A Swan Song to Singh

By Golf Channel NewsroomNovember 1, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Tour Championship by Coca-ColaVijay Singh can only wonder what new hurdle will be put in his way this week.
Last week, a reporter mentioned that Sam Snead held the mark for most PGA Tour wins in his 40s, with 17.
Every week some sort of a stat comes up. This is a new one I've never heard before. Now since you've said it, I've got six more wins to go, he said.
Make that five.
Singh won last week's Chrysler Championship for his ninth win of the season, and his 12th overall since hitting the big 4-0.
When you win nine times and accrue over $10,000,000 in earnings in a single season, you have to find new ways to challenge yourself ' or have someone else present benchmarks of which you are unaware.
Theres not much left for Singh to accomplish this season. But he can still become the first player since Sam Snead (11) in 1950 to win at least 10 events in a year. He's already tied Tiger Woods (2000) and Paul Runyon (1933) with nine victories.
Like Tiger has done so many times before, Singh has sucked out a lot of the life at this years Tour Championship, the seasons final official event.
Hes already wrapped up his second straight money title and is a mortal lock for player of the year honors. Theres no chance for anyone to catch him for No. 1 in the world, but there is a very slight chance Ernie Els or Phil Mickelson could bypass him for the scoring title.
Other than that, victor Vijay has already claimed most of the spoils.
Last years Tour Championship had a bit of drama, as Singh and Woods were both battling to be deemed Player of the Year. Neither man won the event, with Singh tying for fifth and Woods finishing 26th. Woods, however, got the nod by their peers for his fifth straight P.O.Y. award.
He will not get six.
Woods, playing in his first event since becoming a married man ' and his first event since the American Express five weeks ago, has only won once this year ' the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. And he is still in search of his first stroke-play victory of the season.
He decided to skip the last two events, including the Funai Classic, which he had previously played in every year as a professional, to continue his honeymoon with bride Elin aboard their luxury yacht, Privacy.
He won this tournament in 1999, when it was played at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. The tournament was also contested there a year ago, when Chad Campbell walked away with the trophy.
But this years event has moved back to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga.
The event has bounced back and forth between Champions and East Lake over the last seven years.
Its the fourth time East Lake has hosted the Tour Championship. Hal Sutton won in 1998, Mickelson in 2000, and Singh in 20002.
The tournament will stay at East Lake ' the event is sponsored by Coca-Cola, which is headquartered in Atlanta, however, as it was named the events permanent home in June.
The Tour Championship is on offer to the top 30 players on the tours money list. There will be 31 this year, though, as Padraig Harrington has accepted an invitation to play.
The Irishman has decided to take up full membership on tour in 2005, which means that since he has already earned enough money to qualify for this years Tour Championship, he is eligible to compete. Since he is a non-exempt member this year, and his earnings are unofficial, he will not knock out anyone else from the field.
Harrington is one of eight players making his Tour Championship debut this week (Stephen Ames, Todd Hamilton, Harrington, Mark Hensby, Zach
Johnson, Rod Pampling, Rory Sabbatini and Adam Scott). Campbell was not only a first-time participant a year ago when he won; he was also the first player to earn his first tour victory at this event.
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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

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    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