Big Week For European Ryder Cuppers

By Mercer BaggsAugust 22, 2001, 4:00 pm
When Curtis Strange selected Scott Verplank and Paul Azinger, the 2001 United States Ryder Cup team was finalized.
Now they need to know whom exactly they will face.
The European Ryder Cup team will be finalized in two weeks following the conclusion of the BMW International on Sept. 2.
That adds greater importance to this weeks WGC-NEC Invitational in Akron, OH.
Theres $5 million up for grabs, and a guarantee of $25,000 for finishing dead last in the 39-man field ' good news, considering the European Ryder Cup points list is based on money.
In addition to the NEC Invitational and BMW International, European players can also earn points at the Scottish PGA Championship, also being played this week.
The current top 12 players on the European Ryder Cup list are stateside this week. That includes Paul McGinley, Bernhard Langer, Phillip Price, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ian Poulter ' who stand in 8th-12th places, respectively.
And with the consensus that European Captain Sam Torrance will use his two captains picks on Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik ' neither of who qualified this week to try and earn their way onto the team ' theres plenty of pressure on those at the bottom of the list.
I have to play well this week to earn enough to get onto the team, said Jimenez.
The importance of this week cant be understated. An impressive finish can solidify a players position in the most anticipated Ryder Cup in match history.
It can also positively alter ones schedule.I want to make enough points to where I cant be passed, said McGinley of this week. I dont want to play the BMW. I want to take two weeks off and reassess things before a very busy time of the year.
If things go according plan, the Irishman will skip the trip to Germany and take a two-week hiatus before playing the WGC-American Express Championship in St. Louis, MO.
He then plans to play the Trophee Lancome in Paris and hopefully, the Ryder Cup.
Of course, thats the ideal scenario.
Others this week would like McGinley to log a few more frequent flier miles.
Price can secure a spot at The Belfry with a repeat of last years performance at the Firestone Country Club.
The Welshman finished 11 shots back of winner Tiger Woods; though, it was good enough for a share of second place with Justin Leonard and a $437,500 check.
Ive never gone back to somewhere, to the same venue that Ive done that well at, said Price, a two-time European Tour winner. Im hoping that its going to be a boost. I suppose well find out come Sunday.
Should he make the team, this would be Ryder Cup No. 1 for Price; the same holds true for McGinley and Poulter.
Ive watched enough of them on the television and I want to be a part of it, Price said.
Poulter may not have played in a Ryder Cup before, but he does have a bit of experience.
I was there in 93, sleeping in a tent about three miles away from the course, he recalled. It was fantastic. Just the atmosphere and the pure adrenaline of the excitement of it all, really. It was just an amazing week, really. And I thought it would be quite nice to feel that feeling for real.
Jimenez had that feeling in 1999, when he went 1-2-2.
Langer didnt compete in 99, but has nine Cups under his belt. The 43-year-old German has a career 18-15-5 record in the matches; only Nick Faldo (23) has more victories among active players.
I like the makeup of our team, Langer said. I think we have a good mix of experience and some new guys in there.
I mean, theres one or two guys you might like to see in there, but, you know, it just shows that European golf has grown in depth, too.
Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Pierre Fulke are currently the top five players, repsectivley, in the European standings.
They are all secure.
Colin Montgomeire stands sixth, with Niclas Fasth in seventh place.
Fasth and Fulke are the only players currently inside the top-7 who have not played in a Ryder Cup.
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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.