Quotes of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 1, 2012, 12:00 pm

'It was difficult following that. But it’s not really for me to talk about bad drives.” – Phil Mickelson, following a couple awful tee shots by Tiger Woods at Doral early in the season. 

“There’s no common sense involved with a number of the rules, so that needs to be addressed, and even Jack Nicklaus said it last week himself.” – Ian Poulter, in the on-going debate about the Rules of Golf and how they pertain to tournament play.

'He was a friend, a mentor and a father figure to me ... I was blessed to have his guiding hand extended to me at the age of 26. I am comforted knowing, as long as there is golf being televised anywhere in the world, Frank Chirkinian lives.' – Jim Nantz, CBS' lead golf announcer since 1989, on the passing of the man who helped shape his profession.

“I just unraveled.” – Rory McIlroy, explaining his final-round collapse at the Masters.

'It's a dream for me ... it's obviously the highlight of my golf career, by a long way. I always thought if there was one I would win, it would be this one.' – Charl Schwartzel, after finishing with four straight birdies to win at Augusta National.

“America had Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Seve was our Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus rolled into one. You can’t speak too highly of him. Seve was Europe’s best ever player.” – Bernard Gallacher, three-time European Ryder Cup captain, after the death of Seve Ballesteros.

“It was his creativity, his imagination, and his desire to compete that made him so popular not only in Europe but throughout American galleries, too. He was a great entertainer. No matter the golf that particular day, you always knew you were going to be entertained. Seve’s enthusiasm was just unmatched by anybody I think that ever played the game.” – Jack Nicklaus on Seve Ballesteros.

“I think he needs help, whether it is professional help or really a good friend that he can communicate with. I know he is angry, he is angry at himself and he is angry at the world that tore him down, he is angry at a lot of people.” – Paul Azinger, offering his two cents on Tiger Woods after Woods' WD at The Players in May.


Quotes of the Year - Part 2


“We all wanted to be here to support Seve and wish him the best. We loved him, he was great. It’s a sad time; we lost someone very special. European golf owes Seve a great debt. He was the best frontman we could have ever dreamed of.” – Sir Nick Faldo, after attending the funeral services in Spain for Ballesteros.

'Um, yes ... So, ‘Thanks, Tiger.’ I guess I’m glad he was listening to his doctors.' - Michael Whitehead, then a recent Rice graduate, when asked by phone if he would like to take Woods' spot in the U.S. Open field. Whitehead was an alternate after losing out in a three-man sectional qualifier playoff in Dallas.

'It was definitely great to have him [his father Gerry] here and great to give this trophy to him as a Father's Day gift.' – Rory McIlroy, in a shout-out to his father Gerry, who was on hand to see his son win his first major title at the U.S. Open at Congressional.

“It was nice having people clap for you when you walked up to every green ... Then I realized it was more for Paula than for me.” – Cindy LaCrosse, on playing in the third round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship alongside Paula Creamer.

“Oh yeah, there were plenty of guys on the Nationwide Tour who smoked (marijuana) in the middle of the round. We always talked about it. You could go in the Porta John and take your drags.” – Robert Garrigus, quoted in a Golf World story about marijuana use on Tour back in the '90s.

“Why would anyone be surprised at that? It was a party time, the ’70s,’ 80s into the early ’90s for a lot of guys. I know of guys who have done stuff like that on the PGA Tour.” – Former PGA Tour caddie and analyst for XM Radio's PGA Tour Network, Michael Collins, responding to Garrigus' comments.

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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