Tiger Wins US Still Trails

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 28, 2002, 4:00 pm
SUTTON COLDFIELD, England ' Tiger Woods finally won a match, while his team maintained its one-point deficit in the 34th Ryder Cup Matches.
Woods teamed with Davis Love III in Saturday mornings foursome matches to top Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn, 4-and-3.
The victory was a bit of revenge for Woods, who lost to the same twosome when paired with Paul Azinger in Friday mornings four-ball match.
'Being 0-2 yesterday wasn't exactly a great feeling,' Woods said. 'It was tough sleeping last night. The fact that I had Davis coming out this morning, I was pumped up and excited about it. We went out and played well.'
Despite the victory, the U.S. wasnt able to gain any ground on the Europeans, as they split the morning matches, 2-2. The home team leads 6 - 5 heading into Saturday afternoons four four-ball matches ' a format that traditionally, and recently, has been owned by the Europeans.
Europe won three of the four Friday four-ball matches. The U.S. hasnt won a better-ball session since 1995.
The morning matches were a deviation from its predecessor ' classical music turned to techno, well-constructed sounds transformed into break beats.
One reason for the difference was the softer conditions ' players had a difficult time getting the ball to the hole on the dewy greens. But the primary logic lay in the format.
Friday morning, players competed in four-balls, hitting each shot on every hole. Saturday, it was the red-light-green-light format of alternate shot.
I dont think you can ever really get used to it, U.S. captain Curtis Strange said of alternate shot, especially in this cool, damp weather.
In the first group out at 8:00 AM local time, Phil Mickelson and David Toms teamed for the third time in as many opportunities. They collected a win and a huge half Friday, and earned win No. 2 at the expense of rookies Pierre Fulke and Phillip Price.
After being sidelined on Day 1, Fulke and Price led through 12 holes Saturday morning. But back-to-back bogeys at 13 and 14 gave the Americans a 1-up lead.
Mickelson hit a 3-wood from 249 yard that came to rest two feet from the hole at the par-5 15th. The eagle was conceded and they went on to win 2-and-1. The victory tied the overall score at 4 - 4 .
I felt we were only one point down, and the first match could square the Ryder Cup so far. And it was up to us to do that,' Mickelson said.
The Woods-and-Love victory gave the Americans their first lead of the Matches, 5 - 4 . Strange said he had a hunch the two would fare well together, and he was correct. After losing the first hole, they won three of the next five to take a 2-up lead. That advantage grew to 3-up with a par the 11th. They went on to win convincingly, 4-and-3.
Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood gave the Europeans their first point of the day, and evened the overall score with a 2-and-1 victory over Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk.
Playing together for the third straight match, the two sprayed balls all over the Brabazon course at The Belfry, but still led 1-up when Westwood missed a two-footer at 15 that would have put them 2-up with three to play.
The Americans didnt accept their gift, however, as they bogeyed the par-4 16th to fall 2-down with two to play. A par-5 at the 17th then gave the Europeans the win.
'Maybe we struggled a bit today but that goes with the pressure of trying to win as many points as you can,' said Garcia. 'It wasn't the greatest match in Ryder Cup history but we managed to win it.'
Garcia is now 6-0-1 when playing as part of a team. He carried Jesper Parnevik to three victories and a half in 1999, and has earned three more points this year with Westwood.
Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer won the swing match. They defeated Scott Verplank and Scott Hoch, 1-up
The Americans birdied the 15th to pull all square, but missed an opportunity at 16. Verplank failed to convert a 10-foot birdie putt that would have given his team a 1-up advantage.
Langer stuck his approach shot on 17 to 12 feet, from where Montgomerie made birdie to give his team a 1-up lead.
Montgomerie hit the fairway at the par-4 18th, and Langer reached the green. The Scot almost barrled in the birdie putt, but made a solid par.
Hoch had to chip in to win the hole and halve the match, but just missed.
'It was one of those mornings when any of the matches could have gone either way and 2-2 was probably about right,' Torrance said. 'Our aim is to stay out in front and we've done that.'
Langer tied Nick Faldo for most foursome matches won in Ryder Cup history, with 18. He owns the record in relation to points won, with 11 . The 10-time Ryder Cupper also surpassed Seve Ballesteros for second on the Europeans all-time overall points list. With 23 career points, Langer trails only Faldo (25). Billy Casper owns the American record, with 23 .
In addition to the four afternoon four-balls, they will play 12 singles matches on Sunday. A team must win 14 points to win the Matches. Being the defending champions, the U.S. can retain the Cup by earning a 14-14 tie.
Full coverage of the 34th Ryder Cup Matches
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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

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Green jacket tour

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Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

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Growing family

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

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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