Kim with Another Strong Start

By Sports NetworkSeptember 23, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUBURN, Calif. -- Christina Kim fired a 7-under-par 64 Thursday to take the opening-round lead of the Longs Drugs Challenge. She leads by one over Australia's Rachel Teske at The Ridge Golf Course.
Juli Inkster, a two-time champion and one of many local favorites, Michelle Estill, Miriam Nagl and Beth Bauer are knotted in third place at 5-under-par 66.
Kim opened on the back nine Thursday and hit a 6-iron to 15 feet to set up birdie at the 10th. She parred her next four holes before the par-5 15th. Kim reached the green with a 5-iron for her second shot, and two-putted for her second birdie.
Kim birdied the 17th and made the turn at 3-under-par 32.
The 20-year-old parred three holes around the turn, then she hit a 5-iron at the par-3 third. Kim ran home the 4-foot birdie putt then flew up the leaderboard with her play on the final four holes.
At the sixth, Kim had only 94 yards left for her second shot. She hit it to 3 feet and made the birdie putt to reach 5 under par for the championship.
Kim used a pitching-wedge for her second shot at the eighth and hit it to 7 feet. She drained the birdie putt, then went one clear of the field at No. 9. Kim wedged her third to 8 feet at the par-5 hole and sank the birdie putt to take the first-round lead.
Kim was born and raised in nearby San Jose, and all week she has tried to accommodate several ticket requests. She expects 30 or so friends and family members each round, but the second-year pro looks forward to it.
'I'm going to have an entourage tomorrow,' said Kim. 'There's no way to describe it, it just rocks. It's such an interesting golf course, and the fact that I'm two hours from home, it's so awesome.'
Kim has been close to the top of the leaderboard in two of her last three starts, including a heartbreaking second to Cristie Kerr at the State Farm Classic. Kim is still looking for win No. 1 on tour, but is just enjoying being in the hunt.
'To be able to be up here and saying, 'I'm playing up to par with some of the best in the world is just such a great feeling,'' said Kim. 'I won't have any idea what it would be like until I'm at the moment. It's been a roller coaster ride.'
Teske played the course from the first, but failed to tally a single birdie on the front nine. She caught fire on the back nine to get within one of the lead.
Teske hit a 5-iron to 2 feet to set up birdie at the 10th. At the par-5 11th, the Australian missed the green short, but chipped to 2 feet and tapped in for birdie. She made it three in a row at No. 12 when she rolled in a 15-footer.
She used a 4-iron at the par-3 14th, and ran her tee ball to 3 feet. Teske converted the birdie putt, then reached the par-5 15th in two with a 7-wood. Teske holed the 10-foot eagle putt to get to 6 under par for the tournament.
'I don't know what happened,' said Teske. 'It's been a while since I have struck the ball that crisply on so many shots. I gained a lot of confidence from that so I really enjoyed it.'
Defending champion Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies, Kim Saiki, Pat Hurst, Candy Hannemann, Leta Lindley and last week's Safeway Classic champion Hee-Won Han are tied in seventh place at 4-under-par 67.
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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.

    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

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    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

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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