Stacy Lewis - November 6, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamNovember 6, 2012, 1:21 pm

Stacy Lewis earned her fourth win of the 2012 LPGA Tour season on Sunday in the Mizuno Classic in Japan. She began the final round seven strokes off the lead but she felt that her game was coming around at just the right time. While she had expected to play well in the final round, she could not have predicted that she would birdie each of the last three holes to win.

Lewis has virtually wrapped up becoming the 2012 LPGA Tour Player of the Year and would be the first American to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994. She was getting tired of hearing the questions about how Americans were not playing well as the international players and she wanted to change the conversation. She has felt that her game has improved consistently over the past couple of years to the point where she truly believed that she was capable of having a Player of the Year type season.

She has been travelling a lot lately but the state of the LPGA Tour requires travelling to Asia and Europe to play in golf tournaments. It is unfortunate, but she is actually getting used to taking 12 hour flights and not knowing which time zone she is in from day to day. But Lewis added that she enjoys travelling to and playing in Asia especially when she is succeeding.

Lewis said that she would not be in the position that she is in today if she did not win the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship over Yani Tseng. Winning a Major Championship showed her that she belonged on the LPGA Tour alongside the best players in the world and it was at that Major that she began a friendship with Yani Tseng and she has been able to learn a great deal from the World #1.

She would give herself an A for this season although it would be an A+ if she won a Major. She finished in the top 10 in three Majors this year so she cannot be too disappointed. Lewis said that she would love to win another Major but anytime you can win four times in one season, you have had a great year.

Lewis feels that a points system is the best way to determine the LPGA Tour Player of the Year because it is a straight forward way to determine who wins and it is truly based on performance over opinion. Another reason that she supports a points system over a player vote is that the points system gives players something to root for and an understandable way to know who the best players on the LPGA Tour are.

She admits that she was hoping to come to the Lorena Ochoa Invitational with the Player of the Year award wrapped up. She spoke with Beth Daniel recently about the pressure that she was putting on herself to win the award and Daniel said that she put so much pressure on herself to win the award in 1994 that she was unable to enjoy the last two months of the season. Daniel told Lewis that she did not want to see her repeat the same mistake and thanks to her performance in Asia, she will be able to enjoy the last two weeks of the season.

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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