Howell Leads Hero at Nissan

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 22, 2003, 5:00 pm
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. ' Charles Howell III has held Nick Price in true reverence ever since the two first met when the former was 10 years old.
 
'He has had an awesome career, no question about it, a career I wouldn't be too upset if I had,' Howell said.
 
I have been asked a lot of questions who I look up to and who I want to pattern myself after. And his name is always one of the first names that comes out.'
 
He can continue to follow in Price's footsteps by doing Sunday what Price has done so well throughout his career.
 
For the first time as a professional, Howell will sleep on the 54-hole lead. He shot 3-under 68 in the third round of the Nissan Open to take a three-stroke lead, at 11-under-par 202, over his golfing idol.
 
Price is aware of the difficulty he will have in trying to catch Howell. He cant compete with a kid half his age in terms of distance. But he does have one advantage come Sunday.
 
Charlie hasnt been there too often, I guess thats the only thing I have got going for me, said Price, who has been on the PGA Tour ' 21 years ' almost as long as Howell has been alive ' 23 years.
 
Price has been in Howells position 15 times before on the tour, and nine of those times hes turned a 54-hole lead into victory, including on his first occasion in the 1983 World Series of Golf.
 
Its not an apples to apples basis, Price said when asked to compare his first experience with Howells. I wasnt as good as he is.
 
He doesnt look to have any chinks in his armor. This guy has got everything.'
 
Including confidence.
 
There is no other place I would rather be. The only thing I would rather have is more shots ahead, said Howell, who did well in his holding onto his first-ever 36-hole lead on tour.
 
One player Howell shouldnt have to worry about is Tiger Woods. Woods hit some of the worst shots on the practice range, and, unfortunately for him, carried it over to the course.
 
His chance of winning this event for the first time ended with his first official swing in round three. He snap-hooked his drive at the par-4 first over the gallery and into the ABC television compound. He had to play a provisional and made double-bogey-7.
 
He shot 2-over 73, making five birdies and five bogeys to go along with his second double bogey of the week. He is tied for 28th place at even par, and has all-but given up hope for a second victory in as many weeks.
 
Even if I shoot 62, Im still only 9-under, he said. I just need to try and play solid tomorrow and get some momentum going into next week.
 
Tiger continued to drive like a Grand Prix racer, again finding just seven of 14 fairways. He even had to hit his second shot on the par-4 13th left-handed after his tee shot nestled against the base of a tree in the left rough.
 
Though Woods might not factor into the final outcome, there are a handful of others who could.
 
K.J. Choi is four back after a 67. Rich Beem (69) and defending champion Len Mattiace (71) are tied for fourth at 6-under.
 
Last year on Saturday, I shot 64. And I think someone could do that tomorrow, Howell said.
 
Howell started the day with a one-shot lead over regular practice partner Price, but after two holes the margin was quadrupled.
 
He two-putted the par-5 first for birdie and made a 12-footer for another at the second. Price, on the other hand, bogeyed No. 2 to fall four back.
 
'The start is crucial,' Price said. 'I have to get off to a better start tomorrow.'
 
Howell maintained his four-stroke advantage throughout the front nine. It wasnt narrowed until Choi made birdie at the par-5 11th to get within three.
 
Then Howell played 11.
 
He roped a driver 322 yards, and then hit 4-iron from 239 yards inside of 12 feet. He made the putt for eagle to move to 12-under, five clear of Choi and Price.
 
It wasnt going to be a third-round runaway, however. Howell dropped his first shot in 33 holes at the par-4 12th, and parred his final six holes.
 
He had a three-foot putt at the par-5 17th for birdie, but pulled it. Price knocked his birdie effort in from the same length and the deficit was trimmed to three heading to Sunday.
 
I would love to win 20 tournaments on the PGA Tour. Then I have a lifetime exemption on tour, said Price, who has 18 career tour victories. It is difficult at 46, but I still think I can do it.
 
For the record, Nick Faldo, in 1997, was the last player to win this event after holding the third-round lead.
 
Related Links
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    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."

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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.


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    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

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    Man of the people


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    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Victory at Valderrama


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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