McGill Sets Record Takes Lead

By Sports NetworkAugust 27, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Wachovia LPGA ClassicKUTZTOWN, Pa. -- Jill McGill fired an 8-under 64 on Friday to post a 14-under-par 130 and take a four-shot lead midway through the Wachovia LPGA Classic.
 
Her 36-hole total of 130 smashed the tournament record by four shots. The old mark was originally set by Laura Davies in 1996 and later matched by Michele Redman in 2000, Moira Dunn in 2001 and Meg Mallon last year.
 
'I'm feeling good,' said McGill. 'I feel relaxed and calm. I'm still trying to have the same focus that I did yesterday, realizing that the end result is not what's important. It's the process.'
 
Suzann Pettersen posted a 9-under 63 and joined Soo-Yun Kang, who carded a 66, in second place. The duo is knotted at 11-under-par 133 at Berkleigh Country Club.
 
They will have to play strong golf on the weekend if they are to catch McGill.
 
McGill parred her first four holes, but broke into red figures at the par-5 fifth. She hit a 4-iron to the back of the green and two-putted.
 
Her play around the turn is what vaulted her to the top of the leaderboard and into the tournament's record book. At the eighth, McGill sank a 6-foot birdie putt, then collected back-to-back birdies with a 3-footer at nine. McGill made it three in a row at the 10th when her sand-wedge stopped 5 feet from the hole.
 
McGill was in trouble at the 11th but saved par. Immediately after that, she returned to her birdie ways. She rolled in a 20-footer at the 12th, and tallied a pair of 3-foot birdie putts at 13 and 14.
 
McGill parred three in a row from the 15th, but padded her record at the closing hole. She missed the green with her second shot at the par-5 hole, but chipped to 3 feet and kicked in the short birdie putt.
 
'When the green light is there, give it a go,' said McGill, referring to her strategy. 'If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. You can't judge what happens before it happens.'
 
This is all part of McGill's new outlook. She has not lived up to career expectations that started as an amateur. McGill won the 1993 U.S. Amateur Championship and the 1994 U.S. Public Links Championship. She finished as runner-up in the 1994 Amateur to Wendy Ward, but McGill has yet to find the winner's circle on the LPGA Tour.
 
'I'm not going to walk around 18 holes with a pit in my stomach,' said McGill, who received some advice from Nancy Lopez on the driving range Friday. 'I'm not going to wake up in the morning and almost dread what I am going to do. I am just going to go out and hit the first fairway tomorrow and the hit the first green.'
 
Pettersen had an impressive round of 10 birdies and one bogey, while Kang's card was a little more diversified. She recorded nine birdies, three bogeys and six pars.
 
Grace Park shot a 6-under 66, while Shi Hyun Ahn posted a 67 on Friday. The two are tied for fourth place at minus-10.
 
First-round co-leaders Hilary Lunke and Laura Diaz each carded rounds of 3-under 69. They are tied with Lorena Ochoa, who shot a 68 in the second round, for sixth place at 9-under-par 135.
 
Ward (66) and Mikaela Parmlid (69) are tied for ninth at minus-8.
 
Defending champion Candie Kung posted a 3-under 69 and is part of a group in 23rd at 5-under-par 139.
 
The 36-hole cut came at even-par 144 and among the notable players who failed to make the weekend were: two-time winner this year Cristie Kerr (145) and Women's British Open champion Karen Stupples (147).
 
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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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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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