Five Down One to Go at Q-School

By Sports NetworkDecember 3, 2006, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Unheralded George McNeill posted a 5-under 67 on Sunday to take the fifth-round lead of the finals of the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament. He stands at 18-under-par 342 and is two clear.
 
Rich Barcelo, one of the overnight co-leaders, only managed a 2-under 70 in the fifth round and is alone in second place at minus-16.
 
John Merrick (67), Cameron Beckman (69) and the other fourth-round co-leader, Michael Boyd (71) are tied for third place at 15-under-par 345.
 
Any player in the top 30 -- including ties -- after Monday's final round will receive a PGA TOUR card for next season. The following 50 will earn full privileges on the Nationwide Tour.
 
Golfers rotate over the Stadium Course at PGA West and the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course. There is no cut as all players play each course three times in this 108-hole marathon.
 
McNeill started on the back nine Sunday at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and parred his first three holes. He birdied the 13th and 16th holes, but did most of his damage on the second nine.
 
He parred his first four holes on the front nine, then knocked his approach to 4 feet at the fifth. McNeill holed the birdie putt to get to 16 under par for the championship.
 
At the par-5 seventh, McNeill hit his second over the green, but chipped his third from behind the putting surface inside a foot from the hole. He tapped in the birdie putt, then played a strong tee shot to 10 feet to set up birdie at the par-3 17th.
 
McNeill did struggle getting into the clubhouse and the reason was somewhat humorous. He walked past his caddy at the exact same time as his caddy was putting away his putter the club smacked McNeill in the forearm. McNeill admitted that he had trouble feeling his arm on the ninth tee.
 
It showed as his tee ball landed in the first fairway. McNeill played a strong approach, but two-putted for his par and his share of the fifth-round lead at Q-school.
 
'I've had the same mindset since June when I started to practice again,' acknowledged McNeill, who led after rounds of Q-school four years ago, but did not get his PGA TOUR card. 'The mindset is don't get ahead of yourself. I'm here to win, not breeze by.'
 
Paul Gow (68), Darron Stiles (69) and Robert Garrigus (70) are knotted in sixth place at 14-under-par 346.
 
Anders Hansen (66) and Bob Heintz (69) are tied for ninth place at minus-13.
 
Currently, the cut line for players to earn their PGA TOUR cards is 8-under-par 352 with 33 golfers making it.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - PGA TOUR Q-School
  • Full Coverage - PGA TOUR Q-School
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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."

    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