Harrington Storms Back for Win

By Sports NetworkSeptember 12, 2004, 4:00 pm
COLOGNE, Germany -- Padraig Harrington posted a 2-under 70 on Sunday to come from behind and win the Linde German Masters. Harrington finished at 13-under-par 275 for his ninth career victory on the European Tour.
Nick O'Hern shot a 70 to take second place alone at 10-under-par 278. Graeme McDowell, who carried a three-shot lead into the final round, struggled to a 77 and tied for third with Raphael Jacquelin at 9-under-par 279.
Harrington, who won the season-opening event in Hong Kong last December, had only one top-10 finish, a share of second at the Irish Open, in his last seven events on the European Tour. He missed a cut in his previous start at the BMW International Open, but the Irishman arrived at Gut Lrchenhof with the intention of leaving his shaky play behind him on the eve of the Ryder Cup.
'It's nice to come back and show some form,' said Harrington. 'I was surprised it turned around so quickly, but I'm very happy about it.'
Harrington held the first-round lead but struggled to a 75 on Friday. He fired a 64 on Saturday to get within striking distance of McDowell, but things looked to be falling apart early on Sunday after Harrington bogeyed each of his first two holes.
McDowell, who was also seeking his second win of the season, stuck his approach to 3 feet at the first and converted the short birdie putt to reach 15 under.
Harrington recovered from his early mistakes with a birdie at the third to pull within five of McDowell, but the momentum was about to shift. McDowell missed a 6-foot putt for a bogey at the fifth and Harrington sank a 5-footer for a birdie at the par-5 seventh to get within three strokes of his playing partner.
After a par at the eighth, McDowell headed to the difficult par-4 ninth for what would be the beginning of the end for the Ulsterman. McDowell sent his second shot in a greenside bunker but was left with a difficult lie. He hit his third shot clean and watched as it carried over the green and rolled into the water.
McDowell took a drop and walked away with a double bogey. Meanwhile, Harrington, who had found the rough off the tee, knocked his approach to 14 feet and ran home the putt to join McDowell atop the leaderboard at 12 under.
McDowell's problems continued at the par-3 11th when he sent his tee shot into a bunker en route to a bogey.
Now in the lead on his own, Harrington birdied the par-5 13th but McDowell matched his with a birdie of his own. McDowell then bogeyed the 14th to fall two shots off the pace.
Harrington extended his advantage with a birdie at the 15th and cruised to the title despite a bogey at the penultimate hole.
'I was just trying to get the last couple of holes out of the way,' said Harrington. 'It's a tough golf course to lead on.'
McDowell wasn't out of the woods yet and the 25-year-old double bogeyed the par-3 16th to fall back into a tie for third.
O'Hern, still searching for his maiden European Tour title, collected four birdies and two bogeys for his second runner-up finish of the season.
Germany's Alex Cejka finished alone in fifth place at 8-under-par 280. Paul Casey capped off his round with a double bogey and a bogey over his last two holes to join Nick Dougherty and Richard Green in a tie for sixth place at 5-under-par 283.
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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.

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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