Day 2 Featured Group Woods Mickelson McDowell

By Randall MellMarch 11, 2011, 8:05 pm

WGC-Cadillac ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. – senior writer Randall Mell is at Doral for the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He is providing a running blog for the featured grouping of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell. Follow him on Twitter (@RandallMell) for more updates, or for full-field scoring, click here.




(8:29 p.m. ET) Chance at redemption: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will tee it up again together Saturday in a two-ball pairing off of the 1st tee at 10:20 a.m. ET.

(6:44 p.m. ET) Tiger Woods hit two drives that made him look like a high handicapper in Friday’s second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

He hit a nosediving hacker’s hook that barely traveled 100 yards at the second tee, and he hit a pop-up tee shot at the 14th that could have invoked the infield fly rule.

Still, Woods’ putter may be the largest reason he’s not in the hunt this week after a 2-over-par 74 left him at even par and nine shots off the lead.

The flatstick, once his most reliable weapon, has to be a growing concern. Woods ranks T64 in overall putting average through two rounds at Doral. Only Alvaro Quiros ranks lower.

“Certainly was not one of my better putting rounds,” Woods said. “I had a hard time with the grain.”

Woods took 32 putts, but he failed to capitalize on so many chances. He missed seven putts of 9 feet or less.

“I feel great over the putts,” Woods said. “I just can't hit the putts hard enough. My feel on the pace was for the practice rounds. When the rain came in, it totally changed what I saw and what I felt. I’ve had a hard time making the adjustment.”

It was a tough day for the entire threesome. Phil Mickelson shot 71 and is also nine shots back. Graeme McDowell shot 73 with a one-stroke penalty added before he signed his scorecard because his ball moved after he addressed it at the ninth green. He’s eight shots back.

“We dragged each other down a little bit today,” McDowell said. “We started off with a beautiful crowd. I’m not surprised to see it dwindled on the back nine. I think they got a little bored.”

(4:53 p.m. ET) Woods could not hold it in any longer.

Simmering frustration finally came out at the 14th tee.

That is where Woods popped up a lousy rain-making tee shot that fell to earth a good 100 yards behind Mickelson's and McDowell's tee shots. Woods thumped his first club of the day hard into the tee box. 

It was his second really bad tee shot, ranking slightly better than the diving duck hook at the 2nd hole.

(3:58 p.m. ET) After pushing his tee shot wide right at the 10th tee, Woods ambled away from everyone to a pond left of the tee box and put his head down.

He stayed there for a long time, even after Mickelson and McDowell left. He looked off into the horizon, almost meditatively. Surely, he is frustrated, but he showed no anger. He showed nothing but maybe a sliver of discomfort, arching his lower back briefly before heading down the fairway to join his group.

(3:28 p.m. ET)
Mickelson and Woods should be paying attention to McDowell's smooth putting stroke. Perhaps they can absorb something.

McDowell poured in a 20-foot putt to save par at No. 7 with Woods missing a 5-foot birdie chance at the 8th.

Though McDowell is hitting it all over Doral, he is hanging in there at 1 under through nine holes, thanks to his ultra smooth putting stroke saving so many pars.

Woods is also at 1 under, with Mickelson 1 over.

(2:35 p.m. ET) A Tiger Woods fan waited at the back of the fifth green. He wore a vibrant red shirt with the words:
Tiger Woods
PGA wins
Enough Said

But the fan's timing was bad. Woods walked by him after missing a 4-foot putt for par. That's back-to-back bogeys for Woods.

Woods has yet to make a par today. He's started birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey-bogey.

McDowell is struggling to hit fairways. He just missed the sixth fairway by 25 yards left. Mickelson has yet to make a move.

It's McDowell 2 under, Woods 1 under, Mickelson even.
(2:02 p.m. ET)
After no words in a long wait on the third tee, Woods and Mickelson were unusually chatty on a long walk together down the third fairway.

You can't help wondering what they were talking about. The Japan earthquake? The stock market? Bounceback birdies?

They both bounced back with birdies at No. 3.

Woods, by the way, rebounded beautifully from his duck hook at No. 2 with his third tee shot, carving a gorgeous 3-wood fade into the wind. Woods followed with a superb short iron to 3 feet.

McDowell caught a flier and could not get up and down from the back of the green.

It is now McDowell and Woods at 2 under, Mickelson even.
(1:24 p.m. ET) After a nice birdie to start the second round, Tiger Woods hit a high-handcapper duck hook off the second tee that barely traveled 100 yards.

Woods took a large divot with his driver.

There was lots of murmuring and groans through the gallery.

Woods' tee shot nosedived in the left rough before reaching the women's tees. Couldn't have been good for the confidence.

Mickelson and McDowell also started with birdies.
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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