Everythings Coming Up Roses for May
Standing 61, brimming with beauty and a vivacious personality, she is the stuff LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaws dreams are made of. But much like the Wonglukiet twins, May will make the commissioner wait a few years until that dream comes true.
Wood, a student at Baylor High School, has been shaking things up on the junior circuit for the past few years. So much so that she has already has sponsors - names like Callaway - just drooling for a chance to be associated with her.
Baylor High School team coach King Oehmig, as well as Dave Ragan ' a former touring pro and Bruce Etter of Chattanooga Golf and C.C. - all share in the coaching duties of this young prodigy. It is their job to take May to the next level.
These three are not alone in sharing the responsibility of molding this raw talent into the next golf icon. There is one other person that Wood attributes her continued success to ' Phil Ritson.
Ritson, a native of South Africa and long time resident of Orlando, FL, met May two years ago during Baylors annual summer trek to the Phil Ritson Institute at Orange County National. He is great Wood said in a bubbly tone. I really love working with him. He saw my swing when my school team was down there practicing and came over and introduced himself to me.
She has one of the best swings you will ever see, Ritson said. She has a wide arch, three-quarter arm action and a big body rotation. May is the next big thing that will happen to womens golf.
The average top clubhead speed of an LPGA Tour player is 136 mph, while the average speed for a PGA TOUR player is 155 mph, Ritson said. Mays average top head speed is 150.6. This should give you a good idea of where she stands.
Wood, the sole amateur in this week's Electrolux USA Championship field, was hand-picked by Tournament Director Clyde Russell to receive a sponsor exemption. I think its important for events like ours to promote womens golf and particularly junior golf. May Wood has a compelling junior career, Russell said of May, the youngest winner in history of the Chattanooga Womens Amateur tournament, which she won at age 15 in 1999. We are really thrilled to have her in our field.
Wood, competing for the first time in an LPGA Tour event, recorded 1-over-par 37-36 (73) in the opening round. She hit 15 greens in her round and three-putted three times from short distances. Ritson said she apologized for Thursdays round and was clearly disappointed with her efforts.
The 17-year-old beauty, born on Dec. 27th, 1983, possesses a sublime swing and steely drive that her coaches and family alike are hoping will take her to great heights. With a swing that is said to emulate Davis Love IIIs, Wood is already a force to be reckoned with on the junior circuit and is expected to achieve lofty goals in the future.
Parents Mark and Kerry Wood are supportive of their oldest childs dreams. Mays dad is her quasi-agent and arranges her playing schedule, which is just fine with her. This gives the tight-scheduled teen more time to do the things she loves ' like listen to just about every kind of music you can think of and follow the career of her favorite golfer, Tiger Woods.
This summer will by Mays coming out party on the AJGA. Expect to hear more about this rising star.
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
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.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“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
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.
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.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
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.