Kite Ends Winless Streak at 3M

By Sports NetworkAugust 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 3M ChampionshipBLAINE, Minn. -- Tom Kite ended a nearly 22-month winless streak on the Champions Tour Sunday when he came from behind to win the 3M Championship.
'That was way too long to go without winning a tournament,' said Kite, whose last win on the elder circuit came at the 2002 Napa Valley Championship. 'I tried to emphasize the positive as best I could.'
Kite had a great run the last two weeks at the Senior British Open and the U.S. Senior Open. Unfortunately, he did not hoist the trophy at either. At the Senior British, Kite squandered a two-shot lead on the back nine and tied for second behind Pete Oakley. Last week at the U.S. Senior Open, Kite double bogeyed the last and handed the title to Peter Jacobsen.
'I'm proud of this win, especially after what's happened the last two weeks,' said Kite, who ended up third at the U.S. Senior Open. 'Out here, you've got to have selective memory.'
Kite posted a 3-under 69 to win by a stroke over Craig Stadler, who also shot a 69 on Sunday. Kite came in at 13-under-par 203 at the TPC of the Twin Cities.
Overnight leader Tom Purtzer blew the final-round lead for the second year in a row. On Sunday, he struggled to a 2-over 74 and shared third place with Larry Nelson (66) and Vicente Fernandez (68). The trio was knotted at 10-under-par 206.
Kite started slowly with two pars, but he missed the green with his second at the par-5 third. He hit a poor chip, but holed the 18-footer for birdie.
Purtzer fell off the pace with a double bogey and a bogey on his front side. Kite also dropped a stroke to par at the 10th when his pitching-wedge approach sailed over the green. He pitched to 12 feet, but two-putted.
Kite drained a 6-footer for birdie at the 12th, then took the lead of the tournament with a 13-foot birdie putt at the 13th. He had 6 feet for birdie at the 15th, but missed the putt.
Stadler, one back after an eagle at three and a birdie at 10, was not making up any more ground, but nearly caught a break from Kite at 16. Kite holed a clutch 6-footer for par to maintain his one-shot lead.
Kite had 7 feet for birdie at the 17th, but missed. He reached the par-5 closing hole in two, some 70 feet from the stick. Stadler knocked his second to 15 feet and watched as Kite lagged his eagle putt to tap-in range.
Stadler knew Kite would make the short birdie putt so he needed to hole the eagle putt to force a potential playoff. Stadler missed the putt and Kite ended a 47-tournament drought.
'All in all, I played a solid round,' said Kite, who collected his seventh Champions Tour victory. 'Craig and Tom didn't take advantage of some opportunities they had.'
'Tom played great down the stretch,' said Stadler. 'My wedges were marginal and my putter was awful. I should have been a lot lower. I made everything Friday and nothing the last two days.'
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  • 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
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    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.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.