Woods posts even par in third round

By May 12, 2012, 8:21 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – On Moving Day at The Players Championship, Tiger Woods stood still.

Despite an excellent performance from tee to green, Woods shot even-par 72 to remain at 2 under through three rounds on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

'I played well today and didn't get anything out of it,' Woods said. 'It was probably the most solid I've hit the golf ball all year, probably.'

Blustery conditions reigned on Saturday at Pete Dye's gem, gusting as high as 20 mph at several points in the round. Woods handled the swirling winds well, landing on 15 greens and hitting 10 of 14 fairways.

The story of Woods' round, however, was told on the greens. Woods converted just a pair of birdie opportunities, requiring 33 putts.

'I misread two putts, which was fine and I hit two other bad putts,' he said. 'It was just tough getting the ball close. I had a hard time, but some of the other guys probably did not.'

On the front nine, Woods had no trouble hitting it close. Rather, the difficulty came in converting the opportunities his approach game created.

Woods had birdie putts from inside 17 feet on the final four holes of the side, making none. He missed on the edge from 6 feet at No. 6, three-putted from 10 feet at the seventh, could not bag another 6-footer at the par-3 eighth and failed to drop a birdie bid from 13 feet at the ninth.

The chances to score were more sparse on the second nine, despite Woods hitting every fairway and missing just the 10th green. Woods had to hit a perfect flop shot from beyond and below the green at the par-5 11th for a tap-in birdie, then made a 16-foot putt for another at the 13th after backing off his tee shot twice to figure out the wind.

Despite the lack of birdies, Woods had a pair of excellent lag putts from 78 feet at No. 14 and a putt similar to the 'better than most' bid from 2001 at 17. Pars were not what Woods needed, however, and he will be left Sunday to find his first top-10 finish here since 2009.

'I figured if I shot 68 or 67, I'd be right in the ball game,' he said. 'There's so much danger out there. This golf course was set up today so that you could shoot 65, but then again, you could shoot something in the 80s.'

Following a pair of withdrawals in this championship, perhaps the takeaway for Woods is having the health and stamina to reach the finish line. Last week, he made a confident step, changing back to metal spikes in his golf shoes.

'My knee is finally healthy enough,' he said, 'to take the pounding.'

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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