Another Tiger Triple

By Mercer BaggsMarch 17, 2002, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. -- For the second straight year Phil Mickelson challenged Tiger Woods for the Bay Hill Invitational title. And for the second straight year, No. 1 beat No. 2.
Woods shot a final-round 3-under 69 to earn his 30th career PGA Tour victory and become the first player to win the tournament three years in a row. He finished at 13-under-par 275, four strokes lower than Michael Campbell (71).

'When I was a little boy, I never thought of winning this many times,' said Woods, who is now tied with Leo Diegel for 15th on the all-time PGA Tour victory list. 'I just thought about winning on the PGA Tour and that would suffice.'

Premium Video - Subscription Required More from Tiger on his impressive win.
Campbell double-bogeyed the 17th, but holed out from off the green at 18 to earn his best career PGA Tour finish.
Mickelson (71) bogeyed his final three holes to finish tied for third with Rocco Mediate (70), John Huston (72) and Len Mattiace (73).
Tiger, who earned $720,000, apparently has an affinity for doing things in threes. He became the first player in tour history to win three different tournaments three consecutive seasons. He added Bay Hill to his three-peats at the WGC-NEC Invitational and the Memorial Tournament. He also won the U.S. Amateur Championship and the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship three times in three years.
Speaking of threes, 14 players were within three shots of Woods 54-hole lead. In that group stood four multiple major winners and three of the top-5 ranked players in the world.
The ultimate score belied a competitive final round. Five players made their ways to double digits under par. But in the end, it came down to two men ' No. 1 and No. 2.
The situation was near identical to that of a year ago: Woods trying to win his first event of the season, with Mickelson trying to play the role of spoiler. The lefthander started last years final round four shots back of Woods and managed to wrest away the lead, before Tiger birdied the 72nd hole to win by one.
This year, playing three groups ahead of the front-runner, Mickelson began his quest for denial three back.
For the second straight day, Woods got off to a sluggish start, bogeying the first hole. Mickelson, on the other hand, birdied Nos. 3 and 4 to tie for the top spot at 9-under. Tiger, though, also birdie the fourth to reclaim his advantage.
Once again, Woods grip on the lead slipped with a bogey at the par-5 sixth. He hit his second shot fat from the fairway bunker and into the lake. He contemplated playing the ball from the water, but, instead, chose to take a drop. He played his fourth shot from 200 yards out, and eventually carded a 6.
While Woods was backing up, Mickelson charged forward and into the lead. He birdied the eighth to climb to 10-under, one clear of Woods.
He then moved two-up with another birdie on the par-4 10th. Woods closed the gap with a birdie at the ninth, and added another at the 10th.
But it was a par save at the eighth that got him going.
'At the time, I'm only one back, and I just wanted to keep myself up on the board,' he said. 'I just felt like I was still in the ball game.'
The seesaw battle continued when Mickelson birdied the par-5 12th. He chunked his chip-shot third, but made the 12-footer to move to minus-12. His reign at the top was again short-lived as the firm, baked-out Bay Hill greens betrayed a precise iron shot to the par-4 14th.
I hit as good a shot as I could at 14, a 6-iron that landed a couple of feet from the hole. A hop or two later and its 30 yards over the green. I dont really know what else I could have done there,' he said.
Mickelson bogeyed the hole, and when Tiger birdied the par-5 12th, the lead was his for good.
Needing a birdie at the par-5 16th - with 17 and 18 virtually outlawing them - Mickelson pulled his tee shot into the right trees. His ball nestled against a twig. Two-hundred yards out, he took a 4-iron and went for the water-guarded green. The ball never found its desired target, plummeting into the pond.
The only shot I felt I had was to go at the green, that was the only opening, right of the trees ' try to put it in the back part of the green, the back bunker, Mickelson said. I had to catch it a little thin to keep it under the branches, and I caught it a little too thin and it went in the water.
Woods added a final birdie at 16 to increase his margin of victory. He played the treacherous back nine in 3-under 33.
'I just tried to hang in there and just give myself a lot of looks at birdies, and tried not to make a bogey on the back nine, especially (on) the last couple of holes.' Woods said.
Full-field scores from the Bay Hill Invitational

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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.