Van den Berg Shares First Round Lead in Zambia

By Golf Channel NewsroomMarch 8, 2001, 5:00 pm
Ulrich van den Berg came back from a week's break from the game and fired a 6-under par 67 to share the first round lead of the 50,000 Pounds Stanbic Zambia Open at the Lusaka Golf Club on Thursday.
 
Van den Berg and Swede Mattias Nilsson are only one shot clear of a bunched leaderboard. South Africa's Graeme van der Nest and the Zimbabwean trio of Nasho Kamungeremu, Sean Farrell and Mike Lamb opened with rounds of 68.
 
Defending champion James Loughnane is five shots off the pace after opening with a modest 1-under par 72. Zimbabwe's Marc Cayeux, another former champion of this event, also carded a 72 on the first day, while Ashley Roestoff, winner of last week's Kenya Open, returned a level-par 73.
 
The par-73 Lusaka Golf Course was playing incredibly long on the first day following some heavy rain in the area. But a relaxed Van den Berg played patient golf that yielded six birdies and no bogeys.
 
'The course is still quite wet and the greens are bumpy, so you have to be patient,' he said. After the stress of the recent summer section of the tour, Van den Berg decided not to play in last week's Kenya Open and instead took a week off.
 
'I really needed a break and never touched a club the whole week. The summer tour was very stressful for me because I didn't play as well as I wanted to. I had a few good finishes, but it felt like I was continually fighting against the odds. I felt like my game was there, but it just wasn't clicking.'
 
Van den Berg is hunting his second victory on the Sunshine Tour after he broke through with a win in last year's Riviera Classic. The young Johannesburg professional was also fortunate enough to see his playing partner Andre Cruse score a hole-in-one at the par-3 11th that wins Cruse a Nissan Terrano 4x4 worth over R200,000.
 
'He literally jumped into my arms when the ball dropped in,' said Van den Berg.
 
Kamungeremu was one of the round's early leaders. The burly Zimbabwean managed to climb to 8-under par after 11 holes following a run of six birdies and an eagle. But he ran into trouble midway through his second nine, succumbing to four bogeys in six holes that offset a solitary birdie on that nine.
 
Kamungeremu's last victory on the tour was in the 1997 Botswana Open, and he has since struggled to recreate that form. 'I've been grinding year in and year out, and it's just a matter of putting four good rounds together which is something I've had a problem with,' he said.
 
'I seemed to do everything right for those first 11 holes. But that first bogey affected my concentration and I wasn't playing with the same confidence after that,' said Kamungeremu, who finished top of last year's Order of Merit on the Zimbabwean Tour.
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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.