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Kerr, 40, showing no signs of slowing; eyeing HOF

By Randall Mell, Associated PressOctober 12, 2017, 1:40 pm

Cristie Kerr wasn’t looking back as she celebrated her 40th Thursday during the first round of the KEB Hana Bank Championship.

She was looking ahead, at what she is still aiming to conquer.

“Definitely winning another major is a goal,” Kerr told GolfChannel.com. “And the Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it.

“And I haven’t won in Asia, so that’s a new goal.”

Kerr, a 19-time LPGA winner, won her first Ladies European Tour title last week, claiming the LaCoste Ladies Open in France. She put herself in early position Thursday to check off that goal of winning in Asia.

With a 5-under-par 67, Kerr moved a shot off the lead, despite feeling a bit ill after the long trip from France to Incheon.

“I’ve been a little bit under the weather since I got here,” Kerr said. “My throat hurts a little bit, so just going to get rested up for tomorrow.”

With her 19 LPGA titles, two of them majors, Kerr has accumulated 21 LPGA Hall of Fame points. She needs six more to earn induction. A player gets two points for winning a major, one for winning a regular LPGA tour title and one point each for winning a Rolex Player of the Year Award or Vare Trophy for low scoring average. Kerr has already met World Golf Hall of Fame playing requirements and will become eligible for induction when she turns 50, or is five years removed from active tour membership.


Full-field scores from the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship


While 40 hasn’t historically been a formidable barrier in the men’s game, the women’s game is so much younger than the men’s. The average age of the top-10 players in the women’s world rankings this week is 25.3 years old. The average age of the winners on tour last year was 22 years old.

Kerr is undaunted by those numbers.

She has won twice this year, taking the Lotte Championship back in April.

“I want to win in my 40s as well and prove it’s not just a game for the 20-somethings,” she said.

Kerr need only look across the practice range at a tour event to find Juli Inkster as inspiration for continuing to pursue new goals. Inkster, 57, an LPGA Hall of Famer, is still an active tour member out on a regular basis.

“I’m still a grinder with my practice,” Kerr said back in July when she got in contention at the U.S. Women’s Open. “I love to practice. I love to compete. I often say golf was the first thing I ever fell in love with, and it's a relationship that you can have for a lifetime. 

“Julie Inkster has always been an idol of mine in that respect. If you have the desire to do it . . . I've won many times in my 30s, and now when I’m 39. I want to try to break some of the stereotypes out here, win in my 40s and 50s. Why not?”

Kerr’s consistency over the years has been impressive. She has won in 12 of the last 16 years.

“I think it’s my work ethic,” Kerr said. “I’ve also started training more recently, as well. I’m way more focused on that in the last year.”

Kerr’s success radiates beyond the game in meaningful ways. She showed that again last week winning France, an event set up to benefit the fight against cancer, a cause that is dear to Kerr’s heart.

Kerr, who founded Birdies For Breast Cancer more than a decade ago, has raised almost $4 million for the cause. Her efforts spearheaded funding of the Jersey City Medical Center’s Cristie Kerr Women’s Health Center. Kerr’s mother, Linda, is a breast cancer survivor.

Kerr said she played in France with Peggy “Pam” Kuehne and Cassandra Kirkland in mind. Kuehne, matriarch to the Kuehne golf family, died of cancer the week of the event. Kirkland was an LET winner who died of lung cancer earlier this year. Kerr donated $5,000 to the event’s cancer cause.

“I’m sorry, but f--- cancer,” a teary-eyed Kerr told reporters after winning. “I’m so sorry to say the F word, but I’m so sick of people losing people to cancer.”

That might rank as one of the most heartfelt, meaningful and excusable F-bombs an athlete ever dropped. In fact, the passion in the remark might have won Kerr as many new fans as winning the title did.

Kerr said winning in France ranked among her most meaningful victories.

“Because it’s hard to lose people,” Kerr said Thursday in South Korea. “Everybody either knows somebody or has somebody in their family that’s been affected by cancer. We’ve got to find a way to cure it. The only way to do that is to keep raising money.”

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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.