Shell Houston Still Wide Open

By Mercer BaggsApril 21, 2001, 4:00 pm
One week after claiming his second U.S. Open title, Lee Janzen played the final round of the Western Open with Joe Durant. Janzen shot 71 and tied for third. Durant shot 66 and won his first PGA Tour event.

Three years later, Janzen is still trying to reclaim a spot in the winners circle. To do it at this weeks Shell Houston Open, hell have to turn the tables on Durant.
Durant leads Janzen by one shot entering the final round at the TPC at The Woodlands.
Durant birdied the 16th and 17th holes to finish the day at 9-under-par. Janzen was 9-under, but bogeyed the home hole to drop a shot.
'One of the big keys for me was I watched the leaderboard and most of us were hanging around par,' said Durant. 'I decided to try and hang around par and sneak in a birdie or two.'
Hal Sutton rolled in a fairway wood from just off the green for eagle on the par-5 15th to move into contention. Sutton also carded one birdie and two bogeys for a round of 1-under-par 71. He stands at 7-under for the tournament, two shots off the lead.
'I wish somebody would turn off the wind machine here in Houston,' said Sutton. 'It's been blowing ever since we got here. This course is tough when the wind is blowing. It's gusty, too. That makes it more difficult.'
Twenty-four players are within six shots of the 54-hole lead.
Janzen started the day with a one-shot advantage over Durant, but could only muster one birdie in the third round.
In swirling Texas winds, the two-time U.S. Open winner followed a bogey at the 7th with a birdie at the 8th to remain at even par for the day entering the par-4 18th.
After driving his ball into the fairway, Janzen overcooked his approach shot into the left greenside rough. His pitch shot then rolled through the green and narrowly avoided rolling down the bank into the water.
Trying to save par, Janzens fourth shot stopped on the edge of the hole. He tapped in for a bogey and a round of 1-over-par 73.
I hit a lot of good shots today, maybe the shot on 18 and a couple of shots that I'd like to have back,' Janzen said. 'It was just a matter of I really didn't get the putts to drop that I made the first two days.'
Through nine holes, Durant trailed Janzen by three strokes. A birdie at the 10th closed the gap. He then pulled to within one by sinking a 15-foot birdie putt at the 16th. On the par-4 17th, Durant, one of the most accurate players on tour, stuck a 7-iron to two feet. The tap-in birdie moved him into a tie at the top at 9-under.
While Janzen bogeyed the 18th despite playing from the fairway, Durant played his approach shot from the rough safely onto the green, where he two-putted for par and a 1-under-par 71.
Durant is trying to join Tiger Woods as the only three-time winners on tour this season. He captured the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the Genuity Championship in back-to-back starts.
But just as importantly, Durant is trying to clinch a spot on the 2001 U.S. Ryder Cup team. He currently stands in ninth place.
Chris DiMarco (71) and Kevin Sutherland (72) are tied for fourth at 6-under.
DiMarco was within one shot of the lead through 16 holes, but hit his approach shot into the water on the par-4 17th. He carded a double bogey and fell to minus 6.
If Janzen is to win his first event since the 98 Open, hell have to overcome recent final-round struggles.
Janzen has failed to break 70 on Sunday in each of his last six starts.
Meanwhile, Durant recorded a pair of final-round 65s in each of his two victories.
Full-field scores from the Shell Houston Open
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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.

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