Hurst Hangs On
Hurst muddled her way through the frontside with three birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey on the 379-yard par-4 5th. Even she was somewhat surprised at her performance.
I had that one miss-cue [on five], Hurst said. Oh, and I three-putted seven for bogey as well. But other than that, I hit it pretty close today.
I felt like I had hit a good putt, I just misread it. I thought it would break and didnt at all. Then on five, things like that happen. I mean, you dont ever want to double, but I just thought, keep your head in the ball game, and who knows where Ill be at the end of day.
Spotty play on the front nine left Hurst with some ground to make up midway through her round. Fellow competitor Liselotte Neumann took full advantage of Hurst's plight by turning on the heat and leaving the native Californian trailing the lead for most of the day.
It wasnt until Hurst made the turn that the birdies started flowing and the tables turned. Six birdies capped off her round and gave her the edge she desperately needed to regain the lead. By the time Hurst birdied the 329-yar par-4 14th she had tied Neumann for the lead. Three more birdies insured her position as leader.
At 10-under-par 134 Hurst first round cushion of three strokes over the rest of the field remained intact.
Liselotte Neumann carded eagle on the par 436-yard par-5 6th on Friday. She masterfully negotiated the dogleg left and its host of pitfalls. Five birdies and two bogeys rounded out the day for Neumann.
The 14-year veteran bettered her first round score by three strokes and gave Hurst a run for her money. In fact for a large part of the day Neumann lead the field. I got off to a great start, Neumann said. And I think on the back nine the greens were more difficult because the grass was growing a lot more in the afternoon. The greens were uneven and on the soft side. There were a lot ball marks, but I played well, the putts just didnt drop on the back side.
Neumann is presently three back as she starts the final round. I think getting off to a good start is the key. I will need to put pressure on Pat, and I know she is really good off the tee. I played well on the front nine today and yesterday, so I will go out and start well to put pressure on Pat.
With only one day of play left, Pat Hurst will be looking to add an Americans name to the list of 2001 champions. Currently no American has won an event this year.
Full-field scores from The Office Depot
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.
PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation
Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.
The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
The statement reads:
The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.
The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.
The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.
The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.