Levi on Top for Fifth Straight Round

By Sports NetworkOctober 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Administaff Small Business ClassicSPRING, Texas -- Wayne Levi, who won last week's Constellation Energy Classic, posted a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take the second-round lead of the inaugural Adminstaff Small Business Classic. He stands at 13-under-par 131 and is two ahead of D.A. Weibring at Augusta Pines Golf Club.
 
Levi went wire-to-wire for the victory last week and shared the lead on Friday with Walter Hall. This is the fifth consecutive round that Levi has had at least a piece of the lead, and Levi could become the first player in Champions Tour history to win two consecutive events in wire-to-wire fashion.
 
'Mentally, this game is such a drain,' said Levi. 'It's tough to play good one week and come back and do it again the next week. I think I've got plenty left in the tank.'
 
Weibring fired a 7-under 65, while Hale Irwin, the all-time leader in Champions Tour victories, shot a 4-under 68 and is alone in third place at minus-9.
 
Levi took control of the tournament early in Saturday's second round. He knocked a sand-wedge to a foot to set up birdie at one and made it two in a row with a 15-footer at the par-5 second.
 
Levi collected his third birdie in a row at the par-3 third hole when he hit a 7-iron to 5 feet. He had a good look at birdie from 10 feet at the fourth, but missed. Levi hit another spectacular sand-wedge approach at the fifth, also stopping a foot from the hole, for his fourth birdie in five holes. He missed a 3-foot birdie putt at the sixth that could have put him further in the lead.
 
'I got off to another good start,' said Levi. 'I had a good chance at birdie for the first six holes. I really hit it good on the front nine.'
 
Levi parred his remaining holes on the front nine, then sank a 9-footer for birdie at the 10th. He laid up short of the green with his second at the par-5 13th, then hit a lob-wedge over the flag that spun back to 2 feet. Levi made that birdie putt to reach 14 under par for the championship.
 
At the par-3 17th, Levi's 4-wood approach landed in a greenside bunker. His ball plugged in the trap and his blast from the sand barely landed on the putting surface. Levi could not save par and recorded his first bogey in 53 holes, or his first since the 17th hole of Saturday's second round one week ago.
 
'I can't complain with 67,' said Levi, who will be in search of his third victory on the Champions Tour. 'If I can make four or five birdies, they'll have a tough time beating me. When I get the lead, I think I produce greater focus. I'm paying attention to everything that's going on.'
 
Weibring, who won this year's Allianz Championship, hit a 4-wood to 10 feet to set up eagle at the par-5 second. He rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at three, then added a 35-foot birdie putt at four to go 4 under in his first four holes.
 
Weibring cooled off as his next birdie came at the 10th. He holed a 15-foot birdie putt from off the green at the 13th, then got within two of Levi's lead with a 12-footer for birdie at the last.
 
'I feel good about the way I'm playing,' said Weibring, who will also be looking for his third title on the elder circuit Sunday. 'I have always wanted to win in Texas and tomorrow, I'll have a chance.'
 
Reigning U.S. Senior Open champion Peter Jacobsen (67), Jim Thorpe (69), John Harris (69), Hall (72) and Jim Dent (70) share fourth place at 8-under-par 136.
 
Andy Bean (67), Mark Johnson (67), Morris Hatalsky (69), Bob Gilder (69) and Tom Kite are tied for ninth at minus-7.
 
If Craig Stadler is going to tie Chi Chi Rodriguez' Champions Tour record of four consecutive wins, he's got a lot of work ahead of him on Sunday. Stadler managed a 1-under 71 on Saturday and is part of a group tied for 30th at minus-4.
 
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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.


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    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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    Man of the people


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    Victory at Valderrama


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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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