Pampling Perseveres for First Win

By Sports NetworkAugust 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
The International 2004CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Rod Pampling eagled the par-5 17th Sunday for a crucial five points that lifted him to his first PGA Tour title at The International. Pampling grinded for two points in the final round for a 31-point total at Castle Pines.
'I would say it's draining and the things that go with winning, but that's all the stuff that I think you want to have happen,' said Pampling.
Alex Cejka was making a charge on the back nine until a double bogey at the 16th cost him three points and the lead. Cejka tallied a single point on Sunday to finish alone in second place with 29. Tom Pernice, Jr., who won this event in 2001, followed with 27 points.
While the final round of The International typically features wild finishes under the modified Stableford scoring, which awards points for birdies, eagles and double eagles, and subtracts points for bogeys and double bogeys, difficult pin placements brought the players to their knees.
'It was a crazy day,' said Cejka. 'Nobody really made a big move in the beginning.'
Chris DiMarco, who was dominant over the first two rounds, continued his weekend plunge, losing five points.
Pampling wasn't able to take advantage throughout the front nine with a birdie and a pair of bogeys on the front nine, and the Australian continued to struggle on the inward half.
'No one I think took control early, which I thought it was there for it to happen,' said Pampling. 'And obviously, I couldn't make it happen, although I was trying awfully hard.'
Pampling's approach to the 10th bounced over the green en route to a bogey and the loss of one point. He lost another point with a bogey at the 12th but looked to be in good position after his tee shot to the par-3 16th landed just off the green within 14 feet of the hole.
The 34-year-old, who moments before saw Cejka double bogey the same hole, three-putted for another bogey to remain one back.
Pampling then walked on to the par-5 17th, a hole that has featured the rare double eagle on occasion throughout the history of his event. Pampling missed the putting surface with his approach, but he had a good look at the hole as his ball came to rest in the short grass just off the green.
'I knew we had to keep it right of the hole because it was back up the hill,' he said.
Pampling drained the eagle putt to surge into the top spot for the last time. He parred the closing hole and Cejka was unable birdie the last, granting Pampling his maiden title.
Cejka was battling on the front side with a birdie at the fourth, but he fell down the leaderboard with a bogey at the seventh and a double bogey at the par-5 eighth, losing four points over a span of two holes.
The 34-year-old began to hit some shots on the back nine and dropped his second inside 5 feet for a birdie at the 13th. He then hit his third shot to 4 feet for a birdie at the par-5 14th to move into the lead alone with 30 points.
Cejka shanked his tee shot at the 16th, however, sending his ball into the gallery. He managed to find the green with his second, but was unable to save par, leaving his putt a few feet short of the hole. While a bogey would have only cost him a point, Cejka pushed his putt around the hole and watched as it lipped out.
He recovered quickly with a birdie at the 17th but it was not enough to catch Pampling.
'I've been playing actually very well the last couple of weeks, but I just didn't score that well,' said Cejka. 'And especially this week, I was scoring well. Even when I hit bad shots, I had great recoveries and that's what I was waiting for.'
Duffy Waldorf had a strong final round with eight points to move into fourth place with 26. Jay Haas gained important Ryder Cup points with a fifth-place finish after a 4-point performance left him with 25 for the tournament.
DiMarco followed with 24 points along with Stewart Cink and Tim Petrovic. European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer tied for ninth with Bob Tway and Mathias Gronberg with 23 points.
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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

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    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

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    Departure from TaylorMade

    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

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    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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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.