Pressing the Flesch

By Mercer BaggsOctober 28, 2000, 4:00 pm
Tiger Woods spent the third round of the National Car Rental Classic at Walt Disney World chasing Steve Flesch. He didn't catch him, but he didn't lose any ground either.
Playing together, Woods and Flesch each carded 6-under-par 66s on the Magnolia course. At 22-under-par, Flesch maintains a two-shot lead over the world's No. 1 player entering the final round.
Woods began the day two shots back of Flesch, but tied him for the top spot by getting up and down from the greenside bunker for a birdie on the par-5 8th.
Showing no signs of wilting under Tiger's relentless pressure, Flesch responded with a birdie of his own at the par-4 9th to take a one-shot advantage into the inward nine.
Both men had birdie opportunities on the par-5 10th. Flesch converted his, while Tiger missed from four feet. Flesch had regained the two-stroke lead he began the day with. He then went three up by dropping a 12-foot birdie at the par-3 12th.
In what was becoming a two-man race, Flesch and Woods matched birdies at the 14th and 16th holes, thus giving the left-hander a three-shot lead at 22-under-par heading to the home hole.
On the par-4 18th, Woods was able to pick up a stroke on his counterpart by curling in an 8-foot birdie, and, in the process, take a little momentum into Sunday's final 18 holes.
'I hung in there today,' Flesch said. 'It was a blast playing with Tiger. It was everything I anticipated, and I look forward to doing it tomorrow.
'It's easy to get sucked into what he's doing. I watched every shot he hit. It's impressive how far and straight a guy can hit it. But I did well on my shots, sticking to my routine and staying focused on what I was doing.'
Woods' 66 marks his 38th straight round at par or better on the PGA Tour, but even more impressive, Woods has gone a remarkable 105 consecutive holes without carding a bogey. Tiger's last negative number was on his third hole in the second round of the Bell Canadian Open.
'It's imperative that I get off to a good start, as well as Steve,' said Woods. 'And we can't forget the guys behind us.'
Due to daylight savings time, threesomes will be employed in the final round at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.. That means Jeff Sluman will play alongside Flesch and Woods on Sunday.
Saturday, Sluman posted a 5-under-par 67 to finish the third round at 17-under-par for the tournament, five shots off the lead. Three players are tied for fourth, six back of Flesch. Bob May, Glen Day and Duffy Waldorf are all at 16-under-par.
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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.