Slocum Snares Southern Farm Title

By Sports NetworkNovember 6, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Southern Farm Bureau ClassicMADISON, Miss. -- Heath Slocum fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday and edged a low-scoring field to win the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
 
Slocum finished at 21-under-par 267 for a two-stroke victory at Annandale Golf Club and a $540,000 paycheck. It was the second career win for the 31-year- old, who spent part of his childhood growing up in nearby Vicksburg.
 
Heath Slocum
Heath Slocum lets out a scream after a late birdie lifted him to the Southern Farm Bureau title.
'I grew up close to here and had a lot of friends and family out, so it was really special,' said Slocum, whose father Jack -- a former Mississippi club pro -- served as his caddie throughout the tournament.
 
Loren Roberts was tied with Slocum for the lead heading into the 17th hole, but he drove into the water and settled for a bogey while Slocum rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt to reach 21 under and assume his two-stroke lead.
 
Roberts, 50, was attempting to become the third-oldest champion ever on the PGA Tour. Instead, he settled for a second-place tie with Carl Pettersson at 19-under-par 269.
 
'Obviously I would have liked to win the tournament, but to see [Slocum] win it with his dad on the bag, it was pretty special,' said Roberts, who missed a birdie putt from the fringe at 18 and finished with a 68.
 
Last week's winner at the Chrysler Championship, Pettersson shot a 5-under 67 in his final round.
 
Pettersson also captured the Fall Finish with his third top-10 placement in the 11-event series. That netted the Swede a $500,000 check to go along with the $264,000 he earned in this event.
 
At one point during the round Slocum, Pettersson, Roberts and overnight leader Joey Snyder III were all tied for the lead at minus-20. Snyder bogeyed 14 to fall off the pace and finished alone in fourth place at 18-under, while Pettersson dropped a shot at 16 to fall back.
 
Slocum, whose only previous win on the tour came at last year's Chrysler Classic, bested a low-scoring field by mixing a tournament-best 25 birdies and one eagle with just four bogeys and one double bogey in his four rounds.
 
He wasn't the only player scoring well in a field that was missing the top 30 money winners who were eligible to compete at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
 
In fact, just one of the 75 players who made the cut finished the tournament over par -- a remarkable number reached, in part, by a combined 86 rounds fired in the 60s over the final two days.
 
But Slocum made the best of the favorable conditions at Annandale. He played the last two days bogey-free, and after beginning the final round in a tie for second place, he really set himself up as a contender with five birdies on the front nine Sunday.
 
That put him at minus-20, and Slocum went on to collect eight pars and one birdie the rest of the way to end the tournament with 43 consecutive holes without a bogey.
 
Slocum embraced his father after rolling in his final par putt at 18. The elder Slocum is a former Mississippi club pro who participated in this event nine times when it was held at Hattiesburg (MS) Country Club.
 
'I told him 'No one is expecting us to win, so we just have to go out and hit the ball,'' Jack Slocum said.
 
Heath Slocum's season got off to a slow start with six missed cuts in his first 11 starts. But since then the former Nationwide Tour player has made 16 of 17 cuts, including 11 straight during one three-month stretch from May to August. His previous best finish of 2005 was a tie for fourth at the St. Jude Classic in May.
 
On the crowded leaderboard, seven players tied for fifth place at minus-17. Among them, Bo Van Pelt had the best final round with a seven-under 65. John Cook, Bob Tway, Charlie Wi, Shaun Micheel and Woody Austin all shot six-under 66s, while Tag Ridings reached minus-17 with a three-under 69.
 
After that, five players tied for 12th place at 15-under, while 14 players shared 17th place one stroke further back.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Southern Farm Bureau Classic
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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