Calc Sets New Mark in Phoenix

By Mercer BaggsJanuary 28, 2001, 5:00 pm
Mark Calcavecchia made history this week at the Phoenix Open. Over four days of delays caused by frost and hailstorms, Calc scorched the TPC of Scottsdale to the tune of 28-under-par 256. The aggregate score breaks a 46-year-old PGA Tour record, while the tally in relation to par ties the all-time mark.
Calcavecchia comments on his Phoenix Open win.
Calc fired rounds of 65-60-64-67 to run away with his third career Phoenix Open title. He bettered his nearest competitor, Rocco Mediate, by eight strokes.
Calcavecchia topped Mike Souchak's record aggregate score of 257, set at the 1955 Texas Open. He also tied John Huston's 28-under-par pinnacle set at the 1998 Hawaiian Open.
In addition to etching his name into the PGA Tour record book, Calcavecchia collects his 10th career Tour triumph, and his first since 1998.
'It's been a long time. At least it seems like it's been a long time,' said Calcavecchia, whose last win came at the '98 Honda Classic.
Due to a Saturday hailstorm, Calcavecchia and the rest of the 71-man field were forced to complete their third rounds at 8:00am local time Sunday morning.
Continuing the stellar play that had given him an overnight advantage of five strokes, Calcavecchia carded six birdies and one bogey over the final ten holes of his third round to open up a six-shot lead at 24-under-par.
With just a ten-minute break between rounds, Calcavecchia maintained his march to history by nearly holing both an approach shot to the first hole and his tee shot to the fourth. The pair of tap-in birdies carried Calc to 26-under-par for the event.
That's when the assault appeared to end. Calcavecchia bogeyed the fifth and 11th holes to fall to 24-under-par. Following pars at the 12th and 13th holes, he needed to play the final five-holes in five-under to break Huston's record, and in four-under to break Souchak's mark.
Calc returned to form by birdying the 14th hole. He then added another birdie at the 15th. And when a 12-foot birdie putt fell at the par-three 16th, Calcavecchia was in prime position to surpass both historical numbers.
Yet one more birdie ensued at the 17th. It was Calcavecchia's 32nd birdie of the tournament, breaking the 72-hole PGA Tour record of 31 set by Huston in Hawaii.
Needing a par at the last to break Souchak's record and a birdie to break Huston's, Calc had to settle for the former, as he two-putted from 25 feet.
'I've looked at (Souchak's) record before. But it never crossed my mind I could do something like that,' Calcavecchia said.
'I know I'm streaky, but I'm not that good. Looking at the board when I was out on the green and seeing a red 28, it just looked crazy.'
Calcavecchia is no stranger to going low and winning big. Calc was 27-under through four rounds of the five-round Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in 1997. He won the '89 Phoenix Open by seven shots, and the '92 event by five strokes.
News, Notes and Numbers
*Calcavecchia set a new Phoenix Open scoring record. His 256 total breaks that of Steve Jones (258) set in 1997.
*Calcavecchia's back-to-back rounds of 60-64 (124) in the second and third rounds broke the all-time PGA Tour 36-hole aggregate scoring record by one shot.
*Rocco Mediate, who won the 1999 Phoenix Open, recorded his second straight runner-up finish by shooting a final-round 69.
*Tiger Woods carded a final-round 6-under-par 65 to finish in a tie for fifth with Chris DiMarco. DiMarco, who shot 71 on Sunday, employs the same claw-like putting grip used by Calcavecchia.
*Defending champion Tom Lehman tied Steve Stricker for seventh place.
*John Daly shot 5-under-par 66 in the final round to tie for ninth. It's his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour since the '98 Honda Classic, which was won by Calcavecchia.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Phoenix Open!

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

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.

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

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 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.