Injury, rules review, chip-in highlight Sergio's 68

By Jason SobelMay 3, 2013, 11:28 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – You can go a long time without seeing a round of 68 as eventful as that of Sergio Garcia on Friday.

First he chipped in from 4 feet away on the third green in order to avoid a large spike mark. Then he tweaked his back on the 10th tee to the point where he may be forced to withdraw on Saturday. And finally he was the subject of a lengthy rules review after a television caller notified Wells Fargo Championship officials that he may have marked his ball on the 17th green in an incorrect manner.

Following a 45-minute review process during which he watched video and consulted with both on-site rules officials and those from the USGA, Garcia wasn’t found in violation of any rule.

“Someone called on my short putt on 17 for par saying that I marked the ball on the side and then put it in front, which would mean that I gained about an inch or an inch-and-a-half,” he said after the round. “But what I did was I didn't want to step on Billy [Haas’] line, which was behind me, so I kind of marked it behind the ball but from the side. Then I put it straight up or straight down where I thought it was the same spot. I thought I put it as close as I could, obviously, with the coin still behind the ball. It looked like it might have moved a tiny bit, but the rules officials felt that obviously I didn't gain anything by it. 

“There are obviously a lot of times that you try to put it in exactly the same spot but it's difficult to do, not just for me, but for everyone. They thought that it was fine.”

Garcia maintained that he was worried about how it would be perceived if he got the favorable ruling.

“I said to them, ‘They way I’ve been brought up in this game by my father, the game is bigger than anyone else. If people are going to think I’m a cheater, I’d rather get a two-stroke penalty and move on than not get a two-stroke penalty and people think I’m cheating,’” he said.

As for his back, Garcia tweaked it while hitting his drive on the 10th hole and played the entire back nine while feeling some discomfort.

“You can see that I was struggling to get my right side through it. I struggled through the whole back nine – even though I made a couple of swings here and there, I struggled to get through the ball and then I started losing shots to the right,” he explained. “I’m going to treat it tonight and hopefully it feels good tomorrow.

“If it doesn’t feel good, with the way the greens are, I might not play. But hopefully with some good treatment and some nice rest, I can go to the range tomorrow and feel fine and feel like I can hit through the ball nicely.”

While some believed Garcia’s chip with a 52-degree wedge on the third hole may have been a silent yet visual protest to the state of Quail Hollow’s greens, he contended that it was absolutely necessary in order to avoid a spike mark that was the width of a silver dollar and about one inch deep.

“He couldn’t have putted it,” said Garcia’s caddie, Greg Hearmon. “Well, he could have, but he wouldn’t have made it.”

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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