LPGA Elite Assembled in Alabama

By Lpga Tour MediaNovember 8, 2004, 5:00 pm
MOBILE, Ala. -- There's no arguing this fact - at The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions, if you're in the field, you're one of the game's best - and 41 players have earned the right to compete in the 11th staging of one of the most elite events on the LPGA schedule.
Contested at the challenging Magnolia Grove Golf Course on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Mobile, Ala., each player has her eye on the $130,000 share of the tournament-record $800,000 purse as the Tour's 2004 season nears its close.
To be eligible for The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions, players must have won an LPGA event in 2001-04 or be active LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame members. The field includes JoAnne Carner, who will tee it up by virtue of her Hall of Fame status, as well as fellow Hall of Famers Beth Daniel and Juli Inkster, who would be in the field regardless, as both stars have won tournaments in the past four years.
Collectively, the 41-player field boasts 342 LPGA tournament titles, led by Carner (43) and Daniel (33). At the other end of the spectrum, 11 players are hoping to make the The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions their second career victory, including Moira Dunn, Christina Kim, Jennifer Rosales and Kim Saiki, who all became Rolex First-Time Winners earlier this season.
The criteria for The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions has changed slightly from years past. Previously, the field was limited to Hall of Famers and winners from the current season and two prior years. Players from the current season and three prior years are now eligible. That change gives Heather Daly-Donofrio, Laura Davies, Tina Fischer, Kate Golden, Lorie Kane, Emilee Klein, Carin Koch and Wendy Ward another shot at the $130,000 first-place paycheck.
Last year, Dorothy Delasin began the final round at five-under-par and with a one-stroke lead over Hee-Won Han. The 23-year-old, who had not won in two years, closed with a 69, but Han, looking for her third win of the season, posted a 68 to tie Delasin and force a sudden-death playoff. Returning to the 18th hole, Han missed a 12-foot birdie try, setting the stage for Delasin to roll in an 8-footer and capture the title. Delasin's win, the fourth of her young career, also boosted her season earning just enough to give her a spot in the season-ending ADT Championship, a tournament reserved for the top-30 players on the ADT Official Money List.
Entering this year's The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions, several players are hoping to replicate Delasin's feat and earn enough money to qualify for the ADT Championship: Sherri Steinhauer (currently 32nd on the ADT Official Money List); Ward (33); Dunn (34); Davies (35); Laura Diaz (36); Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (38); Angela Stanford (39); and Liselotte Neumann (45).
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Tournament of Champions
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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