Branshaw Makes Big Move in Round 2

By Sports NetworkOctober 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Nationwide Tour ChampionshipPRATTVILLE, Ala. -- David Branshaw fired a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the lead midway through the Nationwide Tour Championship. He stands at 8-under-par 136 and is one ahead at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill.
 
Jon Mills, one of the three first-round leaders, managed a 2-under 70 in round two and is alone in second place at minus-7.
 
Steven Bowditch shot a 4-under 68 and is tied for third place with Ryan Armour, who posted a 2-under 70. The pair is knotted at 5-under-par 139.
 
This event features the top-61 players on the 2005 Nationwide Tour money list. Jason Gore, second on the money list, already made it to the PGA Tour via the 'battlefield promotion,' so the top-20 other players on the money list after the final round will head to the PGA Tour for the 2006 season.
 
Branshaw wasted little time in breaking into red figures on Friday. He rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the first, then drained an 8-footer for birdie at the second.
 
He dropped a shot at the par-5 fifth, but made up for the bogey with birdies at six and eight to make the turn at 33.
 
Branshaw birdied the 10th and ran home a 5-footer for birdie at No. 11. He holed a clutch 30-foot par save at the 12th, but bogeyed the 14th when he caught a flier lie from the rough.
 
That would be the last mistake for Branshaw on Friday. He hit his tee ball inside 2 feet at the par-3 16th to set up birdie, then two-putted for another birdie from 70 feet at the par-5 17th.
 
Branshaw took sole possession of the lead with a 35-foot birdie putt at the closing hole.
 
'Putts went in, that hasn't been happening,' said Branshaw, who won the 2002 Gila River Classic. 'Under par is good here. I've always liked my iron game. I wish it could be a little better, but it was fine today.'
 
Branshaw is 29th on the money list and needs a big finish this week if he is to earn his playing privileges on the PGA Tour next year. Even though Branshaw has the 36-hole lead with a tour card in site, he's cautious.
 
'We have 36 holes left,' said Branshaw. 'Stay calm, be patient and have fun. Take what the golf course gives you because it's a tough golf course. It's better than being eight shots back.'
 
Mills, who won this year's Canadian PGA Championship, was 2 under through his first five holes, but parred his next five. He birdied the par-4 11th when his wedge approach landed a foot from the hole.
 
Things went poorly from there for Mills. He was 8 under par for the championship, but found a fairway bunker off the tee at 12. Mills was forced to lay up short of the green and he failed to save par.
 
Mills missed the short grass with his drive at 15, then went left of the putting surface with his second. His pitch came up short on the fringe and his 20-footer for par moved right at the end. That bogey left him at 6 under, two behind Branshaw.
 
At the 457-yard, par-4 finishing hole, Mills hit a 9-iron to 7 feet. He sank that birdie try to get within one of Branshaw.
 
'Maybe I didn't hit it as well off the tee, but I didn't get in any real trouble,' said Mills, who is fourth on the money list and assured of his card next year. 'No complaints. I gave myself a chance.'
 
David Morland IV, one of the leaders from Thursday, shot a 1-over-par 73 and is tied for fifth place with Jim McGovern, who carded an even-par 72. The duo is knotted at 4-under-par 140.
 
Mathew Goggin (70), Bill Haas (71), Rick Price (73) and Cliff Kresge (73) share seventh place at minus-3.
 
Kevin Durkin, the third co-leader from round one, struggled to a 5-over-par 77 on Friday and is part of a group tied for 18th place at even-par 144.
 
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - Nationwide Tour Championship
  • Full Coverage - Nationwide Tour Championship
  • Getty Images

    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.