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By Rex HoggardJuly 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
For those pining for an alternative ending, Stewart Cink is still the Open champion and Tom Watson remains a wildly popular also-ran. And last weeks championship is still an instant classic ' regardless of outcome. No amount of second-guessing or hand-wringing will ever change that.
Made Cut
  • Tom Watson-Stewart Cink: Would probably get run out of the buffet line in the Open Championships media center for putting these two under the same headline, but the week that was the 138th British Open would be incomplete without either player.
    One gave us four days of age-defiant golf and 98 percent of perhaps the greatest sports story ever told; the other, whether the collective will admit it, returned reason to Grand Slam golf.
    Or, as one colleague groused following Sundays fireworks: Stewart Cink drew a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
    Perhaps, but theres no denying the well-spoken Alabamians execution or effort. It may have been Watsons Open, but Cink, with three birdies over his five final windblown holes, won it.
  • Links golf: For 51 weeks links golf is as foreign a concept as new math or the metric system. But four glorious days in July bring out the best in the games best.
    Play last weeks Open Championship on, say, TPC Glasgow, and Woods makes the cut and likely closes on Grand Slam No. 15, Watson misses the cut and is relieved he only has one more year of eligibility and Lee Westwood bogeys the 16th to come up short at another major. . . . Well, you get the point.

    Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
  • TW: That would be Tiger Woods, not 59-year-old Tom Watson, although were less concerned with that unsightly missed cut at Turnberry than his overall fortunes in the majors this season.
    Woods and Grand Slam pen pal Roger Federer arent trading text messages over victories at Bay Hill or Muirfield Village. The world No. 1 defines his career in the majors and the card is clear, hes 0-for-3 heading into Glorys Last Shot and in danger of a Grand Shutout for the first time since 2004 and just the third time in his career.
    Woods is still the prohibitive favorite at Hazeltine National, will be until he hangs up his Nikes, and a season without a major victory is hardly reason to be concerned following 10 months of rehab and on a rebuilt left knee. But he wont like it, and thats probably good for golf.
  • Neil Oxman: In its quest to find a culprit to hang Watsons historical near miss on, the media has scorched sometime caddie/sometime political consultant Oxman.
    During an interview with Cink on Tuesday, he said he knew Watsons approach at the 72nd hole was bound for the back fringe as soon as it landed, You have to land that shot about 6 yards short of the green and let it run up.
    So why would Oxman let his man hit an 8-iron into the decisive last?
    The final words of my life will be that I should have had Tom hit a 9-iron, Oxman joked during an interview on NPRs All Things Considered.

    Missed Cut
  • United Kingdom media: First a handful of Scottish writers reportedly sat on Sandy Lyles comments regarding Colin Montgomerie for five days and then the fourth estate took it to Cink for having the gall to win Watsons Open.
    On our way out of Scotland on Monday we ducked into a news agents shop and were greeted with a headline in one national publication: Stew Stinks. Never felt more ashamed of our chosen profession.
    As for Lyle, we were taken by the mans conviction to do whats right, not whats politically prudent. While Lyle probably should have avoided Montgomeries scrape with the Rules of Golf, when pressed about his comments during a hastily arranged press conference last Tuesday he had three options ' decline to comment any further, stand by his original comments or apologize for incorrectly calling Monty a cheat. And Lyle, an honest man, just couldnt do that.
  • Royal & Ancient: Although golfs governing body outside the United States and Mexico seems to avoid the type of questionable decisions that gets the U.S. Golf Association into trouble ' see lift, clean and place and Bethpage ' the R&A seemed to go pear shaped last week over its 60-year limit for former champions.
    Watson, the picture of class and dignity all week at Turnberry, deferred on the topic, but his play spoke loud enough for all involved. If Watsons magical run in Scotland, not to mention Greg Normans play last year at Royal Birkdale, isnt enough to make officials rethink the 60-year rule, what is? Old Tom Morris rising from the grave next year at St. Andrews to make a run at the Claret Jug?
  • England's Young Guns: For all the talk surrounding the nations up-and-coming corps, they still remain on the schnide when it counts.
    Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher posted respectable showings at Turnberry, but what of Justin Rose or Paul Casey?
    Last we checked, Sir Nick Faldo remains the last British major champion, and that just wont do.

    Email your thoughts to Rex Hoggard
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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

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

    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.