Aussies Lead in Ireland

By Sports NetworkJuly 22, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Nissan Irish OpenBALTRAY, Ireland. -- Nick O'Hern carded an 8-under-par 64 Thursday to join fellow Australian Peter Lonard atop the leaderboard after the opening round of the Nissan Irish Open.
 
A third Australian, Brett Rumford, shot a 6-under-par 66. He shares third place with Scotsman Stephen Gallacher and Englishman Simon Wakefield.
 
No Irishman has won this title since John O'Leary in 1982. Peter Lawrie is the top player from Ireland on the leaderboard as he stands at minus-5. He is joined in a tie for sixth by Fredrik Andersson, Robert-Jan Derksen, Sandy Lyle, Steve Webster and Mark Roe.
 
O'Hern began his day on the 10th tee at County Louth Golf Club. He parred his first two holes before dropping a stroke at the 12th. He bounced back to convert birdies at the 13th and 14th.
 
The 32-year-old moved to 2 under with a birdie at the par-4 16th. O'Hern caught fire as he hit the front nine. He dropped in a birdie at the first and came right back to birdie No. 2.
 
O'Hern made it three in a row as he birdied the third to get to minus-5. After a par at the fourth, the Australian picked up his sixth birdie at the par-3 fifth. He came right back with an eagle at the par-5 sixth to grab a share of the lead.
 
'This is the first time I have been here,' said O'Hern, who has four top-10 finishes in his last five starts. 'The course is fantastic. I love links golf where you have to think your way round and shape your shots. I was pretty annoyed I didn't get in the British Open last week at Royal Troon, I think that place would have suited me down to the ground. But I love this course and the firmness of it.'
 
Lonard bogeyed the 10th to open his round, but he came back to birdie three of four holes from the 12th to get to minus-2. He parred the final three holes of his opening nine, before birdieing the par-4 first.
 
The 20003 Australian Open winner dropped in back-to-back birdies from the third to get to minus-5. Like O'Hern, Lonard eagled the sixth. Lonard then closed with a birdie at the par-4 ninth to grab a share of the lead.
 
Lonard did not arrive until Wednesday evening. He was in London to get touch up work done on his eyes, which he had laser surgery on six years ago. With no complications from that surgery, he is giving it a go this week.
 
'I suppose when it is your day, it is your day,' Lonard said. 'The course is fantastic. I didn't know what to expect. I got here last night, so first look around I thought it was the greatest course I have ever played. It's a good links course.'
 
Michael Campbell opened his title defense with a 2-under-par 70 and stands in a tie for 28th.
 
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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


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    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

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    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