Jason Sobel - February 24, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamFebruary 24, 2012, 1:26 pm

In his first visit to Friday’s Morning Drive, Sobel began by saying that when he has watched Tiger Woods recently, he feels as though Tiger should begin working with a short game coach just as Phil Mickelson works with a Dave Pelz. Sean Foley does not work on short game with Tiger and Tiger has admitted that he does not have a short game coach and still relies on the teachings of his late father. Tiger has taken some advice from his friend Steve Stricker but a player cannot rely on a fellow competitor for your short game teachings. Of course, it is possible that Tiger has a short game teacher and has not told anyone. Also, Tiger seems to be blindly going for every par 5 hole in 2 as if he were still 23 years old and despite the fact that he is one the best wedge players on earth.

He has spoken to other people when he has been playing golf and he finds it interesting that there is not any instruction on how to read a green. It is possible that Tiger is simply not reading the greens correctly which may explain some of his big misses on putts.

Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy can become World #1 this week with a win and between the two, Jason said that Rory is more likely to jump to World #1 this week although he will still take the rest of the field over McIlroy or Westwood to win. It is possible that Rory’s short game is stronger than his long game and the fact is that his long game is very strong.  When Rory puts every part of his game together, he is unstoppable just as he was at the 2011 U.S. Open and Jason thinks that Rory will have at least a couple of events where he is that strong in his game.

In his second visit to Friday’s Morning Drive, Sobel said that Tiger’s performance on Thursday was his most disappointing since the final round at Pebble Beach two weeks ago. Tiger was in contention after 54 holes and paired with Phil Mickelson on Sunday at a course where he has a lot of great history only to shoot 75 while Phil shot 64 and won. That result was incredibly disappointing. While Tiger lost 1 Down to Nick Watney and did not putt well at times, Tiger did not play terribly this week.

Luke Donald decided to change his irons a year after winning the PGA TOUR and European Tour Money Lists and becoming World #1. Although he has gotten off to bad starts in Abu Dhabi, the Northern Trust Open, and the WGC-Accenture Match Play, Jason does not think that this is now the time to panic. He does not see any evidence that Luke Donald is uncomfortable with his game right now and if he were uncomfortable, Luke would change back to his old clubs. It is February 24th and we have always heard from the best players that they want to peak during the Majors. We should expect that that is Luke Donald’s goal and we should not be worried even if he loses the #1 ranking this week.

Everyone loves Match Play and Wednesday of this event is among the best days of the season. However, the event becomes less interesting as the week goes on because more and more big names drop out because they lose their matches. Golf purists will watch this event no matter what but many people will not because big names like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy may not be there. Stroke Play events provide more opportunities for interesting storylines that will attract interest and attract viewers. Watching two guys play golf on Sunday afternoon can be a little taxing if only for the fact that many professional golfers are too slow and that is what you get with the Final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play.

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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