Branshaw Moves Out Front in Calgary

By Sports NetworkSeptember 3, 2005, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourCALGARY, Alberta, Canada -- David Branshaw managed just a 1-under 70 on Saturday, but it was good enough to take the lead through three rounds of the Alberta Classic.
Branshaw stands at 9-under-par 204 for the tournament, one stroke clear of first-round leader David McKenzie (69) at Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club.
Co-overnight leader Peter Tomasulo, who shattered the course record by four strokes with a 61 on Friday, struggled to a 1-over 72 in his third round and leads a group of three golfers tied for third place at minus-7.
Tomasulo is joined in third place by Aaron Barber, who carded the day's low round at 7-under 64, and Erik Compton (69).
Branshaw, who shared the overnight lead with Tomasulo and Kevin Johnson, hit just four of 14 fairways in his third round and mixed four birdies with three bogeys.
He was 11-under-par through 15 until two bogeys on his final three holes opened the door for the rest of the field. All in all, there are 17 players within six shots of Branshaw heading into Sunday.
'Overall, it was just okay,' Branshaw said of his round. 'It was going okay until the last three holes.'
If Branshaw reaches the winner's circle, it will be for just the second time on the Nationwide Tour -- and the first time since his only title at the 2002 Gila River Classic.
The victory would also likely ensure the 35-year-old American a top-20 finish on the money list, and thus a PGA Tour card for the 2006 season.
'We'll see what happens tomorrow,' said Branshaw, whose best finish this year was a tie for third place at the Virginia Beach Open. 'It all depends on the weather.'
Branshaw, who leads the field in putting, opened his round by rolling in a 15- footer for birdie at the first hole. He gave that shot back with his first bogey of the day at No. 2, but then collected two more birdies to make the turn at minus-10.
A 15-foot birdie putt at the par-4 12th moved Branshaw to 11-under before his late collapse. He three-putted for bogey at Nos. 16 and 18 to fall to minus-9.
'The wind affected me down the stretch,' admitted Branshaw. 'After seeing where the pins have been the past three've got to control your irons pretty well.'
McKenzie entered the third round tied for fourth place at 6 under. He moved one shot further into red numbers after carding three birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, but fell back to minus-6 with a bogey at the par-4 10th.
The Australian got two shots back with birdies at his last two holes.
Barber's 64 included eight birdies and just one bogey, which came with a three-putt at the 16th. His eight birdie putts averaged more than 11 feet, including a 25-footer at the par-4 ninth.
'It was a fine day,' said Barber. 'It is a tough enough golf course that you can get back into it with a good round...For the most part I gave myself a lot of good birdie putts.'
Johnson struggled to a 3-over 74 in his third round to fall into a tie for sixth place at minus-5. He is joined there by Nathan Green (68), Chad Collins (69) and Jason Schultz (71).
Cameron Percy (67), Alan McLean (70), Stephen Gangluff (70) and Keith Nolan (73) are knotted in 10th place one stroke further back.
Related links:
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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.

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    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.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm