Kite Still in Command of the Cup

By Sports NetworkOctober 23, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Charles SchwabSONOMA, Calif. -- Tom Kite battled heavy rain and cold temperatures on Saturday to shoot an even-par 72 and take the third-round lead of the Champions Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. He stands at 10-under-par 206 and is two ahead of Jose Maria Canizares at Sonoma Golf Club.
Canizares posted a 2-under 70 on Saturday and is in second place at 8-under-par 208. Hale Irwin, who holds a 39-point lead over Craig Stadler in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup and its $1 million, tax-free annuity, managed a 2-over 74, but is alone in third at minus-7.
With Sonoma Golf Club playing so difficultly thanks to the rain and wind, no player really threatened Kite's lead. Kite, the 1992 U.S. Open champion, played solidly with seven consecutive pars to open his round, but things went downhill for the 54-year-old.
At the eighth, Kite drove into the left rough and had a tough shot ahead of him because of a tree hanging over his potential ball flight. Kite hit the tree and the ball stopped a few yards ahead in the fairway. He bogeyed the hole and hit a nice approach at nine, but the spin left him with a two-putt par from 45 feet.
Canizares, who mixed three birdies and a bogey over his front nine, sank a 15-foot birdie putt at the 11th to match Kite in the lead at 9 under par. Kite, two groups behind Canizares, hit a spectacular 5-iron 12 feet right of the flag at 10 and drained the birdie putt to go one ahead.
Canizares ran into trouble at the 12th hole. He had an awkward stance and lie in a bunker and blasted out to 8 feet. Canizares missed the par-saving putt to go from a share of the lead, to two down in the span of two holes.
Kite hit a horrible tee ball at the par-3 14th that landed left of the bunkers guarding the green. He pitched 10 feet past the hole and missed the par putt to cut his advantage to one.
At the 15th and 16th holes, Kite hit safe approach shots that did not give him good looks at birdie. He made a pair of pars at those holes, then made a nice save at the par-3 17th when Kite's tee ball missed the green.
Kite found the fairway at the 18th when the rain was at its hardest. He hit a 7-iron to 6 feet, then ran home the birdie putt to get back his two-shot lead.
'I drove it a little better today than I did yesterday, or it would have been a long, long day,' said Kite. 'I played better today than yesterday, but didn't score a whole lot better. '
Kite has only one victory this season, at the 3M Championship in early August, but has notched 12 top-10s. A victory on Sunday would be his eighth since joining the Champions Tour in 2000.
'I've won a tournament, I've played well in a number of tournaments, played well in the major championships on this tour, and this has been a very, very good year,' said Kite, who can win the Charles Schwab Cup race with a win on Sunday and some help from Irwin and Stadler. 'But this could have been a phenomenal year. There's no question about it.'
Allen Doyle had the round of the day on Sunday with a 5-under 67. He is tied for fourth place with last week's SBC Championship winner Mark McNulty (68) at 5-under-par 211.
Dana Quigley and Morris Hatalsky shared second place after Friday's second round, but both struggled on Saturday. They posted matching rounds of 5-over-par 77 and share sixth at minus-4.
Related Links:
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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

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    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.