Watson tops Oosthuizen in Masters playoff

By April 8, 2012, 10:26 pm

With a par on the second hole of sudden death, Bubba Watson won the 76th Masters, defeating Louis Oosthuizen. It is Watson's first major championship victory.

After halving the 18th in par for the second time on Sunday, both hit poor drives at the par-4 10th. Oosthuizen wound up shy of the green in two with a long iron. Seemingly without a shot in the pine straw on the right, Watson hit a 40-yard hook with a wedge from 176 yards to 10 feet. Oosthuizen could not get up-and-down from below the green, allowing Watson to cozy his birdie putt for the win.

Watson is a winner in the second major championship playoff of his career. He lost in a three-hole aggregate playoff to Martin Kaymer at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Both players finished 72 holes at 10 under par to force the 15th playoff in Masters history, as Oosthuizen closed with 3-under 69, while Watson was one better.

Oosthuizen made an albatross at the par-5 second hole - the first at that hole and the fourth in tournament history - to take the lead on 10 under. He would play even-par golf to the clubhouse.

At the par-3 16th hole, Watson capped a string of four consecutive birdies to tie Oosthuizen atop the leaderboard.

After the duo made a couple of all-world pars on the 17th hole, Watson and Oosthuizen smashed drives up the closing par-4. Both had a look at birdie to win the green jacket, but neither connected to force extra golf.

In 1935, Gene Sarazen made an albatross at the par-5 15th hole en route to forcing a 36-hole playoff with Craig Wood. Sarazen won the playoff by five for his lone Masters title.

Reminiscent of the 72nd hole at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, Mickelson hit an errant tee shot at the par-3 fourth hole which ricocheted off of a grandstand and into bamboo. Having to turn his club over to play twice right-handed, Mickelson made triple-bogey six - a blow from which he would never recover. He shot even-par 72 to finish at 8 under and in a tie for third with playing partner Peter Hanson, Lee Westwood and Matt Kuchar.

Despite a birdie at the last hole, Westwood again fell short of a major championship. He closed with 4-under 68, finished at 8 under and a pair of shots out of the playoff. 

Kuchar left several changes on the edges of the cup, as he finished tied with Mickelson and Westwood at 8 under and in a tie for third place.

Hanson opened with a bogey, failed to make a birdie until the par-5 15th hole but made three at the last to join the group at 8 under.

Tiger Woods had his worst finish as a professional at the Masters, closing with 2-over 74 to finish at 5 over with Rory McIlroy. McIlroy improved on his final-round 80 from a year ago by four shots, but finished T-40 with Woods, Henrik Stenson (81) and Aaron Baddeley (74).

Luke Donald shot 4-under 68 to close out the tournament, maintaining the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking while finishing at 3 over and tied for 32nd place.

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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