Mickelson Tops Tiger at Tour Championship

By Mercer BaggsNovember 5, 2000, 5:00 pm
Beware the locusts! The Apocalypse may be upon us. For the second straight week, Tiger Woods has played in the final pairing on Sunday - and he hasn't won either tournament!
Playing in the penultimate group, Mickelson birdied the first hole and never looked back en route to his fourth PGA Tour victory of the season at the Tour Championship. The lefty fired a 4-under-par 66 to better Woods by two shots at 13-under, and, in the process, snap Tiger's streak of 19 consecutive PGA Tour wins when having at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
Woods may have played in the final group with Vijay Singh Sunday at the East Lake Golf Club, but it was Mickelson with whom he was battling for the title. The Fijian carded a 3-over-par 38 on the back nine and never factored into the final outcome.
Mickelson began the day one shot back of Woods, but quickly placed his name at the top of the leaderboard with a birdie 3 at the first. Mickelson, who defeated Woods at this year's Buick Invitational, produced four birdies over his first nine holes to move to 13-under-par for the tournament, one shot clear of Woods by the time he made the turn.
'Playing in the group in front made a big difference,' said Mickelson, who earned $900,000 of the $5 million purse. 'I knew if I could get off to a good start and make some birdies I could apply some pressure. You know you have a limited number of holes to catch the leader.'
Tiger captured a share of the lead when Mickelson bogeyed the par-4 13th, however, Mickelson reclaimed a one-shot advantage with a birdie at the par-5 15th.
Trailing by one at 12-under-par, Woods lost any chance he had of garnering his 10th Tour title of the season at the par-4 17th. Tiger's tee shot found the right bunker - for the day, Woods hit only seven of 14 fairways. Woods' next shot went from bad to worse. The world's No. 1 ranked-player dreadfully hooked a 9-iron well left of the green into the spinach. Tiger failed to save par and dropped two shots back of Mickelson, who parred his final three holes to finish at 13-under-par.
Now two down with one to play, Tiger needed to ace the par-3 18th to force a playoff.
Impossible? Remember, this is Tiger Woods we're talking about.
However, this time there would be no addition to the legend. Woods tee shot from 239 yards finished 15 feet from the flag. For the record, Tiger missed the birdie putt to shoot a 1-under-par 69.
'I grinded my butt off just to have a chance,' said Woods. 'I played the same way last week (at the National Car Rental Classic), but on an easier golf course.'
Woods didn't leave Atlanta empty-handed. He captured the $200,000 bonus for winning the Fall Finish, which is based on a points system over the final nine PGA Tour events of the season, excluding the Tampa Bay Classic.
Tiger also collected a runner-up check of $540,000 to move to $9,030,821 for the season. Woods will have one last chance to break the $10 million mark for the season at next week's WGC American Express Championship, which awards $1 million to the winner.
Mickelson won't be making the trip to Valderrama, Spain, for the season finale. Mickelson joins, among others, Americans David Duval, Tom Lehman and Hal Sutton as players who will not be in attendance next week.
In any case, this is the perfect ending to a near-anonymous spectacular season.
'It's a wonderful way to end the year,' said Mickelson, who finishes the 2000 campaign with over $4.7 million in official earnings.
This is Mickelson's 17th career PGA Tour victory, and the second time he's recorded four wins in the same season. Mickelson adds this title to the one's he collected earlier in the year at the Buick Invitational, BellSouth Classic and MasterCard Colonial.
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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.