Great Scott Simpson Leads in Greensboro

By Mercer BaggsApril 26, 2001, 4:00 pm
Scott Simpson said he knew that he would shoot 66 at some point in the first round of the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic. He just didnt know it would be after the completion of 18 holes.

Thursday, Simpson carded six birdies and no bogeys to take a one-shot lead entering the second round in Greensboro, NC.
Age seems to be an advantage in this event. Sam Snead won the last of his eight Greensboro titles at the age of 52 years, 10 months and eight days in 1965 - making him the oldest man in tour history to win an event.
Last year, a 42-year-old Hal Sutton proved victorious.
Now, its the 45-year-old Simpson whos out front.
At 6-under, Simpson is one-shot clear of Dudley Hart, Robert Damron, Shaun Micheel, Spike McRoy, Jeffrey Lankford, Aaron Baddeley and Jerry Kelly.
Kelly led through 54 holes of this years Players Championship. Paired with Tiger Woods in the final round, which spanned two days, Kelly shot 73 to finish in fourth place.
While Kelly is trying to capture his first tour title, Baddeley is just trying to make a cut. After qualifying for weekend play in his first PGA Tour event, the 2000 Honda Classic, the 20-year-old Australian has missed 11 consecutive cuts.
Its been over three years since Simpson last won on the PGA Tour. His playoff victory over Skip Kendall in the 1998 Buick Invitational was the seventh in a career that includes the 87 U.S. Open.
He also won in Greensboro in '87.
'There's a picture of me in the locker room and everybody says, 'Who is that guy?'' Simpson said in reference to his different appearance 14 years later.
Simpson missed the entire 2000 season due to a broken ankle he suffered while skiing during the New Year holiday.
Doctors told Simpson the ankle could heal without surgery, but such was not the case. He underwent surgery in August, which involved seven screws into the ankle and the need to use crutches for two months.
Fully recovered, Simpson is playing the 01 campaign on a special medical exemption. The exemption requires him to earn $391,075 in 29 events ' the numbers accumulated by the 125th player on the 2000 PGA Tour money list.
Simpson has thus far earned $52,830, having missed five cuts in nine starts.
Thursday at the Forest Oaks Country Club, Simpson birdied his first two holes on the front nine, and then birdied his first three on the back.
He concluded his scoring by carding a birdie 3 at the par-4 16th.
Im still trying to compete and have a little fun, said Simpson.
Ten players are tied for eighth place at 4-under. Included in that group is Ian Leggatt, who has yet to earn an official dollar this season. Leggatt has seven missed cuts and one withdrawal to his credit in eight starts.
Defending champion Sutton, who won last weeks Shell Houston Open, is four shots off the pace after opening in 2-under-par 70.
Full-field scores from the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic
Getty Images

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."

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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