Hansen Holds Lead in Edmonton

By Marty HenwoodJune 30, 2005, 4:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeEDMONTON, Alta.-- American Matt Hansen carded a 7-under 64 Thursday to set the early pace at the Canadian Tours TELUS Edmonton Open.
Playing in the lead group of the day, Hansen came up one shot shy of the Edmonton Country Club course record and leads Marcus Jones of Graham, Tex. and Albertans Mike Belbin and Scott McNeil by one stroke.
Four others, including Ottawa-born Scott Hawley, opened with a 66 while nine players are in a logjam at minus-4.
National Hockey League Hall of Fame goaltender and Edmonton fan favourite Grant Fuhr, playing this week on a sponsors exemption, was 3-under through eight holes but struggled on the inbound nine to post 72.
Belbin, a former Tour member from the Edmonton suburb of Sherwood Park, also received an exemption into the event.
With the par-3 ninth as his finishing hole, Hansen climbed into sole possession of top spot by sticking his tee shot within a foot for a tap-in birdie. The 25-year-old, now into his second season on the Canadian Tour, has made five of six cuts this year prior to this week.
It was nice to knock it in there close and finish with a birdie, he said. Our group (with Bret Guetz and Luke Hickmott) had a great rhythm going out there and the pace of play was awesome.
Coming off a tie for 21st at the Times Colonist Open in Victoria, Hawley aced the 145-yard, par-3 13th to get to 4-under. The hole-in-one continued an impressive run for Hawley, who has marked a 1 on his scorecard three times in his last nine starts dating back to the 2004 season-ending Bay Mills Open Players Championship.
In Victoria two weeks ago, Hawley was right in contention before a final-round 2-over 72 dropped him out of the top ten.
It was a disappointing finish in Victoria, and a couple of years ago it really would have bothered me, admitted Hawley. Ive been playing some good golf but not getting anything out of it.
Hansen was cautious about his opening round and knows there is still plenty of work to do. Conditions were ideal for the morning wave Thursday and Hansen says if the weatherman continues to cooperate, scores at The Country Club will be low.
Ive been hitting it well all year, but Id have two good rounds and then have a bad weekend, he said. This was very important, to get that start. If you shoot even par on a day like today, you are really going to have to do some damage over the last three days to have a shot.
Jones, who had a season-best 12th-place finish in Victoria, put up eight birdies and a pair of bogeys for his best round of the year.
I missed some putts, but made a couple of 20-footers, said Jones. Im glad for the start, but with no wind and the players out here, a good score is very possible. Two little glitches kept me from shooting something really special.
Standing on the 12th tee Thursday, caddy Jason Heary turned to Hawley and asked him how many holes-in-one he had as a professional. Hawley replied that both of his aces came in the past ten months. On the very next hole, just after knocking a lofty 9-iron into the cup, Hawley turned to Heary and said,
Make that three.
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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.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm