Players Postion Selves For Sunday

By Mercer BaggsNovember 3, 2001, 5:00 pm
The scene is set for an old-fashion Sunday Shootout at The Tour Championship in Houston, TX.
The course is immaculate, theres virtually no wind and the greens arent too fast. If youre hitting it well, its there for the taking.
Those were the words of David Duval, who took advantage of those conditions to the tune of 8-under 63 at the Champions Golf Club.
Check out David Duval's scorecard
Duval enters the final round at 12-under-par 201, one shot back of leader Scott Verplank. Verplank bogeyed his final hole to shoot 3-under 68 to maintain his overnight lead.
He started the day with three birdies over his first five holes, only to bogey the par-4 6th. But just as he let a four-stroke lead dwindle to two, Verplank eagled the par-5 9th by making a 20-footer from the fringe to move to 14-under. He wasn't as fortuante on the final hole, however, as he bogeyed after running his birdie effort ' again from the fringe ' 10 feet past the hole.
I scored well, I just made some mistakes, Verplank said. I was close, but I wasnt quite there.
Six players are three off the pace at 11-under; the list includes Ernie Els (65), Kenny Perry (65), Bob Estes (65), Sergio Garcia (66), Mike Weir (68) and Bernhard Langer (69).
You know, you got to shoot better than 68 or youre moving backwards, said Els, who is trying to keep alive a winning streak on the PGA Tour that dates back to 1994.
Tiger Woods was unable to do better than 69 on Saturday. After making the turn in 3-under 33, he recorded eight straight pars on the back nine and concluded his day with a bogey on the home hole.
After signing his scorecard, Woods bypassed the media and the range and headed straight to the parking lot. In frustration, he threw his hat into his black SUV, slammed the door and drove from the cursed course.
Tigers score was a bit of an anomaly, as nine players shot 68 or lower. The round of the day belonged to Jim Furyk. Furyk established a new tournament and course record with a 9-under 62.
Check out Jim Furyk's scorecard
He moved from 1-under as the day began to 10-under heading to Sunday.
I hit my irons as well as Ive hit them all year, said Furyk, who seldom had a birdie putt outside of 15 feet on the massive greens.
Furyk is seeking his first victory since the first event of the year, the Mercedes Championships. Meanwhile, Els is trying to get back to Kapalua for the seventh straight year.
The 32-year-old South African has yet to win on the PGA Tour this season, despite eight top-10 finishes.
That was No. 1 on my agenda this week ' get into Kapalua and extend my streak. Id love to do that, Els said. Ive given myself half a chance to do that.
Duval put himself in position to win his second tournament of the year by making seven birdies and an eagle to only one bogey in the third round.
The British Open champion is in great shape despite carding a triple-bogey-8 on the 13th hole Friday.
Today, I just wanted to shoot a good score and get back in it, he said.
Mission accomplished.
The same can be said for Perry, who at 30th on the money list was the last man to qualify for this weeks event.
My goal was to go from last to first. I went out alone on Thursday and wanted to play in the final group on Sunday, said Perry, who was forced to play by himself in the first round with only 29 players in the field.
Perry nearly made it into the final twosome Sunday, but instead will play in the penultimate group with Els. He put himself in that position by recording five consecutive birdies from holes 11-16.
Chris DiMarco (Perrys third-round playing companion) said we need to start making birdies, and then I make five in a row. Chris says, I said we need to start making birdies, Perry joked.
Still, Verplank is the man to beat. He wasnt able to separate himself from the pack in the third round, but he didnt lose any ground, either.
I know that if I play well tomorrow Ill have a chance, said this years Bell Canadian Open winner. I do have the confidence that if I play as good as I can tomorrow, Ill have a great chance to win.
News, Notes and Numbers
*The final twosome of Verplank and Duval will tee off Sunday at 1:00 p.m. local time.
*Saturdays 68.000 field scoring average was the lowest one-day 18-hole average of the 2001 season.
*Estes was presented with the 2001 Fall Finish trophy Saturday. The Texan entered the week with an insurmountable lead of 115 points over Davis Love III. Estes has five top-8 finishes in the Fall Finish, which began in late August, including a victory in the Invensys Classic. Estes was rewarded $500,000 unofficial.
Full-field scores from The Tour Championship

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.