New York Frame of Mind

By Rex HoggardJune 26, 2009, 4:00 pm
Another Friday comes and another cut is pushed off until Saturday, or beyond, on the PGA Tour. Luckily 'Cut Line' remains unaffected by weather delays. The good news for those drenched by even more rain at the Travelers Championship is that, unlike the U.S. Golf Association, the Tour has no problem with playing lift, clean and place or 54-hole champions.
 
Made Cut
 
  • Phil Mickelson: Heavy-hearted ' with his wife, Amy, at home preparing to begin treatment for breast cancer ' and heavy-handed, at least from 5 feet, Lefty came within two late pars (at Nos. 15 and 17) of that coveted U.S. Open title.
     
    I think maybe it's more in perspective for me, Mickelson said. I want to win this tournament badly. This is now my fifth second. I play well in this event and I enjoy this event. . . . I feel I'll have more and more chances.
     
    Not sure where Mickelson will file this one ' near miss, choke job, emotional respite ' and runner-ups at major championships are little solace to players of his caliber, but given the circumstances this may have been Phil at his Open best.
     
  • Lucas Glover, Ricky Barnes, et al.: The first indication Glover is not your off-the-shelf Open champion came in the moments before his post-final round press conference as he intently studied the names on the silver trophy: Me and Horace Rawlins (winner of the first U.S. Open in 1895) are tight, he smiled, when asked if he recognized any of the past champions.
     
    The second hint came Wednesday when he arrived in Cromwell, Conn., for this weeks Travelers Championship. Not only did Glover keep his word, but he played in the pro-am and accommodated nearly an hours worth of media requests beforehand.
     
    I called him on Saturday just to ask where his head was, said Travelers tournament director Nathan Grube. He just said, Im playin. And he never even asked to get out of the pro-am.
     
  • Tour golf: Pro golf, by nature, is a lonely business. That is until there is a tragedy and the competitive universe closes in like Tiger Woods in the final round of a major.
     
    Nationwide Tour players rallied this week at the stop in West Virginia to honor the wife of Chris Smith, Beth, who was killed in a car crash last weekend, wearing caddie bibs with Smiths name on them and black ribbons.
     
    Ken Green ' who lost his right leg, his brother and his girlfriend in a recent car crash ' is being honored this week at TPC River Highlands. Players, volunteers and fans were given green ribbons to show their support for Green, a native of Danbury, Conn.
     

     
    Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
     
  • U.S. Golf Association: The Open that would never end made it to the finish line, thanks to Glover and Mother Nature. And while the USGA did the best it could to hold a championship on the set of Water World, the entire affair had a less-than-pleasing feel for anyone not named Glover.
     
    Seven of the eight Open rounds played at Bethpage have done so under threatening skies, traffic in and around the course is untenable, the fans are a bit much and, as Stewart Cink pointed out, the logistics of Bethpage are a shuttle bus nightmare.
     
    The only bright spot to the week, other than the champion? There are no majors currently scheduled for the New York area.
     
  • Dicks Sporting Goods Open: The Champions Tour event that stepped in when the Tour bolted Endicott, N.Y., is being played this weekend. OK, the AARP circuit is hardly the worse of consolation prizes, but it is a shame that the Tour seems to have outgrown small-market stops like Endicott.
     
    After a few days in Cromwell this week it became clear that the Travelers is more than just a tournament to the little village that could. Its the sporting event of summer.
     

     
    Missed Cut
     
  • Vijay Singh: CNBC reported that the Fijian has offered to help pay a portion of the $500,000 bail for jailed financier Allen Stanford, but authorities balked at the offer because Singh is not a U.S. citizen.
     
    Singh, who has an endorsement deal with Stanford Financial reportedly worth $8 million and continues to wear the companys log on his visor and shirt, said through a statement issued by his management company, IMG, that Stanford has yet to be proven guilty.
     
    While we applaud Singhs loyalty, we are curious. As long as the three-time major champion is doling out cash perhaps he could put some aside for the $7 billion Stanford is accused of swindling his investors out of.
     
  • Europe: Other than Padraig Harrington, who made hay better than anyone while Woods was away last year, the continents drought at American majors is becoming biblical.
     
    The last European to win a U.S. Open was Tony Jacklin in 1970, while the folks from the other side of the pond were 0-for-10 decades at the PGA before Harrington, with the last European winner being Tommy Armour in 1930.
     
    Point is despite an influx of youthful talent ' Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Ross Fisher, to name a few ' and a spotty U.S. Ryder Cup record in recent years, the continent continues to come up short when it really counts.
     

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    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Travelers Championship
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  • Full U.S. Open Scores
  • Full Coverage - The 109th U.S. Open
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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