Guess Who Jimenez Back on Top

By Sports NetworkSeptember 2, 2004, 4:00 pm
European TourCRANS SUR SIERRE, Switzerland -- Miguel Angel Jimenez, who won last week's BMW International Open, continued his hot play Thursday as he carded a 6-under-par 65 to take a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Omega European Masters.
 
Jimenez is a four-time winner this season and also earned a spot on the European Ryder Cup team.
 
Sergio Garcia, a teammate of Jimenez's on the Ryder Cup squad, posted a 5-under 66 and shares second place with Peter Baker, Peter Hedblom and Marc Farry.
 
Jimenez got his round going on the back nine on the Alpine Course at Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre. The Spaniard jumped out of the gate with birdies at the 10th and 11th to open his round.
 
The 40-year-old parred his next two holes before dropping in his third birdie at the par-5 14th. Jimenez closed out his opening nine with a birdie at the par-4 18th.
 
Around the turn, Jimenez made it two straight with a birdie at the par-5 first. The 11-time winner on the European Tour moved to 6 under with a birdie at the par-4 fourth. He scrambled to five pars in a row to finish his bogey-free round.
 
'I am very happy with the things around me at the moment and feel I am hitting the ball very nicely,' said Jimenez. 'I had a good period like this in 1998 and 1999, but feel I now have more experience and am more calm probably.'
 
Garcia, another Spaniard, got his round going with back-to-back birdies from the second. He drained his third birdie at the par-4 sixth and came right back to birdie No. 7.
 
However, he tripped to a bogey at the eighth. Garcia slipped back to minus-2 with another bogey at the par-4 12th. He turned it on from there though.
 
Garcia dropped in a birdie at the par-3 13th and followed with another birdie at the next. He sank a birdie at the 15th to make it three in a row. The four-time winner on the European Tour then parred his final three holes.
 
'The course was playing tough this afternoon, quite firm although there was no wind,' said Garcia. 'But it was still tough to hit to the pins. On 11, it was almost impossible to get close. The greens were getting firm, but nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with the course playing tougher than years past.'
 
Hedblom, Farry and Baker each posted six birdies and to go along with one bogey during their rounds.
 
Luke Donald, a teammate of Jimenez and Garcia on the European Ryder Cup team, shot a 4-under-par 67. He is tied for sixth place with Simon Wakefield, Steven O'Hara, Carlos Rodiles, Martin Maritz, Angel Cabrera and Peter Fowler.
 
Defending champion Ernie Els bogeyed two of his first four holes, but battled back with five front-nine birdies, to go along with another bogey, to post a 2-under-par 69. He stands in a tie for 24th.
 
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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

    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.