Back to the Beginning

By Mercer BaggsOctober 20, 2000, 4:00 pm
So much for the concept that Americans can't play as a team. After sweeping the Internationals in Thursday's Foursome matches, the U.S. nearly did it again on Friday. The Americans won four of the five Friday Foursomes to take a 10-5 lead into Day Three of the 4th Presidents Cup.
Fortunately for the International teams, there are no more Foursomes to be played. Saturday, the two teams will play five Four-Ball (better ball) matches, which the Internationals won 4-1 Friday morning.
After a spirited run in the A.M. session, the Internationals find themselves where they started the day - five points back of the Americans.
Entering the afternoon Foursomes, the International team had cut an overnight deficit of 5-0 to 6-4. But just as they had done the day prior, the Americans routed the defending champions in the alternate-shot format.
Woods/Begay III vs. Els/Singh
International captain Peter Thomson must have figured sooner or later Vijay Singh and Ernie Els had to click.
He figured wrong.
Els and Singh lost to Woods and Begay 1-up in Thursday Foursomes, and then fell to Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III 2-and-1 in Saturday's morning Four-Ball match. Nonetheless, the two were paired together again Saturday afternoon.
After losing to Shigeki Maruyama and Carlos Franco 3-and-2 in the better-ball format, Woods and Begay hit the range before teeing it up in the afternoon.
Whatever they were looking for, they found.
The former Stanford teammates played the first six holes in 5-under-par, en route to a front-nine 31. Meanwhile, Els and Singh carded an outward half of 4-over-par 39. The Americans won the first six holes, and made the turn 6-up.
From there, the college buddies rolled to a 6-and-5 victory by birdying each of the final two holes of their match.
Roberts/Azinger vs. Franco/Maruyama
Franco and Maruyama weren't able to continue the momentum they gathered after beating Woods and Begay in the morning.
Loren Roberts put on a dazzling putting display, and Paul Azinger more than held his own, as the Americans won easily 5-and-4.
Just 1-up through eight holes, Roberts and `Zinger carded five birdies in a six-hole stretch beginning at the par-3 9th to pull away from the overmatched International team.
The victory was Azinger's first as a Presidents Cup rookie. The loss was Maruyama's first in seven overall matches.
Sutton/Lehman vs. Campbell/Goosen
Tom Lehman and Hal Sutton got off to a tremendous start by birdying five of their first seven holes Friday afternoon. As did Begay and Woods, Sutton and Lehman went out in 5-under-par 31 to take a 3-up advantage into the back nine.
Lehman gave the team a 4-up lead by nearly acing the par-3 11th. And despite a loss at the par-5 14th, the Americans parred their final five holes to win the match 3-and-2.
Sutton got a bit of revenge on Campbell and Goosen. The Kiwi and the South African defeated Sutton and Azinger 4-and-3 in the morning Four-Ball match.
Duval/Mickelson vs. Price/Weir David Duval had a day he would certainly like to forget; and he can thank one man for that - Nick Price. Friday morning Price and Greg Norman defeated Duval and Jim Furyk 6-and-5. Friday afternoon, Price teamed with Mike Weir to once again soundly defeat a Duval-led team.
Price and Weir birdied five of their first 11 holes in the afternoon, while Duval and Phil Mickelson carded nothing but pars. Price and Weir complemented each other perfectly on Friday to the tune of six birdies and no bogeys. The tandem won handily 6-and-4.
Cink/Triplett vs. Allenby/Appleby
It was the most tightly contested Foursome match of the day; and one that the Internationals desperately needed to win.
Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby led by as many as 2-up early in the match, but a Kirk Triplett birdie at the 13th pulled the Americans level with the Internationals with five holes remaining.
The U.S. took a 1-up advantage with their third-consecutive birdie at the 15th; and when the Internationals bogeyed the par-4 17th, the match, and the day's activities, came to a rest.
Cink and Triplett, both Presidents Cup rookies, won for the second-straight time together in Foursomes. This time it was a 2-and-1 victory.
Saturday, the Internationals will try, once again, to use the better-ball format to climb back into the match.
Saturday Four-Ball Matches
Sutton/Furyk vs. Norman/Campbell
Lehman/Mickelson vs. Weir/Elkington
Duval/Love III vs. Els/Price
Triplett/Cink vs. Allenby/Franco
Woods/Begay III vs. Goosen/Singh
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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.