'Starved' Scott shares Doral lead

By Jay CoffinMarch 8, 2012, 11:51 pm

DORAL, Fla. – “If you starve a guy of playing a little bit, he’ll be desperate to compete.”

Those are not the words of Confucius. They did not come from one of the gaggle of mental coaches strolling the practice range week-to-week on the PGA Tour.

They came from Adam Scott, first-round co-leader (with Jason Dufner) of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, after shooting 6-under 66 at TPC Blue Monster.

If you did a double take when you looked at the leaderboard Thursday you weren’t alone. Scott’s name hasn’t appeared in such places in a while, because, well, he hasn’t played much.

The studly 66 was just Scott’s sixth competitive round this year.

Six rounds. That fact prompted many media types to jokingly say they have played much more free golf this year than Scott. Truth is, some have played more free golf this week.

In a day and age when players jet around the world for millions of dollars – much of it guaranteed just for showing up – it’s refreshing to see Scott take a much more subdued approach, one that comes from experiences good and bad.

Watch Dustin Johnson's drive hit a camera tower

Scott’s first decade on Tour was spent playing anywhere and everywhere. Now, in his early 30s, he’s learned to play when he wants, not when others think he should.

“When you’re 21 it’s pretty easy to fly around the world nonstop and just go play and do everything you want to do but it’s different when you’re 31,” Scott said. “There’s this balance between playing and practice and being able to come out.”

Scott learned to competitively “starve” himself last year for the first time, which he believes helped his performance in the Masters (T-2) and the PGA Championship (seventh), which came a week after his victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

This season’s fasting of tournament golf began while he recovered from a tonsillectomy, which he underwent in mid-December.

After a month at home in Queensland, Australia, with a sore throat, Scott began hitting balls again in January to prepare for the Northern Trust Open, his first Tour start. That week at Riviera produced a 17th-place tie – which pleased him – then he produced his typical first-round exit at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, a loss on the 18th hole to England’s Robert Rock.

The opening round here at Doral produced an eagle, a bogey and five birdies. When he arrived here earlier this week he had no idea if he’d play again before the Masters. But, heeding his own advice, he feels so comfortable with this swing that he’ll likely play the Transitions Championship next week at Innisbrook.

“I’m just trying to keep myself fresh and have myself ready for the biggest events of the year,” said Scott, ranked No. 11 in the world. “That certainly starts here, I believe, until the end of September.”

Scott kept hammering home the word “fresh.” While other top players feel they need to mold their games into shape while battling tournament conditions, Scott couldn’t care less. That was the old approach, one that nearly burned him out and made him turn sour toward a game he was supposed to star in for a long time.

To assure there’s no rust, Scott has made peace with preparation. He knows that it’s easy to stray while on large breaks, but he’s learned to love the process, something that has sent many professional athletes into early retirement.

“When you play a slightly reduced schedule from other people, you have to be hard enough to be disciplined when you work at home,” Scott said. “That’s something I kind of adopted last year. I found just as much satisfaction in the process and the practice as I get out of any result.”

“So I do enjoy going home and spending hours on the range and the chipping green and the putting green. I feel that’s the balance that I need to perform the best.”

The next three days here in south Florida will be a barometer for where he stands and what he needs to work on heading toward that little tournament in Augusta, Ga., in three weeks.

How well he plays there will depend on how hungry he is.

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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.