I, I HAD REALLY MY CHANCES OF WINNING BUT I HAVEN'T CONVERTED THEM BUT FIRST THING THAT CAME TO MIND WAS FOR SURE MY DAD AND MY MOM.

PETER KESSLER
WELL I KNOW THAT YOUR DAD WAS ON HIS WAY TO THE AIRPORT AND HE'S ON HIS CELL PHONE TO YOUR MOTHER WHO'S TELLING HIM THAT YOU BETTER GO BACK TO THE GOLF COURSE BECAUSE YOUR SON

IS WINNING THE GOLF TOURNAMENT, AND HE DID AND HE MET UP WITH YOU AFTER IT WAS OVER. WHAT DID HE SAY TO YOU?

SERGIO GARCIA
WELL, HE, FIRST OF ALL HE TOLD ME HE WAS TALKING TO MY MOM THERE IN THE, IN THE AIRPORT AND AS SOON AS THEY ACTUALLY TOLD HIM THAT I WON THEY

WERE JUMPING ALL AROUND. PEOPLE WAS LOOKING AT THEM LIKE, WHAT THESE TWO GUYS, THESE TWO GUYS MIGHT BE, MUST BE CRAZY.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)

SERGIO GARCIA
BUT, IT WAS, IT WAS REALLY GREAT. I TALKED TO HIM AFTER I FINISHED AND THERE WERE RE... THEY WERE ALMOST READY TO GET INTO, TO GET TO THE, TO THE AIRPLANE, SO, SO I SAID, ARE YOU GOING TO COME BACK? HE'S LIKE, HE'S

LIKE, YES. I'M THINKING, WHAT'S GOING TO, WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE, WITH THE LUGGAGE, I MEAN THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE STOP THE PLANE, TAKE THE LUGGAGE OUT, JUST IN CASE, I DON'T KNOW, SOMEBODY THINKS THAT, THAT MAYBE THEY HAVE A BOMB OR BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T GET INTO THE PLANE, SO

SO HE GOES, I DON'T CARE, I'M GOING BACK, SO, IT WAS GREAT, I, HE, HE CAME BACK RIGHT AFTER I FINISHED THE PRESS CONFERENCE AND, AND IT WAS REALLY NICE AND YOU KNOW HE COULD, HE COULD BARELY TALK ON THE PHONE. HE WAS, HE WAS CRYING LIKE A BABY.

PETER KESSLER
HE'S BEEN WAITING FOR THIS HIS WHOLE LIFE, HASN'T HE?

SERGIO GARCIA
YEAH HE HAS AND BOTH OF US, BUT, I THINK WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED FOR THIS YEAR AND A HALF, PAST YEAR AND A HALF, IT WAS EVEN SWEETER, YOU KNOW, IT FELT EVEN BETTER AFTER, AFTER WINNING.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOU SAY THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF YOU MEAN CRITICISMS OF YOUR DAD BEING YOUR TEACHER, CRITICISMS OF YOUR GOLF SWING. THOSE KINDS OF THINGS?

SERGIO GARCIA
YEAH, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS, AND YOU KNOW, VERY FEW PEOPLE HAVING BEHIND ME, OTHER THAN MY FAMILY, I THINK, PROBABLY ONE OF THE GUYS WHO, I MEAN, OTHER THAN PLAYERS THAT I KNOW, PETER COSTAS HAS PROBABLY BEEN ONE

OF THE BEST GUYS, IMMEDIATE GUYS AROUND ME SAYING THAT, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE THIS GUY WHO HAS A SIMILAR SWING TO BEN HOGAN'S. WE'VE ALWAYS

SAID THAT BEN HOGAN IS THE BEST BALL STRIKER IN THE HISTORY AND EVERYBODY'S TRYING TO CHANGE MY SWING AND I KNOW THAT MY CHANGED, MY SWING IS GOING TO CHANGE AS SOON

I MEAN, AS I KEEP PLAYING GOLF BECAUSE I'LL GET A LITTLE BIGGER AND IT'LL JUST BE CHANGING, BUT, I FEEL VERY COMFORTABLE THE WAY I, THE WAY I'M HITTING THE BALL AND WITH MY SWING.

I'VE ALWAYS SAID THAT I'M A, I'M A FEEL PLAYER AND IF I DON'T KNOW WHERE MY CLUB IS I, I'M NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO HIT THE BALL.

PETER KESSLER
JOHNNY MILLER SAID THAT YOU THINK THAT RIGHT NOW YOU'RE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD. DO YOU THINK THAT?

SERGIO GARCIA
UH, WELL, FOR SURE THAT, MINUS, WE ALL KNOW THAT TIGER IS PLAYING REALLY GOOD, REALLY WELL BUT YOU KNOW I FEEL LIKE I'M GETTING, I'M GETTING TO, TO A PRETTY GOOD LEVEL, YOU KNOW

I'M, I'M PLAYING WELL, I'M GETTING A LOT SMARTER ON THE GOLF COURSE, I'M HANDLING MYSELF A LOT BETTER ON THE GOLF COURSE AND THAT THING IS JUST TAKEN SOME SHOTS OUT OF

MY SCORE CARD AND THAT'S, THAT'S WHAT IT TRIED TO DO, BUT I THINK I STILL HAVE TO KEEP PRACTICING HARDER AND HARDER AND, AND YOU KNOW, TRY TO, TRY TO BEAT TIGER OF COURSE.

PETER KESSLER
YOUR NEXT RYDER CUP CAPTAIN, SAM TORRANCE SAID A PLAYER CAN'T CONSIDER HIMSELF GREAT UNTIL HE'S WON A PROFESSIONAL MAJOR. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

SERGIO GARCIA
I THINK SO. YEAH. THERE, THERE CAN BE SOME EXCEPTIONS LIKE DUVAL OR MICKELSON, BUT I'M SURE THEY'LL WIN ONE EVENTUALLY. THEY HAVE TO

BECAUSE THEY'RE WAY, I MEAN THEY'RE GOOD ENOUGH TO, TO DO IT, BUT I MEAN YOU CAN FIGURE A GOOD PLAYER, BUT UNTIL YOU WIN A MAJOR, YOU, I DON'T THINK YOU'RE A GREAT PLAYER.

PETER KESSLER
ANA CORNACOVA CALLED US, SENT US A PICTURE OF THE TWO OF YOU, AND BY THE WAY, WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT IT NOW. WANTS TO KNOW WHY YOU HAVEN'T BEEN CALLING. WHAT'S GOING ON?

SERGIO GARCIA
(LAUGHS)

PETER KESSLER
LOOK, WE'VE GOT THIS PICTURE OF THE TWO OF YOU TOGETHER, SO DON'T GIVE ME THAT GIGGLY STUFF. LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT ONE OF THE SHOTS.

SERGIO GARCIA
HOW IS THAT?

PETER KESSLER
OF YOU AND ANA TOGETHER.

SERGIO GARCIA
I'VE NEVER, I'VE NEVER MET HER.

PETER KESSLER
WE KNOW THE REAL STORY.

SERGIO GARCIA
WHERE IS SHE?

PETER KESSLER
OKAY, THEY'RE, THEY'RE SEEING IT AT HOME RIGHT NOW BUT WE CAN'T SEE, WE CAN'T SEE IT.

SERGIO GARCIA
WHY IS THAT? I WANT TO SEE IT (LAUGHS).

PETER KESSLER
YEAH, I WANTED TO SEE IT TOO. I WANTED TO SEE HOW THEY PUT THE THING TOGETHER AND I WANTED TO SEE WHAT ANA SENT US SO WE'LL TALK ABOUT HER A LITTLE

SERGIO GARCIA
OKAY

PETER KESSLER
LATER IN THE SHOW

SERGIO GARCIA
THAT'S GOOD.

PETER KESSLER
AND FOR NOW WE'LL TAKE A SHORT BREAK AND WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK.

(MUSIC)

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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NBC Sports' Coverage of LPGA Tour in 2017 Most-Viewed Season Ever for NBC Sports

By Golf Channel Public RelationsDecember 13, 2017, 8:45 pm

NBC Sports’ LPGA Tour Coverage Ties 2013 for Most-Watched Year Since 2011

NBC and Golf Channel Boast Top-6 Most-Watched Women’s Golf Telecasts in 2017

Beginning with the dramatic playoff finish at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in January and concluding with Lexi Thompson winning the $1 million Race to the CME Globe, nearly 22 million viewers tuned in to LPGA Tour coverage across Golf Channel and NBC in 2017. This makes 2017 the most-viewed LPGA Tour season across NBC Sports since Golf Channel joined the NBC Sports Group in 2011. Additionally, 2017 tied 2013 as the LPGA Tour’s most-watched year across NBC Sports since 2011. Coverage drew an average of 221,000 viewers per telecast in 2017 (+24% vs. 2016), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

NBC SPORTS GROUP CLAIMS TOP-6 MOST-WATCHED WOMEN’S GOLF TELECASTS IN ‘17

For the first time ever in televised women’s golf, Sunday’s final round of the RICOH Women’s British Open (Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, 1.1 million viewers) delivered the most-watched and highest-rated women’s golf telecast of the year. NBC’s Saturday (Day 2) coverage of the Solheim Cup in August placed second with 968,000 viewers, followed by Sunday’s Solheim Cup coverage on NBC with 946,000 viewers. Golf Channel’s live coverage of Sunday’s final day of the Solheim Cup drew 795,000 viewers, the most-watched women’s golf event on cable in eight years.

Rank

Network

Event

Day

Avg. Viewers P2+

1

NBC

RICOH WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN

Sunday

1,100,526

2

NBC

SOLHEIM CUP

Saturday

968,202

3

NBC

SOLHEIM CUP

Sunday

946,387

4

NBC

KPMG WOMEN'S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Sunday

839,983

5

NBC

RICOH WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN

Saturday

808,578

6

GOLF

SOLHEIM CUP

Sunday

795,000

ADDITIONAL VIEWERSHIP MILESTONES FOR WOMEN’S GOLF IN 2017

  • ANA Inspiration - The LPGA’s first major championship delivered thefifth most-watched LPGA final round in Golf Channel history with 551,000 viewers when So Yeon Ryu defeated Lexi Thompson in a playoff following Thompson being assessed a four-stroke penalty earlier in the final round.
  • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – The LPGA’s second major was seen by 6.6 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the largest audience for the event on record (2006-17). Sunday’s final round on NBC, which saw Danielle Kang win her first LPGA Tour event over defending champion Brooke Henderson, also was the most-watched telecast in the event’s history with 840,000 average viewers.
  • RICOH Women’s British Open – NBC’s Sunday coverage of the RICOH Women’s British Open delivered the most-watched and highest-rated women’s golf telecast in 2017 (.78 U.S. HH rating, 1.1 million viewers). In total, 7 million unique viewers tuned in to coverage across Golf Channel and NBC, the most-watched RICOH Women’s British Open in the past 10 years and the most-watched among the five women’s major championships in 2017.
  • Solheim Cup – Seen by a total audience of 7.3 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the Solheim Cup posted the largest total audience for women’s golf since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on ESPN/NBC. Golf Channel’s live coverage of the final day drew 795,000 average viewers, becoming the most-watched women’s golf telecast on cable in the last eight years, since the final day of the 2009 Solheim Cup.

GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL POSTS RECORD STREAMING CONSUMPTION

Golf Channel Digital posted record numbers of LPGA streaming consumption with 11.9 million live minutes streamed across LPGA Tour telecasts in 2017 (+563% vs. 2016).

  • Solheim Cup – Three-day coverage of the Solheim Cup saw 6.3 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports’ Digital platforms, trailing only the 2016 Rio Olympics (9 million) as the most-ever for a women’s golf event airing on Golf Channel / NBC.
  • RICOH Women’s British Open – Four-day coverage of the RICOH Women’s British Open saw 2 million minutes streamed, +773% vs. 2016.

NBC Sports Group combined to air 31 LPGA Tour events in 2017 and a total of 420 hours of coverage, the most in LPGA history. The exclusive cable home to the LPGA Tour, Golf Channel aired coverage of four of five women’s major championships in 2017, with three majors also airing on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship. The biennial Solheim Cup also returned to network television for the first time in 15 years with weekend coverage on NBC.

Source: Nielsen 2017 Live+Same Day DVR vs. prior available data. Persons 2+ avg 000’s and/or Persons 2+ reach w/six-minute qualifier. Digital Metrics from Adobe Reports & Analytics. Details available.

Hensby takes full responsibility for violation

By Rex HoggardDecember 13, 2017, 5:28 pm

The PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program manual covers 48 pages of details, from the pressing to the mundane, but for Mark Hensby the key section of the policy could be found on Page 5.

“The collector may allow you to delay reporting to the testing area for unavoidable obligations; however, you will be monitored from the time of notification until completion of the sample collection process,” the policy reads. “A failure to report to the testing area by the required time is the same as a doping violation under the program.”

Hensby, a 46-year-old former Tour winner from Australia, didn’t read that section, or any other part of the manual. In fact, he said he hasn’t received the circuit’s anti-doping manual in years. Not that he uses that as an excuse.

To be clear, Hensby doesn’t blame his anti-doping plight on anyone else.

“At the end of the day it’s my responsibility. I take full responsibility,” he told GolfChannel.com.

Like Doug Barron, Scott Stallings and even Vijay Singh before him, Hensby ran afoul of the Tour’s anti-doping policy because, essentially, of a clerical error. There were no failed tests, no in-depth investigations, no seedy entourages who sent Hensby down a dark road of performance-enhancing drug use.

Just a simple misunderstanding combined with bad timing.

Hensby, who last played a full season on Tour in 2003, had just completed the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship when he was approached by a member of the Tour’s anti-doping testing staff. He was angry about his play and had just used the restroom on the 17th hole and, he admits, was in no mood to wait around to take the urine test.

“Once I said, ‘Can I take it in the morning,’ [the Tour’s anti-doping official] said, ‘We can’t hold you here,’” Hensby recalled. “I just left.”

Not one but two officials called Hensby that night to ask why he’d declined to take the test, and he said he was even advised to return to the Country Club of Jackson (Miss.) to take the test, which is curious because the policy doesn’t allow for such gaps between notification of a test and the actual testing.

According to the policy, a player is considered in violation of the program if he leaves the presence of the doping control officers without providing the required sample.

A Tour official declined to comment on the matter citing the circuit’s policy not to comment on doping violations beyond the initial disclosure.

A week later, Hensby was informed he was in violation of the Tour’s policy and although he submitted a letter to the commissioner explaining the reasons for his failure to take the test he was told he would be suspended from playing in any Tour-sanctioned events (including events on the Web.com Tour) for a year.

“I understand now what the consequences are, but you know I’ve been banned for a performance-enhancing drug violation, and I don’t take performance-enhancing drugs,” Hensby said.

Hensby isn’t challenging his suspension nor did he have any interest in criticizing the Tour’s policy, instead his message two days after the circuit announced the suspension was focused on his fellow Tour members.

“I think the players need to read that manual really, really well. There are things I wasn’t aware of and I think other players weren’t aware of either,” he said. “You have to read the manual.”

It was a similar message Stallings offered following his 90-day suspension in 2015 after he turned himself in for using DHEA, an anabolic agent that is the precursor to testosterone production and banned by the Tour.

“This whole thing was a unique situation that could have been dealt with differently, but I made a mistake and I owned up to it,” Stallings said at the time.

Barron’s 2009 suspension, which was for a year, also could have been avoided after he tested positive for supplemental testosterone and a beta-blocker, both of which were prescribed by a doctor for what were by many accounts legitimate health issues.

And Singh’s case, well that chapter is still pending in the New York Supreme Court, but the essential element of the Fijian’s violation was based on his admitted use of deer-antler spray, which contained a compound called IGF-1. Although IGF-1 is a banned substance, the World Anti-Doping Agency has ruled that the use of deer-antler spray is not a violation if an athlete doesn’t fail a drug test. Singh never failed a test.

The Tour’s anti-doping history is littered with cases that could have been avoided, cases that should have been avoided. Despite the circuit’s best educational efforts, it’s been these relatively innocent violations that have defined the program.

In retrospect, Hensby knows he should have taken the test. He said he had nothing to hide, but anger got the best of him.

“To be honest, it would have been hard, the way I was feeling that day, I know I’m a hothead at times, but I would have probably stayed [had he known the consequences],” he admitted. “You’ve got to understand that if you have too much water you can’t get a test either and then you have to stay even longer.”

Hensby said before his run in with the anti-doping small print he wasn’t sure what his professional future would be, but his suspension has given him perspective and a unique motivation.

“I was talking to my wife last night, I have a little boy, it’s been a long month,” said Hensby after dropping his son, Caden, off at school. “I think I have a little more drive now and when I come back. I wasn’t going to play anymore, but when I do come back I am going to be motivated.”

He’s also going to be informed when it comes to the Tour’s anti-doping policy, and he hopes his follow professionals take a similar interest.

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Lesson with Woods fetches $210K for Harvey relief

By Will GrayDecember 13, 2017, 2:51 pm

A charity event featuring more than two dozen pro golfers raised more than $1 million for Hurricane Harvey relief, thanks in large part to a hefty price paid for a private lesson with Tiger Woods.

The pro-am fundraiser was organized by Chris Stroud, winner of the Barracuda Championship this summer, and fellow pro and Houston resident Bobby Gates. It was held at Bluejack National in Montgomery, Texas, about an hour outside Houston and the first Woods-designed course to open in the U.S.

The big-ticket item on the auction block was a private, two-person lesson with Woods at Bluejack National that sold for a whopping $210,000.

Other participants included local residents like Stacy Lewis, Patrick Reed and Steve Elkington as well as local celebrities like NBA All-Star Clyde Drexler, Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.

Stroud was vocal in his efforts to help Houston rebuild in the immediate aftermath of the storm that ravaged the city in August, and he told the Houston Chronicle that he plans to continue fundraising efforts even after eclipsing the event's $1 million goal.

"This is the best event I have ever been a part of, and this is just a start," Stroud said. "We have a long way to go for recovery to this city, and we want to keep going with this and raise as much as we can and help as many victims as we can."

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LPGA schedule features 34 events, record purse

By Randall MellDecember 13, 2017, 2:02 pm

The LPGA schedule will once again feature 34 events next year with a record $68.75 million in total purses, the tour announced on Wednesday.

While three events are gone from the 2018 schedule, three new events have been added, with two of those on the West Coast and one in mainland China.

The season will again start with the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic on Paradise Island (Jan. 25-28) and end with the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla., (Nov. 15-18).

The LPGA played for $65 million in total prize money in 2017.

An expanded West Coast swing in the front half of the schedule will now include the HUGEL-JTBC Championship in the Los Angeles area April 19-22. The site will be announced at a later date.

The tour will then make a return to San Francisco’s Lake Merced Golf Club the following week, in a new event sponsored by L&P Cosmetics, a Korean skincare company. Both new West Coast tournaments will be full-field events.

The tour’s third new event will be played in Shanghai Oct. 18-21 as part of the fall Asian swing. The title sponsor and golf course will be announced at a later date.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of our schedule is the consistency — continuing to deliver strong playing opportunities both in North America and around the world, while growing overall purse levels every year,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement. “There is simply no better [women’s] tour opportunity in the world, when it comes to purses, global TV coverage or strength of field. It’s an exciting time in women’s golf, with the best players from every corner of the globe competing against each other in virtually every event.”

While the Evian Championship will again be played in September next year, the tour confirmed its plans to move its fifth major to the summer in 2019, to be part of a European swing, with the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

The Manulife LPGA Classic and the Lorena Ochoa Invitational are not returning to the schedule next year. Also, the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open will not be played next year as it prepares to move to the front of the 2019 schedule, to be paired with the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

The U.S. Women’s Open will make its new place earlier in the summer, a permanent move in the tour’s scheduling. It will be played May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek Golf Club outside Birmingham, Ala. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (June 28-July 1) will be played at Kemper Lakes Golf Club on the north side of Chicago and the Ricoh Women’s British Open (Aug. 2-5) will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.

For the first time since its inception in 2014, the UL International Crown team event is going overseas, with the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, scheduled to host the event Oct. 4-7. The KEB Hana Bank Championship will be played in South Korean the following week.

Here is the LPGA's schedule for 2018:

Jan. 25-28: Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic; Paradise Island, Bahamas; Purse: $1.4 million

Feb. 15-18: ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open; Adelaide, Australia; Purse: $1.3 million

Feb. 21-24: Honda LPGA Thailand; Chonburi, Thailand; Purse: $1.6 million

March 1-4: HSBC Women's World Championship; Singapore; Purse: $1.5 million

March 15-18: Bank of Hope Founders Cup; Phoenix, Arizona; Purse: $1.5 million

March 22-25: Kia Classic; Carlsbad, California; Purse: $1.8 million

March 29 - April 1: ANA Inspiration; Rancho Mirage, California; Purse: $2.8 million

April 11-14: LOTTE Championship; Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii; Purse: $2 million

April 19-22: HUGEL-JTBC Championship; Greater Los Angeles, California; Purse: $1.5 million

April 26-29: Name to be Announced; San Francisco, California; Purse: $1.5 million

May 3-6: Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic; The Colony, Texas; Purse: $1.3 million

May 17-20: Kingsmill Championship; Williamsburg, Virginia; Purse: $1.3 million

May 24-27: LPGA Volvik Championship; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Purse: $1.3 million

May 31 - June 3: U.S. Women's Open Championship; Shoal Creek, Alabama; Purse: $5 million

June 8-10: ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer; Galloway, New Jersey; Purse: $1.75 million

June 14-17: Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Purse: $2 million

June 22-24: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G; Rogers, Arkansas; Purse: $2 million

June 28 - July 1: KPMG Women's PGA Championship; Kildeer, Illinois; Purse: $3.65 million

July 5-8: Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic; Oneida, Wisconsin; Purse: $2 million

July 12-15: Marathon Classic presented by Owens-Corning and O-I; Sylvania, Ohio; Purse: $1.6 million

July 26-29: Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open; East Lothian, Scotland; Purse: $1.5 million

Aug. 2-5: Ricoh Women's British Open; Lancashire, England; Purse: $3.25 million

Aug. 16-19: Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim; Indianapolis, Indiana; Purse: $2 million

Aug. 23-26: CP Women's Open; Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Purse: $2.25 million

Aug. 30 - Sept. 2: Cambia Portland Classic; Portland, Oregon; Purse: $1.3 million

Sept. 13-16: The Evian Championship; Evian-les-Bains, France; Purse: $3.85 million

Sept. 27-30: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Purse: $1.8 million

Oct. 4-7: UL International Crown; Incheon, Korea; Purse: $1.6 million

Oct. 11-14: LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship; Incheon, Korea; Purse: $2 million

Oct. 18-21: Name to be Announced; Shanghai, China; Purse: $2.1 million

Oct. 25-28: Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship; New Taipei City, Chinese Taipei; Purse: $2.2 million

Nov. 2-4: TOTO Japan Classic; Shiga, Japan; Purse: $1.5 million

Nov. 7-10: Blue Bay LPGA; Hainan Island, China; Purse: $2.1 million

Nov. 15-18: CME Group Tour Championship; Naples, Florida; Purse: $2.5 million