You Might Have Missed the Cut If - COPIED

By Rex HoggardMarch 10, 2010, 4:43 am

Dueling HiDefs in a local Uno’s restaurant were simultaneously airing reports on Tiger Woods (ESPN) and John Daly (ESPN2) late Thursday, a reality that stretches the validity of the old maxim that any publicity is good publicity.

From Steve Williams’ curious televised two-step and Ian Poulter’s single-fingered salute to the “Bird’s Nest” to John Daly’s 10-digit prank, golf had a “Blue Collar Radio” feel to it this week.

Made Cut

A return. The white-haired lady who pushes me my grande Americano each morning doesn’t know a “U groove” from a “U turn,” but she couldn’t resists asking the $1 million question this week: “When is Tiger coming back?”

The answer, of course, is when he’s ready. But that doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to make two plus two equal four. Woods’ path back, after all, is littered with clues.

He is out of rehabilitation, tirelessly plowing through range pellets at Isleworth and, according to Charles Howell III, making it look as easy as ever. Per his “MO,” Woods prepares for the majors with swing coach Hank Haney at home, plays a Tour event to get in the desired “reps” and ultimately fine tunes back at home for a week before hitting the major trail.

Check the timing, he has about two weeks before his title defense at Bay Hill followed by a traditional off week (Shell Houston Open) and the Masters.

A Bay Hill return would be great for the game, but even better for Woods because it means he has successfully navigated the difficult path from therapy to real life, a place where actions, not words, count.

Of course, I’ve been wrong in the past.

Oh, Canada . . . and Mahan. At about the same time Hunter Mahan was putting the finishing touches on his second Tour title at TPC Scottsdale, “Team H” was torn between the desert and the ice.

Swing coach Sean Foley and physical trainer Craig Davies are Canadian like potent beer and socialized medicine, so Sunday was a big day on two fronts as Mahan prevailed in Scottsdale and the Canadian men’s hockey team outdueled the United States in golden overtime.

“It was close,” said Davies, who missed both Sunday bouts on a flight home to Orlando, Fla. “But impact-wises, the gold medal was huge. Canada could have set medal records and it wouldn’t have mattered if we would have lost the gold medal game in hockey.”

Foley, part swing coach, part philosopher, was slightly less patriotic when asked which victory was more meaningful?

“Hunter’s win was bigger,” Foley said. “That Canadian Olympic team should be winning at hockey.”

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Oh, Rickie. Baseball wonks call it pitching to contact, code for a pitcher who is confident in his own stuff as well as the abilities of his defense. On Sunday at TPC Scottsdale we watched one of the game’s brightest rising stars avoid “contact” like a three-10 split.

Whatever Rickie Fowler’s reasoning for laying up on the par-5 15th hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and you have to give him credit for having a plan and staying with that blueprint, the episode turned a potentially defining moment into a chorus of double-takes.

Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee said it best, “He denied us the moment.” Fowler owes “us” nothing of course, but one can’t help but think he shortchanged all that talent.

Orient Express. The Tour added to its burgeoning Asian portfolio last week, announcing the addition of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic to the Fall Series.

The event will be played Oct. 28-31 in Malaysia, a week before the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, and will extend the circuit’s reach into a growing market. All of which is great stuff, grow the game, get on a plane, but the truth and the timing of all this will result in a field something south of the Isleworth member-member.

Tweet of the week. @ianjamespoulter “To address the 16th (hole at TPC Scottsdale), great hole, great atmosphere, but I was getting something off of my face. Will I play next year? He’ll (sic) yes loved it.”

Criticize Poulter all you want for his “inappropriate actions,” but it’s safe to say none of the thousands crowded around the zoo-like 16th were offended.

Missed Cut

John Daly. No, not for the litany of reasons that made this week’s unearthing of Long John’s 456-page personnel file a must-read. We’ve covered that ground.

JD lands in the “Cut Line” dog house because he took the golf writer who unearthed his sordid past to task, going so far as to call him a “jerk” and a “non-journalist” and posting the scribe’s cell phone number on his Twitter account and encouraging his fans to harass the writer.

Alcoholism we can forgive. Shameless self-promotion can be dismissed. But childishness doesn’t wash off.

Steve Williams. On the same week we learned Woods was out of rehab and back searching for answers in the Isleworth dirt, the world No. 1’s looper took what seems to be a few ill-advised hacks at his boss.

“Of course I’m mad at him, why would you not be?” Williams told New Zealand’s “60 Minutes.” “I’m close with his wife and he’s got two lovely children and he’s let them down. When a guy’s having a tough time, it’s not up to me to beat him with a stick right now. He’s getting enough grilling from everybody else.”

Williams is a good caddie. Maybe the best of his generation, but with his man on the ropes and more scrutiny to come the Kiwi seems to need a refresher course in the caddie credo: show up, shut up and keep up.

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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