Oakley Up at Senior British Open

By Sports NetworkJuly 24, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Senior British OpenPORTRUSH, Northern Ireland. -- Pete Oakley posted a 1-over 73 Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Senior British Open. Oakley completed 54 holes at 2-under-par 214.
 
Don Pooley, the 2002 U.S. Senior Open Champion, stumbled to a 2-over 74. He shares second place at 1-under-par 215 with Mark McNulty, who also shot a third-round 74. Mark James, the Ford Senior Players Championship winner, and 1992 U.S. Open Champion Tom Kite share fourth place at even-par 216.
 
Oakley opened the round in a share of the lead and remained there with a birdie at the par-5 second. He dropped back to minus-2 after bogeys at the fourth and sixth.
 
The 55-year-old picked up a pair of birdies at the ninth and 11th at Royal Portrush Golf Club to move back into the lead at 4 under.
 
Oakley, however, faltered to consecutive bogeys from the 12th to slide back to minus-2. He parred his final five holes to remain atop the leaderboard.
 
'Today I was a little bit antsy getting ready to tee it up with Tom Kite and Mark James, who are names I've heard of and watched on television and have admired for so long,' Oakley said. 'I felt comfortable and fairly relaxed and I played fairly well.'
 
Oakley, the 1999 PGA Senior Club Professional Champion, is a club professional who is the director of golf at the Rookery in Delaware.
 
'I won the 1999 American PGA Seniors Club Professional Championship and I finished second the next year,' said Oakley, who has played in 16 major championships. 'Those are basically my credentials, as far as playing is concerned. I tied for 29th at the U.S. Senior Open last year, that's about the best I've done.'
 
McNulty shared the lead entering round three with Oakley, Pooley and Carl Mason. McNulty opened with a bogey at the first and a birdie at the second. He faltered to a bogey at the third and a double bogey at the fourth to fall to even par.
 
The Irishman came back to birdie the fifth before he dropped another shot at the eighth. McNulty settled in with three straight pars, then dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 11th.
 
McNulty bogeyed the 14th and 16th to again drop to even par. He moved into a share of second place with a birdie at the last, one of just seven on the day at the 18th.
 
'I would certainly put it down as one of the toughest days I have had in my career,' said McNulty, who is playing his first event in Northern Ireland as a Irish citizen. 'I had some silly mistakes and in the beginning of my round, I just lost my swing and didn't feel comfortable.'
 
Pooley birdied the second for the third straight round before dropping a shot at the sixth. He birdied the ninth for his final birdie of the day. He closed with three bogeys over his final four holes to drop into a tie for second place.
 
'I played solidly for 14 holes and hit a good drive on 15. Then I hit a bad 4-iron into a bunker on my second shot and didn't get it up-and-down and made bogey,' Pooley said. 'I'm happy being right where I am, but man, I'm not happy with my finish.'
 
Eduardo Romero, who shared the lead after Round 1, carded a 2-over 74. He shares sixth place with Bill Longmuir (76) at 2-over-par 218. John Grace and Bobby Lincoln are two strokes behind that duo.
 
Mason struggled to a 9-over 81 to fall to 6-over-par 222. Mason is joined there by Graham Marsh, who made some history on Saturday.
 
Marsh aced the par-3 11th for the second time in three days making him the first player to have a hole-in-one on the same hole in a top flight tournament. It is the first time in PGA, European PGA, European Seniors and Champions Tour history that this feat has been achieved.
 
'There's no better prize I could have been given, being a wine connoisseur,' said Marsh, who received one bottle of wine per yard (170) as Hardys Wine is the hole-in-one sponsor. 'This could about take me out of professional golf. It's a freaky situation.'
 
Tom Watson, the 2003 champion, posted his second straight 74 to slide into a tie for 20th at 7-over-par 223. Watson has been battling injuries that nearly held him out of this event.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Senior British Open
  • Full Coverage - Senior British Open
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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

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