Which would be the best final pairing at the Masters

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 9, 2011, 8:24 pm

Through two rounds of the 75th Masters Tournament, youth and experience crowd the top of the leaderboard. Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell weigh in with which final pairing they would most like to see on Sunday.


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Golf is at its best when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are at there best, but given the sentimental and synergy value of a Fred Couples-Rory McIlroy two-ball out last on Sunday it’s impossible to imagine a better final pairing.

On Friday, Woods rocked the pines with his closing loop of 31, but imagine a best-case scenario of dueling generations, with Couples at 51 vying for a second green jacket and McIlroy at 21 closing on his first.

Twenty-five years ago, Jack Nicklaus became the “Golden” standard of the ageless champion with a classic closing charge. A Couples’ victory would somehow be bigger than that. It would be more than just a second green jacket. He would become the oldest major champion by more than three years.

That McIlroy would be the primary antagonist only sweetens the pot. If the Northern Irishman ended Europe’s 12-year title drought at Augusta National he would become the second-youngest Masters champion behind Woods, who was eight months younger when he won in 1997.

Of all the compelling pairings that could anchor Sunday’s show, this one would transcend slumps and scandals (Woods), sentimentality and second-consecutive victories (Mickelson). This one would be historic.


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rory vs. Tiger.

The most compelling final-round pairing at the Masters come Sunday would match the youth movement’s leading man in Rory McIlroy against Tiger Woods. It would be terrific theater, almost Shakespearean in dramatic scripting, a pairing matching the future against the foundering champion fighting to reclaim his throne.

It doesn’t matter if you look at it as McIlroy, 21, having to go through Woods, 35, to officially establish a new order in the game, or if you look at it as Woods having to prove to the new generation that he’s ready to resume his reign.

McIlroy, in so many ways, embodies the next generation’s fearless assault on the sport's established order. While his statements about Woods get sensationalized, his attitude comes through loud and clear. He’s not backing down, to anyone, even a man many already view as the greatest player who ever lived. He’s not going to be beaten by reputation or aura.

McIlroy basically said last year that the European Ryder Cup team wanted a go at Woods, and that’s what would be so compelling about the pairing. He’d get a go at Woods in golf’s greastest theater. Give me a front row seat for that.
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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.