Labor Day Hooks Cuts

By Rich LernerSeptember 1, 2006, 4:00 pm
  • Understanding that youre reading this in hopes of gleaning minor pearls of semi-lucid golf wisdom, youll forgive me for starting this effort with a riff on the sport of tennis. Very early this morning, at about 12:45 eastern time, I finished watching one of the most compelling events Ive seen in years. Andre Agassi ran to the corners of the earth and back at age 36 to outlast the gamest of opponents, 21-year-old Marcos Baghdatis, who fought from 4-0 down in the fourth set and through leg cramps in the fifth to extend the legend to the bitter end of a sweat-soaked fifth set. Agassi won and staved off retirement. 23,000 stayed and stood and cheered and cried into Fridays first hour. Each man hit ground strokes as hard as Tiger hits 2-iron. Im no tennis maven, but I guarantee theyll talk about that match for years.
  • When I was a kid, we used to play baseball, basketball and hand-ball with tennis balls. Not surprisingly, they frequently ended up on the roof. Thats why I wasnt shocked to see Tiger get a free drop at Firestone. My dad used to do the same for us.
  • Everyones piling on the poor U.S. Ryder Cup team. Rick Reilly humiliated them in SI and John Hawkins panned them in Golf World. Its all part of Tom Lehmans master plan to make absolutely, positively certain that the Yanks go in as the underdog this time.
  • Can you think of a single player ready to challenge Tiger on a regular basis?
  • Just returned from Bandon Dunes but it could have easily been Scotland or Ireland. Three courses sit on a remote patch along the rugged Oregon coast. When the mist crawled across the fairway I experienced one of those moments you read about in those golf-as-mystical-journey books that are so popular. Pacific Dunes in particular is hauntingly beautiful and in my humble estimation easily the equal of Pebble Beach.
  • Young golfers would do well to watch Agassi for the manner in which he gives so completely of himself to the fans who adore him and to the sport which has given him so much. He takes nothing for granted and leaves everything on the court.
  • Tigers halfway to a second version of a slam. Obviously, hell be a prohibitive favorite at Augusta. If he wins the Masters, and theres little reason to think he wont, well go to Oakmont next June with a chance to end any and all debates about whos the best ever even before he gets to 18 majors. If Tiger were to own two runs of four majors in a row, the question wont be, is he better than Nicklaus but is he better than Jordan or Thorpe or Mays or Gretzky and the answer will very likely be yes.
  • I missed a 3-footer for all the cheese on my last hole of my last round at Bandon. Hooded the putt dead left and never even sniffed the cup. My partner bought me a commemorative cap. Instead of Bandon Dunes it said Bandon Dunce.

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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
    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.