Annika Sorenstam - February 16, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamFebruary 16, 2012, 1:11 pm

Phil Mickelson earned his 40th PGA TOUR win on Sunday at Pebble Beach with Tiger Woods in his pairing and Annika admitted that she was wrong in her earlier prediction that Phil would not have a good 2012. She was very impressed at well Phil played in the final round and noted that Phil and Tiger were polar opposite players on Sunday. It is a very good question about whether or not Phil has gotten into Tiger’s head. Tiger knows he can win but he is not winning and she thinks that Tiger may be trying too hard to win.

On the 18th hole on Sunday, Tiger lagged his first putt and then Phil did not offer him a chance to finish putting so instead, Tiger putted out after Phil had won the tournament. She is fine with what happened because it looked like that both players were focused although it is considered to be polite to allow the person who will not win to clear the way for the person who is going to win on the final green.

When asked about whether the 40 PGA TOUR wins or 4 Major wins are more significant, Annika – as someone who has both – said that it was no contest and the 4 Major Championship wins is absolutely the bigger accomplishment. While 40 PGA TOUR wins is a big deal, Annika doubts that people would be talking about Phil as much if he had not won those 4 Majors.

The LPGA Tour season is underway and Jessica Korda won in a 6-way playoff to claim the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. The playoff was conducted by splitting the six into two groups of three and Annika disagreed with that decision. She feels that it is better to have all six players together in one group and even though it may take more time, it would be more exciting to watch. As a player, when you are in a playoff you look at your opponent or opponents and it matters to be able to see your opponent on a mental and psychological level.

She has given the offer of the 2013 European Solheim Cup Captaincy a lot of thought, and she has decided to pass on that offer. She was very flattered to be asked but the fact is she is not in a position in her life to take on all of the responsibilities that a Captain needs to take on. She has offered to help the team in other ways but she cannot be the Captain and it is now up to the Ladies European Tour to pick another Captain. Alison Nicholas put her heart and soul into the job so she thinks that the 2013 Captain will be someone else and Annika is interested to see who it will be. Originally, she said that her decision would be based on the Olympic Course Designer announcement and when the announcement was delayed one month, she knew that the Ladies European Tour could not delay their decision as well so she went ahead and told them that she could not be Captain. Annika added that despite her great record in the Solheim Cup, she is not wired to be Captain in the way that other players are. She does not know if she would be an Assistant Captain again but she can see herself helping the team in an unofficial role.

Natalie Gulbis has posed in body paint for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue this year and Annika supports the decision. Natalie looked beautiful in both the video and the pictures and she works very hard to keep her body in shape. Also, the photo shoot was tastefully done. This was simply displaying an athlete and the fact that it was not done on a golf course makes it inoffensive to the game of golf. Gulbis is in Thailand this week and she has texted with her and Natalie’s main focus right now is trying to add to her one LPGA Tour win. Annika has done a number of photo shoots for magazines including Sports Illustrated and ESPN: The Magazine and she feels that those were tastefully done and she has rejected offers that she did not feel would be tastefully done. This is an example of an effort to try to promote the game of golf to other audiences and is no different than an LPGA player doing an interview with a cooking magazine or a home magazine.

Getty Images

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."

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm