Can a long putter a better Wie make?

By August 28, 2011, 12:26 am

Perhaps it was just a matter of mild tinkering that kept Michelle Wie from fully reaping the benefits that can come with a switch to a long putter. The 6-foot-plus LPGA player put the long stick into play at the Evian Masters, but has really caught fire with it at the Canadian Women’s Open.

Wie is tied for the lead through 54 holes with Tiffany Joh and Ai Miyazato at 12 under at Hillsdale G&CC. 

Wie seeks to become the first player to win this event in consecutive years since Pat Bradley did so in 1985-86 when the event was an LPGA major known as the du Maurier Classic. She credits hard work with her new putter as influential in her putting performance – averaging 27.66 putts per round.

“I’ve been working really hard at my putting,” Wie said. “Finally I kind of figured out a grip that I like, and I’ve been going at it for a couple of weeks now. I’m getting the hang of it, just trying to make some putts out there. That’s the most important thing.”

Joh grabbed the early clubhouse lead with 7-under 65 that could have been even better. The UCLA product and amateur standout is seeking her first LPGA win. Her previous best finish is a T-25 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Perhaps that explains her incredulous feelings toward her hot start on Saturday.

“It was really unexpected, so every time I’d make a putt, I’d turn around and look at my caddie and be like, wow, that went in. And pretty soon I think around the 11th or 12th hole I realized what I was doing, and I kind of tightened up a little bit and hit a couple wayward shots. I hit one just delicious chili dip on the par-5 12th,” she said.

Wie would earn her third professional win with a successful Sunday. Miyazato would earn her second title in a month, having won the Evian Masters in July – an event that will become a major championship in 2013.

The Japanese standout welcomes the possibility of windy conditions on Sunday due to Hurricane Irene’s march up the east coast.

Miyazato said, “I grew up in an area where it was windy, so I actually like playing in the windy situations. But if it rains, it will definitely be difficult. But because I’m used to those situations, I think there will be no problem keeping my tempo.”

Angela Stanford and Brittany Lincicome are a shot back of the lead trio at 11 under. Cristie Kerr, Na Yeon Choi, Jiyai Shin, Becky Morgan and Song-Hee Kim are just two shots off the pace.

Sunday tee times were moved up by an hour-and-a-half in anticipation of a possible strike from Hurricane Irene in the Montreal area. Players will go off the first and tenth tees in groups of three beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET.

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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.