Twenty-One Now Legal on PGA Tour

By Mercer BaggsDecember 10, 2001, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)Twenty-one players will start the 2002 season as rookies on the PGA Tour ' 12 of whom qualified via the Qualifying Tournament and nine from the Buy.Com Tour.
Five of the freshmen have never hit a single tee shot in a PGA Tour event. Q-School medallist Pat Perez, Ben Crane, John Senden, Boo Weekley and Brenden Pappas will all start the 2002 campaign with clean slates.
Thomas Brent Weekley ' nicknamed Boo because of his childhood fixation with Boo-Boo on the Yogi Bear cartoons ' has won 26 career mini-tour events. He won over many critics with his Southern drawl and his casual dress during his successful trip through Q-School.
Weekley, who is from the Florida Panhandle town of Milton, proved he has the game to make it to the big tour, if not the attire. The 28-year-old wears sneakers because golf shoes hurt his feet, and rain pants because cotton pants irritate his skin.
Five more players have minimal experience on the PGA Tour, but have yet to qualify for weekend play. Ken Staton, Jess Daley, Brian Bateman, Matt Peterson and Jason Hill are a combined 0-for-12 when it comes to cuts made on the big tour.
Learn about 2002 Rookie Ken Stanton's Canadian experience
On the other hand, Stephen Gangluff and Jonathan Byrd are a perfect 5-for-5 in cuts made on the PGA Tour.
Michael Long, Rod Pampling, Eduardo Herrera and Hidemichi Tanaka are all rookies - in a technical sense - in 2002. Though they have played sparingly in the States, the four have played extensively around the world.
Long, who broke his neck in December of 1999, is a two-time winner in Australia. Lonard topped the Australasian Tours Order of Merit in 1996-97. Herrera has won five times in Japan, and Tanaka has eight victories over the past four years in his homeland.
Tim Petrovic has 11 career PGA Tour starts under his belt, though hes missed eight cuts. The 35-year-old was the Player of the Year on the Golden Bear Tour in 2000 after winning four times. He once worked as a baker and delivery man at Pizza Hut, spending his breaks hitting golf balls in the parking lot.
Petrovic was an All-American at the University of Hartford; Luke Donald earned that honor four times at Northwestern University. The 1999 NCAA individual champion turned pro in 2001 following the Walker Cup and competed in seven tournaments, making three cuts.
Heath Slocum and Chad Campbell also got a head start by qualifying for the PGA Tour by winning three times this year on the Buy.Com Tour. Slocum won his trio of developmental tournaments by early August and was able to compete in seven big-league events in 2001, where he made six cuts.
Campbells third and final title in 01 came in October, leaving him with only three chances to play on the PGA Tour; but he made the most of his opportunities. Campbell finished runner-up in the Southern Farm Bureau Farm Classic en route to adding an additional $259,200 to the $394,552 he won on the Buy.Com Tour.
One player not mentioned was high school junior Ty Tryon. Tryon earned his PGA Tour playing privilege by successfully making it through all three stages of Q-School. However, he wont be an official tour member until he turns 18 June 2.
Players who don't start the season as rookies can earn their tour status during the course of the 2002 campaign by either winning an event or earning more than No. 125 on the 2001 money list. The No. 125 player in 2001 was Woody Austin, who earned $406,352.
Last year, five 'rookies' won on tour. Retief Goosen captured the U.S. Open; Jose Coceres won both the Worldcom Classic and the National Car Rental Classic; David Gossett won the John Deere Classic; Garrett Willis titled at the Tucson Open; and Cameron Beckman won the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
Of those five, only Beckman and Willis earned their cards through Q-School or the Buy.Com Tour.
Check out full Q-School results
See the full list of Buy.Com graduates
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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.